"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Phenomena vs. Noumena

A black president is fine with me--as long as it's someone like Michael Steele, or Powell, or even Lynn Swann.

i.e. It's not about race (or gender), but ideology.

Leftists are much more about image, appearances, than substance, i.e. Kant's phenomena vs. noumena, because their substance is unappetizing to a majority of Americans with any common sense, and to make the sale the leftist--more often than not-- tries to look and sound conservative when the inner reality--the noumena-- is that he or she is not (engaging in illusion and/or deception right off the bat, with no scruples about it).

Kant, it should be added here, said that the noumena was unknowable, and that is true, to a certain extent, but glimpses of it can be discerned if only by contrast to the phenomena, e.g. if a phenomenon publicly communicates a certain virtue (e.g. honesty) but the carrier of that phenomenon is known to behave in a characteristic pattern of deceit, you know that the phenomena does not square with the noumena.

[Of course, none of this is to premise that the Idealism of Kant's German Enlightenment philosophy is necessarily True, only that--like Freudism--there are some good points here and there that ring so.]

Note that Clinton, in 1992, promised a cabinet that "looked like America."

How things "look" vs. how they are.

Hillary's choice of wearing Margaret Thatcher blue for Super Tuesday invited credible accusations that she was trying to invoke the conservative Iron Lady--i.e. by the color she was wearing, how she looked.

Of course, since 1963, Democratic primaries have been beauty pageants that would decide who invoked JFK the most, but by superficial qualities alone, for by comparison to the other Democrats-Who-Would-Be-Kings since his assassination (Bill Clinton included, despite being the most succesful doppelganger), JFK was, essentially, Reaganesque (by comparison, mind you) while the others were not.

They love the image, however.

Barack--and his wife--are a class act and he even sounds and carries himself like a conservative (e.g. he doesn't make race an issue). I personally like and respect him (and find it fitting that he may be the Van Helsing who drives the stake into the heart of the vampiric Billary), but he would be easier for McCain to beat than the Billary machine would be because of the latter's triangulations to the right and McCain's record of leftward lurches vis-a-vis policies.

The phenomenon of Barack is taking him a long way, but the noumena of his liberalism will sink him in the general election (if he does go on to win the nomination).

Billary met McCain in the middle on just about everything, and a McCain win would be done primarily by likeability vs. Hillary's negatives (though McCain has his own fair share of negatives, perhaps offsetting Hillary's own among their respective party bases).

Barack, on the other hand, has the most liberal voting record in the senate. Despite the "L" word being notably--and strategically, to be sure-- absent when talking about Barack ("Progressive" is preferred), he's still a liberal, and America-At-Large--still, despite signs of decay brought on by liberalism-- ain't.

McCain can pull off comparing himself to Reagan when up against Barack, but when up against Billary he's indeed more Bob Dole (and that was Romney's point, i.e. Clinton beat Dole, because Dole, like McCain, was much more a Republican than a conservative.)

Regarding Romney's own phenomena vs. noumena, I think Stewart on "The Daily Show" (although I don't recall which comedian from what show ran it ) showed a montage of Romney at a barbecue. The guy picked his teeth with his finger and put some meat back on the grill after it fell on the ground.

Turn-off accomplished.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acta non verba reveals the nous

6:32 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

In other words...

Actions speak louder than words.


By their fruits you shall know them.

They are going for "curb appeal."

9:04 AM  
Blogger nanc said...

check this out

kelly - approximately 30% or more of the appraised value of property is given to "curb appeal".

9:55 AM  
Blogger John said...

Nothing wrong with that. The aesthetical value of something is a legitimate factor when considering its worthiness.

The eyes--and ears--have their valid, plebiscite vote in the electorate of the senses.

Why do you think image consultants are paid so well?

However, visual and aural appeal can--or should, anyway-- be more than offset, indeed overturned, by the inner character and the condition of integrity.

Are the materials that went into building the house cheap? Salvaged from another? How's the plumbing? The wiring? Where's that smell coming from? And why the puffs of smoke everytime you turn on a light?

Why is the basement upstairs, and the attic downstairs?

Does that really matter?

Who cares if the architect rendered the interior schematics backwards? You call it backwards, but others call it "visionary," even "progressive."

Besides, the house looks great from the outside, and that's what really matters today (if popular culture is any indication).

4:38 PM  
Blogger nanc said...

sad but true, john.

what's the saying, "beauty's only skindeep, but ugly goes all the way to the core."?

9:26 PM  
Blogger John said...

And so Marcus Aurelius meditated.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should call a termite inspector!

8:43 AM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

The problem with curb appeal, as you have pointed out here, is that for a true conservative, the message is not a "chicken in every pot" kind of message. It is much more along the lines of "grow yer own damn chickens and we will not tell you how to do it." That is not a great populist message. Only people that have a "vested interest" are going to truly understand and appreciate it. DeToqueville told us that Republics will always be under the danger of the "tyranny of the masses" that will want to cut themselves bigger and bigger pieces of the public pie.

He knew Obama and Hitlery were on the way.

I just hate to watch it is all. It is a miserable thought to me that people are willing to sell their liberties for security, and their own ability to get ahead for the illusion of government "charity."

3:14 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

yes, I believe this is at the heart of it...

"ublics will always be under the danger of the "tyranny of the masses" that will want to cut themselves bigger and bigger pieces of the public pie.

What I don't understand are those people who do know about hard work and self sufficiency and yet
still believe the Obamas and the Hitlarys.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

"ublics"= Republics...LOL not sure how that came out that way.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the tragedy of Coriolanus is hard to watch.

That's why we have to do more than simply watch.

9:37 AM  
Blogger John said...

Coriolanus? Interesting. Can you please elaborate on the parallels, FJ?

McCain's martial and contemptuous character comes to mind as the lead, but he hasn't spited hoi polloi's wishes the way Billary appears to be plotting to vis-a-vis the superdelegates...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Coriolanus reference applies more to Republicans in general than McCain in particular.

In courting the plebian vote, Republican warriors like McCain humble themselves, dress in tattered weeds and show the plebs their battle scars. The tribunes of the plebs the sneak in and convince the plebs to betray us and vote for a more "accomodating" consul.

Let's face it, Obama and Hillary don't deserve to bring the same air as McCain breaths, they aren't in the same league. How have they served this country?
Hillary & Obama are like the duplicitous tribunes in the story.

2:37 PM  
Blogger John said...

Gotcha. Thanks.

8:44 AM  

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