the methods and means of procrastination

t barnett and a few observations
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running at the brain

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One other thing I read over the weekend was this article by T Barnett. I'd suggest reading it. It verbalized a good baseline of how and what I think the US's path forward should be for foreign policy. I'm not totally convinced that we could pull it off with the policical climate in the US today, but it made much more sense to me than the cold war antics of the 80's and 90's. (I don't think you're foreign policy should demonize an entire people/culture)

At any rate, I'm going to follow his blog a bit to confirm he's not a raving lunitic. I was mouthing off at almost every paragraph (probably much to guru's dismay) and came up with a couple of observations.

<--start cat talking off the top of her head here-->

1. Democratic thought tends to address symptoms, not cures.

2. Republican thought tends to perscribe sweeping surgeries with no outpatient support.

What do I mean? Dem thought seems to only worry about the symptoms of problems, not the big picture, either in our country or elsewhere. It's like taking a cold medicine to mask the underlying problem. In 20 years, your still going to have that big problem. Everything will just come back out.

Repub thought, on the other hand, seems to think that massive surgeries are the best plan, but they do nothing for the patient afterwards.

Another set of observations:

1. Dem thought tends to address the now in terms of then.

2. Repub thought focuses only on the future, to the neglect of the now.

Dem thought focuses only on the present as it is informed by the past. There is no future plan, they are just trying to address problems of our recent history. Unions are one example. Dem thought supports the idea of what unions DID, yet they don't have a plan for what the unions should become. That the union exists now is enough. That a union can easily be sidetracked and turn corrupt, taking away the very help it initially gave to the work force seems completely ilrelavant. I think this is why you often hear people saying that the democrats don't have a coherant message. (and that is why the republicans keep winning) Lots of symptom right-fighting, no big solution for all problems.

I don't believe repub thought is ignorant of the past -- it's just not that important. Repub thought is so caught up in what the [fill in the blank] should become. Like this article on globlization. Big plans for the future, but how do we get there? The blind spot is that this line of thought gets so caught up with this future vision, it doesn't worry about the details of how to get from A to B. There is no plan to care for the people who will get caught in the gears as this world is built.

So in my heart I want to see a middle road between the two. A place where we as a nation have an overall shared vision for our country, large enough to build in steps to bring everyone to a safe, free and equal society, here and globally. Any other plan means reinventing the wheel every 20 years.

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