Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’
- Nuance in the punctuation
I haven’t been writing much lately. This is the second of the year. Honestly, I feel a mixture of ennui and futility. As I stated, it is disheartening that no one wishes to actually discuss anything. Instead, everything is a matter of being correct by default… as if winning a debate made opposing views invalid or supported a specific view. I wonder if you people think you can make gravity disappear from sheer rhetorical maneuvering.
A great example of this is the current plethora of diamond commercials that have this underlying message that, if you love someone, you need to buy them an expensive gift. The nuance is there… but it is never too blatant. (It has been getting more and more blatant every year.) The overall message is to women: If you husband/boyfriend/fiance/significant other really loves you, he’ll buy you diamonds… otherwise, he doesn’t love you enough.
One tactic that is driving me crazy, especially during this GOP primary madness, is the nuance. The Conservatives are becoming masters of it. I truly believe the ultimate intent is to frustrate any opposition into submission.
The most obvious example of this is the constant harping on the name “Barack Hussein Obama.” When people say, “President George W. Bush” or “President George Herbert Walker Bush” it is because there are two of them. Why the insistence on calling President Obama by his full name? So I don’t get him confused with all the other President Obamas? (There’s a Luo joke in there but I’ll let it go.) Or even all the other Barack Obamas?
The other day I posted a transcript of Paul Ryan’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. (I forgot to hit [publish] so it was not up that day.) There are key issues in this statement that are a bit “off.” Many of which were brought up by NPR and many other news makers. I want to look at a different part. Instead of looking at his complaints about the “failed stimulus” or claims at the “horrible health care bill,” I want to look at the following passage:
We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders… to protect innocent life… to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that “the pursuit of happiness” depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.
Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn’t do any of them very well. It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high. The President and the Democratic Leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power.
This is part of the Republican/Conservative agenda that I have taken issue with for a long time. Part of it is the rhetorical emptiness of it. But mostly, it is the implication, nuance and results of these comments that I find most concerning. I have been working on this for a long time and find the choice of verbal explanation to be challenging. (more…)
I wrote earlier today about the results of the 2010 election. But I was thinking, and I never touched on something that drives me absolutely bonkers. I’m really fed up with it.
After every election, we have this air of gloating and malice. Just as an example: so many people were so outraged when Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008 that they protested health care reform with guns. They filled up parks and drafted talking points. These same people may have had a candidate that won in the midterm elections, and then they turn around and gloat and tell the people who lost the election that they lost and not to be “sore losers.” Really? So, you were sore losers for the past 2 years? Which is it? Or does up go down when you so decree?
Newt Gingrich recently made headlines. In an interview with the National Review, Gingrich states that he believes President Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” world view:
“What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?” Gingrich asks. “That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.”
To the credit of Gingrich, this was not his idea. It was taken from an article written by Dinesh D’Souza for Forbes magazine. In the article written by D’Souza, titled How Obama Thinks, he details how President Obama has an anti-colonial mindset.
Now, I really have to point out here, that I have no idea why I think Newt Gingrich looks like Sam the Snowman. Gingrich does not have a mustache or goatee. The similarities are still a bit uncanny.
At first I was a bit excited. Finally a topic within my forté: Anticolonialism and contemporary applications. Then I read the Forbes article. D’Souza has a knack for this type of critique. His entire argument hinges on the choice of a preposition. He claims that because Barrack Obama uses the word “from” in the title of his memoir, he has an anti-colonial mindset.
What then is Obama’s dream? We don’t have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father’s dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn’t writing about his father’s dreams; he is writing about the dreams he received from his father.
This is a great example of dialectic analysis.
Next week, we will discuss how to win an argument you started by holding your finger in someone’s face and repeating “I’m not touching you” until they slap your hand. Then you can claim “You hit me!” and proceed to chastise them on violating you.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
~ Albert Einstein
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Well, dinosaurs laid eggs. (Unless you are Sarah Palin, it is pretty accepted that dinosaurs came first.) The chicken or egg dilemma is really an example of a circular argument of cause and consequence. Not taken literally, it presents a good example. Today, we seem to have a psychological problem with identifying cause and consequence.
I saw an advert for American Solutions, and I clicked it. American Solutions is a tax exempt organization created by Newt Gingrich. If anyone does not know who Newt Gingrich is, go look it up. He’s been in the US Government since the end of the 1970s, and is a Tea Party supporting Republican. He has written several publications. His latest is To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.
According to America’s Solutions, we are at “The End of Obama’s ‘Recovery Summer’.“ The entry is pretty concise. It relabels “Labor Day” as “Unemployment Day.” It states that the lack of jobs is due to uncertainty to tax increases and healthcare costs.
Several problems arise in this. I am going to begin in the end, and then go back to the end after I do the beginning in the middle. Now that I have explained that well, let us continue. . .