“Critical Thinking: Has It Been Lost?” by Andrew J. Schatkin

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

“Critical Thinking: Has It Been Lost?” by Andrew J. Schatkin

I would like to talk about critical thinking or, better put, to examine its possible loss in our society. Critical thinking may be defined as the ability in our thoughts to discern or in some way put the dots correctly together in the midst of the images, and barrage of verbal pollitical propaganda we all are assaulted with, with the result we may be convinced of the truth of some matters that do not deserve to believed upon careful and discerning examination. Let’s take a look at a few of the verbal assaults that really should not be credited if subject to critical examination and thinking. For example, let us examine sanctuary cities. A sanctuary is meant to shield the innocent from arrest and prosecution and, if you will, persecution. Sanctuary cities today refer to places in our cities and some states where persons illegally here are protected from the federal authorities seeking their prosecution and possible deportation. Clearly to protect persons illegally here is wrong and should not be allowed. Persons illegally here, if allowed to stay, represent lower salaries and cheaper benefits for corporate America who benefit from this low-cost labor. This pool of cheap labor serve to take jobs from Americans in poverty, white, black, Asian, and Latino. Clearly, sanctuary cities and states are wrong and do damage to poor legal American residents, whether in Brooklyn or Missouri. Critical thinking rejects the idea, concept, and actual operation of sanctuary cities and states.

Second is abortion. Abortion, which now has reached in its operation almost to the point of birth, is murder and killing. Its victims are the poor, blacks, and Latinos. Some refer to abortion as black genocide. Abortion is Darwinian in concept and in many instances is used to weed out from life not only children of our poorer classes but the disabled and mentally challenged of all types. Christians and others find value in persons at all stages of life from the unborn to the person in the last moment of life. I oppose abortion as murder. I do not comment that a woman should have say, but on a moral basis, I oppose abortion and any person with the use of critical thinking will agree about what I say here. Abortion is taking away someone’s life and to think otherwise is not exercising correct thinking and analysis.

Some accuse the President of opposing immigration. President Trump opposes illegal entry into this country and seeks to build a southern border wall. He is not racist on this issue or prejudiced. As the Chief Executive, he has the obligation to run a society based on law and legality and not to allow our society to be run by the forces of lawlessness and illegality and law violation. This President is operating a state and a church agency of the Salvation Army. Anyone who concludes this policy is racist does so because of his or her gross absence or critical thinking. Again, the President was said to be racist in proposing the travel ban with respect to immigration from certain Muslim majority countries. To believe so is not to engage in critical thinking since many Muslim countries were omitted from the ban, such as Egypt and the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia. Those who oppose the ban ignore the compelling issue and need for national security in the face of worldwide attacks emanating from Muslim societies on the part of a minority. Critical thinking reveals the President’s travel bank did not remotely involve racism or prejudice but was motivated by national security concerns.

Another area where critical thinking is applied would be to counter the statement that all religions are the same. Obviously, they are not since Judaism and Islam are monotheist, Christianity Trinitarian, and Hinduism is polytheist. Critical thinking does not accept this statement.

Also, the President has frequently been called racist. This President operated a multi-billion business in NYC for many years. Many of his employees are black, Latino, gay and women, no doubt. In addition, his economic policies have brought manifold employment to poor and poverty-stricken blacks and Latinos. Moreover, his position opposing abortion favors the lives of black and Latino babies otherwise lost. Again, critical thinking leads to the rejection of the accusation of racism lodged constantly against this President.

Critical thinking rejects allowing illegal entry at the southern border and then claiming asylum. There are legal methods and avenues to enter the country and obtain asylum. Critical thinking leads to this conclusion and rejects endorsing illegal entry and then claiming asylum. There is hue and cry by some in our system with regard the separation of children of illegal entrants. First, there is an issue whether there are the children of the persons involved. Are they being used as pawns to gain entrance? Due to this real possibility, authorities have little choice but to detain the children separately from adult detention. Again, critical thinking leads to this conclusion.

I have just given examples of critical thinking. Those who are convinced by the barrage of political propaganda of which I have just spoken have failed in my view to exercise their critical intellectual analytical faculties or perhaps, one might say, have failed to put the dots together. How can one go about to explain the failure to critically think? The [problem lies in a system based on emails and cell phone message and a system of communication not in the manner of John Dewey, John Stuart Mill, and Bertrand Russell, but instead on a kind of superficial quick fix. In short, one might say if our society fails in one respect and area, it is in its lack of depth, where all remains on the surface without critical examination. One might speculate that the failure to read great books has led to this dilemma and predicament which I have just described: the inability, disinclination, and absence of the critical thought process.

Post-Script:

I would like to comment on two areas that perhaps require the exercise of critical thinking. The left ideological spectrum, I have heard it said, states that the President is anti-Jewish or, more exactly put, anti-Semitic. This belief or, better put, conviction is an outrage. Some of the President’s family is Jewish. He makes no secret of it. Moreover, President Trump is one of the firmest backers of Israel. It is noteworthy that the travel ban so opposed by the forces of the left was directed to rebut attacks on this country by Islamic fundamentalists who are vehemently opposed to our Jewish brethren and who have been bombing and attacking the state of Israel for over 50 years. This President, far from being anti-Semitic, is the salvation of the Jewish community in the United States and continues to be so. This is critical thinking connecting the dots and seeing the forest for the tree and seeing the facts, unswayed by propaganda and slogans, and trigger words.

I add this: The left seeks to convince some in our society that he is a racist. The reasons given are that he is against immigrants and those seeking illegal entrance into our country by reason of race. The President opposes illegal immigration and to connect this completely legal position with race is an insult of anyone’s intelligence. It has also been said that the President’s travel ban was race and religion connected. The ban was a response to hundreds attacks and worldwide by the forces of radical Islam and to connect it with race is a huge stretch and to the extent that the attacks stemmed from radical Islam. The ban was rightly passed and enforced, on a factual foundation, with a basis in truth. The ban was not based on racism or a religious bias but based on the facts and nothing more. Again, these are examples of critical thinking or, better put, thinking straight, unconvinced and unaffected by word play or sloganeering.