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That Vision Thing

Ronald Reagan had a vision. You might not agree with his vision. You might not even agree with the premises of his vision but you can not say that he did not have a vision. His vision was based on the propaganda that he voiced through out World War II. His propaganda ignored the reality that many Americans faced every day. Ronald Reagan’s vision could not see the homeless sitting on the grates trying to warm themselves. Ronald Reagan’s vision did not see a struggling poor person, he saw a lazy fat-ass welfare mom trying to cheat the taxpayers out of their money. Ronald Reagan certainly had a vision.

When George HW Bush won election in 1988, the part of the country that accepted Ronald Reagan’s vision thought that his Vice President had seen the same vision. They wanted to be told that they had a right to be wealthy and ignore the rest of the country. The poor were all the suckers and losers; if you had money you had a divine right to it. But George HW Bush hadn’t heard the train whistle. He didn’t have a vision to share with the American people. The working class who had suffered for 12 years under the Reagan vision and never saw any of it come true were ready to latch onto a new vision. Bill Clinton had a vision that was different from Ronald Reagan’s vision. But, the people wanted a leader with a vision as opposed to someone without one. So, George HW Bush lost the election because of that “vision thing.”

Every good leader needs to have a vision. It isn’t about what that vision is, it is about what the country could become. We do these things as a nation so that we can become a better nation. The vision is what we might become.

In the past many elections have been a competition between visions. The potential leaders tell us what their visions are, and we choose where we want to go. But, in recent years the reverse has become the trend. The leaders no longer tell us what their visions are for a future with them in the leadership role. Instead, they tell us to fear the vision of their opponent in that same leadership role. The electorate becomes entangled in trying to pick the least bad vision of the future. And, when a real visionary emerges he is shot down by his opponents who tell us how impossible and unrealistic his vision is. The message is that we can’t trust a leader with such outlandish and impossibly unrealistic ideas. He certainly must be hallucinating in order to have such wild visions.

Apparently the Bush family is the antithesis of vision, because George W Bush lacks vision just like his father. Occasionally he announces a new vision, but he lacks the skill to convince us that it really is his vision. It is more likely that he has an advisor that suggests to him that it is about time to tell the American people that he has a plan. These plans don’t fit into a bigger picture. Instead they are plans announced with the hopes that we can conjure up our own vision of what he is telling us. He announced a new space objective to land a man on Mars a few years back. Those who like and study science may still be imagining this amazing journey. Most of the rest of us have long forgotten this. Was this part of a larger vision for this country? Actually it doesn’t really fit into the rhetoric of a president who doesn’t trust science.

Even the George W Bush vision of spreading Democracy around the world has lost its luminosity. In the last seven years we have invaded two countries under this premise. But, a larger vision would include diplomatic and political efforts to free many more countries from the oppressive rule of tyrants and military governments. We are never reminded that General Musharraf Pervez is a military dictator who overthrew or sabotaged several democratically elected governments. General Musharraf Pervez has gone against democracy by arresting opposition leaders and even a Supreme Court Judge. A true vision of democracy can not coexist with embracing leaders like this.

It is actually more likely that George W Bush has a personal agenda, rather than a vision. He is in the White House to weld power for his friends, family and loyalists. His actions demonstrate this louder than any words that he has spoken. The appointment of incompetent loyalists to positions to which they were not qualified has lead to many disasters - where Katrina is at the top of the list. The appointment  of the unethical Alberto Gonzales is another on this long list. The reasons or intentions of these appointments don’t fit into any vision for America. Instead these appointments fit into a personal agenda for George W Bush. America is only beginning to see this, because George W Bush never shares this vision with the American people.
Now, as we think back to 2000 we might ask ourselves if Al Gore would have had a vision for America. And, because you don’t need to be president in order to share your vision with the world we can say that Al Gore certainly has a vision for America. He has spent the last few years telling us about the “Inconvenient Truth.”

Al Gore’s vision is to make America better, by putting and end to global warming.

We could argue that terrorism might be a bigger problem. But, if you actually look at the risks and probability Global Warming is actually a bigger problem. Global Warming will effect our food production, our coast lines, and our infrastructure. Terrorists may occasionally  destroy a building and show the results on TV in order to terrorize us. Global Warming will work 24 hours a day seven days a week gradually damaging our country piece by piece. But, because the destruction is a hurricane here, a flood there, a drought over there we don’t see this as clearly. And, therefore we are fooled into thinking that the terror problem is worth a larger effort than the Global Warming problem.

And, it turns out that Al Gore’s vision, without even being president, is making a bigger impression than George W Bush has on almost anything except his debacle in Iraq. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be president to make an impression and get your vision out there. Of course, if Al Gore were president he would certainly have more power to make an even bigger impression. Of course, its really important to have that vision thing.

