I Am Not Cynical, But…

Posted: July 30, 2016 in Politics, Religion

I just got through dealing with my city’s billing department. They have adopted a really aggressive billing.
That is a paraphrase of Mose Alison’s song, “Gettin’ There “, in which he says he’s “not down-hearted, but I’m gettin’ there”.
I have a friend who lives just outside the city limits, who said if this city decides to annex his neighborhood, he will put his house up for sale. I don’t know what his beef is, but I certainly do understand his sentiment. Right now, if I had the resources, I would move outside the boundaries of this city in a heartbeat.
That would only solve the immediate problem. Expanding on that one issue, I feel that my elected representatives adopt (in their mind, certainly not to my face) that I am in the word of our most cynical Presidential candidate, a loser. I don’t know if I prefaced my remark with his infamous put-down, I would get real sympathy from my elected representatives, but it is worth a try.
My concerns were recently addressed in an article in the local newspaper about the percentage of local people who are struggling financially. I believe this is not just local and contributes to candidates who prey on their negative views of the system. To believe there is a mythical Siren song that causes disaffected voters to vote for the less qualified, but emotionally appealing candidate, much as the Siren’s song lead sailors to disaster. This character is emblematic of the political rhetoric that they don’t really understand but appeals to their emotions.
Logical intelligent arguments go right over the head of those whose minds are made up and do not listen. They offer no rebuttal but repeat their original opinion. Dale Carnegie included this unattributed quote in his book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. As I remember, the author follows up with the idea that people can only be convinced if you appeal to their “better angels”. This is my translation, probably not verbatim from the book itself.
Googling the quotation leads to Dale Carnegie’s book and tries to trace the origins of it. It1 cites the famous British writer, Mary Wollstonecraft, who used the phrase “Convince a man against his will, He’s of the same opinion still.” in the notes to Chapter 5 of her 1792 treatise, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. This adage is placed in quotes, denoting that it wasn’t original text, but without reference to the source. So either she didn’t know the origin of this saying or she assumed that it was so popularly known that citing the source was unnecessary. My opinion is this compares to the “dead metaphor”.
Footnotes
1. CliffNotes Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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