Critical thinking is something that many take lightly. “What is the point of researching when the answers are a click away?” seems to be the most common response, and is also why we have a new category of journalism called “clickbait”. This idea is to have a misleading title with a less than “stellar” story. Not only is this type of journalism prevalent within this age but it also can be very misleading.
The biggest thing when reading the new is that you must understand who benefits from these stories. As I’ve heard it told “Cui Bono?” which is pronounced Que Bono. Now I wanted to include a lot of stuff on Hillary in this because of all the recent allegations, but since that is still a touchy subject and a subject that many would disqualify either based on their own emotions or information they have gathered. Instead, let us look at Lobbying instead as this could give a better example and also the background history of the phrase.
Lobbying is the idea of soliciting or trying to influence the votes of members of a legislative body accord to dictionary . com. We always see it in movies, most notably “Shooter” with Mark Wahlberg comes to mind, but I don’t think it truly clicks for many of us that lobbying is ever present, be it for good things like protecting the environment or for bad things like getting rid of child labor laws. Lobbying exists and it could easily mean that your representative may not exactly be playing ball for you.
With all these allegations coming up every four years about a politician running for office that is not doing so to benefit the people of the United State’s it is important to know who backs your candidate and what their motives really are. Again lobbying is not a bad thing, but can be used for good or bad. So again the question comes back to Who benefits? Is it you, the people, or the lobbyists. Another good example, let us assume that the allegations against the Clinton’s is all true relating to the Clinton foundation. This is a perfect example of lobbying gone wrong and why we must be aware of Cui Bono!
According to dictionary.com Cicero was the one who coined the phrase “Cui Bono.” He served as a lawyer, politician, and philosopher during his life and witnessed much corruption within the senate of Rome. He lived through the First Tribunal as well as the civil war that ensued after the death of Cesar. He witnessed so much corruption and double standards especially after he was exiled from Rome that it is unsurprising that he coined the phrase. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a great write up on him, I highly encourage reading it.
On a less important note, this is also a good way of studying history. If you are stuck on how to study for history or even a research topic always ask the questions “Cui Bono?” and “Why?” You will find the reason for events through the effects. Just remember understanding who benefits from the actions of our leaders is not just a necessity, but also law. They should be representing the people, not an organization or another country. This directly applied to Rome during their times where Cicero witnessed corruption all around him and it applies now when corruption is continually being brought to light in an effort to defame a politician for political gain or by hackers who wish to better the world. Regardless, the importance of deeper thinking are evident through the phrase itself, so apply it.