Common Sense Incubator

The primary objective of this page is to explore ideas and initiatives to help re-establish the preeminence of common sense and critical thought in America/western culture. We recognize that we are like millions of others who share similar views. Therefore, it is vitally important to collaborate with as many like-minded individuals and organizations. Hopefully the Common Sense Incubator will grow into something formidable. Do you have an insight, resources or strategies to share with us? We'd love to hear about it. Please send your ideas to Tatlow & Rawlings. We'll publish them.

All of us, to a greater or lesser degree, possess common sense and critical thinking. If a handful of people in the workplace are not using common sense effective strategies are available to tackle the problem. However, how do you deal with this on a national level? And what if the country had a pre-existing condition that has gotten progressively worse over the last couple decades? Oh, one other thing: What happens when the current president of the United States's makes things worse, way worse. How 'bout that? What do you do then? Yea, neither do we. That's why we're here. :/

An important point before reading the content below. We feel there is an aspect of the American character which contributes unduly towards a lack of common sense. It is the much lauded American individualism. This quality, which was readily apparent to Alexis de Tocqueville as he traveled America in 1831, has become the exasperating default position for many Americans today who feel even slightly put upon - the greater good rarely exists. Making things worse is Trump’s predilection to divide and conquer which exploits this tendency. Like an idiot savant, Trump sows uncertainty, confusion, dissent and chaos throughout the populace. Sadly, many in America don't realize or don't care that the American republic is self-cannibalizing.

That, in short, is what the road ahead looks like. However, the first and most crucial task for Americans is to elect a new president in 2020. Then, the real work begins. Our conversation begins below. The issues fleshed out here reflect some of our thoughts on the lack of common sense in American/western culture.

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Reassert the Necessity of Moral Leadership

For nearly 4-years Trump debased institutions, conventions, people and tradition; rejected science and facts; in their place used lies and the conman's hunch (honed at Wharton?); employed 'divide and conquer' to motivate people; accepted responsibility for NOTHING. So, all THAT is supposed to foster greatness and unity in a country?! It's doesn't. You know it. He's a conman! Common sense and empirical evidence demonstrates that. America is tearing itself apart.

Furthermore, Trump is contentedly, needlessly allowing the pandemic to kill more Americans - Republican and Democrat - in a desperate hope an economic rebound will see him elected president for a second term. Admittedly, he does face a damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don't dilemma. However, had Trump demonstrated responsible leadership in late January or early February, he could have mitigated the political and public relations disaster he now faces.

This nightmare will end one day. For now, remember this: America is already packed with stories of real greatness, of real leadership. Every race and ethnicity in America demonstrate that greatness and leadership every damn day - look at those front line workers! Leadership should cultivate the best in people. Leadership should lead by example. And leadership shouldn't be bottom-up; it should be top-down! By any objective measure, Trump is responsible for America self-cannibalizing. You don't need this fraud to tell you anything.

Why No Third Party?

Ross Perots' presidential run as an independent candidate was in 1992 with around 19% of the popular vote. Yet, during the intervening 28-years, no third party has emerged to grab a foothold in American politics. The conditions certainly seem right today. Lots of wealthy, well connected people in America - over 600 billionaires as of 2019. And lots of wealthy people who control tech industries over which they exert enormous control with little meaningful federal regulatory oversight. Plus, candidates today maximize the Internet to control messaging, which did not exist in Perot's era. The third party conversation must have percolated within various circles over the years, don't you think? Must have! Yet.....nothing. How come? Kind of defies logic. hmmm...

The end result is a level of partisan politics or tribalism so unthinking, so distorted - compared to say 1980's American politics - that the definition of words like 'Republican', 'Democrat' and 'Socialism' have been rendered meaningless, especially after being fed through the partisan meat grinder. Gone are the days of liberal republicans and conservative democrats. Bewilderingly, the most tribal people today are many of the average American voters. The same average American voter who typically get stiffed by Washington.

Once the Washington machine has the average American vote your lives are meaningless. Nonetheless, a significant chunk of the American voter gets apoplectic at the 'other' party over a policy position. That's funny! You're acting as though Washington cares about you. You think you're on the team. You ain't even in the game, son!

Religion

Mixing religion and politics showcases another example of the paucity of common sense and critical thought in America. No greater proof exists of the need for the separation of Church and State as when religious groups saw Trump as the more virtuous candidate in 2016 and supported him. Their continued support of Trump, especially after his brazenly corrupt first term, reveal the support for what it is; devoid of integrity or righteousness, purely transactional like any other business.

