I’LL BE GOOD

childrenThere are times I get so baffled by a commenter I don’t know what to think. So I left this at the end of my last comment for  Scout.

The current administration has put a lot into border security? If you actually believe that, …. What’s the point of discussing this issue with you? (from here)

I am so amazed that people still believe the lies coming out of the Obama administration it dumbfounds me.  is not stupid, but he still takes what Obama says seriously. Why? Let’s look at the first part of ‘s reply.  We can consider the rest of it this weekend.

The RPV “Creed” is so vague and general that it says nothing. A lot of people could subscribe to that, including Democrats. (Are Democrats RINOs)?

You frequently speak of a klepto-ruling class, including in the last graph of your 0958 comment and in the most recent comment where you ask when you asked where you spoke of such a thing. Read what you write. It’s right there under your nose. This is a recurring theme with you. I agree with it in some respects (i.e., I agree that there are limits on how much pols should be able to buy votes with taxpayor dollars), but I think my view of it is a bit more variegated than yours. (from here)

Here is the RPV Creed. Is it vague? No. Do Democrats subscribe to it? No. So why does  think so little of the RPV Creed? Let’s look at the definition of term platitude.

Platitude \Plat”i*tude\, n. [F., from plat flat. See Plate.]
1. The quality or state of being flat, thin, or insipid; flat
commonness; triteness; staleness of ideas of language.

To hammer one golden grain of wit into a sheet of
infinite platitude.                   –Motley.

2. A thought or remark which is flat, dull, trite, or weak; a
truism; a commonplace.

Read the definition. It sounds like the problem with a platitude is repetition, but that is not exactly true. Repetition does not render words meaningless. We render words meaningless by not meaning what we are saying.

Imagine you have a small child, and that child misbehaves. So you punish and scold the child, and the child responds with these words:  “I’ll be good.” That simple phrase either summarizes a thousand platitudes, or it rings with truth. Either the child spouts the words just to avoid punishment, or the child feels remorse and honestly wants to be good.

Our politicians work for us. When they spout platitudes, are we offended by their words? Is the problem is with the words? Isn’t the problem the fact we don’t believe they mean what they are saying? Yet our politicians spout those platitudes, and it seems that the man with the most prolific platitude generator wins our vote.

We elect our rulers. If we are being lead by a klepto-ruling class, then it is because we have become a klepto-people. We have allowed the truths the founders of this nation honored to become flat, thin, and insipid. Even the oath we require of our elected leaders has become  dull, trite, and weak. It is a commonplace truism our leaders give the Constitution little serious consideration.

So what’s the point of discussing this issue with ? We are all God’s creatures. We are all sinners. And we all play a role in shaping each others conscience. And when we discuss what matters we can hold each other accountable, and that includes the sinners we choose to lead this nation.

Want a good read? Check out The Human Conscience from Settled In
Heaven
.

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About Citizen Tom

I am just an average citizen interested in promoting informed participation in the political process.
This entry was posted in Culture War, Information Warfare, Philosophy, President Barack Obama, religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to I’LL BE GOOD

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Interesting indeed. Very strong views on Obama, I note. I don’t know enough to comment, but appreciated the read.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      Thank you for visiting and your comment.

      I gather you are not from the United States. I have strong views about Obama, but he is just a symptom, not the problem. We do not have to elect so many corrupt leaders, but we have done so. Now we have to figure out why we did it and what to do about it.

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      • WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

        Hmm, well let’s hope there’s enough in that “we” to effect positive change.

        I’m from Australia. Believe me, we have problems – people smuggling boats arriving on our shores 3 times last week, & women and children drowned.

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        • Citizen Tom says:

          Sounds like you have the same problem we have with refugees from Cuba and Haiti. Best to help them where they already live — if we can.

          Can we effect positive change? Sin, that universal human failing, stands in the way. Only Christ Jesus provides a remedy. So we must put our faith in Him.

