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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Polemics and Ignorance

Bush Paints His Goals As 'Crises' (washingtonpost.com): …Bush is returning to the same tactic to accomplish three longtime conservative goals. Warning of the need for urgent action on his Social Security plan, Bush says the "crisis is now" for a system even the most pessimistic observers say will take in more in taxes than it pays out in benefits well into the next decade. He calls the proliferation of medical liability lawsuits a "crisis in America" that can be fixed only by limiting a patient's right to sue for large damages. And Bush has repeatedly accused Senate Democrats of creating a "vacancy crisis" on the federal bench by refusing to confirm a small percentage of his judicial nominees. … But there is widespread disagreement about how pervasive the problem is and who is to blame.
This is an interesting analysis and an important one in the current political climate. It seems that the leaders of our human history who have most often manufactured crises are usually those whom history condemns as twisting the society and creating great harm. In addition, when there is widespread disagreement about a problem, it is unlikely that a worthwhile solution will be forthcoming. In many respects, moving ahead in the face of this disagreement is rather analogous to the sloppy journalism that I have observed and about which my colleague Chase has recently posted. If you do not take the time to learn about an issue, how can you possibly hope to contribute to the resolution?

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