Archive for the ‘Rudi Giuliani’ Category

Political Strategy: Keep An Eye On Mike Huckabee

Friday, October 19th, 2007

The Republican Party remains unconvinced by their front running presidential candidates. This weekend religious conservatives are holding a Values Voter Summit in Washington DC…hoping to identify a candidate they can support. Despite the many pundits who believe Rudi Giuliani is headed towards the Republican Party’s nomination, I have my suspicions that we will see Mike Huckabee emerge as a viable alternative. Here’s the basis of my speculation.

1. Giuliani will not be able to undo the damage done to his prospects by the strident opposition of evangelical leaders like James Dobson. While polling indicates he has support from Christian conservatives, the same polling suggests that support is soft and therefore vulnerable.

2. Romney may be willing to say whatever evangelicals want to hear but when its all said and done, he remains a Mormon and that’s a hurdle far too many evangelicals will not be able to overcome.

3. Thompson created high expectations by delaying his announcement to run and his performance since entering the race has been disappointing. His opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage put an exclamation mark on the disappointment.

4. McCain may have the best track record on social issues but his history with evangelicals has been confrontational and I suspect many GOP voters simply don’t think he can win the general election. The fact that he supported the President on immigration and is so closely aligned with the President on the war in Iraq doesn’t help his cause with independent voters.

5. The anticipated withdrawal of Sam Brownback eliminates one of Huckabee’s primary rivals for the evangelical vote…as well as the votes of conservative Catholics. The fact that Brownback believes the GOP nominee must be “a pro-life candidate” suggests the Kansas Senator will not support Giuliani.

So how does Huckabee enter the top tier and become a legitimate contender? Partly by who he is…inclusive of his Christian credentials…and partly be default especially if he can succeed in becoming the protest candidate in the Iowa primary. The challenge Huckabee faces is formidable. He has his detractors amongst traditional conservatives and they include the influential Richard Viguerie. My own belief is that Viguerie favors establishing a third party nominee and is therefore doing his best to disqualify the existing GOP candidates.

Notwithstanding the opposition Huckabee faces from the evangelical elite, his down home approach appeals to the average church goer in the GOP…individuals who will ultimately decide the winner of the Iowa primary. Huckabee may also be the best speaker in the field and his conciliatory tone plays well with those evangelicals who fear another abrasive candidate like George Bush may turn off moderate conservatives and independents who have grown weary of the unyielding gridlock. The fact that Huckabee holds true to the GOP social agenda but seeks to enact it with civility and a seemingly sincere style is also appealing.

If one looks at the criticisms of Huckabee from the likes of Viguerie; they may represent differences on issues that will play well with middle class Republicans…voters who many believe have supported the GOP even though doing so may have not been in their own best interest. The fact that the GOP has had success in painting prior Democratic candidates as elitists may have actually opened the eyes of these mainstream Republicans who now feel they may have been used by their own GOP elite.

What evangelicals are beginning to realize is that elitism exists throughout the political system and the promises they received from the GOP on social issues may have been nothing more than the means to guarantee their votes. Viguerie’s criticisms of Huckabee may actually represent the other concerns that impact values voters…interests which are beginning to resonate and may influence their future votes…votes that may be cast for men like Mike Huckabee who support their values but do more than provide lip service. A few of Viguerie’s objections to Huckabee follow.

Not only did he increase Arkansas’s minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.25 per hour, but he even encouraged the U.S. Congress to do the same thing nationally.

He supported President George W. Bush’s 2003 massive expansion of Medicare by adding a prescription-drug benefit.

He called the No Child Left Behind Act, which increased federal education spending by 48 percent and expanded big-government control of local schools, “the greatest education reform effort of the federal government in my lifetime.”

The GOP elite seems to believe they can take values voters for granted with little more than stating the right things with regards to social issues. However, these voters may be ready to embrace a candidate who not only shares their religious values but will support programs that provide them with other important economic considerations. Truth be told, many values voters who have repeatedly supported the GOP received little benefit from the Bush administration’s policies (think tax cuts). A candidate like Mike Huckabee may offer a much more palatable formula.

A number of stars have to align for Huckabee to emerge as a viable contender…but he can look to the path taken to the presidency by another former Arkansas Governor. The fact that Bill Clinton, frequently regarded as one of the best political minds in recent history, cites Huckabee as the second tier GOP candidate to watch suggests that those stars may be more malleable than we may realize.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Kudlow’s America: Some Eat Steak, The Rest Eat Cake

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

If there were ever to be a way to demonstrate the unedited and unadulterated mind set of the GOP elite, Larry Kudlow succeeds in presenting it in an article he titles, Put Some Steak On The Plate. Kudlow, while offering his take on yesterdays GOP debate, is kind enough to also insert his not so subtle thesis for a Republican victory in 2008 and therefore the means to insure that he and his cronies have the idyllic “steak” placed squarely upon their plates.

