Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Most Naive President In US History

I'm not saying it, a Brit is. I just happen to agree with much of it.


PeggyU said...

And yet today a caller to Sean Hannity's show was exclaiming about how the world respects the US so much more, now that Obama is at the helm. That virtual world that Sarkozy says Obama lives in apparently has a population of more than 1. It sounds like a pleasant place to visit...

Ronnie said...

Oh come on, that article was absolute garbage. One partisan "journalist" at the Telegraph spouting off a list of 10 talking points doesn't really convince me of Obama actually being naive. Half those points were outright lies, and the other half were just taking one side of two sided debates. I personally think Obama tries to look naive on occasion but knows exactly what is realistically going to happen, a truly naive idealist doesn't make it to the White House.

Darren said...

Ronnie, you're wrong on just about every point. And this time, a naive idealist *did* make it to the White House, and he's dangerous.

W.R. Chandler said...

I would love to know why a U.S. President would "try" to look naive.
Did you come to curse Caesar or defend him?

Steve USMA '85 said...

Ronnie, which five points were lies, and what is the other side of the other five points?

You make blankets claims but offer even less evidence than the article's author?

DADvocate said...

The columnist makes a pretty good argument in my book. I just wonder if we should substitute the word "stupid" for "naive."

Ronnie said...

Why would someone want to look naive? Because naive is just another word for hopeful or idealistic, and I believe he tries to put on that show since it's something some politicians think people like to hear. I honestly don't believe he believes the unrealistic stuff he says, he just thinks saying it is good for his career or possibly a catalyst for changed expectations.

I'm going to do this quickly since none of your minds would be changed anyway, no matter how well I argued this.

1, 6, 7, and 8 are lies.

1. He believes any step towards less nuclear weapons is a step toward less nuclear weapons, pretty simple. Anything else he says is just like Reagan and most other Presidents' hopeful futures without nuclear weapons that are unlikely to ever occur and knowingly so.

6. I believe he believes America is the best country the world has seen, he just happens to have better foreign policy than yelling it out every chance he gets.

7. and 8. Point 7 is Obama believes alliances don’t matter, then Point 8 is Obama trusts Russia, if that doesn't cause some cognitive dissonance I don't know what would. He believes in having allies and trusts them as much as they deserve trusting, no more and no less. I haven't heard of Obama completely cutting off an allied nation, and I don't think if Russia said jump Obama would say how high. I personally think Obama not letting any nation push their agenda over ours, while maintaining tenuous ties to countries we haven't had the best track record with is rock solid foreign policy.

2, 3, 4, 5, 9, and 10 are just taking the right-wing side in common debates.

2. Some people believe communicating with an enemy is better than not communicating with an enemy, another simple position. Appeasement is a different issue, and if you can't see that again I'm wasting my time talking.

3. This point is an argument about the choice of words, one that is likely more correct depending on the definition of war since most definitions include the words countries or states. I personally believe you don't have wars against things that aren't states, so "War on Drugs" and such are inappropriate. Regardless I think Obama is as hawkish about going after terrorist as most other mainstream political figures, again he just chooses to frame it in a less glaring way.

4. Some people believe in a regressive tax system, isn't it completely shocking?

5. I think Obama isn't the only person out there that believes in government-run health care, our country passed it, more than half the people in the country supported it depending on when you took that poll, so this being a naive issue is quite weak.

9. The UN is indispensable, the Earth has more than one country occupying it's land, to not have a formal place to at least speak to one another seems pretty narrow minded.

10. The European Union is more stable than it's individual member countries, and global stability is good for America. I don't even get how you could make a coherent argument for this point since the author sure didn't do it.

The title of this article is "10 reasons why Barack Obama is the most naïve president in US history " How can one possibly prove such a general and undefined ranking, especially when no other president's entire set of views is mentioned much less compared. The title is about as well thought out as most of the ideas inside it.

You might agree with it, but it doesn't make it true, real, or relevant. Those are qualities I tend to like in new stories and sometimes even your blog.

pseudotsuga said...

