The presidential debates with Obama and Romney having debated twice and Biden and Ryan having debated once, as of this writing October 19, 2012, show how difficult it is for humans to comprehend the political worlds in which they live.
Some of this article was originally published September 18, 2012 in my eBook Recommendations for Waking Up From the American Nightmare.
One of the best ideas for comprehending democratic case method problem-solving processes I have encountered was created and presented by Buckminster Fuller on page 70 of his great 1969 book: Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth:
“Thinking itself consists of self-disciplined dismissal of both the macrocosmic and microcosmic irrelevancies, which leaves only the lucidly relevant considerations. The macrocosmic irrelevancies are all the events too large and too infrequent to be synchronizably-tuneable in any possible way with our consideration. The microcosmic irrelevancies are all the events which are obviously too small and too frequent to be differentially resolved in any way or to be synchronizably-tuneable within the lucidly-relevant wave-frequency limits of the system we are considering.
“How many stages of dismissal of irrelevancies does it take—that is, proceeding from “universe” as I defined it, how many bits does it take—lucidly to isolate all the geodesic inter-relations of all the “star” identities in the constellation under consideration? The answer is the formula (N2-N)/2 where N is the number of stars in the thought-discerned constellation of focal point entities comprising the problem.
“Comprehension” means identifying all the most uniquely economical inter- relations of the focal point entities involved. We may say then that:
“Comprehension = (N2-N)/2
“Einstein and others have spoken exclusively about the physical department of universe in words, which may be integrated and digested as the ‘aggregate of nonsimultaneous and only partially overlapping, nonidentical, but always complementary, omni- transforming, and weighable energy events.’ Eddington defines science as ‘the earnest attempt to set in order the facts of experience.’
Both sides in the presidential debates are focusing on pretty much the same considerations thanks to the debate moderators, who may or may not be focusing on the most relevant considerations, determined by the questions they decide to ask, but the process is anything but scientific.
In my opinion the major consideration in the debates is how the debaters think the focal point entities or relevant considerations facing the US logically and dynamically interrelate and how honest they are saying what the actually think and believe about these matters. Buckminster Fuller assumed people were honest about what they really thought in the process of getting at the truth of the matter regarding human systems, such as the US economy. His model has nothing to say about people who lie about what they believe about the relevance of considerations and their interrelations to manipulate people into voting for them.
Both Romney and Ryan seem to agree the budget deficit is a focal point entity worthy of consideration. They have said they can cure it by reducing the taxes of the upper class and the middle and lower classes without cutting military expenditures by eliminating tax loopholes for all classes (not saying those loopholes include mortgage interest for the middle and lower classes) and by cutting programs for the middle and lower classes, whatever that entails. Both Obama and Biden have pointed out they think this cannot be done mathematically. I think the whole idea is absurd and preposterous. If you believe it, as Biden pointed out regarding one or another absurd idea dispensed by Ryan in their debate, you are a good prospect for buying the Brooklyn Bridge at a bargain price to get rich beyond your wildest dreams.
Obama and Biden want to cure the US federal budget problem by increasing the taxes of the upper class and large corporations and by cutting expenses, including military expenses, which seems sensible to me, having a chance to actually work.
Needless to say I think Obama’s and Biden’s comprehension of the overall system greatly exceeds that of Romney and Ryan, assuming Romney and Ryan actually believe what they say they believe, especially about budgets and debt. In my mind if you promise people something that cannot be delivered, such as balancing the budget by cutting tax rates for all classes, maintaining military expenditures at their current levels, cutting expenses for the middle and lower classes, and removing tax loopholes, as Romney and Ryan are now saying, you are in my opinion, lying, or seriously obtuse.
On the other hand, Romney has by now changed what he says he believes about what he considers relevant considerations and their interrelations so many times no one knows for sure what he believes about anything, except that he believes in God, family and American apple pie in the sky.
