Saturday, March 13, 2010

Confusion, Clarity and Responsibility

Taken during Heatlhcare Speech. Public Domain, work of Executive Office of the President of the United States employee Lawrence Jackson.

I was talking to a friend over the phone about Mass-Transit today and he just kept on saying, "Expert studies... Expert studies... Expert Studies...." I would ask him questions about the studies and this same refrain would commence again. "I won't debate you." Right, like the kind of Expert Studies that Brain Scientists once used to claim African Americans were too inferior to have equal rights...

There's a problem with the reasoning of trust. Actually, there are several problems:

1) You don't know if the person was actually promoted based on merit.

2) You don't know if the school he was educated at or the circle of friends influencing him has been systematically skewing all who listen to them.

3) You don't know if his intentions are good, and when you give him immense power based on "expertise," you also invite the corruption that comes with power, thus it becomes less likely that his intentions are good. "Perhaps, Maybe, Someday" my friend.

In a democracy, voters are solely responsible for the decision they make at the booth. If an expert cannot back up what their "expert opinion" gives you with reasoning and evidence, we should discard their claims on the grounds that 1) they clearly aren't interested in educating the American people and 2) for all we know, their opinion may be bigoted, biased or corrupt. We are responsible for our decisions, which brings me to another subject.

The democrats wrote a health care bill many hundreds of pages long. Now let me ask you, what voter has time to sort through several hundred pages of revised on a continual basis legal mumbo jumbo? And now, they complain (including Obama[footnote below]) that people have misrepresented what they wrote. They may or may not be true, I don't have time to look at the bill and even if I did I would probably have to read it several times to completely understand it (the Supreme Court perhaps may take two times to understand it) but the fact is, they are the ones who made it too long for the American people to read. Thus they brought these interesting times on to themselves. If they are unwilling to make Washington accessible to the voter who is responsible for it, the voter must hold it against them, or we will have a tyranny of those "in the know." Just like a student who does his homework perfectly but is unable to turn it in must receive a zero from his teacher, regardless of whether the dog ate it or not, for the teacher knows that it would otherwise be in the students best interest to make the homework extra tasty!

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Footnote:

I invite you, my readers, to inspect this piece of evidence yourselves. If you believe I have erred in my use of it (I'm human too believe it or not) feel very free to speak up:

"Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple." Paragraph 4 from top-page 4 of Obama Health Care Speech, New York Times reprinting (page 4 given for ease of reader analysis.)



Revision 3/17/2009:

I have decided to remove one of the two images in this post. It wasn't that good.

5 comments:

K. Frangeskos said...

Hi Jeremy,
I love reading your work. I like the way your brain thinks...
Very logical, bright and articulate!

Keep up the stimulating conversations! The world needs it!
Warmest regards,
Kath Frangeskos

CookingMama said...

Wow Im a liberal and even I agree with you. I wish we could bop all of them upside the head. Great writing!

Blaiser said...

JJ,

Congratulations on an ambitious blog.

You seem to be making an argument against complexity.... Do Conservatives not write long, complex bills that then become laws?

Jeremy Janson said...

@Blaiser: Of course they do, it's an effective trick, but this article was written partially (though not entirely) as a response to hypocritical statements on the part of the Obama Adminstration. You probably don't remember this because you left your comment about two months after this post was published, but Obama essentially used the complexity of his bills to attempt to silence all opposition through claims of slander against the president. It was also written as a response to a conversation with a friend of mine (the first inspiration) and a general problem with our current political ruling class on both left and right. This said, the right appears to be the only side at the moment that is doing anything about it (see Tea Party) though to be fair it is far more difficult to do something about it in a democracy when your side is in power. The center's probably the most disgraceful, they just whine all day...

Jeremy Janson said...

BTW, thanks for stopping by Blasier. I hope you'll join us more often. Maybe I'll actually get some more content up on this site now that finals are over!