Friday, October 02, 2009

Ends And Means

RealClearPolitics - Obama's French Lesson

Confusing ends and means, the Obama administration strives mightily for shows of allied unity, good feeling and pious concern about Iran's nuclear program -- whereas the real objective is stopping that program. This feel-good posturing is worse than useless, because all the time spent achieving gestures is precious time granted Iran to finish its race to acquire the bomb.

I work as a software systems architect, confusing ends with means is a constant danger often fallen into. Software is "infinitely pliable", it gives you the illusion that nearly anything can be accomplished, it is but "a small matter of programming". Sadly it is far from so.

Normal world leaders have long left behind such illusions about nations, politics, human nature, economies and the history of mankind. They have typically drunk deeply from the vast storehouse of human thought and experience that tells us that since when each of us looks in the mirror, at least beyond some hopefully young age, we see a flawed and mortal human. Those of us that will gain some small measure of "success" in this world choose to use that not as an excuse, but as just one more fact of life to be dealt with and improved upon in the best ways that we know possible.

By the time men get to the point of leading nations, they have usually led businesses, states, movements, political parties, cities, or some other form of real world training. To lead in the real world on even a relatively small scale is to learn the universality of human imperfection and the limitations of the real world very directly. That knowledge comes with the realization that too often, those that have never taken the mantle of leadership are still living with those same illusions thought to be left behind as the price of maturity.

We daily see that BO is not a leader. He doesn't understand the most basic aspects of leadership, and would nearly certainly have failed at any number of smaller leadership tasks had he ever have had those tasks. We would be in FAR better shape had he even served as a mayor in a small town in Alaska. There he would have discovered that there are always rivals, some folks that seem to be your friends are not once you take on leadership, getting agreement among even those who generally think like you is extremely difficult.

Most of all, there are often simply no means at all to reach what ever ends it is that we thought desirable. One wonders if BO ever put any toys or lawn furniture together? It seems almost impossible to imagine the stupidity of someone taking on tasks like running GM with the level of condescension and disdain he has displayed for people that clearly know far more than he has even imagined could be known!

It is hard to underestimate the ego of a man who would write two auto biographies before the age of 50. One because he thought being president of Harvard Law Revue was so cool, and the other after he had won a Senate seat after running essentially unopposed. (The Chicago political machine managed to take down a very strong Republican candidate named Jack Ryan by managing to open private documents from a divorce that asserted that he had tried to take his former wife to a sex club. His former wife was Gerry Ryan, "7 of 9" on Star Trek, that would have been better referred to as "11 of 10". That Ryan was able to utter any intelligible sentences other than "can we go to bed now" is a testament to his sexual restraint)

Charles whole column is eminently worthy of reading. The end is unfortunately way too true:

Bismarck is said to have said: "There is a providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children, and the United States of America." Bismarck never saw Obama at the U.N. Sarkozy did.