America’s Crisis – Death of Logic and Objectivity

By Chris Kanthan

Trump famously said that if he shot a person on 5th Ave, he still wouldn’t lose any supporters. Shocking as it may be, he was quite right. Of course, on the other side, WikiLeaks emails didn’t really sway any Hillary Clinton voters. The discourse in America has become extremely divisive and partisan. People live in their own ideological echo chambers where critical thinking doesn’t exist. However, the problem goes beyond politics – this fact-free, stubborn, narcissistic, illogical and spin-loving attitude has become pervasive in every aspect of our society. The most dire challenge that America faces is not financial, geopolitical or environmental. It is the crisis due to the death of logic and objectivity.

Let’s start with some examples in politics.

During the election: According to Trump and his supporters, the unemployment number was fake (since, based on labor participation rate, 38% of adults weren’t working), GDP growth below 4% was horrible, monthly jobs growth under 300,000 was indicative of a recession, and the stock market was a big fat bubble!

After the election: Now, for Trump and his loyal supporters, official unemployment numbers are legit and awesome (even though the labor participation rate hasn’t budged since 2016), GDP growth of 2.3% is a sign of a booming economy, average monthly jobs growth of 175,000 is amazing, and the stock market is a reflection of tremendous accomplishments by Trump (until it crashes).

As for the Democrats, Trump was a Nazi and a racist for wanting a wall – never mind that we already have had a wall in many parts of the US-Mexico border for a long time. Hillary supporters also refused to read the WikiLeaks emails and couldn’t see anything suspicious about the Clinton Foundation, her private email server, or the deletion of 30,000+ emails. However, any accusation related to Russia interference or collusion will be eagerly accepted at face value without any corroborating evidence – the Steele dossier being an obvious example. Louise Mensch and other trolls have millions of social media followers who thrive on daily dose of shocking allegations and innuendos.

Thus we have a political environment where one half of the country is totally against the other. Democrats in Congress will automatically reject Republican ideas and vice versa. The result of this ideological fanaticism is gridlock, inefficiency and terrible legislations.

The media is also caught in this ideological trap. On a given topic, one can almost always predict the viewpoint of MSNBC, Fox News, Washington Post or Breitbart. Gone are the days when one could expect objectivity and neutrality from the media.

We have become a society of relentless spinning. Everyone works backward – start with the conclusion and twist logic like a pretzel. Every logical fallacy in the book gets deployed. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • One of the most commonly used tools is “what about-ism.” Bring up Islamic terrorism, someone might say, “what about domestic terrorism by whites?”
  • Cherry-picking or selective use of facts and data. “We added 2 million jobs last year” may ignore the fact that many of them are part-time or temp jobs.
  • Ideological filter is a powerful tool to reject truth and facts. “I don’t believe anything from Breitbart” or “I reject anything that might be considered socialist.”
  • Exaggeration and distortion are powerful tools to fool ourselves and others. “Iran wants to annihilate Israel” is over-the-top; and “Putin annexed Crimea” ignores the fact Crimea had a referendum and willingly joined Russia (and there’s much more behind this drama).
  • Slogans and catch phrases become the truth. Whether it’s tax cuts or global warming or how to lose weight, people are programmed to instinctively react to buzz words and phrases, while eschewing deeper analysis. The American desire for quick solutions causes more problems in the end.
  • Sensationalism has become a powerful propaganda tool. News media rely on it for advertisement revenue; public figures use it to boost their popularity or to get votes; and people use it to convince themselves of their own views. This is also similar to people screaming or using expletives to make their points.
  • Flip-flopping has become an art. Listen to Bill Clinton, Obama or other leading Democrats a few years ago, and they strongly spoke against illegal immigration. Now it’s a complete reversal. Trump supporters constantly complained that the world didn’t respect Obama. However, now that Trump’s rating around the world is abysmal, the new argument is, “Who cares what the world thinks?”

The bigger problem is that all these attributes aren’t limited to politics and, in fact, have permeated every aspect of our society. In the legal system, lawyers constantly use these tactics to argue their cases – in fact, such a clever lawyer is admired. Even the judges at the highest levels are driven by ideology – that’s why Obama and Trump have very different choices for the US Supreme Court. Logic and law are distorted to arrive at predetermined conclusions.

In sales and marketing, nobody can succeed without spinning and exaggerating. Obviously, being factual and objective is a death sentence for a career in those areas.

Foreign policy is replete with spins, exaggerations and blatant lies. Want to attack Iraq? Let’s exaggerate Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda and WMD. Bring fake witnesses who cry about babies in incubators murdered by Saddam’s soldiers, forge papers to show sale of Uranium from Niger to Iraq, plant stories in the New York Times and then use them to bolster your case on Sunday shows. Similarly, if we want to arm Al Qaeda in Syria, we just call them “moderate rebels” – a simple marketing tactic that solves a sticky problem. Have you ever heard US politicians or corporate media talk about waging wars for profits, imperialism or natural resources? No, it’s always about freedom and democracy! When trillions of dollars are at stake, deception becomes an integral part of foreign policy and perpetual wars.

The spin culture has also spread into science and medicine. GMOs are always marketed in terms of higher yield or cheap food, while it’s really about profits and, more importantly, controlling people and nations. Vaccines are blindly accepted by people who fall for the slogan, “Safe and Effective.” The billions of dollars of annual profit in the vaccine industry and the revolving door between Big Pharma and bureaucracies such as the CDC are ignored by the masses.

