Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bush the Transfomer

(Obama) will have to embrace our national sense of uniqueness and give voice to what Ronald Reagan said of us: “You can call it mysticism if you want to, but I have always believed that there was some divine plan that placed this great continent between two oceans to be sought out by those who were possessed of an abiding love of freedom and a special kind of courage.” Dick Morris

What does he offer? First and foremost: his face. Think of it as the most effective potential re-branding of the United States since Reagan. Such a re-branding is not trivial—it’s central to an effective war strategy. Andrew Sullivan

Magical thinking is a common phase in child development. From the age of a toddler to early school age children will often link the outside world with their internal consciousness, e.g. "It is raining because I am sad".(...) Another form of magical thinking occurs when people believe that words can directly affect the world. This can mean avoiding talking about certain subjects ("speak of the devil and he'll appear"), using euphemisms instead of certain words, or believing that to know the "true name" of something gives one power over it, or that certain chants, prayers or mystical phrases will change things. More generally, it is magical thinking to take a symbol to be its referent. Wikipedia
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For a people once known for their practical, empirical approach to problem solving, today's Americans seem eager to take comfort in evading reality. Eight years of Bush have done great damage to America's inflated image of itself... but probably not enough damage for our own good.

That's why I think it's a shame that Bush can't be president for a least eight years more. In the same way that forty years of Franco's rule was the bitter aversion therapy that finally produced the peaceful, tolerant moderate, open, liberal Spain of today... in a land that had made the word "inquisition" famous; so the Bush years seem to have planted some seeds that, properly nurtured, might actually produce a lucid, practical, American left.

But, alas, I'm afraid that the temptation to continued self-hypnosis may be too great for Americans to resist. DS


Forensic economist said...

Hi David - I see in the news that truckers are blocking roads in Spain demanding lower gas prices. There were very poorly attended truckers protests here a while back.

This strikes me as effective as King Canute demanding the tides roll back. No candidate here is dealing with the long term prospect of permanently higher prices.

Any reporting or thoughts for us? Do you think the Spanish protests are harbingers of what we can expect?

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

I would hesitate to make the comparison.

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Dear Forensic,
I was just calling it a day when I got your comment last night so i was a little terse. Sorry.

The first factor in transport is distance, so a transport strike in Spain can't really be compared to a transport strike in the USA. A strike in the USA would be like a EU-wide strike over here.

In Europe the idea of the "general strike" has a great tradition, but in the USA no.

Anonymous said...

In fact, what would happen in the US if the people ever dared to strike in greater numbers? Would they send in the army like under other 3rd world regimes?

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

Any government in the world will finally call out the army if a transport strike goes on very long.

Here in Spain the Socialist government has broken the truckers picket lines with riot police and will use the army, if basic foodstuff isn't making it tothe city markets.