L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

I figured that sentiment–which I always associated with General Patton but which Wikipedia (that electronic fount of knowledge) assures me is paraphrased from Georges Danton–was appropriate, or ironic, or maybe appropriately ironic with respect to finally clawing my way to the end of Senator Obama’s THE AUDACITY OF HOPE.

It’s audacious, alright.

My take on the book is the same as my observation in a religious discussion a few days ago: it’s interesting that, like eyewitnesses to an event, different people can look at the same thing but see it differently and draw different conclusions about it. Point of view has a lot to do with it, whether because of differences in light and shadow and angle in a live event or because of differences of temperament and education and experience in the case of politics.

My frustration with the book was that as soon as I found some point on which I started to agree with the Senator, he took that point to an extreme I didn’t think was warranted or in a direction that I could no longer follow. But it seems that today politics is much more a game of extremes than it used to be, and I am too much a moderate.

Then there were little things, like this indication of a sort of underlying distrust of the populace, from p. 185:

… if we can prevent diseases from occurring or manage their effects through simple interventions like making sure patients control their diets or take their medications regularly, we can dramatically improve patient outcomes and save the system a great deal of money.

It’s unclear if the Senator has thought through the implications of “making sure” people do anything: it’s one step removed from “making” people do something, which is right in line with the kind of fascism people accuse the current administration of practicing. Is the force of the state going to be used to ensure people take their medications, or eat a certain kind of diet? If so, what else will the state try to control?

We can do with a lot less of that kind of audacity.

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