Democrats & Liberals Archives

Common Sense Vs. Principles

Flip a coin 9 times. Each time it comes up heads. Is the tenth flip:


  1. Unlikely to come up heads
  2. Likely to come up heads.
  3. Neither likely or unlikely to come up heads.

Common sense may lead you to think that it was unlikely to come up heads. Your common sense would be wrong, but if you didn't choose "3" you may be a strong potential Republican voter.

A smirk always comes over my face whenever I hear an advertisement for Oliver North and his "Common Sense Radio" for the very reason that it is so easy to make lies seem like common sense, and things that may seem like common sense truths are false.

Take for instance, the very non-political issue of children car seats in airplanes. It is common sense to think that requiring the effective car safety device in plane travel would increase the safety of children. And it is true that a child in a car seat on a plane would have a bit more safety. So why is it wrong to require car seats in planes? Why does this go against common sense? Quite simply, parents are not required to buy children under 2 tickets for a flight if they sit on the parents lap. By requiring a car seat, you are requiring a ticket purchase. By requiring a ticket purchase, you are greatly increasing the cost of travel for very a price sensitive segment of the traveling public. By increasing the cost of travel, you are encouraging them to skip flying, and to drive instead. Even without car seats (even with terrorism), flying is much safer than driving. So requiring car seats would actually increase injuries and fatalities. Common sense is wrong. Scientific principals show us the reason, but you have to dig just a bit below the surface.

Republicans have been using this common sense approach to convince Americans to vote against their common interests.

It is common sense that a tax cut that averages a thousand dollars is good for everyone. It takes a bit of mathematical reasoning to understand that being thrown together with the Bill Gates of the world may just skew that result for most people.

It is common sense to think that you use “fill” to fill things up. It takes a bit of environmental appreciation to realize that “fill” dumped in a stream is damaging, regardless of what it is called.

It is common sense to think that we shouldn’t tackle global warming if there is not scientific certainty. It takes an understanding of basic scientific principals to comprehend that very rarely can anything be known with absolute certainty, and the overwhelming evidence demonstrates that the risk of using our planet as a global test tube is too great.

It is common sense that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth “have a right to be heard”. It takes someone with principals to realize that when they have no evidence, they are sponsored by known partisans, they contradict their own past statements, they are contradicted by official documentation, they are contradicted by actual eye witnesses, and they have a history of attacking their target, they no longer have the right to be taken seriously, no longer have the right not to be called liars, no longer have the right to have their views echoed on every political pundit show on the air waves.

I think by now I’ve conclusively shown that every Republican is scientifically, environmentally, statistically, and veraciously challenged. It is common sense after all. (note: beware of the word “every”)

Posted by Al Maline at August 26, 2004 8:24 PM