The title line occurs in George's wonderful video, one of the greatest of all time. Watch that first.
I was reminded of George when I saw some Vox propaganda called How political idealism leads us astray. This "motivated reasoning" (bullshit) comes from Will Wilkinson, who has been on the planet since 1973.
Looks like Will's never going to get it! Throw another one in the hopeless bin!
Anyway, Will's bullshit should have been called Be Happy With What You've Got.
Do you want to stop Donald Trump from rounding up Mexicans into camps? Try this: Encourage your idealistic, third-party-voting progressive and libertarian friends to drop their fantasies of an ideal, radically revised political and economic order and fight instead to protect what we’ve got. It’s the prudent thing to do, and it’s the principled move.
The principled move? We know a long, complex post-hoc rationalization when we see one. The not-so-hidden agenda here is to get those unhappy Bernie people to vote for Hillary Clinton to save us from Trump and preserve the status quo.
In a profound and persuasive new book, The Tyranny of the Ideal: Justice in a Diverse Society, the political philosopher Gerald Gaus shows that visions of political perfection are bound to lead us astray. Gaus’s argument is forbiddingly technical, but it’s not merely academic. It matters a great deal to the way we think about practical policy advocacy and presidential elections. And if your political identity is built around a dream of an ideally just society, Gaus’s argument is shattering.
Libertarian and progressive purists planning to vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, or Jill Stein, the socialist Green Party candidate, don't think they're pitting the perfect against good, because they don't see much good in the status quo American political and economic order or in the morally compromised establishment's perfect embodiment, Hillary Clinton.
So does it really matter if they draw more votes away from Hillary Clinton than from Donald Trump? What’s the big moral difference, they may ask, between a transparent thug and the bland administrator of a thuggish imperial state?
In The Tyranny of the Ideal, Gaus helps us understand why...
Helps you understand, Will.
... captivating theories of political perfection can make us miss the value of what we’ve got, why they tempt us to make things worse in order to make them better, and why this is so dangerous.
There it is. Be happy with what you've got.
Gaus shows that your theory of the ideal social system, whatever it may be, is almost certainly wrong.
No shit. This is Homo sapiens we're talking about, right?
And even if it isn’t, it probably can’t work as a useful guide to political decision-making — especially not in a diverse liberal society, like ours, rife with disagreement about ideals.
Diverse open society? Like ours?
Ditching our utopias for an appreciation of what Gaus, following Karl Popper, calls an "Open Society" of liberal pluralism, mutual accommodation, and incremental democratic reform brings clarity and gravity to this election season’s big choice.
"Incremental democratic reform" is a euphemism for the beatings will continue until moral improves.
The irony of all this is that the elites created Donald Trump, and now seek to preserve themselves by urging us to save ourselves from the disaster they created.
Have a nice weekend.