Insufferables v. Deplorables

The definition of a “no-brainer,” is a decision that requires no brains. Gentle reader will imagine what happens when decisions are made in that way. Or maybe he can’t, in which case I will imagine it for him. The results will be unforeseeable, if prompt; except by those using their brains to foresee them.

This is a problem with the zombie, or collective method of governing a country, or governing anything. It relies on luck. Sometimes, very rarely, it will get lucky. But the luck never lasts.

Perhaps one might observe there is no such thing as a “no-brainer,” even among fish swimming in a school. It is physiologically impossible, even for a human, to act without engaging his grey matter.

Let us take a decision that might be made by either — say, fish in the ocean, or a school of liberal-progressives. It is the principle, “Whenever encountering an obstacle, turn Left.” (Or the alternative no-brainer is possible: “Turn Right.”) No turning signal is necessary, for the rest of the school has been programmed the same way. Still, they must see the obstacle, and turn. This involves a dim intellectual process. It need not be applauded, however.

Let us posit our obstacle is a whale; and that we are its diet. It is large, so we can see it from a distance, or were equipped to detect it in some other way. Instinct kicks in, and we turn. “Left, left!” goes the collective signal. The whale’s advantage is that, with even less thought, he can make his own adjustment of course. It’s easy, because experience has taught him which way we will turn. We do so, and in a moment, we are all gobbled down.

The life of a sprat may be hard, perhaps; but it is mercifully brief.

Or  let’s say we are Democrats, in caucus. The predator approaching is a Donald Trumptruck.  We can see it coming a mile away; there is no subtlety at all in the creature. And yet we always get run over.

My example is perhaps too simple for words. Yet it applies to almost every situation where the bigger guy wins. The frustration is that we didn’t have to act as we did, we instinctively decided on a no-brainer. (Impeachment, for instance.) We could have put it to a vote, instead, but the result would have been the same. All votes confirm the no-brainers.

Whale, or Truck, makes no difference. Both were merely metaphors for Reality.

Today, in this age of Insufferables v. Deplorables, with no-brainers on either side, the clashes might be even less predictable than in our monarchical past, when it was Us v. Them. Our politics consist of two schools of fish, not one. But they think alike from their opposite positions, changelessly.

There might be no serious threat at all. And thus there will be slight consequence to our action. We see, for instance, a World Climatecrisis coming, so we are all compelled to turn Left. But the predator was an artefact of our collective, neurasthenic imagination, invariably supported by statistics. All it did was make us swim in circles, and live in a state of emotional disturbance.

In this state, which has been our lot since about the end of the First World War, we have executed innumerable no-brainers. We’ve been “Woke” in one way or another, many times. We have, on as many occasions, foreseen the end of the world. And we’ve been gobbled, but hardly ever by what we expected. We are, to this day, very easily trolled, the way a whale trolls a school of fish, to roll it into a ball, more compact and digestible.

For one hundred and one years there has been no solitude. Or more exactly, solitude only for the few, who are able to detach themselves from the world of the “news cycle,” and large schools of fish reacting as they will. Now we have “social media” to roll us up tight.

Yet it remains an option to think for ourselves, in that time-tested solitary way, in which we recognize no leader who is not an authenticated agent of God.

Meanwhile, the masses will be following their asses, as the old saying goes.