Results tagged “critical thinking” from onegoodmove

The Unconsidered Life - A.C. Grayling

Bill O'Reilly is Still an Idiot

"Has anyone noted that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than the USA?"

"Well Peter, that's to be expected, we have ten times as many people as you do!"

(Thanks to Media Matters.)

Voting for Obama: It Just Feels Right

Barack Obama is a superb public speaker. He is often compared to John F. Kennedy and he has received Ted Kennedy's endorsement. He has inspired many and brought new people into the political process. I voted for Obama in the primary because I believe his ability to speak well among other things makes him more electable than Hillary Clinton.

But, lets take the comparison to JFK seriously. I think JFK was a great president, but I also think he is quite overrated. He is often considered to be in the same league as Lincoln, Washington, and FDR. What is it that he accomplished as president? What major legislative achievements did he have? It's easy to find some mistakes he made. The Bay of Pigs was a disaster. JFK agreed to the use of free-fire zones, napalm, and defoliants in Vietnam. He also escalated U.S. involvement in that mistake. In 1963, the Kennedy administration backed a coup against the government of Iraq. The CIA helped the Baath Party government by providing them with a list of suspected leftists and Communists. The Iraqi government used that list to murder untold numbers of Iraq's educated elite. Saddam Hussein is thought to have participated in those killings. These are all some pretty big policy mistakes that any good progressive would oppose. Kennedy was a great speaker and very inspirational. That was a good thing. I also think it explains why JFK is over-rated. I just listened to Kennedy's Inaugural Address again, and again I was stirred when he said, "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country..", but we should not confuse that feeling with real accomplishments that make a real difference. That feeling should not make us think that JFK was on a par with FDR or Lincoln.

Stop. Think. Are you feeling angry now? Do you want to wrap your fingers around my neck and squeeze? Are you ready to snap off a snide comment? This is the reaction that I want you to be aware of. Your anger at me clouds your judgment. Do you think I just said JFK was a bad president? If you think that is true go back a read the paragraph above again. That's not what I said.

Obama's speeches are inspiring as well, but what evidence do we have that he can actually achieve something meaningful like universal health care. He is starting from a weaker position than Hillary by not supporting mandates. We can look at his voting record in the Senate. It's not that impressive. Lets not confuse the good feelings we have listening to Obama speak with evidence that he is actually going to make a difference. Just having a feeling about him isn't evidence. Obama's supporters sometimes act as though he can do no wrong. The level of hostility toward Charles Lemos and others who have criticized Obama is telling. We should not allow our emotional reactions to Obama's speeches cloud our ability to think critically about his candidacy. And so I say, ask not does Obama feel right for our country; ask if Obama is right for our country.

Please note: this post is not by Norm I didn't vote for Obama in the primary. I wasted my vote on Edwards, as a protest. This post is from my errant son Chris who is supporting Obama.