Watch pretty much anything by Christopher Hitchens to see what happens when religious faith meets a witty, erudite, gifted orator with virtually photographic recall of text. If you really want to witness a supreme Christopher Hitchens intellectual beatdown click on the link to watch the Intelligence Squared debate, "Is Religion Still a Force for Good"
To this day, I never tire of reading or watching the late, great Christopher Hitchens.

Even if only as a heads-up, we lob a common sense, critical thinking hand grenade into the "Intelligent Design taught alongside Evolution in American schools" fox hole. We see you.

Changing Fortunes of Traditional and New Media

Traditional media - print and television - have been in steady decline for over a couple decades. Numerous daily newspapers have shut operations across America over this period. The emergence and exponential growth of the Internet accelerated the demise of print and television. The Internet is an unforgiving beast when it comes to the publishing of content. It must be fed constantly. Print newspapers can't compete. And television news programming showcases a glaring limitation in the age of the Internet: An unfolding news event reveals itself at its own pace. To have different talking heads, each with their own program, saying largely the same thing hour after hour quickly becomes annoying and un-newsworthy.

Journalistic impartiality. Blatant partisan coverage of Trump with Fox News and Sinclair Broadcast Group. The rest of mainstream media attempted objectivity but that has largely vanished once they realized Fox and Sinclair were all-in; and how Trump used mainstream media to propagate his lies, his utter degeneracy and aversion of the truth.

It certainly did not help when traditional media was wrong about Trump being elected president in 2016. To be fair, everyone was wrong: all polls conducted throughout the campaign, all television talking heads, all academia, all think tanks, both Republican and Democratic party polling; everyone except Professor Allan Lichtman, American political professor at American University.

Then there is the matter of respect for the profession of journalism. Surveys repeatedly show that traditional journalism has the lost trust, credibility and authority of the average American. On top of that, the public now gather much of their news/commentary online from a range of alternate voices. One does not need to watch or read traditional media to get worthwhile insight on some news. There are a surprising number of quality news/commentary entities online: One stellar example of writing and consistency is Brian Tyler Cohen.

The flip side is one must often wade through oceans of poor content to find the good content. The less-than-optimum content ranges from superficial to misinformation and outright lies. Unearthing those quality alternate online sources can take time. How does one efficiently navigate the Internet for credible, authoritative, consistent news/commentary, and then properly vet it? It's a daunting task even for motivated individuals, let alone folks who have difficulty using common sense or critical thinking.

Education

The dumbing down of western culture has been ongoing for decades. Professor Allan Bloom made some worthwhile arguments in the late 1980's with his polarizing and successful, The Closing of the American Mind. Robert Hughes wrote about this subject in the 1990's with, Culture of Complaint. Hughes had a gift for brilliantly crafted insights and hilarious asides.

Fast forward to select American university campuses in 2104. Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt authored a remarkable book, The Coddling of the American Mind, that chronicles the emergence and spread of the institutionalized victimhood on American university campuses. This long read in The Atlantic by Lukianoff and Haidt will get you familiarized scope with the issue, The Coddling of the American Mind.

The phenomenon of Grievance Studies gained popularity in select influential American universities. Within a short period, these campuses were crippled and held hostage by Microaggressions, Bias Response Teams, Safe Spaces and Trigger Warnings. The end result: Intellectually vacuous, emotionally brittle Grievance Studies graduates. Each one swaddled in cringe-worthy self-righteousness as they safe space their way into an indifferent, tough world. Yea, they should fit right in.

To complicate matters even more, legitimate, jaw-dropping concerns over questionable scholarship were exposed in the Grievance Studies Hoax by James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian.

Read the following article in The Atlantic by Yascha Mounk to get up to speed. What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia

Facts, Truth and Honesty Matter

Trumps' lying and corruption have become so ubiquitous in American discourse that we simply walk by his latest lie. Future generations will read the historical scholarship of the Trump era. In disbelief they will read and re-read passages declaring that decent human principles like facts, truth and honesty had to be fought for and reasserted during his administration!! Think about that!

Everything in America and the world is suspect to the Trump administration: the Constitution, Institutions, science, medicine, news, experts, honourable people, facts, truth, honesty and accountability. Everything! Everything and every human being on planet earth is suspect except the morally bereft clutch of treasonous troglodytes soiling the White House. Talk about impeding common sense and critical thinking!

Lastly, for those in the Trump administration - in Congress, the Senate, and others within his orbit - who enabled this unmitigated, epoch-defining American implosion, your name and cowardice are forever linked with Trump.

Towards the light!
To the fight!



Submissions

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