Furthermore, I think mainstream media pundits are lying or obtuse when they say the debates so far have been won by Romney and tied by Ryan. Romney and Ryan may have won or tied their debates considering only their emotional impact on infantilized credulous narcissistic viewers of the debates, but they did not win or tie the debates in the minds of serious thinking people who can remember a few facts and understand simple arithmetic.
Unfortunately, after the second presidential debate last night October 16, 2012, I am now afraid Romney has won the match in the 8th round and Obama might was well throw in the towel.
It appears Romney is dominating the presidential debates in the minds of most viewers by spinning plausible-sounding stories on the fly, throwing them at his opponent in a flurry of jabs, as if fighting in a championship boxing match, landing damaging body blows with zeal and moral force, with the relish and excitement of an Elmer Gantry.
I had not seen this behavior in Romney before the presidential debates. He is presenting himself as a different person compared with the way he presented himself in the Republican primary debates. In those debates he appeared stumbling and timorous with little inclination or ability to throw damaging punches. In the presidential debates Romney resembles at times a hungry carnivore, ripping into his prey for another meal, salivating at the prospect of making another killing with millions of suckers.
As I pointed out in my book Business Voyages, I thought Romney would win the presidential part up for grabs at American Central Casting in 2008 because of his patriarchal patrician looks, having been bred and born to be president by a sire with presidential genes and scripts. For some reason his persona did not work in his 2008 primary debates and stump speeches, but it is now. In these presidential debates he’ll probably captivate enough votes to win the top American idol role in the greatest reality show on Earth, The President of The United States of America.
I heard in Mainstream Media-land the day after the first debate October 11, 2012, Romney was then leading in some polls after trailing about five points because of women falling in love with him. But now it appears additional white men have decided they like him. According to Arun Gupta and Michelle Fawcett in The Progressive at [ http://truth-out.org/news/item/12123-romney-appeals-to-white-tribalism-in-ohio ], on October 15, Romney has created a white tribalism following among middle and lower class voters who believe Obama should have solved all their problems for them in four years and who have found new faith in Romney’s free market, drill baby drill, billionaires are good for you snake oil.
It appears such people apparently could care less about what problems Obama has solved or ameliorated for all US citizens since 2008; the only thing apparently they care about is what problems Obama has solved or ameliorated for them personally.
Unfortunately, regardless of the issue or problem it seems Romney has the capability in these debates, with one to go, to spin a plausible-sounding story apparently off the top of his head contorting and twisting facts and contexts in such a way as to appeal to people lacking a sound grasp of the facts of the overall case, said with a Billy Graham-like self-righteous fervor, even resembling Billy Graham preaching to the multitudes on TV, selling his free market religion. Romney even boasted in the second debate he had been a “pastor” ten years and God was very important to him.
I did not know Mormon’s had pastors. I thought they called their preachers patriarchs. In any case, all voters should read before the election William John Cox’s new eBook Mitt Romney and the Mormon Church: Questions, available free to Kindle readers at [ http://www.amazon.com].
In my opinion we do not need a Mormon savior as president of the United States, regardless of how perfect Romney might be based on his screen test at American Central Casting for selling narcissistic reality shows, video movies and stories in MSM-land to credulous, infantilized, narcissistic people.
I wonder what Jesus, the poor bedraggled carpenter who never married or had children who disdained riches who detested money changers who said his followers should give everything they had to the poor and follow after him to enter the kingdom of heaven who said people should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, i.e. pay their fair share of taxes to governments, would think about Romney’s emotions, sayings, economic beliefs and behaviors exposed in the 2012 presidential election?
I am almost certain my world will have been better off had Mitt Romney retired to his mansions to devote the rest of his life to wine, women and song, after getting filthy rich in middle age as a vulture capitalist, like Hugh Heffner, after he took in all the money he wanted and needed publishing Playboy Magazine.
Shakespeare’s line from Macbeth sums up Romney’s economic story told in the presidential debates: “It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
But, unfortunately, it could get him elected president of the United States.
Richard John Stapleton is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship and small business who writes on business and politics at www.effectivelearning.net. He may be contacted at email@example.com.