From Ethan to Elon, reason still lives

April 9, 2022
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“Those who invalidate reason ought seriously to consider whether they argue against reason with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principles that they are laboring to dethrone: but if they argue without reason (which, in order to be consistent with themselves they must do), they are out of reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.”

Ethan Allen, American Revolutionary War patriot, philosopher/politician and instrumental in the founding of the state of Vermont.

Tweet of March 4, 2022 from Elon Musk, American entrepreneur/visionary, co-founder of Tesla, founder of Space-X, and as of this writing the richest man in the world:

“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil and gas output immediately.  Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”

Same day, same man, same platform:

“Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil and gas exports.”

Two men, over two centuries apart, yet both adherents to the philosophy that if the argument is without reason, rational thought has already been abandoned and attempt to reason is futile.

Case in point, Mr. Musk’s tweets above vs Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s remarks March 31 regarding expansion of American oil and gas:

“We have always said, use it or lose it.  Nine thousand permits exist for them to drill on land, on shore, and one of the things that I will say is that we want to fight inflation the price of oil is an indicator of the price of gas at the pump is an indicator, Putin has exacerbated it, but, we cannot allow the fossil fuel industry to use this as an excuse to reverse everything we’re doing to save the planet.”

Not only is Ms. Pelosi disingenuous with her insinuation that all those permits are viable, she ignores the Biden administration’s war against pipeline construction (even if every permit was a gusher without pipeline capacity to transport, it stays in the ground) and leaves out the administration’s coercion of financial institutions to stop providing capital to fossil fuel companies.

But it’s Ms. Pelosi’s last line that best highlights the difference between Mr. Musk’s embracing reason, and her lack of it.

Reason dictates that if Mr. Putin is to be stopped, his financing must be stopped.  For that to happen Europe must have alternatives to Russian oil and gas.  America could be the provider of that oil and gas but thanks to the policies of Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Biden, can’t.

Mr. Musk, himself a climate activist, realizes that Putin has changed the dynamic and even though short term expansion of American fossil fuels could hurt his own company, it’s needed to deny Russia the money to continue murdering women and children en masse.

Musk’s “Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.”  and the “sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously” is backed up by reason and the basic truths of the moment.

Ms. Pelosi however argues without reason that returning to pre-Biden energy policies would interfere with transitioning the nation off fossil fuels.

Pelosi philosophy: dirtier oil and gas from Russia, Iran and Venezuela that finances state sponsored death doesn’t harm the planet, but cleaner oil and gas from American companies providing jobs, tax revenue and economic stability does.

That’s as irrational as it gets.

Yet as warped as Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Biden are on energy policy, I can’t wait to see how they respond to Mr. Musk’s latest endeavor.

On March 25th he tweeted a poll: “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy.  Do you believe Twitter rigorously adheres to this principle?”

An hour later he posted: “The consequences of this poll will be important.  Please vote carefully.”

Over two million votes later the result was a resounding 70.4% NO.

Next day he followed up: “Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy.  What should be done?.” and three minutes later “Is a new platform needed?”

On Monday, April 4th he took the first step in restoring that concept of free speech to this nation’s digital town square by using three billion dollars of his own money to purchase a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter.

He has accepted a position on the Board of Directors and will now be positioned to delve into the algorithms and policies that its woke warriors have used to censor some while promoting others.

In other words, Mr. Musk will be bringing reason to what has become an increasingly irrational platform.

The political left is going to hate it.  Which means the majority of America is going to love it.

God speed Mr. Musk, God speed.

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