05/11/2005: Children and Veggies...
Brussel Sprouts by Thomas Friedman (telling a story of a girl who theoretically "like" Brussels Sprouts - just not enough to actually EAT them) shows why --Like so many things in life -- it’s hard to get some people to eat their vegetables:
"...North Korea's nuclear program could be stopped tomorrow by the country that provides roughly half of North Korea's energy and one-third of its food supplies - and that is China.
All China has to say to Kim Jong Il is: "You will shut down your nuclear weapons program and put all your reactors under international inspection, or we will turn off your lights, cut off your heat and put your whole country on a diet. Have we made ourselves clear?" One thing we know about China - it knows how to play hardball when it wants to, and if China played hardball that way with North Korea, the proliferation threat from Pyongyang would be over.
Ditto Europe vis-à-vis Iran. If the European Union said to the Iranians: "You will shut down your nuclear weapons program and put all your reactors and related facilities under international inspection or you will face a total economic boycott from Europe. Which part of this sentence don't you understand?" Trust me, that is the kind of explicit threat that would get Tehran's attention. Short of that, the Iranians will dicker over their nuclear carpets forever.
So why haven't China and the E.U. said these things? "Like that girl with the brussels sprouts," Mr. Mandelbaum said, "the Chinese and the Europeans are all for combating nuclear proliferation - just not enough actually to do something about it…."
I've posted similar comments on the "refuses to eat their vegetable crowd." For a reprise of that one - click on the "more" button to read further.
The Refuses to Eat Their Spinach Crowd
I kinda view it this way: It's like the "refuses to eat his spinach" crowd versus the "taking your medicine...no matter how horrible it tastes...because it's good for you" group.
The first group isn't ignorant of the issues critical to our country, like deficits growing, job loss, lack of healthcare, no WMD's in Iraq, etc. but its more like they are refusing to "eat their spinach" (i.e. to have made the hard decision to hold the Bush administration accountable for the various and egregious errors of the past four years or taking any positive steps to actually change things, not make them worse.)
That, much like the willful intractable and stubborn leader of ours -- no amount of proof that these things needed to be taken into account and digested for adding to the the decision making process was going to sway them. The more facts that emerged absolutely crying for this accountability -- the more they refused to acknowledge them as either important or "enough" to form the basis of reconsideration of the choice they were making.
They simply refuse to eat that spinach..and no one can make them...so there!
[I'd also like to point out something here, before I finish this analogy, which have been the multiple "supporter editorials" --Tribune included -- that offered good "advice" about Bush should approach his next four years in "reaching out to the other side," "including more voices of opposition and dissent," “keeping those who speak 'truth to power,'" "in avoiding politically motivated 'retribution' for opposition," "in rewarding competence...not just loyalty." None of these things is coming true, not was it even likely in re-electing this man to see him remodel himself after this kind of wish-list of attributes he's never shown nor would he care about once he's consolidated his re-reins of power. To all those "hopefuls" who thought they'd get anything less than a hard, over turn to the loyalists and far-far- far right wingers...they were what I call: "Daydreaming in Technicolor."]
To finish my analogy, is the "take your medicine" crowd, who saw the disasters looming from four more years of mismanagement, promoting loyalty over competency, skewing the facts, sugar-coating the awful truth, and other public and governmental outrages and (to some degree) felt that Kerry...not perhaps a picture-perfect candidate, not spouting the picture perfect message, maybe a little rough-around the edges on some issues was "taking our medicine" NOW.
An attempt to fix the problems we face both here and around the world to avoid the severe penalties to be faced from continuing the Bush Doctrinaire path to Foreign policy and Homeland governing. These folks, myself included, viewed it better to take our lumps now and correct the Ship of State than face the nasty twin bugs of a national flu-like aches, pains, chills and fever as our economy upends and the constipation of being bottled up in Iraq with no way out until we succumb to the impaction of forces aligned against there.
Finally, this whole "Bush Success" story of some future legacy is not yet written or set in stone. It's not clear that he's either achieved some great goals or will be favorably exalted as the great master of some policy plans based on the final outcome and methods to get there. Maybe, as Bush had noted, "We'll all be dead by then," but maybe not when this "history" is written and recorded for posterity.
Karen on 05.11.05 @ 07:40 AM CST