Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bush Admits Failure - (Devil's Advocate)

Devil's Advocate:

Perhaps the government response was exactly what it should have been. What I hear most in the media and among those talking about it is that the response was slow. But was it really? What would have been a timely response? Is there even an answer for that. I'm sure there would be many different answers. But let's say we (the media, public) could agree what a timely response would have been. Could the gov't have even done it in that time?

If we expect a sprinter to run 100 meters in 8 sec flat we are disappointed when he runs 9.5 sec flat. Never mind that he just broke the world record. (Disclosure: I don't actually know what the world record is for the 100 meters.) He failed in our eyes because he didn't meet (or beat) or expectation. The reality is that we will probably never see an 8 sec sprinter in our lifetime. Perhaps we were expecting our gov't to be an 8 sec sprinter and were disappointed when all it did was run 9.5.

I know that when big tragic events occur peoples' response is emotional more than rational. And we are all influenced by the mob mentality. (Ask any Indian or Pakistani person if they were harassed after the 9/11 attacks. A totally irrational yet emotional response to two groups of people that had nothing more in common with the terrorists other than their shade of skin.) "Group-think" in action. The American media is the biggest group-think leader in the world. When they began to say the response was slow, we (the public) bought in without really any question. But perhaps when looking at it "unemotionally", we are expecting too much.

Bush's response to the criticism then is to admit to a "slow" response when actually the gov'ts response was as fast as any gov't could "run" under these conditions. If he knows that they could not have done better, then his admission is totally propaganda driven. Admitting to something you know is false just to appease your constituents' irrational expectations of you is...well...political. But perhaps being political is exactly what he should be doing.


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