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Don’t forget what Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Cross Posted @ <a href=”http://www.teambio.org/”>Bring It On</a>, <a href=”http://drforbush.tblog.com/”>tblog</a>, <a href=”http://drforbush.blogspot.com/”>Blogger</a> and <a href=”http://drforbush.blogspirit.com/”>BlogSpirit</a>

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<a href=”http://technorati.com/tag/Reflection” rel=”tag”>Reflection</a>


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18 Comments in 18 threads.»

Pages: [2] 1 » Show All

Comment by SteveIL
2007-09-28 16:22:39

Again, Doctor, you bring forth a vacuous argument:

In the Market System in which we operate some people offer labor while others offer money for that labor. If one group has a monopoly over the other group, how can the trade in the market place be made fair?

In the case of the air traffic controllers the controllers have a skill. But the FAA offers the only choice for employment, unless they are willing to move to another country. If the government says that it is my way or the highway, then the controllers have no choice but to withhold labor.

You are equating government employees with slaves? If a government employee withholds labor, he/she can get another job. If a slave had withheld labor, he/she is punished by the owner, the law, or killed.

Adding in an explanation of the market system is pointless here as well since later you admit that the government is the monopoly here; they don’t allow a market system to handle the control of air traffic. You say:

Otherwise, the government can offer slave wages to the least qualified workers who will accept the money and do the job, even if the most qualified hold out for a better wage.

Yeah they could. Except when the hell has that ever happened? Answer: never. Why? Because instead of the government negotiating these contracts in bad faith, it has been the government employee unions that negotiate these contracts in bad faith (demanding ridiculous raises; forcing the employer, the government, to keep the worst workers on the payroll; having expanded health care paid for by the government, not the workers; retiring in 20 years; and getting a huge chunk of their wages paid thereafter in retirement while not doing any work). And every level of government signs these contracts because they aren’t interested in fiscal responsibility, but in getting votes. That isn’t anything resembling slavery.

Besides, if air traffic controllers weren’t being paid a good dollar knowing in advance there is only one employer, nobody would go into the field. Obviously, that isn’t happening. Again, this isn’t anything resembling slavery, and your argument is pointless.

Now, this makes a little sense:

Obviously the privatization of the FAA would allow the traffic controllers to move around the country and get the best deals. Then the most qualified controllers would live near the most difficult air spaces and command the highest salary. And, the lowest quality controllers would work at airports out in the middle of nowhere and be paid enough to live on.

Hell, they could be unionized. Then, at least both management and labor would have to negotiate in good faith in order to allow for an air traffic controller company to make money, and for labor to demand enough wages or salary (and benefits) in order to allow this to happen. And as far as the last sentence I pulled from this, it isn’t valid. Even airports in the middle of nowhere would want good air traffic controllers, or nobody would fly there.

That’s the market.

 
Comment by Dr. Forbush
2007-09-28 13:21:10

SteveL,

In the Market System in which we operate some people offer labor while others offer money for that labor. If one group has a monopoly over the other group, how can the trade in the market place be made fair?

In the case of the air traffic controllers the controllers have a skill. But the FAA offers the only choice for employment, unless they are willing to move to another country. If the government says that it is my way or the highway, then the controllers have no choice but to withhold labor.

If there is one employer and many unorganized laborers, then the advantage goes to the monopoly - the government. The only fair option for this market is to have organized labor to oppose the monopoly. Otherwise, the government can offer slave wages to the least qualified workers who will accept the money and do the job, even if the most qualified hold out for a better wage. Which looks like a lot like slavery to me - or is it share cropping?

Obviously the privatization of the FAA would allow the traffic controllers to move around the country and get the best deals. Then the most qualified controllers would live near the most difficult air spaces and command the highest salary. And, the lowest quality controllers would work at airports out in the middle of nowhere and be paid enough to live on. Similar to the current health care system we have.

 
Comment by SteveIL
2007-09-28 09:58:42

Sheltering a runaway slave was against the law too. Just because something is against the law doesn’t mean that it is a good law.

Absolutely correct. Yet, your comparison has no relevance regarding air traffic controllers. The controllers weren’t slaves, they didn’t have to be controllers, they could leave their jobs freely, and they sure as hell didn’t have to be part of union whose only purpose was to strong-arm the government and put Americans at risk. Come up with a valid comparison.

 
Comment by Dr. Forbush
2007-09-26 20:14:18

Lisa,

The highest taxes in the country are in California and New York. I don’t see businesses fleeing these areas at a high rate. Business owners seem to be happy to work in these places when they could easily move to Mississippi and pay lower taxes.

