Lots of truth here. The caveat is daily demonstrable by realizing how easily TV manipulates our feelings through images of emotional scenes they want us to see and internalize. Indeed, it is nearly impossible not to be swayed by such visuals. That they might not be giving you the whole truth is usually considered nit-picking and/or irrelevant.
I found this out firsthand nearly two decades ago with the infamous Rodney King case. For nearly one full year, TV stations televised the beating King took at the hands of supposedly sadistic police officers. The image was so ingrained in most people's minds that to even suggest there was more to the story was shrugged off and dismissed.
Then the night before the verdict came down, I happened to be watching a newscast that showed the entire video. They also filled out the story of the long 100 mph chase that endangered many innocent lives. It showed King's brute size and refusal to stay on the ground because he was so hopped up on drugs. The police were using their batons to attempt to keep him prostrate in order to handcuff him because the electrical shocks they used on him had little effect.
At the time, I was volunteer teaching at a local high school, and the very next day, I tried to explain the complete story. One particular girl in the class, who incidentally was one of the sharpest students, made it very clear to me: "Don't tell me!" she almost screamed. "My mind is already made up." After a year of seeing the tape, it had blocked out all possibility of revisiting the facts. (One wonders if years later she had noted that King was and is a career criminal who is still arrested with regularity and if that would have any bearing on her opinion.)
This specific situation typifies that if one bases his or her political philosophy on externals only, he or she will feel completely at home in the liberal mainstream. There are homeless : so construct more government programs to help them. Wars kill people : so bring the troops home. Black people are victims of prejudice : pass more laws to stop it. The rich are getting richer:enact confiscatory taxes to make incomes more equitable.
Each and every one of the above issues has other remedies, some the opposite of those here described and most a nuanced middle ground. But the point is the necessity of not being simplistic in devising solutions nor in cutting off exploration and thought with solely an emotional answer.
The crux of so much error-prone thinking leading to faulty solutions these days lies in our educational vacuum, which rarely gives us a deep understanding of the philosophical basis for our way of government. I call it the Ad Hoc society, which decides virtually everything based only on the immediate situation. Our founding fathers, thank God, were men of deep spiritual and classical learning who understood that the long-term survival of our government "of the people" was the goal. Thus the reason for constructing a republic rather than a pure democracy, which would be subject to the shifting winds of public opinion. Sharp guys, these.
Conservatives are profoundly grateful for this history. They also are deeply concerned that our citizenry appears to have lost sight of the necessity of a well-developed philosophy based on a solid historical perspective by which each person bases his or her stance and votes. This means looking beyond the obvious to find answers to difficult questions regarding our future. As I said, you have to think twice.
Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in Steamboat. He is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana.