The US Constitution, Gödel and Donald Trump

Kurt Gödel

One of the most significant logicians of all time, Kurt Gödel's work has had immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when many, such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead and David Hilbert, were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics and as an extension all of Science and human thought.

Gödel is best known for his two incompleteness theorems, published in 1931 when he was 25 years of age, one year after finishing his doctorate at the University of Vienna. The more famous incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers, there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms. To prove this theorem, Gödel developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering, which codes formal expressions as natural numbers.

When I first understood the above paragraph, it devastated me as it has many others.

Gödel got out of Nazi Germany just in time as the lights went out all over Europe.  Gödel's best friend Einstein took him under his wing and got him a job at the Princeton Institute for advanced study.  In the 30's as Hitler rose to threaten the world Gödel and Einstein were safe at Princeton. 

Both Einstein and Gödel were Jews.   Einstein had US citizenship, but Gödel did not.   After the war  Gödel's friends urged him to get US Citizenship as soon as possible.  The rise of McCarthyism was looming.

Because Gödel was a very eccentric man, but a great friend, two of his famous friends sponsored him and accompanied him to the hearing on his citizenship application before a judge.   Much to his friends. chagrin Gödel began to express his finding of logical flaws in the US Constitution to the attending Judge.  His point was that the US could devolve into a Dictatorship.  The Judge was startled.  This was highly unusual.  What Gödel was pointing out or trying to at least were the numerous contradictions and loopholes of logic in the revered Constitution.  Please Click Here to get details of the unique day.

The friends Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern took over and got the Genius his citizenship.  Gödel placed no significant stress on the Constitution thereafter.   But are Gödel's logical flaws appearing in the form of Donald Trump?  One only has to listen to Trump to become worried.