Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Final Solution: What Makes a Person Repugnant?

What is it that makes a person repugnant? There’s no objective state of repugnancy. For instance some people love our current president. He’s said “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and  shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters”—such is the level of those who are devoted to him. On the other side of the fence the rage he elicits in those who oppose him is probably over the top. For them there's nothing he could do right and when you think about it, there must be something in the Trump platform (whether it's having allies pay their fare share of defense bills or taking a hard line with China on trade) that would appeal to those on the other side of the aisle. When you hate someone it’s hard to see how anyone else could like him or her. But let’s try a hypothetical. Let’s say that the person who had previously been inimical to you saved your life. Let’s say you had gone into some fast food outlet like Popeye’s. What if the presidential motorcade pulled in just as you were swallowing a bone and the president himself applied the Heimlich Maneuver? Would you still be filled with the same hatred? On a grander scale, what if despite the hairdo, the erratic and unreasonable remarks about Obama ordering wiretaps and other traits, president Trump succeeded in getting the North Koreans to disarm? The recent reprisal on the Syrians for the use of chemical weapons created a whole new rash of hopes. Here your nemesis would be saving lives on a grand scale. How do you reconcile the disparate emotions created by someone you don’t respect with the fact that he or she is doing things that redound to your benefit? Scenarios like these are unlikely to occur so there’s little chance you will have to confront them. But they’re frightening since they point out how easily one can be swayed by emotion, of either a rational or irrational nature?

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