Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What A Blogger Teaches Us About What Aristotle Teaches Us

"Most of us will rightly resist Aristotle's broad sweeping generalizations as applying to everyone in their respective age group. But I think the general sense rings true."

That's the hedging that a certain blogger must do when telling us that Aristotle teaches us how to "account for [Senator Barack] Obama's [supporters'] demographic gap between the young (18-30) and old (65+)." The blogger goes on: "In his treatise On Rhetoric, Aristotle offers an . . . explanation that I find interesting and compelling. In section 2.12-13 . . . 'The young are not cynical, but believe in human goodness, for as yet they have not seen many examples of vice.' . . . So when Obama speaks of hope and lofty ideals, he excites the passions and imagination of the youth." In contrast, the blogger adds, Aristotle rings true by saying this: "The old have lived long, have often been deceived, have made many mistakes of their own." Hence: "when Hillary calls for a reality check, the elderly nod sagely in her direction."

What this blogger and Aristotle fail to account for is why any man would let any woman speak publicly. Or why any man would let any woman vote for public office. Or why any man would vote for a woman. Or why a naturally black man running free and running for office would, because of his rather womanly discourse, appeal to any young man if not an old one. The only proper hedging for this is Aristotle's logic: "those Barbarians will do what they will do, until I can teach Alexander to greatly subdue them."

Here's the link to the blogger's post: "What Aristotle Teaches Us About the Democratic Party."

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