What is the one major piece of inaugural speech advice from the Washington wise men to Barack Obama? Avoid ideology, reach out to the center.
My advice to Barack Obama: avoid the wise men. People follow ideologues, not merely practitioners of government.
Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, and Franklin Roosevelt all were guided by ideology, all gave strongly ideological inaugural addresses, and each earned the support of most Americans. On January 20th, Barack Obama should follow the formula set down by Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan in their inaugural speeches: Continue reading
In the movie Wag the Dog, political consultant Conrad Brean (Robert DeNiro) convinces a CIA agent (William H. Macy) not to arrest him for concocting a phony war against Albania. Brean explains that we must always be in a state of war to justify the agent’s existence. “Chuck, this is your way of life, isn’t it? And if there ain’t no war, then you my friend can go home and prematurely take up golf, because there ain’t no war but ours.”
When an incredulous White House aide (Anne Heche) asks Brean how he won over the CIA agent, Brean answers: “Well, he just hadn’t thought it through.” Brean uses this phrase to justify an altered reality. This blog flips the purpose, by using it to shed light on reality. It strikes me that over and again the people of our country permit our government to take actions that are clearly wrong and not in our interests because we the people have just not thought it through. This blog is dedicated to not taking issues at face value – to thinking it through.
Author’s note: I am solely responsible for the views expressed in this blog. The blog’s point of view does not necessarily represent the views of the firm BRS or the opinions of those who work at BRS. There are a number of people, however, who help to edit, refine, and improve the expression of my point of view. These contributors include: Nancy Belden, Kate Stewart, Emma White, Llorin Edwards, Giovanni Russonello, and Christina Lien. — JR