For Democrats, the proof is in the telling, not the pudding

Governor Jan Brewer had an awful debate in Arizona the other night. She was tongue-tied for sixteen seconds, in an otherwise lackluster performance. She has enough support in the State to get over this stumble because the people of the State admire her steadfastness, and her position on the issues, particularly those of immigration. In this, she has become a metaphor for the difference between modern liberals and conservatives, and their representative parties.

For the Democrat, being at a loss for words, is tantamount to a deadly sin. While conservatives have always valued eloquence , there has also been the realization that a gift with words is only a superficial quality; other things being more important-integrity, honor, ideas, character, that sort of thing. At one time this was true of Democrats as well, but their modern day reincarnation has gone upside down on this issue. Glibness seems to trump everything else. Jan Brewer is not glib . As some people are "heavy on their feet," she is "heavy on her words." Same with Sarah Palin. Her words come out slowly and deliberately, tinged with the accent of the north woods ; an accent that, on both Coasts, implies "dumbness."

Both women have paid a price for this lack of verbal fluidity, but the public has come to see these women as something other than mangled sentences . Unfortunately, for the most part, the mainstream media has not--glibness,in effect, is their God.
The Democratic party is a worshiper of words. It has become dominated by sophists; those who can argue just about anything , on just about everything. They also believe in just about nothing, except their own self-interest. The ancient Greeks first identified these people, and labeled them as such, holding them in low esteem.

Not now. Today, they dominate a political party. If a political movement could be thought of as a religion, trial lawyers would be the "Saints" of the Democratic party. Other "word worshipers" also exist in the media , advertising, Hollywood, non-profits, academia, and government--each integral to the parties base. They live in Cambridge, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Madison, Austin : enclaves dominated by tenured liberal arts majors where the only thing that matters is the argument. Such is the nature of their disciplines that the outcome of any argument is never known, nor is the consequence relevant to much of anything.

Those who toil in English, history, philosophy, psychology, political science, and the like, can only advance by a well crafted point of view. And many have done very well for themselves. Their arguments, by necessity, dominate their professional journals, and are the keys to their success. But reliance on these virtues and values in a political movement is less than ideal. There is often no right and wrong; not in the same way as there is with the hard sciences and engineering. Experimental results have to be verified, and wrong engineering results in, for example, a bridge that falls down.

Sara Palin remarked on the virtue of being a fisherman. Paraphrasing her, she states that those who fish know that it's only dead fish that "go with the flow." She could also have pointed out that no matter the fluidity of the words, and the quality of the argument, the fish are just not going to jump into the boat. In fact, it's best to be quiet on the water. Same with a farmer. A word worshiper can stand in the field all day, talking endlessly, but the corn doesn't care.

Early in President Obama's term, I witnessed a debate on one of those lessor political debate shows Two second tier pundits, from either side of the isle, were going at it. The debate concerned the wisdom of the stimulus bill. The conservative was being pummeled. His opponent was using words on him like sledgehammers, with wonderful, fully crafted arguments, which by now, we have all heard, and could recite verbatim. Finally the conservative replied " well, the proof will be in the pudding". Whoa that was unfair! Results do matter. The liberal was stunned by this response, the moderator taken back (not the least because he had time to fill). Outcomes are important--the pudding is indeed important. Not necessarily all is in the beauty of the telling.


Governor Jan Brewer had an awful debate in Arizona the other night. She was tongue-tied for sixteen seconds, in an otherwise lackluster performance. She has enough support in the State to get over this stumble because the people of the State admire her steadfastness, and her position on the issues, particularly those of immigration. In this, she has become a metaphor for the difference between modern liberals and conservatives, and their representative parties.

For the Democrat, being at a loss for words, is tantamount to a deadly sin. While conservatives have always valued eloquence , there has also been the realization that a gift with words is only a superficial quality; other things being more important-integrity, honor, ideas, character, that sort of thing. At one time this was true of Democrats as well, but their modern day reincarnation has gone upside down on this issue. Glibness seems to trump everything else. Jan Brewer is not glib . As some people are "heavy on their feet," she is "heavy on her words." Same with Sarah Palin. Her words come out slowly and deliberately, tinged with the accent of the north woods ; an accent that, on both Coasts, implies "dumbness."

Both women have paid a price for this lack of verbal fluidity, but the public has come to see these women as something other than mangled sentences . Unfortunately, for the most part, the mainstream media has not--glibness,in effect, is their God.

The Democratic party is a worshiper of words. It has become dominated by sophists; those who can argue just about anything , on just about everything. They also believe in just about nothing, except their own self-interest. The ancient Greeks first identified these people, and labeled them as such, holding them in low esteem.

Not now. Today, they dominate a political party. If a political movement could be thought of as a religion, trial lawyers would be the "Saints" of the Democratic party. Other "word worshipers" also exist in the media , advertising, Hollywood, non-profits, academia, and government--each integral to the parties base. They live in Cambridge, Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Madison, Austin : enclaves dominated by tenured liberal arts majors where the only thing that matters is the argument. Such is the nature of their disciplines that the outcome of any argument is never known, nor is the consequence relevant to much of anything.

Those who toil in English, history, philosophy, psychology, political science, and the like, can only advance by a well crafted point of view. And many have done very well for themselves. Their arguments, by necessity, dominate their professional journals, and are the keys to their success. But reliance on these virtues and values in a political movement is less than ideal. There is often no right and wrong; not in the same way as there is with the hard sciences and engineering. Experimental results have to be verified, and wrong engineering results in, for example, a bridge that falls down.

Sara Palin remarked on the virtue of being a fisherman. Paraphrasing her, she states that those who fish know that it's only dead fish that "go with the flow." She could also have pointed out that no matter the fluidity of the words, and the quality of the argument, the fish are just not going to jump into the boat. In fact, it's best to be quiet on the water. Same with a farmer. A word worshiper can stand in the field all day, talking endlessly, but the corn doesn't care.

Early in President Obama's term, I witnessed a debate on one of those lessor political debate shows Two second tier pundits, from either side of the isle, were going at it. The debate concerned the wisdom of the stimulus bill. The conservative was being pummeled. His opponent was using words on him like sledgehammers, with wonderful, fully crafted arguments, which by now, we have all heard, and could recite verbatim. Finally the conservative replied " well, the proof will be in the pudding". Whoa that was unfair! Results do matter. The liberal was stunned by this response, the moderator taken back (not the least because he had time to fill). Outcomes are important--the pudding is indeed important. Not necessarily all is in the beauty of the telling.


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