January 25, 2007

What Do We Stand For

Well, a day after the President's SOTU, the main articles I read are how many times Nancy Pelosi blinked in her new, on-camera chair position as Speaker of the House. So, I guess the things that people stood for and clapped were just for show, and will be ignored once again. It was really interesting to see people look around after Bush said something to see if they should clap or stand up, especially since Bush obviously tried to phrase his statements in a way where you would look stupid for not standing (no tax raises, medical liability reform, etc.) Similarly to saying "I love children. I support our troops." But, what the heck was Dikembe Mutombo doing there? I guess we're still trying to court the massive Congonese giants vote.

On a aside, while I was watching the speech the other night, I was thinking about how despised this leader of our country is. And I understand why, but I guess I don't get why we can't separate the policy from the person. After all, this is the guy the country voted for. TWICE! In 2004, everyone knew who this guy was, and what he stood for...and voted for him again. So, instead of just saying Bush sucks and acting like an oppressed people, how 'bout trying to change people's minds?


Anonymous said...

I think it would have been great to see the division during the speech on "real" controversial issues that the president doesnt stand for but mentions just to see the divide. For example, President Bush would say,"I am for WAR all around the world, except with England, Israel, and Yemen." Then, the awkward silence until one person starts to clap and stand leading others to stand with some shouting, "Watch out for us Canada."

Then, he would say, "I am for the slaughtering of the innocence at anytime in anyway. Free abortions for everyone." Again awkward silence until the good ol' donkeys begin to stand and clap.

But then, just for kicks, Bush says somethig outlandish that no one could believe. "I did not have sexual realtions with that woman" (while looking keenly into Hillary's lifeless eyes)

Answering question: To change a person's mind one has to be willing to change his own mind. To influence you have to be willing to be influenced. So I would say that people would be open to accepting Bush but the person must also be willing to accept the other person's views. To be frank, I don't like a lot of democratic policy because it doesnt make sense to me, but I dont hate the person that thought of it. I guess I have to believe that the politicians of this country believe and will do their fiduciary duty.

Eric Olsen said...

Their fiduciary duty is to serve on behalf and in the representation of their constituents. And while I hope that every elected politician truly has convictions that they adhere to, half of these people are wrong, simply mathematically, in regards to the most effective way to govern.

Anonymous said...

Effectively speaking they both could be right or both could be wrong. It is like looking at the picture that looks like a young woman and an old woman, both are right. Could the right thing to do be in the middle of each side for some issues? (not all of the issues)

I also hope the elect are people of strong morals but I guess some are able to have little to no moral convictions because of the constituents they represent.

It would be great if we did not have to do this whole government thing at all but because of the greedy, arrogant, evil, and morally bankrupt, laws and regulations have to be developed by those same types of people. I guess in hopes to find a middle road where people can stop hating eachother and unite and hate the President.

Eric Olsen said...

we're all greedy and morally bankrupt. I'm curious to know whether or not I would steal if there was no punishment for it. I think our laws not only prevent us from the criminally-minded, but also give us norms for creating a humanistic moral mind.

Jeff said...

Hey, this isn't in relation to this post. But you wrote a while ago about your fear of universal health care as potentially more expensive and as a corrolary, would result in more people dying, than what we currently have (46 million uninsured Americans). I couldn't find the post, but I think it was in the comments section of on an abortion post.

I disagree with your logic.

Specifically, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the following passage from Barack Obama's speech given this morning, proposing universal health care:

"...Family premiums are up by nearly 87% over the last five years, growing five times faster than workers’ wages. Deductibles are up 50%. Co-payments for care and prescriptions are through the roof.

Nearly 11 million Americans who are already insured spent more than a quarter of their salary on health care last year. And over half of all family bankruptcies today are caused by medical bills.

But they say it’s too costly to act.

Almost half of all small businesses no longer offer health care to their workers, and so many others have responded to rising costs by laying off workers or shutting their doors for good. Some of the biggest corporations in America, giants of industry like GM and Ford, are watching foreign competitors based in countries with universal health care run circles around them, with a GM car containing twice as much health care cost as a Japanese car.

But they say it’s too risky to act.

They tell us it’s too expensive to cover the uninsured, but they don’t mention that every time an American without health insurance walks into an emergency room, we pay even more. Our family’s premiums are $922 higher because of the cost of care for the uninsured.

We pay $15 billion more in taxes because of the cost of care for the uninsured. And it’s trapped us in a vicious cycle. As the uninsured cause premiums to rise, more employers drop coverage. As more employers drop coverage, more people become uninsured, and premiums rise even further.

But the skeptics tell us that reform is too costly, too risky, too impossible for America...."

The full text of it is found here:


What say you, Eric?

Eric Olsen said...

Jeff, those are great points that Barrack is making. But, similarly, when education scores are down, we jump to the conclusion that the only way to raise scores is to increase funding to the teacher's unions.

That's not the case. While I would not be opposed of government funding of national health care, I am adamantly opposed to government RUNNING of health care.

Anonymous said...

Come on, haven't you been paying any attention? Politics isn't about changing people's minds. It's about creating fear and catchy soundbites. There's a reason why what passes for national political discussion falls short of what I used to see when I judged freshman debate. I will now go sulk for the next hour.

Oh, and on the Dikembe Mutombo question, it was a combination of his charity works and his propensity for unintentional humor.

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