Recently, a young thirty year old friend of mine was describing his elation with Democratic presidential contender Barrack Obama; he thought, quite sincerely, that Obama’s message of hope was stimulating, thrilling, and John F. Kennedy-like. I asked him to put aside the rhetoric and to recall for me any context of substance; he told me of Obama’s interest in having political parties set aside differences for the common good, of empowering the middle class, of returning American soldiers from Iraq, and of lowering taxes for the hard working peoples of this country.
I asked him if that was sufficient information for him to make a decision; he said that he thought so. I explained that obviously, his benchmark on established criteria for voting for the President of the United States was set very low. He was offended and responded by vigorously pointing out that President Kennedy was young and inexperienced when elected; I countered, that Kennedy was a wounded decorated veteran of WW II and had spent 14 years in the senate before running for the presidency. Continuing, I noted that Senator Obama was a state assemblyman and a senator for the last two years; I noted that the contrast between the two men was illuminatingly significant.
He then asked me how I would establish the criteria for such an important position; I said that I thought a voter ought to think of the criteria as if he or she was responsible for the hiring of a Chief Executive Officer of a Three Trillion dollar publicly traded international company with world-wide affiliations. A company that is directly responsible to the population of the United States for the strict adherence of its laws, its commerce, and its very existence. This publicly traded company employees millions of people, enters into scores of trade agreements, multilateral contracts, is dependant upon by hundreds of millions of peoples within the world to secure the deliverance of their energy, assist in natural calamities, to protect them from military aggression by a hostile nation and to be relied upon for any and all descriptive related to the general welfare of the populous.
I went on to ask, of all the candidates seeking the presidency of either political party which would you hire as the CEO? Where would experience be placed on your priority list? Is youth a factor, positive or negative? If you owned this three trillion dollar company would you hire Barrack Obama has your CEO?
He amicably ended the conversation with a resounding implication that my age prohibited me from seeing the truth of the Obama speech; I gave one more disengaging declaration that one should not judge on style but on substance; I also, edged in the need to study the written expression of a policies’ meaning once submitted for debate over the oral and rhetorical.
We went on to have an excellent afternoon of golf with intermittences of business diatribe.
My friend and I had a conversation of political context founded, at least initially, on differing casual theories of political premise. Whether or not our casual theory can be in part substituted, compromised by supplement, or changed to the contrary from the original is highly unlikely in the short term. But over time, as theories by contesting fail; or the values of personal prospective and cultural inclination change; a person’s casual theory will subordinate to the influence of changing views.
I do believe however, that these casual theories that are intrinsic in all of us voters; like an obligatory software package installed into our brain with little or no evidence of it righteousness or evidence of truthfulness we utilize its context, positively or negatively, as the legitimate intermediary of influence to any political voice.
This power of casual theory has particular mightiness of influence on those susceptible to the collateral perception of political style verses the substantive; these are like the leaves that fall from a tree; where they land depends on the set and drift of the wind. Because government is complex, complicated, and speaks a language designed to encourage ignorance; it is very easy, certainly, easier, to be a leaf in the wind and form a casual theory void of challenge or evidence. But if we allow the comfort of ignorance to dictate the engine of governing; those within the governing elite will substitute ones casual theory with theirs and in time there will be no need for discussing the power of casual theory because there will be none practiced.