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Whom to Trust at 3 a.m.

By PrMaine  Posted by Paul Cohen (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
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Urged on by the Clinton campaign, the news media has promoted an excess of discussion about who could be trusted with a 3 a.m. call. But in fact that is a very good question: whom should we trust in a dire emergency? Should we not always trust someone with more experience?

Experience is not everything. We have all heard of experienced home builders with a reputation for shoddy workmanship and for cutting costs above any consideration of quality. Would we turn to such a contractor when our home burns down? Despite their extensive experience, probably not. Someone with record of good judgement or even no record at all would seem to be a better choice.

An event in 2003 comes to mind as a very good test of the judgement shown by our representatives in Washington. In the upcoming election season it would serve us well to review how good their judgement was. The event was the authorization of the Iraq war. Wikipedia provides a good summary of the votes on this resolution, including the identification of specific Senators and Congressmen and how they voted. In the house, 215 Republicans and 81 Democrats showed the poor judgement to authorize going to war while 6 Republicans, 126 Democrats and 1 independent showed the good judgement not to authorize the war. In the Senate, 48 Republicans and 29 Democrats demonstrated poor judgement while 1 Republican, 21 Democrats and 1 independent showed the good judgement to vote against authorizing the mad rush to war.

Many of the politicians who led us into war now recognize that their vote was a mistake and a few will even admit it. But they are apt to argue that "No one knew then what we know now", or perhaps, "Everyone favored going to war then". But of course this ignores the millions of people around the world, including at least hundreds of thousands of people just in New York who filled streets to protest the war that the Bush administration was so intent on launching. And it was quite clear to many people on the street that the authorization would in fact lead to war.

Congressmen and Senators who voted for the war resolution should be retired from their positions in government and they certainly should not be put into positions of even greater responsibility and authority. It is time for new people to take over from people who have so clearly demonstrated their poor judgement.
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Attended college thanks to the generous state support of education in 1960's America. Earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois followed by post doctoral research positions at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. (more...)

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