Monday, August 24, 2009

A Conversation With a Liberal

I had an interesting exchange of emails with a liberal this morning:

I'm fascinated that a person who loves the english language would prefer Bush to Obama or has my quick read of your site misrepresented you? I was looking for a description of plum duff on a whim and found you. I think that the current administration is at least in touch with reality whereas the previous one was not even on speaking terms. Not to mention the fact that Obama is a damn decent orator in this day and age and bush could barely string a coherent sentence together. And all this is mere superficiality. Bush got us into two wars neither of which was well reasoned and he put the final nail in the coffin of our economy. He also ignored all of science during a critical juncture in history. How can any thinking person still hold their head up and say "I'm a conservative"? The last eight years has caused conservativisim to equal having your head in the sand or worse.

Hi Mark,
I'm glad you stumbled upon my site and were fascinated. I must say that having just visited your site, I am astounded by the excitement and beauty of your photography.

However, I must confess to being conservative; therefore, although I am impressed by Obama's rhetorical skills in delivering a speech, I must judge him by his policies with which I largely disagree. Also, when he is speaking without a teleprompter, I find the president's rhetoric merely mediocre. He doesn't measure up at all to JFK or for that matter Ronald Reagan in his performance at press conferences, and he employs the most tone-deaf press secretary that we've seen in ages.

Of course how something is said is important, but nevertheless not the message. And in addition, should you read much of the political commentary of the day, I think you may find that conservative writers have better skills and employ logical thinking much more so than liberal commentators (even allowing for a wide range of exception in both categories).

So we must agree to disagree on politics, but I thank you for responding and giving me an opportunity to enjoy your work.
Terri Choate

Conservative writers may be better writers because spin is their biggest ally. The liberals count on truth and reality, both of those are given short shrift these days. Reagan spoke well, indeed. I would not agree that he speaks any better than Obama. I would also point out that Reagan was often lying or mistaken in order in ramp up his hyperbole. Again, the truth is never as glamourous as fiction.

Mark Gamba

Hi Mark,

I can agree that the truth is never as glamourous as fiction...but here's the rub: how can you assume that the Obama administration is speaking the "Truth"? For example, how can this administration claim it can reduce the cost of a Medicare program that already faces insolvency while adding millions of additional recipients and not reducing services? The president has no practical experience in administration (along with most politicians) and cannot honestly make this claim. I also question your faith that liberals, as opposed to conservatives, count on truth and reality. This is an enormous oversimplification.

I respect your concern about truth but believe you need to investigate further...and rely on individual instances.

Weapons of mass destruction for example? If Obama gets us out of Iraq, the money not spent there will easily cover the deficit in health care spending.

Mark Gamba

Hi Mark,

Well, weapons of mass destruction are rather old stuff. Like George Bush, and many others, I did believe Saddam Hussein harbored weapons of mass destruction: He certainly gassed thousands of his own population. I also believe that Hussein's repressive administration equaled genocide, reason enough to remove the bastard. I realize, however, this is a slippery slope and can appreciate that you consider internal abuses less than grounds for war (would you feel the same way about fighting Hitler in WWII?). I must admit I am dismayed that liberals show such little regard for human rights in oppressive Muslim countries...while they push for extreme niceties in Western nations.

And I dispute that ending US spending in Iraq (which is happening) will fund public health care for many say nothing of the question of Afghanistan, where at least for the moment, Obama supports a war. I do agree he should; I suspect you do not.

I cover health care quite a bit on my blog. I believe there are many better solutions to health insurance reform than a monumental, necessarily exploding public option. As far as I am concerned it would be easier, more practical, and more affordable to issue vouchers to the truly indigent to buy health insurance without interfering with the coverage of everyone else.


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