 
Comment by Lisa
2007-09-26 17:36:53

Too bad government now taxes the hell out of businesses that they can’t afford to do business here.
And about homeless people dying on the streets,I don’t like it but again some of them choose to live that way. There are sevices to help them . Yes it is a shame but many of those people have drug and alcohol abuse problems. You can only help people
that want help.

 
Comment by Dr. Forbush
2007-09-26 12:44:14

SteveL,

You wrote: “Doc, you still bitchin’ about the air traffic controllers? That strike was against the law, and they would have put a lot of people at risk.”

Sheltering a runaway slave was against the law too. Just because something is against the law doesn’t mean that it is a good law.

 
Comment by Dr. Forbush
2007-09-26 12:42:01

Lisa,

Obviously FDR is the Democrat President with the greatest vision. After the stock market crashed and the “brilliant” conservatives at the Federal Reserve decided to raise interest rates liquidity dried up and we were in the Great Depression. No one had capital to pay workers and the average person had no money to buy goods. FDR’s vision was that Americans could work together to solve this enormous problem. He did this by using the one resource that did not disappear - America’s labor. FDR was able to take the vision of American’s working together to solve this problem and pass laws to make this a reality. Of the many projects that FDR championed was the building of infrastructure for our country that enabled businesses to take advantage of and more quickly come back from the brink of destruction. The enormous hydroelectric plants built around the country provided power, that allowed the price of power for manufacturing to drop. This cheaper power helped manufacturers build products cheaper and more efficiently. Cheaper products were more affordable and workers in these projects were able to begin to spend the money that they earned on more than just food. But, without the vision of all Americans working together for the common good we might still be struggling today. If fact with all of the power plants that we built during the 1930s that bootstrapped the manufacturing sector we were better prepared to fight WWII. And, with the success of FDR’s vision we believed as a nation that we could defeat the enemies on two fronts at once if we worked together as one America.

 
Comment by MK
2007-09-26 08:09:50

People who are cock-sure about their philosophy often have the luxury of ignorance. Or as Bertrand Russell once quipped (paraphrase): “The educated and informed are full of doubt; and the least educated/mis-informed are full of certainty.”

When you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s easy to think you are right. But for those of us who grow up and face the turbulence and grayness of life, a dichotomous view of reality is impractical.

Real life experience tells us things are hardly what they “ought to be.” Life does not revolve around our concept of reality. Life revolves around reality itself.

It is our view that has to match reality if we are to have any hope of succeeding in influening reality in a positive way.

Bush has his own concept of reality, but it rarely matches the real world. So, nearly everything he touches turns to crap.

The reality of life is like gravity. If you ignore it or replace it with an inaccurate ideal, the outcome is likely to be very bad.

This might also explain Bush’s series of failures throughout his life - which mommy & daddy have saved him from.

 
Comment by SteveIL
2007-09-25 23:22:41

Doc, you still bitchin’ about the air traffic controllers? That strike was against the law, and they would have put a lot of people at risk. Reagan didn’t want a cheap labor force; but, he didn’t need a labor force “represented” by a belligerent union unwilling to negotiate over some fairly ridiculous demands (this link is to a Master’s thesis written in 1990 by one of the fired controllers; the demands pages 44 and 45 of the PDF file, and were taken from the 1981 PATCO proposals). While I don’t think the 32-hour work week was out of line (especially with how stressful the job was), those salary proposals and retirement demands are outrageous. And the fact that they would leave travelers at risk was just wrong.

You are explaining what you think his vision is, but he never says that he is going to attack Iran, North Korea or Venezuala.

I mentioned those other countries because you didn’t. You want to take out Musharraf. What about the countries I mentioned, don’t you think the people in those countries deserve democracy? Aren’t those nations each ruled by a dictator (or theocratic oligarchy in Iran’s case), in some cases worse than Musharraf (Kim Jong Il)? How about that pig Castro (and his swinish brother), who only know how to line their pockets with handouts? Do you not understand that not all the nations of the world have democracies for governments, including some very powerful ones. And while you have a forum to say who America should deal with, others like you in these countries have no say, and their leaders are out to screw the democracies for the simple reason that they are allowed to get away with it. So, spare me your selective outrage.

Instead his vision must have smething to do with ignoring them. Unfortunately he never tells us what it is.

It isn’t that Bush isn’t saying what his vision is, it is that you are either ignoring it or don’t agree with it. The problem is with you.

 
Comment by steve
2007-09-25 20:34:47

Hey Doc, listen to this and tell me where Reagan was flawed.

 
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