Sunday, October 2, 2011

Its All Nuance

All politics is nuance.

History repeats itself, but for you to believe the narrative, you have to buy into the nuance from filters you believe in. By filters, I mean anyone providing information to you.

Let's be honest and clear, no one, including the President, can be assured of knowing every thing, or even the simple truth. We rely on people to provide information to us. They are all filters.

A filter, by definition, limits what goes through it. Political filters limit the information you are given, so that you only receive the nuance which supports their story.

I'm reading Tom Friedman's new book,That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back and although I'm not far into it, I've been catching myself wondering then why he didn't get behind any of the initiatives of G. W. Bush. Well, of course we know that Bush is a Republican and Friedman is a unabashed liberal Democrat.

Being a liberal Democrat is all well and good, and it goes far in explaining why his talk of the post cold war era begins roughly around 2001. It fits his narrative and filters out the fact that we had a whole decade prior to Bush to do something right, but really didn't.

To be sure, Mr. Friedman and his co-author Michael Mandelbaum don't come right out and say the post cold-war era began in 2001, they merely filter out the 1990's from their story. So far at least.

But in the opening chapters, the authors proclaim that one thing that America is lacking since the fall of the cold war is a common goal, a large mission, a unifying ambition that we could all coalesce around that would reassert that legendary American Can Do Attitude.

So I was wondering where they were when Bush began the War on Terror and its subsequent battles. Of course they were opposed to much of the Bush administration. Its a matter of record, especially accessible from Mr. Friedman writings.

So it maybe too much to ask for all Americans to support war, it is killing after all. But for these two who cite the cold war as an example of our common course and mission, with all its associated killings in third world nations, I wonder why they have a nuance now on the use of American military to fight a prolonged war against enemies both foreign and domestic. The cold war lasted fifty years after all.

Or what about the investment Bush made in green technology or his historic Malaria Initiative.

Surely they could of found something to martial Americans who were necassary opposed to Bush's wars in the above examples.

But no, they didn't. Not then, and they don't recognize the efforts now.

Its all nuance.

However I agree that prior to Bush, there wasn't much put forth from D.C. to address many of our problems that still persist today. They don't say that, but its part of the era that they begin their book with.

That's not to take away from their efforts to identify our common obstacles and provide a solution. My nuance is, read the book, because any ideas to solve our problems is welcomed by me, I reserve the right to disagree in the end though.

A big problem I see in America is that both sides are so nuanced that no matter what the other side does there can't be harmony, the filters won't let it happen. Ironically both sides, from the long perspective of history in regards to partisan politics, are so similiar any more that it is only nuance that separates them.

If they are so close politically, Republicans and Democrats, you'd think we could get more done not less. But its all nuance.