Addendum on Everything that Works

Donald Trump tells several Democratic members of Congress to “go back to where they came from” — which, in three of the four cases, happens to be American cities — and in the process reunites a critically fractured Democratic Party by giving them an easy rallying point against their common enemy.

“But it worked! It worked, didn’t it? He’s got the Democratic establishment openly defending the socialists! What a brilliant strategy!”

From The Hill, by way of Patterico’s blog:

The White House projects that the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year, the only time in the nation’s history the deficit has exceeded that level excluding the 4-year period following the Great Recession.

“The 2019 deficit has been revised to a projected $1.0 trillion,” the White House Office of Management and Budget wrote in its mid-year review.

As a candidate, President Trump had promised to not only wipe out the deficit, but the entire federal debt, which has surpassed $22 trillion.

Yes, he promised to wipe out the entire federal debt. And it worked! It worked, didn’t it? He got primary voters to vote for him! What a brilliant strategy!

Thanks to American pragmatists from John Dewey to Richard Rorty, combined with the filtering effect of philosophy as it becomes popularized into undigested bromides, “It worked” is now a catch-all justification for anything and everything. Barack Obama uses it. Donald Trump uses it. Mitch McConnell uses it. Nancy Pelosi uses it. Socialists use it to justify their fraudulent climate change veil for Marxist transformation. Libertarians use it to justify their amoral infantilism, which they veil behind clouds of marijuana smoke and their mantra phrase, “free markets.” The Hill, in the article above, uses it to justify Obama-era bailouts and waste by creating economically and semantically self-contradictory expressions like “the Great Recession.”

After all, it works. And the good news — for those who love a good result-based ethics, while hating all the mental effort involved in trying to establish which result is actually good — is that in an age increasingly snuggled in the warm blanket of this popularized pragmatism, “it” just seems to work so damned easily.

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