Emotionalism is a simple and poor jumping off point when one chooses to dive into the pool of public policy.
Emotionalism creates a fog of war effect that blurs every element that surrounds a very specific event where we focus on the central incident and hear only a droning cacophony of muddled voices in the background as the sound of ones frantic heartbeat dominates in the eardrums. Emotionalism isn’t rational. Emotionalism isn’t contemplative. Decisions made in the heat of the moment usually brings a wall of unintended consequences crashing down on ones head.
When tragedy strikes it is natural, instinctive, for emotions to over ride the reactive process. Hearts bleed, tempers flare and chaos results. We look at a tragic event and are dumbfounded and confused when we have no point of reference to anchor our sensibilities to and attempt to make sense out of what has just played itself out before our eyes.
Columbine, Oklahoma City, 911, Waco, the Unibomber, the Theater Shooter, the Mall Shooter, Virginia Tech, the Beltway Snipers, Ft. Hood, the Amish School Shooter, yesterday’s School Shootings in CT and a panoply of other horrific events leave us rattled and looking for order in chaos. They instantly and reactively propel us into a societal frenzy of argumentation and a desire to declare definitive causation based on emotionally driven correlations. We feverishly search out and present statistics as pieces of a puzzle that has no image when fully assembled and that cannot be assembled because there are no edges that actually interlock.
Blame is the taproot of emotionalism. We blame society, we blame our enemies, we blame nebulous forces outside of our individual control, we blame history, we blame the culture, we blame. Blame is the opportunistic arm of emotionalism that bludgeons any and all reasoned analysis out of a given event or situation. Blame is easy. Blame is a blunt object. Blame, in the hands of ideologues is a weapon that they are very ready, willing and able to swing like a baseball bat at any who question their emotion based actions. Blame is a tool of the weak and the cowardly. Blame is a tool, a weapon employed by manipulators and opportunists.
One cannot beat order into chaos. Chaos is as chaos does and we are nothing more than observers that may be able to extract small elements of order out of chaos, but will never be able to control the chaos that surrounds us. It’s like trying to put a saddle on a tornado and drive it to the grocery store.