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  2. phadde2 says:

    Well as you have read in my post, Citizen Tom, those who persist that there is a separation of church and state would easily be appalled by the creed. As I read the creed the ending really spoke to me since in the perception of my region, Democrat ran Illinois, we typically have to choose from either a liberal progressive or a liberal republican what many call a RINO.

    In my opinion the mainstream GOP and it’s current leaders are losing the battle because they have chosen to sacrifice their principles to pander for more votes. You have Rubio who is getting on board with immigration laws, You had a republican help co-author a gun bill that was unconstitutional. Why do many conservatives turn to Tea party republicans? Because those conservatives are now willing to turn to anyone who has at least seemed to have read the U.S. Constitution. Someone who believes in legislation as long as it abides by the document. A statesman who rejects judicial activism.

    Unfortunately, we have an uneducated voting mass in this nation, that I fear will vote Clinton to be the next president. They will ignore the botched job as secretary of state, and concede to allow her to become president. The Republicans do not have a leader in their party that in my opinion can challenge her, and the liberal following. The media is controlled by liberals, and RINOs. So any who seek to challenge with true conservatism will either be ignored or blasted in the media.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      phadde2 – Thank you for your comment.

      I reacted to the creed similarly. It is one of the reasons I chose to live in Virginia. Is it not strange that Maryland and Virginia border each other, but their governments are still quite different.

      Up to a point I agree with your analysis. I don’t think our problems stem from an uneducated voting mass. I think our problems stem from what we believe. When the United States was founded, many people either could not read or could not read well. Nonetheless, these people made our republic work, and I believe they did so because of the God and the beliefs they honored. The refused to tolerate any leaders willing to sacrifice his principles and pander to them. And we need to get back to that point.

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  3. Teresa Rice says:

    Hey Citizen Tom. Dropping by to let you know that I nominated you for the Most Influential Blogger Award. http://catholibertarian.com/2013/07/25/the-most-influential-blogger-award/

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  4. Scout says:

    Let’s put it this way, Tom. What is it about the budgets, personnel, number of raids on businesses, deportations, etc. in the previous Bush, Clinton, Bush I, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy Administrations that make you think the current Administration is doing a worse job than they or is in some way slacking off from the standards they set. You clearly think this Administration is decidedly worse at dealing with immigration than its modern day predecessors. You must have a basis for that strongly held view. I am very persuadable when someone offers a rational, fact-based argument. Have a go at it, man.

    RE the RPV creed, I take it that you are saying that it fits the definition of a platitude (or at least you offer up that dictionary definition). I think we are in general agreement that it is somewhat platitudinous. My major complaint, however, is that it really is not a useful “RINO” catcher in that a lot of people who are not faithful, active Republicans, could subscribe to the generalities of the Creed and still be something altogether different than self-identified Rs. I had questioned the utility of the term RINO that you had used in the earlier post on the grounds that it only seems to crop up when the user tires of exchanging ideas on the details of policy discussion. The first one to use the term offensively seems to be the one who walks away from the substance of a discussion. I find the term utterly meaningless and more than a bit suspect.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      Scout – With respect to the Obama administration policy on immigration, I am just responding to a repeated assertion you have made.

      You wrote this bit of sarcasm on January 23, 2012.

      Your Obama love in the last sentence is a little odd in this space (I wasn’t expecting that), but I take your point that this administration has been far more aggressive in dealing with illegal immigration than any of its predecessors in the last 50 years or so. I guess my counter-point would be that, despite the very strong campaign at increasing border security and rounding up illegal workers, Obama’s efforts have dealt only with the complete failures of the existing system and have done nothing to fundamentally address revisions of that system. (from http://citizentom.com/2012/01/21/what-is-conservatism/#comment-24233

      Far more aggressive? Yet you have never bothered to support that assertion.

      You also said this on February 14, 2013.

