At first glance one might suggest that we have it made. We don’t need to worry about her doing poorly in school, because she knows everything. We don’t need to tell her what she should be doing, because she knows everything. When we tell her about the dangers of having unprotected sex she replies, “Duh!.” When we tell her about the dangers of drinking alcohol or taking drugs she will give us the same reply. What else can I say, she knows everything.
Imagine for a moment my brilliant daughter and her sister sitting in front of the computer one evening. As her sister begins a new game my brilliant daughter responds, “Don’t do that you idiot! Use this key and do this instead. You are so stupid, how are you going to even get out of level one like this?” Of course, my response to this is to tell my daughter that she is being nasty and she shouldn’t belittle her sister like that. And, she quickly retorts, “Well, she deserves it. She is being so stupid. Come here and watch what a moron she is being.”
Obviously the previous scene is a slight exaggeration of reality. However, I am exaggerating to make a point. My brilliant daughter knows quite a bit, and even in her mind she believes that she knows everything. The truth is that she is lacking in one important aspect of life, and that pertains to social skills. She can tell you how you ought to do a number of things, and she will if she sees you doing something wrong. After all, with thirteen years of experience she is currently and expert at life. But, when it comes to dealing with her sister she uses poor judgement. She was completely correct in the fact that she knew how to play the computer game that her sister was just learning. But she did little in the way of teaching her how she should play.
My point here is that being an expert isn’t everything. Many people have become experts by that fact that they perform the same job every day. They certainly have an expertise in that area. But, we all know people who are experts, but they don’t know how they should exercise their expertise. In fact, expertise is a very important attribute that we should strive for, but there are at least two additional attributes that are also important. Judgement and creativity are also quite important.
In recent years it has become fashionable to judge our politicians based on the issues. In most cases however it becomes impossible to choose a politicians that matches squarely with your own personal political agenda. As candidates get weeded out through a series of campaigns the resulting candidates are less likely to match our own personal political agenda. And, we are left with a choice to vote for a candidate that we don’t completely agree with, or not to vote at all.
If we choose to vote, then we must invent new criteria in order to judge the candidates that we don’t completely agree with. One popular method was to pick the candidate that we disliked the least. Each candidate commonly contributed to this by issuing advertising telling us how horrid the other guy was. This type of campaign results in negative attack advertising that wearies the public and pushing the majority into hating politicians in general. A second method to pick between two similar candidates is to base your choice on personality. Of course the personality put forward by the politicians is likely to be created and marketed by people who sell soda pop and potato chips by implying that they are good for you.
The final way to choose a candidate is to look at their personal history and determine whether they exercised good judgement had expertise and used creative ways to solve problems in the past. And this method is most likely the most reliable way to choose a candidate. Of course this is the most difficult and time-consuming way to select a candidate. And, even when you go through all this trouble it is likely that those who choose to use the first two methods will overwhelm your vote. However, in a close election your informed vote just might be the difference needed to put that one guy over the top.
Just think, if people in 2000 had used this method to choose between Al Gore and George W Bush we would have had a completely different history over the last seven years. Al Gore’s “cardboard” personality lost to George W Bush’s “guy you’d like to have a beer with” personality. And we ended up with a guy with no expertise in any function of government. We ended up with a guy who exercised poor judgement in picking his cabinet and advisors. He then continued to exercise poor judgement continually there after. Finally, we ended up with a guy who had absolutely no creative thought in his head. He opted to choose between the ideas submitted by his poorly chosen staff without a thought to modify them in any way. Al Gore may have lacked the personality, but he exercised terrific judgement in his activity to rally people around environmental issues even after he lost the presidential election. Could anyone even imagine George W Bush doing anything after he leaves the White House?
Now I need to go ask my daughter who she thinks is going to be President next year, because she knows everything.
Don't forget what Stephen Colbert said, "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."
Cross Posted @ Bring It On, tblog, Blogger and BlogSpirit