Black and white thinking politically versus shades of gray.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ARogueTrader, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Mitt Romney (R) Governor of Massachusetts was just on CNN being interviewed by Wolf Blitzer.

    When asked about Kerry versus Bush, he commented that in his opinion the difference between Bush and Kerry is not so much on issues (???) but on the ability to make a decision.

    He suggests that Bush is decisive, and that Kerry often changes his position and is indecisive.


    Many different ways to view this.

    Someone who is stubborn and opinionated without either intelligence or fact can make a quick decision based on bigotry.


    Joe is a bigot who hates black people.
    Joe has a conflict with a black man.
    Joe decisively takes out a gun and shoots the black man without any consideration of the issues of the conflict nor the consequences of his actions.

    Conclusion: John was decisive.

    Someone who has a lot of choices can appear indecisive.


    Bill likes many different flavors of ice cream.
    Bill goes to Baskin and Robbins for ice cream.
    Bill has a hard time deciding which flavor to buy.

    Conclusion: Bill is indecisive.


    Harry is a religious fanatic who interprets the bible literally.
    Harry is confronted with difficult decision that requires a choice between unilateral action, or working out a solution with his friends. Harry thinks answer can be found in a literal interpretation of the bible. Harry makes an immediate decision on how to solve the problem on that basis.

    Conclusion: Harry is decisive.


    Fred is someone who likes to look at all possible solutions to a problem and the short term and long term consequences. He is confronted with a difficult decision that requires a choice between unilateral action, or working out a solution with his friends. Fred thinks he will make a decision contingent on other factors, as Fred doesn't look at things as black and white, but as many shades of gray. Fred makes the decision, then changes his position when the contingent of his decision is not followed through on properly.

    Conclusion: Fred is indecisive.


    Are the conclusions in the above examples true, or fallacious reasoning?

    Do we want a black and white thinker, a fundamentalist, reactive, and rigid thinker as president?

    Do we want a person who looks at all sides of a problem before reaching a decision, looking at both short term or long term consequences, and one who is willing to change their position if the situation warrants a change, someone who is flexible?

    Which do you want? Black and white, rigid, and inflexible?

    Or flexible, thoughtful, and able to see the different shades of gray.

    Do we want someone who can admit they are wrong and who can admit they made a mistake?

    Or do we want a person who always thinks they are right and never admits when they are wrong?

    Do we want a leader who has a closed and fixed mind?

    Or do we want leadership of a man with an open mind, who can change if necessary?

    If Mitt Romney is right, if this does boil down to "leadership" over issues, the choice is clear.

    Will you make a black and white decision?

    Or will you look at all the facts and then decide, and be willing to change your mind if new information comes along?

    Are you a black and white thinker, or do you see life in many shades of gray?
  2. Pabst


    Should a leader's decisions be shaped by consensus or should a leader attempt to build consensus for unpopular solutions. I argue the latter. The crowd is delusional. Sentiment is too ever changing for policy to be reliant on the whimsical nature of our immediate wants. Unfortunately society does not reward critical analysis of issues by politicians. Witness the outrage over Greenspan's remarks last week concerning the future viability of Social Security. Kerry and Edwards have spent a quarter century between them in the Senate. Yet that august body has nary the will to address the huge, beyond potential problem, of entitlement spending. Granted, Greenspan dosen't have to appease an impulsive electorate. A democracy with a majority of ignorant, self-serving voters can be as tyratanical as any autocracy.
  3. Should a leader server the will of the people, or should a leader serve his own vision of what he thinks is best for the people?

    When he elect representatives, what are they supposed to represent?

    Our vision, or theirs?

    I was having a discussion last night with someone who was complaining that "we" have no power over our government, that we are helpless to change Washington, etc.

    I suggested that the Russians were powerless to change the Czar, as that form of government did not have a way to remove the Czar peacefully.

    We have a system in place to remove leaders (sometimes before their term is up) so the ultimate blame goes to the electorate.