      The last Administration to be as aggressive about arresting illegal employees and border security was the Eisenhower’s. By my reckoning, that adds up to decades. Yes, I expect you to take me seriously on that point. It’s empirically verifiable. (from http://citizentom.com/2013/02/12/eric-holder-banning-homeschooling-doesnt-violate-fundamental-rights/#comment-34376)

      You made an assertion. I just said I don’t believe it. Since you may the claim, it is up to you to prove it. Why don’t you offer proof?

      Does the RPV Creed fit the definition of a platitude? Didn’t you read what I said? Repetition does not render words meaningless. We render words meaningless by not meaning what we are saying. Consider your own words.

      I am very persuadable when someone offers a rational, fact-based argument.

      Are you really? Consider what we are discussing. With respect to this topic, your beliefs are not srongly held? How many mature adults are easily persuaded from strongly held beliefs?

      We best change the world with a good example. If you don’t think anyone should use the term RINO, don’t use it. If you can find a better term to describe the GOP leadership, I will happily adopt it.

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  5. novascout says:

    I think people should use whatever words they want Tom. My point isn’t about use, it’s about effectiveness. RINO to me conveys very little other than an R that another R doesn’t like or disagrees with on an issue. As I noted above, it usually gets trotted out as an offensive (as in going on offense) pejorative, and it usually happens at the point in a policy discussion where the user gets frustrated with facts and reasoning. Based on that observation, I find it a meaningless term.

    I strongly believe in collecting facts, data, and all available, reliable information to use as a basis for informed policy, particularly where it affects complex political or social issues. That is a strong belief of mine.

    If you force me to use a word for current GOP leadership, I would use something like “clueless” or unimpressive. Leaders often have a quality of confidence and clear thought that radiates out from them. I don’t see much of that around these days.

    On the immigration front, I think my view that this Administration has been more active than its predecessors post-Eisenhower, bears up rather well. As I said in the comment that you helpfully re-published above, they have been more focused on cleaning up messes than at any long-term solutions, but they certainly have devoted a lot more resources to border control and to enforcement in workplaces. I don’t represent that things are lovely – we certainly need a clean slate approach to immigration issues, but, if one’s complaint is about aggressive enforcement, whether one likes this Administration or not, one has to acknowledge that they have been more active on that front. I may have mentioned earlier that I drove the border from Nogales to El Paso in 2010 and could not believe the number of visible CPB personnel, and the array of equipment that was posted all along that isolated stretch. Most of thatthat build-up came post January 2009. Ditto the workplace raids all over the country.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      I am sorry you do not like the term RINO, but I cannot please everyone.

      On the immigration front, you have yet to make your case. You used these words.

      It’s empirically verifiable.

      All I see are empty assertions of fact.

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  6. novascout says:

    I’m not accepting homework assignments this weekend, Tom. I’m out of town on a family frolic. I may humour you when I return next week, but, if and when I do, I’ll expect you to reciprocate. My question to you has been what data or other information lead you to question whether the Obama Administration has been more active on the immigration enforcement front than its predecessors. I’ve at least provided you with some generic and anecdotal information supporting my position. Again, I’m not asking you to praise Obama on this front – his crowd is really just managing a huge cock-up that has accumulated over a very long time. But I would be interested in the factual basis for your apparent perception that somehow we have backslid on this issue in the current Administration.

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    • Citizen Tom says:

      What you have provided is at best a pretty word dance. Sophistry. As I said, you write well, but your words are empty of substance.

      Anyway, enjoy your time with your family, and may our Lord bless you.

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  7. scout says:

    The words are all I can muster in this medium. I tend to think that they have some meaning and are not “empty” in any objective sense. But I have no control over how they impact others. I suspect my words are no more “empty” than any others in this thread.

    Slightly deviating, today’s lesson at my Mother’s church was from Hebrews 13: “Be not forforgetful to entertainstrangers; for therby some have entertained angels unawares.” etc.

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