Monday, August 09, 2004

Decision Making and Friends

A tidbit of my current thinking about the upcoming election. This post was generated by thinking about the article about John Kerry. With a tip of the hat to Paul for recommending it.

Why you should vote for George Bush:
The president tends to go back to first principles. He strips each issue down to its essentials and presents arguments in black and white, right or wrong. He makes decisions easily, and moves on.
And I like the idea of trying to look at the world in a black and white view.

Why you should vote for John Kerry:
In making decisions, his [Kerry's] approach is deliberate. He marshals material exhaustively, immerses himself in details, and forms judgments on a balance of competing evidence. At their best, such thought processes reveal a wide-ranging, diligent mind, sensitive to nuance, complexity and fine distinctions.
And I think the country needs a leader who understands the world is not black and white, but our choices are usually a series of muddled greys; that tough choices must be made and the thinking through to that decision is not always easy. But note the next line to the last quote,

At their worst, they [Kerry's thought processes] can be nitpicking and ambivalent, unable to see the wood for the trees.

So where does that leave us? I think part of the answer is to look at the candidates through filters. In this case the filter of their associates.

Why you should not vote for George Bush:
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Card, et al. These highly placed advisors are running an agenda that is highly combative, unwilling to admit to errors, and unwilling to correct the mistakes that have been made. President Bush has, in my mind, trusted and empowered them too much, allowing them to help him distill the issues to the black and white decisions he makes. The problem is not in doing this, but in not checking them when they should have been.

Why you should not vote for John Kerry:
He doesn't have friends. Not in the Senate, not in his homestate, not in his fellow veterans. He has advisors, and probably good ones, but where are the old friends? It's hard for me to trust a man who is so insular, who is not close to his staff. I think this trait will harm his staff, and the executive branch is a really big staff, in doing their job.

Conclusion: I see no reason yet to change my current plan, the write-in candidate "None of the Above."

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