Why Has Emotion Replaced Reason in America?
“Facts are stubborn things.” That’s what American founding father John Adams famously said. But in modern America, facts are not so stubborn, and you don’t get famous by clinging to them. You get famous by being stubborn with your emotions. In modern America, more stubborn than facts, truth and logic are emotions, feelings and “personal truth.”
Historian Niall Ferguson described the phenomenon in this week’s Sunday Times, writing, “We no longer live in a democracy. We live in an ‘emocracy,’ where emotions rather than majorities rule and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings—the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation—the more influence you have.”
I discussed this issue on yesterday’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, available here:
Is Ferguson exaggerating? Or is he stating the facts? Look at just a few recent news stories, and you be the judge.
Last week, a 60 Minutes interview with newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aired. She is an avowed socialist and has been called the future of the Democratic Party by Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez. Interviewer Anderson Cooper challenged her regarding her use of inaccurate facts to support her political views. Instead of addressing the facts themselves, Cortez took the moral high ground, as she sees it, and condemned those who would dare call her out:
Oh my goodness. If people want to really blow up one figure here or one word there, I would argue that they’re missing the forest for the trees. I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.
It doesn’t matter if you make a few things up here or there, what’s more important is if you are morally right. Of course, Cortez doesn’t define what makes something moral. Cortez believes that her views are moral, regardless of the facts. She believes that her views are right, regardless of the facts.
And in answering a question about nonfactual statements she has made in the past, Cortez made another nonfactual statement. She said that there are lot of people more concerned about being precise factually, rather than morally right. In fact, it’s the opposite. We are living in a time where more people are concerned more about their narrative and their “truth,” rather than the objective facts.
This anti-fact bias has also taken hold of the American media. Executives, editors and journalists choose stories, conduct research, and craft narratives not according to the facts they find but according to their preexisting political views.
The handling of the arrest of Roger Stone last week is another example of this.
Dozens of heavily armed Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided the house of the former adviser of United States President Donald Trump. No, we are not talking about the raid on Michael Cohen in April. We are talking about the raid on Roger Stone last Friday. It occurred at 6 o’clock in the morning and involved no less than 29 agents. This was caught on video by cnn, which happened to have its own people in place at Stone’s residence.
The 66-year-old Stone was arrested on charges related to lies he told after he started being interviewed by Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. He was not arrested for any collusion with the Russians.
In “Stone Indictment Underscores That There Was No Trump-Russia Conspiracy,” Andrew McCarthy pointed out:
The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the fbi have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the fbi had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency—over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern—heedless of the damage to the country.”
And so, fitting the narrative of Trump’s guilt in colluding with the Russians, cnn was there to publicize the guns-blazing capture of an old man.
An American Spectator author, who has participated in planning the arrests of mob bosses, drew attention to the bizarre nature of the much-publicized arrest of Stone. In “How Many FBI Agents Does It Take to Terrorize an Unarmed 66-Year-Old?”, he noted that law enforcement normally deploys only as many agents as necessary to conduct an arrest, partially in order to reduce the chances of a friendly fire incident. He wrote:
Team Mueller’s use of 29 agents plus cnn video support elements were confronted with a challenging tactical problem. Despite the fact that Stone has no prior criminal record, he is nevertheless 66 years old. … Once upon a time, you could have invaded a small country with that much firepower much less arrest a white-haired gadfly who allegedly lied to the authorities. Is the wimp quotient really that high in today’s fbi?
Stone quickly made bail and was back out of custody. To say that he is not considered a threat to anyone is an understatement. This shows that this was a circus from the beginning.
Victor Davis Hanson wrote, “[W]hy after 21 months is the special counsel still hounding minor transitory Trump officials (Stone was fired from the Trump campaign way back in August 2015) in hopes of flipping them to find proof of almost anything against Trump? Stone, like all other Americans indicted by Mueller so far, is not charged with any crime close to ‘collusion.’”
Furthermore, all of the crimes discovered occurred after Mueller was appointed. They were lies that were made before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 26, 2017. Hanson continued, “If Stone lied under oath to Congress as Mueller alleges, then by all means prosecute him to the fullest. But what exactly are the federal criteria that adjudicate when and where lying under oath to Congress or to federal authorities is a prosecutable crime? … After all, nearly the entire Obama administration intelligence hierarchy not only lied under oath to Congress, but in some cases confessed to such.”
James Clapper admitted that he lied. Why haven’t dozens of agents invaded his home?
As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich put it, “This whole thing has become such a clear, vicious act of destruction that people ask themselves, is this really America when at 6 in the morning somebody who is not violent, has no record of violence, has armed fbi agents in full battle vests pounding on the door at 6 a.m.? While cnn covers it? There is something despicable about what’s happening in America today.”