Big Pharma repackages old medicines with insignificant changes in order to get new patents that will justify higher prices. OxyContin’s 12-hour pain reliever was a marketing scam, but the lies brought in billions of dollars. Scientists fudge the data for clinical trials, and regardless of how many times Big Pharma gets caught for fraud, people’s faith remains undeterred. Even global warming is full of sensationalism, wild conjectures and over-confident claims when there are too many overlooked known and unknown variables. The nerdiest scientist is as vulnerable to groupthink, peer pressure, and temptations of fame and fortune as the sleazy politician on CNN.

Our financial system is controlled by a private Federal Reserve Bank, which has created a Ponzi scheme fueled by unsustainable debt and inflation. However, the elites keep spinning about prosperity and growth. Propagandists on CNBC and other financial media are paid to blow up bubbles all day long. When the bubbles burst, they will look you in the eye and will tell you that no one could have seen it coming.

All these problems have arisen because deception has become a way of life and we don’t have the patience (or sometimes the skill) to think critically and objectively. It feels as if the movie Idiocracy or the TV show Jerry Springer has turned into reality. More than 2000 years ago, Socrates taught Greeks how to think rationally and logically, but somewhere along the way, we lost it. This crisis is solvable, but it requires a deliberate shift in our thinking and behavior.

Chris Kanthan is the author of a new book, Syria – War of Deception. It’s available in a condensed as well as a longer version. Chris lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to 35 countries, and writes about world affairs, politics, economy and health. His other book is Deconstructing Monsanto.

Image credit: Anthony Freda Art

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11 Comments on "America’s Crisis – Death of Logic and Objectivity"

  1. Excellent !
    But I’m afraid it is pearls before swine on most of the population. Dysfunctional willful ignorance has become normalized.
    What is said of a nation who worship corrupt people in entertainment and government.


    The wise quotes go on and on but it will not make a difference to the herd.
    They follow a different piper.
    Lemmings all.

  2. PS
    The ostrich with its head buried in the sand is perfect.
    Our ignorance makes us double down on denial.
    USA, USA! All while we are circling the drain.
    If it wasn’t so tragic, it would almost be funny.

    Yes, I know. I’m terrible because I’m not playing along with the fantasy that everything is FINE.
    We are getting better. How dare I say the emperor has no clothes.
    Believe it or not, this article is a tap on the shoulder. The proverbial wake up call.
    Remain in la la land and keep lying to yourself or, start realizing the truth.

    Choose wisely.

  3. yeah well it certainly isn’t just in the USA…

  4. I’m always weary of the ‘we’ word in any catch phrase.

  5. Vlad TheSkewerer | February 9, 2018 at 9:36 am | Reply

    Trump has not actually shot anyone on 5th Avenue so to say his statement is true is a lie. Hillary’s crimes are there for all to see in her and her criminal conspirators own words. And the Dems say so what, this is business as usual, this is how we do things, the law does not apply to us. We have a difference of opinion on the purpose of government.

    • You’re like a guy who brings vodka to an AA meeting. ? Get out of your cliche-filled echo chamber. And I bet you read the first line of the article and rushed to write your opinion

  6. Great read!
    I personally think that the problem is with language and definitions. Relativism.
    But I can’t argue with the way you brought everything together with logic and objectivity.
    One thing I might add one day is about the effects of the erosion of states borders. Being in the cusp of the Nation State. The position of President by default will become a dictatorial position. The fortune 500 don’t want state’s borders. Listening to the people talk or debate on the street in Washington state is no different than the person in Florida. Everybody is marketed the same by companies and/or the government including public education from coast to coast.

  7. Unfettered Fire | February 10, 2018 at 9:10 pm | Reply

    This is what modern day fascism looks like. It’s not as much military warfare against the world as it is economic warfare. Change the economic policy and all of society’s ills will dissolve. Corruption requires an all-encompassing facade until it no longer works… like now.

    Capitalism without socialism leads to fascism. When you have deregulated capitalism, (like today’s 40 years of neoliberalism), and you starve the public sector of funding (no socialism), this is what you get:

    I long ago formed a view of capitalism that regards it as similar to fire. It is a powerful force which can warm our home and cook our food. In short, it can be very useful, maybe even essential, but ONLY if it is kept tightly controlled. Fire has no conscience, it only wants to be fed, and it always demands more. Before one brings fire into their home, one builds a fire-proof containment vessel. When designing this fire-box we do not let ‘fire’ decide how thick to build the steel walls or how tightly the gaskets fit. ‘Fire’ does not even get a vote.

    We have given in to the demands of ‘fire’. We have sacrificed all the furniture. We have allowed fire to escape the box and become the master. The house is burning down, the roof is gone, the walls are burnt almost to the substructure, and our very foundation is at risk. Viewed in this manner, everyone, whether or not they are totally anti-‘fire’, can understand the urgency of getting the damn thing back in the box. ~ Anonymous

    • Unfettered Fire | February 11, 2018 at 5:02 am | Reply

      Top economist Michael Hudson explains how the IMF and World Bank work in tandem with the neocons in the Pentagon, using cookie-cutter strategy to force nations to their knees:

      “… reduce public spending, slash social programs, eliminate energy subsidies, devalue the currency, raise taxes, impose triggers for more austerity if inflation rises, etc.” ~ Robert Parry

      Russia and China, with the creation of AIIB and BRICS, are offering an alternative to the needless austerity tactics of the US. This is the REAL reason behind all of the Russian vitriol as more and more nations have chosen to stay away from the neocon-run IMF and World Bank.

      “The establishment of the BRICS New Development Bank, an emergency reserve fund, and the AIIB will break the monopoly position of the International Money Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB),” said the article written by Liu Zengyi, research fellow of Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

      “It will motivate the IMF and the WB to function more normatively, democratically, and efficiently, in order to promote the reform of international financial system as well as democratisatio ..

      Read more at:


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