html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: Way I see it,

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Way I see it,

Clinton is saying "if you elect me, I will do a skilled job within the system towards these ends." OK. Good. I respect skill and mostly agree with those ends.

Edwards is saying "if you elect me, I will do a passionate job within the system towards these ends." Cool. I like those ends even better.

But Obama is saying "if you elect me, I will play an entirely different game that also includes these ends." I know his game and I like his ends, so that's what I want.

(Posted later, but moved in time to satisfy my sense of how the posts should be ordered.)


Blogger KingM said...

Does this mean you're not voting for Giuliani? :)

I like what you're saying about Obama. The problem with people who want to change the system (and don't most of them?) is that the system can fight back. It's the very nature of entrenched interests.

The (Bill) Clinton presidency started off trying to change everything and the opposition mauled them. It was only after he retrenched and started working toward more modest goals that he made any progress and even that was limited.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Naw, he was still working under the standard western assumptions (that there are good people and bad people and that you use force and skill to exert your will). The oppositions you are used to in daily life is all the same system. Doing it better isn't trying to change the system.

Conflict resolution is deeply different (like non-violence was). For example, the idea that there are no enemies, that your vision can be shared, by getting geniune buy-in. Those are different than operating by force. They can shift the system.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous the Other Paul said...

I don't think he works on the conflict resolution model per se so much as the community organizing model (which may or may not include conflict resolution techniques--I'm not an expert on it.) Obama worked as a community organizer before he went on to law school, and it seems to have made a strong impression on him. If I remember right, the organizing model has a strong focus on making connections with people. There's more information at the website of the Industrial Areas Foundation.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Dizzy said...

We already elected the brilliant and good guy who was going to play an entirely different game. He did. And he is now the best ex-president we've ever had and one of my personal hereos. Jimmy Carter.

The problem, which we didn't anticipate, is that playing by an entirely new set of rules is not what you do when the train is off the tracks. You get the train back on the tracks, then you change the system. I want a Clinton/Obama ticket. She'll work within the system to get us back on track. He can inspire us. But I don't want the inspirer fixing the train right now. I want the train fixer fixing it.

2:16 PM  

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