A thought process of mine. (not for the faint of heart)
I like to go back and “reset” my opinions on things. It’s a process that helps me make sure I don’t wander too far into the land of delusion, so I thought I’d share it with you. Maybe you know someone who might find this process helpful. It allows my views to adapt to new information on a given topic.
For my example, I am going to use my opinion of the current president.
Citizenship unknown and possibly unprovable either for or against.
Religious affiliation ambiguous. Has stated support for Christianity and Islam,has acted in ways that appear to be against both. (clinging to religion comment in reference to christianity. calling for end to christian schools in Ireland. in favor of homosexuality and abortion-both positions against commonly held beliefs known to both Christianity and Islam)
Ran on unspecified “hope and change”
Choices made during crisis have been unknown or delegated to others who made questionable decisions.
Has pushed for universal healthcare above all else.
Calls for peace, uses unmanned but piloted drones to dispatch “terrorist threats”.
Has pointed to the bill of rights and constitution as documents that “stand in the way of his progress” on issues such as gun control.
Has sought to support revolution in foreign countries.
Has reduced available active army by one fifth.
Claimed to be against many things past president put in place, but has used those things which increased government power.
Obama is antichrist.
Obama is savior.
Obama has good ideas.
Obama is dishonest.
Any support for Obama is unpatriotic.
Anything against Obama is racist/unpatriotic.
Conclusions at this time:
Because the information is all ambiguous, I have to settle for “possible/probable” conclusions.
Obama is probably irreligious-religion being a tool of convenience to seem more attached to whatever group he is currently courting. Obama’s goals seem to revolve around ensuring that his family “lives the good life” making sure they are able to enjoy extravagance that may not be otherwise available to them. The constitution being an inconvenience may or may not suggest that Obama wants to displace it, and so his actions within or outside of it should be monitored by the public. His foreign policy choices seem to be centered more on “making new friends” than “maintaining security” for allies or the US. His domestic policy choices are generally made on the basis of emotion and without too much regard for logic, unless the logic can be shown to support the position he has chosen.
Obama probably enjoys the perks of being president, as well as the fame, but probably does not want to keep the job past 2016. It is unclear whether Obama has actually chosen to use federal agencies to suppress political enemies, and use of this power may have a strong effect on conclusions.
Final(for now) conclusion:
Obama is not the best president, but not the worst of all time, either. He is making the mistake of trying to please everyone, and ending up displeasing everyone by either acting against their interests or failing to accomplish things they want him to.
-possible follow up-
President is an empty position, whose domestic power is limited to the point of being nonsense. Unless the capabilities of president change, Obama’s influence will mostly be decided by the elections in 2014. His success or failure will decide the election of 2016 for president.
Recheck/reset opinions frequently to attempt to define personal position on Obama. Information seems to be constantly evolving and from many unverifiable sources making claims that cannot be fully supported without more information.
What does all this mean? In the end, I’m not sure about Obama. Perhaps he had grand ideas that simply would not work in our system of government. Perhaps he was a pawn of other forces, put into place to accomplish certain objectives, but wanting to do “well” in everyone’s eyes. Perhaps too many things. I don’t think he is a “bad” person, not having evidence that he done anything personally “bad” subject to suitable scrutiny. I think he is a poor manager-evidenced by his constant “just found out” position when things occur. This suggests to me that the “business” he is managing needs to be restructured in and of itself. IOW-Obama’s difficulties suggest a larger systemic issue within government as a whole. (I support this position with the concept that G.W.B. was generally uninformed/clueless when it came to issues as well, many suggesting he was a “tool” of others as well)
Thus-my problem is not so much with Obama as an individual. For a manger to be effective, the tools that they wield have to be effective. What Obama and Bush both faced were the problem of managing a business while having lower level managers thinking they should “do their own thing”. The actions of these lower portions of the business are sometimes at odd with the interest of the overall organization, and sometimes against each other, leading to gridlock and the appearance of incompetence on the entire organization.
Revolution of some sort is an option, and possibly necessary to fix the system as a whole. It is an unpalatable solution, though, akin to exploratory surgery or amputation. It would cause tremendous upheaval, and runs the risk of destroying the country while attempting to save it.
The problems could be solved by electing people to office using the current system, if the system of election is uncorrupted and those that run for office are honest about their goals and desires. The problem here is that the consumer-the American people, don’t trust government “in general”, but tend to trust individuals within government. This leads to an expectation of gridlock and expecting the individual to “do something” while the “government” accomplishes little towards the consumer’s stated desires.
What can I do?
Individually-Keep pointing out foibles of government, both individuals and as a whole. Hope that enough individuals get elected that want to reduce federal power, given that it appears to no longer serve the consumer, but the machine of government itself.
Otherwise, not much.
Does this have an impact on my life?
Yes and no. Yes, because it could mean I have to adapt to new laws etc which I may find onerous. No, because the strongest effects of what happens now will not be felt until supported for 40-60 years, unless something extreme happens. (economic collapse, revolution, asteroid impact, pandemic, etc)
And that’s the process I go through on things. Sometimes it’s simpler, sometimes it’s not. Views on enigmatic individuals and situations end up being the largest scale, limited only by the amount of time and effort I want to expend in research.
And no, my conclusions are not in any way guaranteed to be correct or based on accurate information. This is a process of thought I use on things to try to make sure I have not simply “decided” on something without returning to it for consideration. It’s hard, because I have to decide whether to operate on only recent information, or historical information. The more information, the higher the accuracy but the greater the complexity.