The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What did he Really say?

I am sure you are fed up with the post-debate analyses by now. I am. If you are like me, you watched the debate and either ignored the talking heads who told you what each of the arguers participants really meant when they said whatever it was they said.

I chose to watch the debate on CSPAN. Others I know chose PBS. And I (and they) eschewed the post debate analysis. The headlines and the blogs and the reporting in the next couple of days happily (or angrily) pushed their particular slant and perceptions.

Much has been made of the "binders of women" mentioned by Romney. The Obama campaign is playing this up as big as the "Big Bird" remark of the first debate. And, like that "Big Bird" remark, it's a distortion and a loss of context. I was reminded of the "You didn't build that" comment by Obama. Also distorted and lifted from context for political purposes. Of course Romney meant "binders of resumes of women". Anyone with common sense realizes this. Just as I understand that Obama meant that the business owners didn't build the infrastructure they depend on. I would posit that the business owners did at least help "build that" as taxpayers and as the contractors who build the roads and highways, however, so I see more problems with Obama's remark than I do with Romney's.

This is why I challenge people to think harder about what campaigns put out. Consider the meaning, the intent, behind campaign slogans and strategies.

At dinner the other night,  a friend who supports Obama related a story about someone (also an Obama supporter) who was offended by the Romney/Ryan posters in a doctor's office on his first visit. The patient was so offended he argued with the doctor. One of his questions to the doctor was "Aren't you afraid of losing Medicare patients?". At that point, I asked her why the doctor should be afraid of that. Her answer was that the Romney camp wanted to get rid of Medicare, to turn it into a voucher system. I expressed confusion about that since they don't. What they want to do is offer those under 55 the choice between traditional Medicare and a voucher system. No one on Medicare would lose their coverage and, therefore, the doctor was in no danger of losing patients. Additionally, even those 55 or younger would still have coverage so he wouldn't be at risk of losing them either in ten years.

She wasn't happy I pointed that out and dismissed my response to continue her story about how the patient told the doctor he wouldn't ever be back. I agreed with her that he had every right to do that and to express that sentiment. I didn't mention that I thought the patient was being incredibly stupid by basing his medical decisions on the political leanings of his doctors. The point would have been lost on her and just created acrimony.

It struck me then (and as it has a number of times before) that people often do not actually research the claims made by campaigns and find out the facts, they just accept what the campaigns of the politicians they supports say about their opposition's positions.

And I was saddened.


Paul E. Giroux said...

.... and the Doctor was sad to lose another fine patient .... yeah right

Inspector Clouseau said...


The whole thing has gotten to be ridiculous. We as a nation have to do something about the system that creates an environment for this type of behavior. The nit-picking, the "gotcha" mentality, and the focus on words detracts us from the real issues.

Governance of a complex country like ours is complicated. The economy is a complicated system. Virtually everything in the world is complicated now, and I suspect that people reduce their thinking to simplistic notions because that do not wish to analyze and dissect issues with the precision and research and analysis really needed.

I'm more concerned that really good leaders will be turned off by the ridiculous stuff that goes along with running for office, and leave it to the egomaniacs.

Douglas said...

I think it takes an egomaniac to run for office.