Thoughts on Rex Tillerson – Secretary of State Nominee focuses on Clark County. However this article, about a national topic, gets to the heart of our local problem with politicians.

Most Secretaries of State are usually Career Politicians, lawyers, or both.  Occasionally we get generals (Marshall, Haig, and Powell); sometimes we get academics (Kissinger, Rice).  Rarely do we get business people, and even more rare is the engineer.  

Why is this important?

Lawyers are, by training, finagling word twisters always bent on gaining an advantage in a legal setting.  They live in a make believe world of legal interpretations, illegitimate advantage of the well funded, pliable juries, and agenda-driven judges. This collection of variable is the lawyer’s ‘flexible’ reality, but often has nothing to do with achieving Justice.  In the same way (and this is why lawyers are drawn to politics) politicians live in a make believe world of “legislation” and “government”.   Our world has evolved from one where government is created by citizens to protect citizens and their property to a world where the citizen is understood by the government as a means to an end, typically through the forced and coerced extraction of property, by that same government.  Government priorities today have nearly nothing to do with the protection of the citizenry and everything to do with confiscation of the property of the many for the benefit of the few. 

In light of those who normally inhabit the office of Secretary of State, we can start to see where having a businessperson and an engineer in that role could be of great benefit.  Both business people and engineers work in roles that require them to dealing with reality – be it the reality of markets and consumer preferences in the context of cash flow and investment or the reality of physics in the context of scientific laws applied in engineering. 

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

Engineers are nothing if not constrained by reality.  This is a good thing.  They are by nature observers and seek to understand facts in the performance of their duties.  Lawyers and politicians, not so much, they are more inclined to attempt to create facts – not observe them.  Philosophy has a name for engineers: they are called empiricists.  Engineers operate in an a posteriori world reasoning deductively from observed facts to general conclusions.  Philosophy also has a name for the lawyerly types: called idealists – for they think they can create reality from their emotions and fantasies.  They live in an a priori world easily going from general propositions to particular conclusions.  An example of this pervasive failure in logic is found in the current anthropomorphic ‘political physics’/’pseudo-science’ of climate change as an example of how a political agenda and make-believe world view distorts reality to suit pre-determined ends.  This is also a great example for how group think controls these emotional and shallow thinkers.  

What is the result of an engineer’s methods?  We benefit from the practical application of the scientific method via hydroelectric projects and bridges that do not collapse.  The lawyer’s methods attempting to create reality get you legislation to replace law and people falsely imprisoned for 30 years for collecting their rainwater runoff!  I, for one, would not like to depend upon a lawyers, or politicians, sense of what can be accomplished, and how it is accomplished, in terms of practical actions.  That is, if you want to fly in an aircraft designed by the people who have the thought processes that created Obamacare or Social Security, be my guest.  I will stick with the engineers – Thank You.            

I am gratified that Mr. Tillerson, in his opening statement to congress in his recent confirmation hearing concluded by stating: “I am an engineer by training. I seek to understand the facts, follow where they lead, and apply logic to our international affairs. We must see the world for what it is, have clear priorities, and understand that our power is considerable, but it is not infinite. We must, where possible, build pathways to new partnerships, and strengthen old bonds which have frayed.”*

My friends when was the last time we had a cabinet level executive discuss anything of importance in terms of reality, priorities, constraints and practical relationships?  Hear the crickets? 

Perhaps we ought to give Mr. Tillerson the benefit of the doubt and a shot at doing the right thing, as God knows we have suffered long enough under those lawyers and politicians whose in-bred depravity and capacity for self-aggrandizement and resource waste has no bounds. 

By:  “Hawkeye, a friend of Liberty”

*Mr. Tillerson quote from: