Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wishing Won't Make It So

Intentions, according to the Chronicle, are all that matter. So long as Obama's policies and legislative agenda is intended to benefit Americans, the actual results that we will experience are irrelevant:

A new Gallup poll shows that only 44 percent of Americans approve of Obama's overall performance in office, his lowest rating to date, while 48 percent disapprove. According to a CBS poll, almost two-thirds of Americans feel that the president's economic programs have not affected them personally, and only 13 percent say they have helped. 

Why such negative reactions to measures aimed at improving Americans' lives, and after such public outrage at fat-cat Wall Street profligates? 
The Chronicle assumes, and certainly wants us to believe, that because the law is "aimed" at improving our lives, it will in fact do so. Why, the paper wants to know, are we so ungrateful for all of these great things that our benefactors are doing for us? It isn't fair, the paper chides, to berate Obama before we see how his policies play out:
As with health care, the implementation of financial reform will be a long, arduous endeavor with uncertain outcomes. But you have to give the guy credit. He's no fool, and is well aware of the toll his sweeping measures have taken on his approval ratings. 

So maybe we should cut him some slack, and take him at his word when he says, as he did earlier this month, "I know it doesn't poll well. But it's the right thing to do for America."
For the Chronicle the outcomes of health care and financial "reform" are uncertain.  Having abandoned principles, the paper is incapable of evaluating any policy or proposal ahead of time. We must try it, see it if "works", and return to the drawing board if it doesn't. Without principles, the future is a vast, unchartered wasteland in which any might happen. And so, we are urged to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because he claims that his policies are the "right thing to do."

The Chronicle's pragmatism does more than blind it to the future consequences of Obama's agenda. It renders the paper incapable of learning anything from the past. That RomneyCare--after which ObamaCare was modeled--has been a complete failure in Massachusetts is irrelevant. That was there and then; this is here and now. That the Federal Reserve was created to prevent an economic collapse is ancient history with no bearing on the events of today. That government intervention into the economy has failed everywhere does not matter--Obama's stated intentions are allegedly good and that is all that matters.

Fundamentally, the paper is arguing that wishes and desires can and will transform reality. If Obama's wish is to provide affordable health care to all Americans, any means he chooses will suffice. If Obama's wish is to "protect" the economy from greater calamity, the specific actions he takes do not matter. We are not to consider anything except his wishes and stated desires.

We might excuse a young child who throws a temper tantrum in an attempt to transform his wishes and desires into reality. Such a child simply has not learned that no matter how much he wants something, wishing won't make it so. Apparently, that is a lesson that the Chronicle's editorial board has yet to learn.

1 comment:

AMAI said...

Well said, Brian. And also: good catch. Those same words, "aimed at," are used in connection with every government attempt to manipulate the economy into "behaving."

Until people comprehend that the initiation of force does not work no matter who tries it, they will be caught by "surprise" each and every time such policies fail.