Subject Areas


Governing America

Are government decisions based on reality?

Government by common sense

Common knowledge consists of what we know about life on the Earth. Common knowledge can be derived from personal experience, from the group and from history. Common sense is the application of our store of knowledge to any situation requiring decision making.  how we have seen life to be, what others we trust have told us about life, and what 5000 years of history have passed on to us.

Common sense suggests to us how we should respond to external conditions that we have not previously experience personally. Conditions change, but people (by and large) do not. Common sense can guide us when faced with unexpected conditions; common sense can also provide an insight into how other people will react to unfamiliar circumstances.

Common sense is not always present when needed. People that have not accumulated a store of common sense because they are too young, or because they have not been exposed to inherited knowledge, or because they are unaware that life is a repeating process and what is now being experienced has been experienced many times over history.

Common sense is accumulated by participating in carnival games, buying used cars, sending money to chain letter schemes. Common sense is developed by the realization that not all people are completely honest all the time; that some (maybe too many) people simply don’t know the truth or accuracy about what they are saying. Even good, earnest, well meaning people can be completely (or partially) wrong.

Common sense says that some people are crooks and thieves; others will simply take advantage of your trust for gain that is not always only about money.

It is fairly easy to overrule common sense. Common sense might tell us that it is not wise to lend money to those who will not likely pay it back. Conversely, common sense might tell us that family and friends are more important than money, and we elect to disregard the caution about lending.

When common sense tells us that actions taken in haste are likely regretted at leisure, we often choose to ignore the foreboding and go with the instant. So, perhaps the difference between the wise and the disappointed is not who has common sense, but rather who does or does not pay attention to our built-in guide.

True, a person’s common sense can be inaccurate. If the person is young, or has lived a sheltered life, or is not aware of historical events, their experience may not provide a truly sensible guide to action or understanding.

Wishful thinking is an evasion of common sense