There are a lot of things I'm grateful to my father for teaching me as a child but perhaps the the greatest thing he instilled in me was an understanding that I can be wrong.
Dad valued objective logic above everything and I think he understood that the greatest obstacle to the application of objective logic was the difficulty of overcoming one's own prejudices towards a preconceived notion of what is "true." He saw deductive logic as a road with many junctions and turnoffs in which the destination (truth) had to remain unknown by definition.
He had a big problem with Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Rand's exultation to "always check one's premise" drove him crazy. Rand was basically saying that if the application of logic doesn't bring you to the correct "truth" then you need to back up and find a path that will get you there. This inductive logic is nothing more than intellectual self-justification writ large.
I've been thinking about that a lot lately when pondering the state of politics in America. We spend a lot of time talking about the differences between red and blue America, the differences between conservatives and liberals, moonbats and wingnuts but the REAL difference that most dramatically separates Americans is the difference between those that celebrate and utilize objective reasoning and those that utilize subjective reasoning in the application of their personal politics.
Digby has an excellent post up on the media entitled Media Contortionism in which he takes the media to task once again for the false equivalency and balance which the regular media is killing itself.
The country is in the middle of several "wars" in both the literal and metaphorical sense. If it was ever called for, the time to "exercise a certain caution, a prudent restraint, in pressing a claim for a plenary indulgence to be in all places at all times the agent of the sovereign public" is long past. The public isn't crying out for "balance," particularly when those who claim to provide it have no earthly idea even how to define it. They are looking for truth. Plain, simple truth.
Perhaps it's just an error of clarification but I simply can't agree that "the public" is crying out for truth. A good portion of the public aren't looking to have their beliefs challenged but, rather, to have their beliefs reinforced or, as Ayn Rand might say: "to help them to remember their premise." They want to have THEIR truth justified, not THE truth.
Digby hopes that if we can get the media to recognize that by ceasing to play to the personal truths of a segment of the population those individuals will either come to painfully accept objective reality or to be marginalized and eventually lose political power. When considering some of the highlights of the political fights of the last few years, from the 2000 election fiasco to the Swiftboaters for Truth nonsense, I don't see those vested in outcome of those events walking away quietly and allowing themselves to be marginalized.
A loss of political power just doesn't fit into their premise. And don't even begin to try and tell them the parrot is bleedin' demised.