Monday, July 28, 2008

Obama: In Abstract Terminology

Read this article this weekend. It talks about the use of abstract terminology, 'CHANGE' and 'HOPE' with out specifics.

Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville had a keen ear for political foolishness when he said:

" After all, they "will often have vacillating thoughts, and so language must be loose enough to leave them play. As they never know whether what they say today will fit the facts of tomorrow, they have a natural taste for abstract terms."

The air is currently filled with bright-eyed cries for change and promises of hope, “hope you can believe in,” from Americans proud to call themselves "progressives." Amidst all this good cheer – which this very week has even been liberally spread about the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the more elderly parts of Europe, who have even been told that we will be tearing down a series of longstanding walls "between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew" - it may seem churlish to spoil the party by asking for some specifics about where this change will take us, what it hopes to accomplish, and what in our current circumstances constitutes progress, though such specifics appear be in very short supply.


I confess that in America I saw more than America; I sought the image of democracy itself, with its inclinations, its character, its prejudices, and its passions, in order to learn what we have to fear or hope from its progress.
~ Alexis de Tocqueville

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