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America at its best

The Economist just landed on my desk. Note the striking cover and this lead editorial with the same title. I don’t bring it to your attention because I agree with everything in the piece (you could argue, I suppose, that there ought to be a question mark following best), but because it is (in my view) a pretty good reflection of how the broad world looks at this campaign and the candidates.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Yes, I would put a question mark after the word, best. But then, I am part of the vulgar crowd and can be rude without being noticed, which The Economist cannot. Yet they could say of Obama, sometimes vaporous young visionary, as if that were not derogatory. Perhaps in this political era, it is not? Oh well. That piece is a nice summing up. Thank you for pointing it out.

Unless we can know apriori that it is impossible to be visionary without being vaporous. This is what I was thinking in objection to Dr. Lawler's link to Rowling's essay on human beings being immaginative and knowing. It is also why I am reading Hegel's vaporous phenomenology of spirit, which is what I immagine happens to Kant when he ignores immagination in Hume only to see Hegel come in reaquaint him with vapourous elements of epistemology.

Of course being vaporous as I tend to be might be a necessary condition for being visionary but it certainly isn't sufficient. Obama is Hegelian in so far as he has identified immagination/hope/empathy as the Spirit of the age. Obama has gone out and put himself in the shoes of others, he is the Harvard grad who listened and implemented Rowling before she gave her speech.

part of the vulgar crowd and can be rude without being noticed

Marvelous phrase, Kate! An address that has much to recommend it.

But Rowling asked for imagination informed by facts . . . by confronting the world as it actually exists. Her confrontation caused her to walk away with gratitude . . . Obama seems to have walked away with more of a grudge. Perhaps he hasn't yet confronted all the facts?

The vacuous vapidity of the editorial, its thorough lack of honest economic assessment of the candidates and their postures, is a prime example of why I quit reading The Economist 10 years ago. If this is a pretty good reflection of how the broad world looks at our two candidates, shouldn't the read of the Elites, The Economist, be a cut above the sheeple?
Woe betide us.

Perhaps Tom, but the economist is read by people with business sense and people with business sense can't afford to miss market signals. For an example of how this is reverberating read the newsweek online article entitled: Is Wal-Mart too liberal?

Notice that people with imagination in just the sense advocated by Rowling are busy harrasing corporations at annual shareholders meetings. I believe Wal-Mart when it says that the changes it undertakes are good for business(understood to include the cost of lawsuits) The interesting thing is the counter ballance that comes from Flaherty who says: "People shop at Wal-Mart because of low prices, not because the company is politically correct."

The Economist is a vastly overrated magazine. While its economic literacy is certainly to be applauded, its political naivete and contempt for Red America are obvious in almost everything it writes about our society. This particular editorial is more positive in tone, but as "TOM" says, it's vapid.

Obama hasn't failed, yet. What Rowling said about failure was very important and true.

Obama has not failed or not failed enough to have hit reality, which is why he seems vaporous, besides being wordy without apparent substance. It is certainly possible to be visionary with solidity and imagination is not the same as vain vaporing.

I don't think Obama wears my shoes, but will pretend to in order to catch my vote.

As to the other point here, that article was a summing up and therefore simplistic. Its instruction is that is instructive to know how "everybody" sees the political situation. I listen to NPR for periodic recalibration. Reading what conservatives say, all the time, skews the perception, I don't mean about what is true, but about what is supposed to be true.

For depth on the current world situation, try this, by Condoleeza Rice. I do not feel guilty, not reading that Economist article in any depth. I think I ought to take time for "Rethinking the National Interest", but cannot do that today. I did read the end, and that was good.

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