Obama (as himself only) can do more good things working as a gradualist within the system we have (e.g., making ugly compromises that water down programs, postponing unpopular measures until they’re politically acceptable, launching acts of war in a measured way instead of lighting the whole middle- east afire as someone like McCain would do) than Liz-as-Obama could through a speech that would mobilize “patriotic” reactionaries and accomplish nothing otherwise.
“Turner” dropped the above comment at 4&20, and I thought it illustrative of a couple of things.
First, unlike most comments I see around, it has some depth of thought to it, and he worked it a bit to put it in coherent and readable form. To the degree possible, he’s not repeating someone else’s ideas.
Second, he’s making a difficult point, and so has to struggle with it to force it to come out in an understandable manner.
This tells me that Turner knows how too think, and works at it. Thinking is difficult, and made much more so by the fact that as we go about the process, readers drop off. Most who started reading above have now left, are no longer reading here. So Turner’s efforts, admirable, were lost on anyone just skimming the comment string, which is what most do.
Here’s where it gets really tough: Turner is wrong. Obama does not make ugly compromises to water down programs or use restraint in attacking other countries. That is called rationalization, or looking for the good in the bad. If Turner were to visit the planet from Mars, not knowing any names or political affiliations, and observe the behavior of the U.S. military-industrial complex, he would easily see that there has been no change in policy these last thirteen years, and conclude that it is unaffected by partisan politics.
More to the point, there has not been much change since World War II, as if we have had the same leadership throughout, with bad actors occasionally removed (sometimes by violent means). But coming to that conclusion takes time, reading, reflection, and conflict – that is, to make our opinions stand up, they have to be tested by heat and fire. People have to attack us, we have to listen to the attacks, and when wrong, we have to alter our ideas to make them fit. Our ideas are only clarified by battle.
It’s really hard work. Rewards are few. Most folks get their ideas from authority figures and by means of suggestion through TV, and to a lesser degree by confirming their biases at selected Internet outlets. School and teachers reinforce wrong ideas, and group cohesion produces what we have about us, a dumbed-down populace where even the supposed smart ones are clueless.
If you’ve read this far, your name is not Swede and you understand how difficult this game is. I have the ability to size up an opponent, wait for the right moment, and slash his throat and leave a pile of innards. People avoid confronting me, even making up bullshit reasons to ban me. I was tempted to set Turner straight when I read his remarks, but he avoids any interaction with me. So someone else tell him please, he’s got a brain, he’s using it, and needs to keep forging forward. Stay in the game, but listen to your critics.