Friday, August 08, 2008

Deep thought for the day

While we are all hyperventilating about how a former candidate for President had an adulterous affair prior to launching his campaign and lied about it, perhaps we should remember the current candidate for President who had an adulterous affair prior to launching his campaign and lied about it.

4 Comments:

Blogger esoder said...

I still feel duped, man. I was all for Edwards. And from the time he dropped out until yesterday morning, I was all for Obama Edwards.

Also, I was puzzled when he dropped out - now it sort of makes sense.

We dodged a bullet on this one.

And yeah, McCain did the same - and maybe this Edwards thing will shine a little light on that darkness.

1:24 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I in no way excuse what Edwards did. I am probably more forgiving of messy personal lives than most, but he knew most aren't -- that this is a disqualifying event -- and ran anyway. That pisses me off, and suggests that he echoed the worst aspect of Bill Clinton -- his delusional personal hubris. And like you, I was probably going to vote for him, though he dropped out before the CA primary, which made my choice easy.

He deserves our scorn. And because his affair was hidden and recent, while McCain's is ancient and (mostly) undenied, there is a difference.

We would be so screwed if he had won the nomination. But he lost, so this story ought not have real legs.

We shall see.

7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few questions

Since having no expectations makes it rather difficult to move forward, that leaves two choices. 1) Hope for the best; invest expectations in people and institutions, and necessarily be disappointed because you can always imagine a better outcome than you ever get (and because the outcomes are mostly truly disappointing anyway). 2) Expect the worst, assume people will live down to their lowest potential and that situations will only degrade. How is it disabling to be aware that in any crucial situation where freedom is at risk, there are more liars than not, that personal choice (what color iPhone do you want, because it matters you know?) is actually just egoism in operation and that people will still act on the dark thoughts that they may not say? In this case, SOMETIMES you get a pleasant surprise.

Now, it is clear what you and esoder choose. The question you should be asking yourselves is why? How does hope improve the situation, in as much as it leaves you unguarded against nastiness and virtually guarantees disappointment, keeps you from anticipating and at least potentially avoiding catastrophic circumstances, and generally blinds you to what you know is a much truer picture of humans and the world in general? Do you believe that hope improves the odds of things getting better? Do you believe in the tooth fairy too? Do you think that working for voter registration campaigns (for example) has anything to do with overcoming vote fraud (by machines) and elections by fiat (Supreme Court decisions)? If it requires 75% of the electorate voting in one direction to achieve an undeniable/uncorruptable victory, is that really democracy? Alternatively, how does expecting the worst keep you from enjoying the positive moments that come along from time to time? Or, is it that the fantasy one indulges in during rare good moments is somehow spoiled by keeping in mind that it is not always or even usually like that?

I know that both of you characterize me as somehow unrealistic or unnecessarily pessimistic, but who has been right more often since I started posting comments? Is it unfair to think of you two as part of the American delusion that is in large part responsible for the fascistic condition of modern America… leave it alone, maybe it will get better? Hope for change? How is it an argument against my position that things could be worse and since they haven’t gone to hell in a hand basket over night, it must be ok, it’ll all work out in the end, we just need a new administration?

Let me assure you, I do get to savor the good moments BECAUSE I know what it takes for them to exist and how easily they can be ended by capriciousness. Please do not dismiss this as a glass half-full/glass half-empty question. There are consequences for how we chose to view things. Can you name some?

TA

11:35 AM  
Blogger bluememe said...

TA:

You keep setting up this straw man that I am some starry-eyed dreamer, constantly taken in by the failings of our politicians and government. But excoriating evil is not the same thing as expecting good. I am familiar with, and often quote with approval, Franklin's dictum about pessimists and optimists.

You ask: "How does hope improve the situation, in as much as it leaves you unguarded against nastiness and virtually guarantees disappointment, keeps you from anticipating and at least potentially avoiding catastrophic circumstances, and generally blinds you to what you know is a much truer picture of humans and the world in general? Do you believe that hope improves the odds of things getting better? Do you believe in the tooth fairy too?"

Three points. First, yes, hope improves the odds of things getting better. Did you ever fall in love and get your teeth kicked in? Did you respond by choosing to live alone and reject emotional connection from then on? If not, I submit you experienced the "audacity of hope," TA, else you are a miserable person to be in relationship with.

Second, yes, hope is arguably indispensable to progress. Despite his way with a cute phrase, how can we conclude that Franklin, in working so hard to help the American Revolution against long odds, was not indulging in hope? MLK? Nelson Mandela? Who has accomplished anything without it?

And third, hope is not inconsistent with at least a large dose of skepticism. You know, hope for the best, expect the worst.

Yes, I have been disappointed -- by Obama, by the current Congress, by a somnambulant populace. Can you point me to a person of accomplishment who has not been disappointed? How hard do you work for things you are 100% convinced will fail?

The other problem with your approach is that you seem to cheerlead for cynicism, and to revel in entropy. You are a reliable thrower of stones. But your Zen koans of negativity notwithstanding, I don't hear much in the way of constructive ideas from you.

One response to what has been going on is to head for the hills. Iget the sense you have have already done so. I do not dismiss that option lightly, and regularly consider it. I worry sometimes that I am underweighting the danger of staying. But there are recent historical antecedents in my family for GTFON events, and I don't think we are quite there yet. The alternatives are to fight, or to pretend everything is peachy, or to stand on the sidelines and laugh at the poor saps who give a damn. Many of your comments have the flavor of the last option. Yet here you are, reading blogs, writing comments -- not exactly the actions of a disinterested observer.

You sometimes make veiled, elliptical references to violence as a response. I can't tell if you you think it is more effective or more ideologically pure or what. In any event, I think it is neither. If you think you can defeat Cheney by becoming him, I think you are the one who is delusional.

7:39 AM  

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