Friday, September 23, 2011

Ideological Boxes

One of the thing I don't understand about people is when they have a perfectly good explanation for why they did what they did, but instead of admitting the truth, they invent endless hoops to jump through in order to avoid making a point they would have made if they had told the truth.  And the spotlight of the political world only enhances that, where politics trap politicos into absurd ideological boxes, which disallows them from telling the truth which also would have made them look better.

And that just never made sense to me.  I want to win arguments so I make sure to get the right argument, period.  And if my position isn't the right one, I'll find the right one and figure out how it fits into the rest of my beliefs.  And since I make a point of weeding out any defective arguments as soon as I find them, it helps make things easier to fit them all together.  But some people can't do this, and so they make things harder for themselves, rather than just saying what they should say.

As a note, I just reread the examples I gave in this piece and realized that NONE of them prove my original point.  Instead, they're people who say dumb things because their ideology forces them to, but they don't show how these people could have told the truth while benefitting politically. I had other examples in mind for those, but somehow lost them and went with these instead.  That's what happens when you drink and post.

And so we have Ron Paul .  I'm sure he's not a bad guy.  He doesn't want people to die.  He just has a thing about government, and has painted himself into an ideological box which forbids him from saying sensible things.  And so he pines for the days when cancer was incurable, heart transplants were impossible, and the life expectancy in America was ten years younger than it is now; and wonders why healthcare got so expensive.  And this man is a doctor.

But of course, he knows all this.  When he's not talking politics and liberty, he knows that it's better for everyone to have insurance.  And he knows the real reason why healthcare is expensive.  But he's laid his bed with libertarianism, and so now he's stuck trying to fit reality into it.

Word Salad, For Two

And we see the same thing with Michele Bachmann, who has taken the Laffer Curve to a whole new level with her idea that "you should get to keep every dollar that you earned."  And even that must have sunk through to her at some level and caused a minor short circuit, as she momentarily joined reality by mentioning that we need tax dollars (duh!), but then finished up with this:
Obviously we have to get money back to the government so we can run the government, but we have to have a completely different mindset, and that mindset is: the American people are the genius of this economy, it certainly isn’t government that’s the genius, and that’s the two views.
And...what?!?   Now remember, this wasn't a completely improvised answer.  She was asked a question about what she had already told someone, and she totally could have cleaned this up.  But no, we get this gibberish.

First off, she starts with the phrasing that we're getting the money back to the government; which clearly implies she believes it was the government's money to begin with.  And what the hell is "genius of the economy" supposed to mean?  I mean, yeah, I get the basic concept of what she meant to say, but how did she come up with the word genius?

And of course, she's wrong.  The government can be an excellent "genius" of the economy.  That's basic economics.  Oh, and one other thing: There already are people who get to keep every dollar they earn, at least as far as federal taxes go.  And Republicans hate them and bemoan that these lucky ducks don't have to pay any taxes.  Apparently, only rich Americans can be the "genius of the economy," while everyone else can suck it.

The Horrors of Harvard

And then there's this line I just read from Romney:
All those years, perhaps, in the Harvard faculty lounge and looking abroad to Europe to see how Europeans did things, [Obama] imagined that if somehow we were more like Europe things would be better…I believe in America.
And now, come on!  Mitt Romney is a bright guy with a lot of money and if he has a problem with Harvard grads, I seriously doubt he mentions it to them.  Yet here's Obama, stuck in a Harvard lounge and looking abroad.  Europe.  How horrible.  

And really, this is just silly.  I'm not sure who ever told Romney he had any populist-cred, but he really needs to quit while he's behind.  Mitt Romney's father was a wealthy governor, while Obama was raised by his grandparents.  And of course, Romney knows this.  And I'm sure if Romney had the chance, he'd love to be rubbing elbows with the president, if only he was a Republican.

But he has to play this charade, because that's what's now required of conservative intellectualism.  I'm sure William F. Buckley is rolling in his grave over this one.

Again, sorry for the misleading opening.  I only kept it because I liked the idea, even if the rest of this turned into a different post.

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