Aphilosophical & Ahistorical America

Daniel Pink’s TED talk confirmed my belief that we are an aphilosophical society. He emphasized the hard-headedness of his argument by explaining that he was not talking about feelings or philosophy. He was talking facts.

He said: “I am a lawyer. I don’t believe in feelings. I am an American. I don’t believe in philosophy.”

The audience laughed, which meant they saw the truth of the statement and the silliness it described. Yes — we are aphilosophical.

I recently realized we are ahistorical, too.

Example #1 — On television I saw the picture of murdered aid worker, Linda Norgrove, and my mind immediately flashed back to 1980s television reports about Afghans resisting the Russian military. We cheered the pictures of Afghan rebels holding machine guns. Maybe we don’t remember back that far. Or maybe we believe the conditions in Afghanistan have changed dramatically in the last 25 years. Or maybe we are ahistorical.

Example #2 — Last week the television news featured a couple who had been unemployed for over two years (since 2008 for those who aren’t good at math, or history). This week the AOL website showed voter signs reading: “Stimulus Package Results? Coming in November” and “You put us out of work. Now it’s our turn.”

Every unemployed person’s vote for a Republican is evidence of our ahistoricalness.

Today’s history lesson is done. The test will be in November. Will Americans pass? Comment with your prediction.


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