Tag Archive | US Presidents

Hubris of Ignorance

The following link is provided with the permission of Jim Wright, Stonekettle Station:
http://www.stonekettle.com/2017/04/the-hubris-of-ignorance.html

 

This will take a few minutes to read, so get a good cup of coffee, or as Jim might suggest, a beer.  Make yourself comfortable and be prepared to think a bit.

Here are some samples from Jim’s excellent article:

 

“Have  you been following this? All these airplane crashes? And everyone is so confused. Everyone is going, Gosh, how come there are so many airplane crashes? Well, um, I gotta theory here. You remember, what was it? Like, uh, four years ago? The air traffic controllers, they went on strike? And then, um, Ronald Reagan fired ‘em? So then they just hired anyone who was hanging out at the time. And now everyone is going, Geez, how come there are so many airplane crashes? How come there are so many airplane crashes?! I dunno, maybe Walt the janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707!”
— Bobcat Goldthwait

Maybe Walt the Janitor isn’t qualified to land a Boeing 707.

But then again, in America we’d love to believe Old Wally could maybe pull it off.
Because we Americans, we sure love the heroic myth of the common man.

Oh we do. We prefer myth over reality every time.

We love to tell ourselves that one.

It’s the myth of our country’s birth. We love that myth more than all the others combined.

We tell ourselves with great pride how a bunch of raggedy assed, untrained colonists one day rose up against tyranny.  The Minutemen were roused from their beds in the middle of the night by Paul Revere and they rallied to the Stars and Stripes. They threw all the tea into Boston harbor and sent England a stiff upraised middle finger, up yours, we ain’t paying no taxes no more.  And then a bunch of farmers grabbed up their muskets and formed themselves into a militia under good old George Washington and this army of amateurs chased the Redcoats all the way back to England without any help from anybody except for Jesus.

Because Americans are special. Exceptional.

And when they’d thrown off the yoke of tyranny, well, then a bunch of common men gathered in Philadelphia to receive the Constitution directly from God. They wrote down the sacred words and everybody signed it, especially John Hancock, and America was born.

Amen.

That’s the myth we tell ourselves, we Americans.

We’re special. Exceptional. We pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps and forged the Republic out of the mud with our own hands.

We’re a nation of amateurs. Bunch of Good Old Boys beat the best army on the planet. Bunch of farmers wrote the Constitution and laid down the foundation for the greatest country in the world. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people. In America, we’re not ruled over by kings. We don’t owe our allegiance to some hereditary weak-chinned inbred royalty.

No, Sir.

In America, why the people are the government and anybody can be president.

Anybody.

We are a nation of amateurs and damned proud of it, aren’t we?
That’s what this election was about.”

“Moreover, we Americans by and large tend to be suspicious of education and experience when it comes to government.

Anywhere else, brain surgeon, airline pilot, corporate CEO, dog trainer, we want the most experienced person we can get. But the President? Not so much. Power corrupts, right? You got to clean house every once in a while. Throw the bums out.

Except…
Except, in retrospect, perhaps ignorance and a suspicion of “elites” isn’t the best way to go about selecting a leader.

The world is a dangerous and complicated place.
Almost unimaginably so.

And nothing is as simple or as straight forward as it seems and as the mob apparently believes.
Foreign nations do not kowtow to the United States.

This is not something new.

This is no weakness of Carter or Clinton or Obama – or Reagan and Bush for that matter. These nations have never bent a knee to us. From Morocco during Roosevelt’s time, to Cuba and Vietnam during Kennedy, to Libya under Reagan to Haiti and Grenada and Panama and all the nations that fill your news feed today.
It is the nature of nations, large and small, to push back – and in fact, like dogs, the smaller a nation is, likely the more fierce and furious its bark.

At home, we Americans face the same problems we’ve always faced, energy and resources, civil rights, race, age, religion, law and order, unrest, left and right, young and old, health care, education, infrastructure, jobs.

It’s complicated and difficult and always on the verge of failure.
This is not a world for a government run by amateurs.”
Jim wrote one thing I especially have to quote…okay, then comment:
“The simpleminded demand simple causes for complex problems.
The simpleminded demand simple solutions.”
****
Fellow Americans..fellow humans, for that matter:
Are we truly simple minded?  Or is it more that we don’t engage our minds to their full capacities?
If the former is true, we are in deep trouble and the situation is hopeless.  If it’s the latter, however, we need to get off our butts, wake up and engage!
I will come back to this quote in a future post:  It’s just too rich to leave.
****

Go read the full article; enjoy.

 

 

First Families; Transitions

barack_obama_enters_the_white_house_march_2012

I have been thinking of a number of stories that are
beautiful.  You have probably read or heard many of them, but they are worth
repeating:
*When George W. and family were moving out of the White House and the
Obamas were moving in, the Bush Sisters wrote letters to the Obama
girls, encouraging them and blessing them.  One of the statements I
remember fondly is to the effect of, “You will hear your father called
names and there will be caricatures of him, but remember, for you, he
is still your daddy.”

*As Barack Obama was preparing to transfer power to Donald Trump, he
said that the Bushes had been so helpful to him and his family, he was
passing it on.
Way to go, George W. Bush; way to go, Barack Obama!

*When Donald Trump went into the Oval Office, he found a letter from
Barack to him that he says he will cherish.  No one will get to know
what the letter said, but it evidently was very much a blessing.

*The Bush Sisters followed with a second letter to the Obama Girls as
they moved out of the White House, again, we don’t know the whole
contents, but they encouraged them as they find their own selves,
apart from their famous parents.  What good big sisters they are!

*Chelsea Clinton stood up for Baron Trump today.  I didn’t know this, but she
evidently experienced some bullying as she was entering the White
House, shortly before her 13th birthday.  She defended Baron on
Twitter, saying that he is a child who deserves one thing:  Just to be
a kid!

****

Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump: He deserves the chance ‘to be a kid’ usat.ly/2jRgdZO

Good stories!