Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

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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