Friday, October 2, 2009
How It Works
Here is an example of how "it" works. Obama is now being labeled in some quarters "a pragmatic liberal." Which conveys the idea that those who want more than or something different than Obama are not pragmatic. I guess they would be labeled "radicals" or "extremists." Ah yes, so now we can rest easy with Obama's failure to lead us anywhere significant on health insurance because he was just being "pragmatic." JFK was also being "pragmatic" when he increased significantly the number of military personnel in Viet Nam - no, they were not, except on paper, "advisers!" LBJ was being "pragmatic" when he committed up to 500,000+ troops to Viet Nam despite the fact that he had been told that this number of troops would not change the course of the war in any significant way. "Pragmatism" is a word that has talismanic power in the United States. And indeed it does. It disguises what our politicians are actually doing while preparing us to think that, when the pragmatic steps don't work, all is as it should be. After all, we are only being "pragmatic."