Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Take us to your leader

Finally, the big day came.  And we are now done with it. Phew!

No, I am not referring to the theatricks, er, theatrics, er, primary in Iowa.  It was groundhog day, and the rodent said it will be an early spring.  Lucky Phil--he doesn't have to deal with the great pretenders that the candidates all are.

The way I understand the world is vastly different from how any of those candidates do.  Which means that when it comes down to voting for one, it will be about how much I want to engage in a deal with myself--compromises--and vote for one of them.  I am hoping that this time, too, it will not be a protest vote at the top of the ballot.

Listening to all those entertainers, er, presidential wannabes, one might end up thinking that ISIS is not only the greatest threat to the United States but to the entire humanity.  To deal with ISIS, one wannabe wants to carpet bomb and destroy ISIS, and another is ready to kill innocent women and children too.  A third one wants us to forget the rest of the world and focus on the domestic problems.

Seriously, these are some of the best that we can offer?

Listening to any of those wannabes will result in the viewer getting one heck of a screwed up understanding of the world.
We let our politicians tell us what should be our greatest fears. And they serve us really badly. Of course, ISIS is a group with evil intent who behave barbarically. But they do not and will not have the ability to invade the U.S. and kill Americans in their beds. This does not mean that they should not be opposed. But they should not, I would argue, dominate our debate about foreign policy.

There is a good reason for these wannabes (and the Oval Office occupants) to talk up ISIS and other threats--leading us into wars is pretty much the only thing they can do on their own and they seem to be forever enthusiastic about it.
Maybe that’s because these are the only kinds of threats that they can even remotely plausibly suggest they can do something about – preferably using muscular and provocative terms that make them sound like “leaders.”
Nobody is going to “kick nature’s ass,” as those of us who recently lived through Winter Storm Jonas on the East Coast will testify.
To take leadership on climate change or on helping wiping out malaria, on the other hand, is to be a wimp bowing to the international community!  We apparently want in the oval office huge cojones and nothing else!

No surprise, therefore, that alien life does not want to make contact with us! ;)


Mike Hoth said...

War is one of the few things political leaders can claim they have "won" at that doesn't involve a partisan debate. Nobody "won" the healthcare debate, but the United States won the First Gulf War.

Of course, anybody who pays attention knows that there are no winners in war, only people who lose less. That is unimportant to politicians and the media moguls. We must remember to imagine the world with complexity or we too become politicians who claim they are winners.

Sriram Khé said...

Yes, sometimes politicians even declare "Mission Accomplished" even before the war ends ;)
BTW, those are real wars ... and then there are the other wars: war against poverty, war on drugs, culture war, ... only the damn politicians can think up all these things, and put a "war" spin on it because waging wars is how they get votes and we suckers vote for those morons over and over :(
Can you tell that I love politicians? ;)

Ramesh said...

I cannot understand the Republican fascination with getting into another war and 'bombing the shit' out of somebody. Just a little while ago I though the fatigue over Iraq and Afghanisatan was enough to calm any desire for war for a generation. Now the Republican field wants to go to war at the drop of a hat - bomb ISIS, bomb Syria, bomb Libya .........

Why this macho beating of the chest ?

Sriram Khé said...

"Why this macho beating of the chest ?"
It is for a simple reason: the politician becomes more popular. "W" launched the Iraq War and his domestic popularity surged. Putin invaded Crimea and his hold over Russia has strengthened. As George Carlin sarcastically joked, we are a war-loving people :(

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