Why is this happening?
Is this about facts? Is this about justice? Or is about politics, ideology and will?
Spirit of Hate
Newt Gingrich isn’t the only one questioning what’s going on in America. Your average, normal, sane person is looking at what is happening and wondering what in the world is going on. People who shouldn’t get published in your local paper are getting elected to Congress. People who do the exact same types of things are treated in opposite ways. The federal government is at war with itself. Government officials—and many everyday Americans—believe that, more than facts, more than morals, more than anything, what matters most is winning.
It’s confusing, because there are so many bizarre, unprecedented and dangerous things happening at the same time. Most of them seem unrelated. But even though the craziness manifests itself in many different forms, it traces back to one source.
“[A]ll the evils and troubles in the world are caused by minds clashing with minds,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages. Biologists, neurologists and evolutionists have no explanation as to why human beings have minds (not just animal-type brains) in the first place, let alone why they clash. They admit that they know very little about the human brain. These experts aren’t any better at their relationships than other human beings. Why? Because the human mind is so much more than just the human brain. What powers it is the human spirit.
The real cause behind minds clashing with minds is the influence of the invisible spirit world on the spirit component of the human mind! It’s not just merely some sort of imbalance in the biology of our brains. It’s not physical; it’s spiritual!
Ephesians 6:12 states that we are not actually striving against other human beings but against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness [evil spirits] in high places.”
There is a real spirit world! It might be invisible to the naked eye, but the spiritual realm is actually more real than the visible material creation.
The Bible perfectly describes the world conditions we are facing: 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that Satan is the god of this world. Ephesians 2:2 says that human beings walk “according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [Satan], the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” As Mr. Armstrong wrote in Mystery of the Ages, “People simply do not realize that there is an invisible spirit power injecting into their minds these hostile attitudes.”
It’s not that the average person underestimates the power of Satan’s influence. We don’t even realize it’s there. And his hateful and destructive influence is worse now than it has been in any previous generation.
In these last days, the Bible tells us about a universe-shaking, spiritual “war in heaven.” Michael and his angels, it says in Revelation 12:7, prevailed against Satan and his demons. There is no more space for Satan and his demonic army in heaven! They are now confined to this Earth (verses 8-9).
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time” (verse 12).
Why is our world coming apart at the seams in so many different ways? Why are nations rising up against other nations? (Luke 21:10). Why the resulting pestilence, famine and disease epidemics? Satan is influencing human minds, and he has now been cast down! He is the cause of all violent social disorder and unrest. He is the father of murder, lies and deception (John 8:44). He surcharges the air with his spirit of unrestrained emotion: anger, bitterness, strife, jealousy and envy.
Aren’t these the same emotions taking over the United States?
The louder you are with your uncontrolled emotion, the more credible you seem! That is our world today. God gave us emotion, but He also gave us His law to show us what is right and wrong, so we can direct our emotions. Otherwise, uncontrolled and unbridled emotions lead to catastrophe. And what is the source of this? Mr. Armstrong continued in Mystery of the Ages:
Human nature is, simply, the subconscious pull of a definite attitude of mind. It is the attitude that became Satan’s. It is the natural attitude implanted from infancy by the invisible Satan. It is the attitude of vanity—of self-concern—of lust and greed. It is the attitude of hostility to others, and resentment of authority over it.
You see this attitude everywhere you look, and in particular now, because Satan has been cast down.
Adolf Hitler said, “What you tell people in the mass in a receptive state of fanatic devotion will remain; words received under a hypnotic influence are radical and impervious to every reasonable explanation. … A new age of magic interpretation of the world is coming, of interpretation in terms of the will and not of the intelligence” (emphasis added).
Facts don’t matter. Truth doesn’t matter. What matters is “your truth”—and how much you can force others to accept it.
“This is the type of influence we see holding a grip on many people today. This hypnotic influence cannot be explained reasonably,” my father writes in America Under Attack. You cannot explain it logically. What people are doing is irrational. Until you understand the truth about the real, invisible spirit world.
Colossians 2:18 and 23, when correctly translated, read, “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of demons, intruding into those things which he has seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind …. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship ….”
As my father writes in that booklet, will worship “is exactly what Hitler was talking about, but on another level: ‘magic interpretation in terms of the will.’ He said, Look, this is what it’s all about now. Your reasoning isn’t going to stop us. That doesn’t mean anything to us. We follow this magic interpretation today.”
Don’t tell us that it is right or wrong. Don’t talk about God’s law, or even absolute truth. Bend to MY will, because it is MY will!
People in the world today are not looking to the Bible or to God for answers. They are not seeking guidance from above. They are not interested in reasoning together with God (Isaiah 1:18).
Thus, facts are no longer stubborn things. Emotions are.