Last night’s GOP debate featured strong, pro-growth, supply-side policies from the four major candidates — Rudy, Romney, McCain, and Thompson. […]

This is all good. But let me remind folks that yesterday I suggested that Republicans were put on this planet to cut spending and taxes. And the proof of the pudding is in the eating. In other words, we need specifics. In other words, where’s the beef?

OK, I don’t begrudge Kudlow his ideology…he’s entitled to support whichever economic strategy he prefers. Further, I probably agree with the notion of prudent spending and reasonable taxation. Unfortunately, once Kudlow spells out the details by which he would pursue his stated objectives, our differences become more evident and his self-serving and less than palatable bias begins to emerge.

The Republican party needs to re-brand itself as the fiscal-disciplinarian party. GOP candidates must get specific about which departments and program clusters they’re going to curtail. The sooner the better. The burden is on their backs to reestablish credibility.

And while the Democrats are making hay with middle-class anxieties over taxes, health care, tuition, etc., Republicans need to launch an aggressive middle-class tax offensive.

For example, we don’t need six income-tax brackets. Here’s a thought: Take the 33 percent bracket that starts at $188,450 and get rid of it. Ditto for the 28 percent bracket at $123,700 and the 25 percent bracket at $61,300. Get rid of them. Collapse it all down into one simple 15 percent tax bracket. Then figure out what kind of spending cuts are necessary to finance it.

Let’s look at Kudlow’s two fundamental objectives. First, the revision of the tax structure advances a disproportionate boon to those making the most money (33 percent to 15 percent)…a goal consistent with his supply-side, pro-growth agenda…albeit one which is premised upon the belief that giving money back to the wealthy will facilitate reinvestment into the economy to better “float the boat”. While that is true to a point, it would simultaneously consolidates larger amounts of wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer people…a move which further shrinks the middle class by pushing a small percentage of individuals upward and a much larger number downward.

Second, the reduction of spending immediately calls entitlements into question despite the fact that Kudlow states his own reservation with the cutting of Social Security benefits…a reservation I contend isn’t motivated by a concern for those who may be hurt but rather a measured calculation that the same can be achieved with far less repercussions than an open endorsement of such a plan. His motives and his modus operandi are revealed when he contrasts his “recipe” with that of the Democrats. Here’s how his strategy works. I contend the formula is little more than the classic carrot on a stick approach whereby the tax cuts must first be offered as the enticement (the means to procure votes) which then delivers the authority to enact the desired spending cuts.

As the bad news is disseminated (we have to pay for these tax cuts), the notion of self-interest leads a majority of voters to oppose cutting essential services while endorsing the reduction of money spent on programs perceived as “government handouts”. In other words, the underlying premise is that hard working individuals (defined as those who make enough money to receive the tax cuts) should be rewarded and those who don’t carry their own weight (defined as those receiving government assistance) should be penalized.

The end result is more of the same. In order to succeed, both spouses are compelled to work harder in order to make ends meet. Those on the top rung (the powerful) reinforce the merits of their message by offering the reward (a tax cut)…a reward they frame as needing to be extracted from those at the lowest rung on the ladder. As such, the focus is removed from those who benefited the most from the tax cuts (themselves) and they succeed in being portraying as the champions of the hard working middle class while vilifying those who have the least.

The ire of those caught in the hamster wheel has been masterfully directed downward. Thus the dangling vegetable is obediently chased in hopes it will lead to the quintessential prize…steak. Consequently, one either embraces the equation or one tumbles further down the ladder in shame…deserving of little more than reproach…and cake.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Rudi Giuliani: Continuing The Impotence Equation?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

I have a new theory…one that crystallized after reading Glen Greenwald’s latest offering at My hypothesis is that the election of Rudi Giuliani as the next president would simply be a continuance of a phenomenon which I have chosen to call “The Impotence Equation”. Before detailing the substance of my argument, a review of the Greenwald article is warranted.

Greenwald’s piece discusses the attacks he has endured in the aftermath of his thoughts about the growing anti-Muslim sentiment which seems to have emerged in the aftermath of 9/11. Greenwald refers his readers to the constant chatter by right wing bloggers about the evils of Islam and the threat they perceive is posed by this seemingly diabolical belief system.

As Greenwald aptly points out, any effort to refute the polemic beliefs of those consumed by their hatred of all things Islam is met with unbridled and unabashed attacks. These assaults are launched with a certainty…a belief that they embody every aspect of right versus wrong, good versus evil. Shades of gray do not exist and those who suggests otherwise are often assailed as unpatriotic, treasonous cowards who lack the good sense to identify the clear and present danger.