I'm going to do this quickly since none of your minds would be changed anyway, no matter how well I argued this.
I admire your courage of conviction, Ronnie, and I'll even grant you that the title of the article was over the top.

But some of the arguments you use are not as strong as you might think. For example:
Gardiner claims "2. Obama thinks evil regimes can be negotiated with."
And then you wrote, 2. Some people believe communicating with an enemy is better than not communicating with an enemy, another simple position. Appeasement is a different issue, and if you can't see that again I'm wasting my time talking.
Your simple position, as you call it, is that communicating is better that not communicating. That is a comfortable moral stance.
However, it is naive, from your comfortable stance, to believe that there is no evil, and that sometimes evil pretends to negotiate with you for its own ends. Negotiations with Hitler did wonders for the people of Czechoslovakia. Negotiation with North Korea has been wonderful for world peace. I doubt that we can sit down at a table with Osama Bin Laden and come to a compromise wherein we both get part of what we want.
You can only negotiate IF you have something the other side wants, and the other side is negotiating in earnest. Perhaps in unicorn-and-rainbow land (Obamaworld?) these people can be successfully negotiated with, but in the real world, it becomes a win-lose situation, and the object of negotiating as the leader of a state is not for your state to lose...
9 The UN is indispensable.
Is it? What has it *really* done that nations themselves couldn't have done (scandals and useless "peacekeeping" aside)? Ideology is not fact.
10. The European Union is more stable than it's [sic] individual member countries...
You know, that's not saying much. You seem to feel that the EU is like a quiet, well-tuned engine humming away in the background of prosperity. It is more like a rough-running engine that is emitting squeals and smoke, which could blow up at any moment, but the drivers keep shoveling coal and money at it, hoping it keeps running for a little while longer.

That's just three arguments, Ronnie, but I have some work to do that prevents me from showing that your arguments are not convincing because you seem to be arguing from ideology. But at least you are honest, if not reasonable.

Ronnie said...

My only point was his arguments weren't very strong and counter arguments could be made to the same strength if not much stronger if someone spent the time to do it, and the overall conclusion was flawed and not proven. I just hate to see bad journalism re-posted on blogs.

On Point 2 I made it very clear that talk is one thing, appeasement and agreement is another, it really seems like people won't separate those 2 ideas. Talking to an enemy has a very low cost, with possibilities of learning more about your enemy and better ways to fight them.

On Point 9 I don't understand how being pro-UN or anti-UN is some sort of ideological issue. It may not be the most efficient or well designed organization, but it has done positive things and to expect all international affairs to be individually argued and decided with no official body to do it in seems a lot less efficient. I personally would love a successor to the UN which could succeed in its goals more often, but I don't think the solution is to just be anti-UN.

On Point 10, I never said it was much more stable, I just said it was more stable, and stability is good for our country.

Anyway, this isn't my field of expertise by far, I just know opinion journalism when I see it, and I'd rather see journalism based on fact or research based on conclusions of a collection of facts, not 10 small paragraphs of whatever points help make a ridiculous conclusion look correct. Sorry to have prejudged the audience with my snipe about not changing minds, but some of the issues are core tenets of personal ideology and I really don't see a blog comment changing anyone's mind on those. I just hope people don't look at this article and think this is in anyway appropriate to be called journalism, news, or research.

maxutils said...

I'd like to nominate William Henry Harrison, who believed he could give his inaugural address in a rainstorm without harm. Now that's measurable naivete. . .

neko said...

Because naive is just another word for hopeful or idealistic...

Actually, it means lacking in knowledge or experience.

...he just thinks saying it is good for his career or possibly a catalyst for changed expectations.

So in other words, he just makes $#!% up.
(Which is more commomly known as lying)

Ronnie said...

He's a politician, if he's not lying he probably would qualify for the most naive President.

Google's definition of Naive: "If you describe someone as naive, you think they lack experience and so expect things to be easy or people to be honest or kind." That sounds a lot like hopeful and idealistic to me, just one happens to imply that's a fault and the others don't.