Monday, September 14, 2009


As I'm sure we all know by now, in President Obama's recent speech to the assembled Congress, he was interrupted by a particularly outspoken Republican opponent from the Senate, yelling, "YOU LIE!"

What I found interesting is the fact that this phrase has become something of a rallying point for those who oppose the current Health Care program being designed by the President's Administration and supporters. In the recent Tea Party in Washington, many of those in the march were yelling, "You Lie!", showing their frustration at being ignored by an Administration that they feel does not care about their best interests. This cry is in a way galvanizing and strengthening the resistance to Obama's Health Care program (as it stands, at least), bringing about a very adversarial attitude and approach to the debate. The question is: Will things get done if all sides of the debate are fighting one another instead of working together?

It's further interesting to note that after Senator Wilson's outburst, President Obama has now called for wording to be put into the Health Care bill that would require citizenship verification, the very thing that (missing from the bill) had Wilson in an uproar. So is this a case of a Republican Senator crying for freedom amidst a Democratic Administration's tyranny? Or is this a case of hardball partisan politics? Or is it a case of a president knowing and trying to do what is right for his people who are unwilling to go along with the plan?

The truth, I think, is in some strange, twisted genetic defect-child of all three. This is what happens in a democracy where everyone fights for their own agendas, following their own wishes and needs; the chaos born of egalitarianism. This fast-paced, battlefield-fashion of legislating has unfortunately become the norm, begging one to ask the question: WHY CAN'T WE WORK TOGETHER? WHY CAN NO ONE COMPROMISE?

But I guess that's what I'm here to learn in my Democratic Theory class. Cheers.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Restless Politics Syndrome

Alright, so I have some more observations about the process of democracy that don't particularly focus on Health Care. However, you can probably see where the entire debate fits in.

Today we were talking about the PASSION involved in American politics, how Americans seem to be very aggressive in fighting for their personal political views, and how this is different from what one would find in, say, European democracies. One would think that equality of ideals would lessen fighting, bring more agreement and order, but such is not always the case.

AS A REVIEW OF SORTS: I think that Americans feel they must push their views because American culture says that all views are inherently equal, or at least that all VOICES are equal. Well, if everyone's voice is equal, how can we hear any one voice above another? How can we choose a direction to follow if everyone's voice recieves the same attention? It becomes NECESSARY for one to fight to be heard, to strive to become the LOUDEST, most NOISOME voice possible in order to gain attention and sway opinions. I think that we see this a lot, and in the worst cases, parties (both) use fear tactics and yellow journalism/muck-raking to scream their views and grab as much attention as possible.

In Europe, a person would be more willing to sit back and let the aristocracy (or those "in the know") to speak for them. So is this American tendency to fight over politics GOOD or BAD?

I think that Tocqueville would say the American passion is both good and bad. On the positive side, it ensures that many people will be interested and involved in the political process, which is the very definition of democracy. On the negative side, there is an astounding amount of confusion and chaos possible when everyone is involved in politics. As for Health Care, it's a serious issue. Both parties are fighting to present their views to as many people as possible (in as many ways as possible) and many really are becoming involved. There are those who have rational views on BOTH sides of the debate, but there are also on both sides those who have views on the issue that are based on fear-mongering, ignorance, or passion.

Most important, I believe Tocqueville would tell us, is finding the balance between RATIONALITY and PASSION. It's a fine edge, certainly...but I think that the American system of democracy has found a way to, for the most part, walk that edge using the idea of EGALITARIANISM, though the solution itself surely has its own problems...After all, no system of government is perfect as long as humans are involved.

Until next time,

----Blind Prophet

(P.S., No outside resources this time...but the material I'm working with is found in our reading assignment for Tocqueville. So read (blame) the book!)

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Alright, so for this post I'm completely avoiding the issue of the Health Care Debate and the democratic processes involved (or not)...and I am going to unload a few halfway relevant thoughts I had about what was talked about in class on Thursday.

After thinking about the whole view of Individualism vs. Conformity (and the irony therein), as seen by Toqueville when studying America, I couldn't help but think of BLOGGING. The Blog is a nigh-upon-perfect example of Americans' tendencies to wish to profess individuality and yet conform to a social standard.

After all, look at all of the people who are blogging (and let's include Facebook and Myspace while we're at it)! It's a huge, growing trend followed by more and more people every day. Millions of people are interacting and conforming to this societal activity. One can construct all sorts of interesting formats for a personalized blog, including music, photos, neat backgrounds, etc. In this way, a person can express their individuality while still being a part of the group, conforming to the BLOG culture.

AGAIN, this was totally unrelated to this blog's purpose, but I thought it was an interesting thought. Maybe you will find it less so. Enjoy. I promise I'll post something about HC next time, honest!

----Blind Prophet

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


That's right, folks. This bloggy is taking a new direction for the forseeable future. It has been decided that I will be blogging more regularly again, but with a twist:

I will be focusing on talking about DEMOCRACY! Yup, you've got it! As a requirement for a class I'm taking in college, I have to start a blog to discuss democracy, how it works, good points and bad points, etc--in the context of the ongoing HEALTH CARE REFORM debate.

Luckily, I remembered that this blog still existed somewhere out in the nethers of the internet, and after drudging through lots of notes I found my old password and junk...and here we are! So for the next three or four months, the Blind Prophet will be discussing things that actually MATTER, such as the process of democracy. (Reading List: Tocqueville) I suppose that means that this blog will now be slightly more intelligent and serious than before. Get used to it.

----Blind Prophet