Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,
Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC)
chemoelectric

Obama and Reagan

I’ve thought about things some more and what Obama says about Reagan being able to redirect the nation is a way of talking about Reagan’s capabilities as a demagogue. Obama seems to want to use the same techniques with different ends. This is not a good approach, even though it is ‘conventional wisdom’. It depends upon a susceptibility in people that, as Reagan seems to have shown, is without distinction between ‘good’ goals and ‘bad’. A correct approach makes a distinction and Reagan would never have succeeded with it, though Obama could if he has decent goals.

A correct approach begins with training in immunity to the Reagan-Obama approach, so that a phrase like ‘It’s morning in America’ or ‘Yes, we can!’ is received with a shrug of the shoulders or a puzzled question. JFK’s famous line would be received as a false dichotomy meant to sound patriotic. Something like FDR’s encouragement to be afraid of paralyzing, ineffable fear, on the other hand, would be received very well; good speeches may resemble psychotherapy, since the goal in either case is to facilitate healthy functioning of the human nervous system.
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