Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Don't Be Fooled. The Honeymoon Continues.

With the first batch of minor Obama Administration missteps and almost instantaneous Congressional friction with Republican lawmakers, the mainstream media was quick to pronounce the new President's wide favor with a broad cross-section of Americans little more than over. New polls released in part this morning speak otherwise. With 6 out of every 10 U.S. residents approving of President Obama's job performance and solid support among fellow Democratic senators and representatives, it appears that his only real popularity problems have arisen from the conservative base of the GOP, which would have never given its approval to any Chief Executive not of its identical stripes. The American people give a majority of their approval in Obama's exact means of handling of the economic crisis by slightly lower numbers, as well.

A commenter to yesterday's post brought up a very pertinent point. We have a great propensity to think that the solution which worked or might have worked for one period in the past will automatically fix the current crisis with which we struggle. In this line of thinking, the exact plans of a different epoch can be lifted exactly and precisely; to wit, they can be injected directly into a crisis without examination. No intellectual fallacy could be more deceptive, or, for that matter, completely wrong. Different times call for different solutions. We can use the past as a guidepost to some extent, but every system designed by human hands is transitory and thus under the dictates (some might say ravages) of the passage of time. What some might have called Nationalization or Socialism one-hundred-years ago would likely not be the best solution for our age. Conversely, what some have called Free-Market Capitalism or the Invisible Hand At Work might not be a curative to resolve our slumping economy. Only those who have no imagination or, worse yet, no conception of human progress, would ever assume that any system previous derived exists in a kind of vacuum, protected from time, and therefore somehow immune to evolution.

We elected the person we elected because we wanted change and he promised a kind of reform in which we could believe. It would be a fool's move to believe that labels alone could neatly summarize the sort of measures needed to transformation this country--measures which out of a kind of contagious desire to not rock the boat or slow the gravy train that we have long delayed. To borrow yet again from the prescient words of yesterday's commenter, those who believe in a kind of black and white fundamentalist political ideology fail to understand that a belief in absolutes begins a course which, followed fully to its disastrous conclusion, will eventually steer us directly into a ditch. Whether it be the left-side or the right-side is completely irrelevant---all ditches look the same in the end.

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