[Paleopsych] souls, Kerry and Bush

Werbos, Dr. Paul J. paul.werbos at verizon.net
Mon Sep 13 11:56:08 UTC 2004

Good morning!

Two comments.

First, a clarification of my last email. I was trying hard NOT to give
my personal views of who Bush and Kerry really are.

In all honesty -- I had decided maybe two weeks before that the measurable
(if still fuzzy) preponderance of logical evidence favors Kerry for now. 
For example, Kerry's energy
proposal includes ELEMENTS of what could really save us (the flexible and 
hybrid vehicle plan);
that, combined with action in other parts of the world, could give us some 
real hope and provide a basis
for further development in a positive direction. He has been trying to move 
in the right direction.
The Bush team responses to his plan -- that its hopeless even to try, that 
we need to give
more pork barrel and tax breaks to our friends first (in effect, holding 
Congress hostage --
"You can't get what YOU want, saving the American people, unless you triple 
or protection money first)...
well, that logic seemed clear. On the US economy and the deficit, I found 
myself agreeing 100 percent
with the Economist. And on war -- Cheney's comments about "sensitivity" 
really drove me up a tree;
it is a commitment to a way of thinking that would have lost every war the 
US has ever been involved in!
I am reminded of enthusiastic football fans who just say "push them harder" 
without having the slightest idea of what
is going on down at the ground level. (And indeed, I see certain erosions 
even in US military capability
as a result of what some people think is a "stronger" policy.) I think 
Liddell-Hart once had
things to say about stuff like Pickett's charge... the grand macho 
brainless utter losers.

OK... but the voice of the American people has said something else. And 
that's a voice we all do well to listen to.
And the polls are only very, very fuzzy that way... focus groups epsilon 
better... but best is a deeper kind
of listening.

There was an email here citing Bloom's view of the soul. With al due 
respect, I differ. I doubt I
can do justice to that before breakfast and going to work.. but I'll try a bit.

I use the word "Quaker" (and, at times when people can process two tricky 
words, "Quaker Universalist.").
I believe there is something very real about the practice of listening. So 
my last email was some
attempt to exercise that faculty, at a time where it is especially challenging.

In fact -- there is more.

I sense a perception out there that Bush may be 50 percent crony-hypocrisy, 
30 percent utter corruption
and immorality, and 20 percent really trying to listen to an inner 
spiritual voice himself. I also sense
a perception that Kerry is only 10 percent corruption, but 90 percent 
Which is to say that keeping one's friends smiling is the biggest part of 
either man's motivation.
People don't like the hyprocrisy and corruption part -- though they may not 
realize just how heavy the costs are --
but they feel that Bush is more or less "on the job" (as much as he will 
ever be), and they feel that the 20 percent
really counts for a lot. (I would put the anti-abortion stuff in there with 
the hypocrisy, of course, as
I would with all religious leaders who waste energy on the same 
distractions, in a world still full
of starvation and pain and -- more serious -- credible threat of far 
worse.) Bush is somewhat
engaged, in a watered down, with the Excalibur kind of thing -- not at a 
high level, really, but Kerry
has yet to engage in the same way. He has BEEN engaged that way in the 
past, I think.
His role in Vietnam showed that. How to combine thoughtfulness with that 
kind of immersion?
I think that is part of the challenge to him, to do better with people. 
Just a guess.
But then again, maybe the fuzzy low-energy images need to be worked on. The 
"I would do EVERYTHING different" (on Iraq) really helped, in my view... 
but... that was only
one episode.

And of course, there is room for Bush to do better as well. As I said last 
time, the little hints of simplifying
taxes instead of just handing out gobs to specific friends... It would have 
been better yet to convince
people he had turned over more of a new leaf, ala McCain and cutting into 
corporate welfare
(indeed, the kinds of things Rubin talked about at the democratic 
convention, where the
Republican response was "Can he really do it? WILL he? Or is it empty words 
another craven wimp, no better than oour guy on such maters?" ). Maybe it 
wouldn't hurt for
Kerry to emphasize that he would cooperate hard with McCain ANYWAY, if elected,
to get the bipartisan coalition needed to really throw the money-changers 
out of the temple,
that he would not run such a partisan administration...

And again, as I said before, the growing world pessimism about was between 
Islam ad the rest of the world
is also a factor in these elections.

But... time to run...
Best of luck to us all...


More information about the paleopsych mailing list