In fact, many of the individuals who are preoccupied with their dislike of Islam exhibit an indignation reminiscent of an older sibling…one who believes he or she is being forced to protect their younger, more naive family members from threats which they may not yet recognize…leaving them vulnerable to victimization and in need of oversight.

Greenwald then pivots; attempting to provide the reader with an understanding of this mind set…a set of beliefs that seem to be the connecting point for these individuals who exhibit a hypersensitivity to the evils of Islam. Greenwald posits that these traits represent the hallmark of neoconservatism. He points to a recent article by Jamie Kirchick of The New Republic, the blogging of Michelle Malkin and Charles Johnson, and the past writings of Norman Podhoretz (perhaps the founding father of neoconservatism and currently an advisor to Rudi Giuliani) to support his contention. The following excerpts form the basis of his argument.

Bombing and killing Muslims is the only path for avoiding the humiliating scenarios which our nation’s war cheerleaders carry around obsessively in their heads, and which are currently filling my inbox. They’re not going to be the ones on their knees, begging. They’re not going to be the “faggots.” Instead, they are going to send others off to fight and bomb and occupy and kill and thereby show who is strong and tough and feel protected.

In his excellent and well-documented book “The Wimp Factor,” Psychology Professor Stephen Ducat reviews clinical studies which demonstrate that many men “are more likely to experience a vicarious boost in their own sense of power and potency when American military forces attack, and especially when they defeat, an enemy.” Neoconservative war tracts almost invariably are suffuse with explicit warnings about submission and humiliation.

There will never be enough bombings and sending others off to start new wars that will erase those feelings. But Podhoretz and his bloodthirsty followers — including his combat-avoiding protegee Rudy Giuliani — will never stop trying.

Now onto my own thoughts. First, an important caveat. While I have a background in psychology, I am not offering my opinion as a psychological thesis; rather my comments are the observations of an individual who has long been fascinated with human behavior and has sought to identify the traits that come to define certain personality types and the motivations that underlie them. Such efforts possess the natural flaws of generalization…yet they often serve to instruct and inform.

As I’ve watched Rudi Giuliani, I’m convinced that a number of defining traits have emerged…traits that place him in the neoconservative arena and which begin to paint a picture of a man who fits the profile put forth by Greenwald.

Life is an interesting process…and in that process we’re all running away from some things and we’re also running towards others. Understanding those motivations is essential to understanding ourselves as well as those we encounter. This basic concept can be easily applied to Rudi Giuliani.

Giuliani’s background isn’t dissimilar from that of many Italian’s who found themselves living in the United States in the middle of the prior century. Life was a struggle for his family and his father’s checkered past likely served as the backdrop for Giuliani’s drive and determination…leading to a desire to separate himself from his father’s indiscretions as well as to make amends for them.

In that construct, Giuliani’s primary understanding of fear was undoubtedly defined…and it likely had at it’s origin a need to avoid humiliating scenarios which had the potential to damage one’s ego. Giuliani’s assertive and abrasive style may well be traceable to his fundamental years…that period of time which likely included his awareness of how his father and other family members may have been perceived in the community.

His flirting with the priesthood and his subsequent immersion into law school and a career as a prosecutor support the argument that his actions were evidence of what he ran from and what he ran towards…in order to expunge the fears that accompanied his early years.

On the one hand, the humility and contrition of the priesthood seemed appealing and a means to atone…and on the other hand, a career as a prosecutor and a man of law and order offered the means to rise above…to not only distance oneself from the unacceptable past but to confront and defeat it. I contend that the former would have left Giuliani burdened with guilt and the need for forgiveness, while the latter would allow him to place blame and punish…a far more fulfilling elixir for fundamental fears.

Unfortunately, our primordial fears are the most persistent and they may well cast a shadow over the remainder of our lives. As we follow Rudi’s life, the evidence of their ongoing influence seems to emerge. Giuliani, like many Italians of his era, chose to embrace the safety of familiarity…going so far as to marry his second cousin…a woman who no doubt shared in the family history which created his fears and therefore spared him the risk of exposure which may have accompanied more distant associations and involvements.

Predictably, as Giuliani’s career advanced, his need for safety and the security provided by ethnic and familial kinship began to wane. With the acceptance of a position in the Attorney Generals office in Washington DC, Giuliani began to sever these ties…leading to the end of his first marriage as well as the beginning of his second relationship…with a woman far removed from his roots, Donna Hanover.

Notwithstanding, Giuliani sought an annulment of his first marriage; arguing that the couple had erred in assuming they were third cousins. Since they were in fact second cousins…a status allowed but frowned upon at the time…the church granted the request. In so doing, Rudi was able to wash away the nagging fears presented by a failed marriage…fears that lessened the distance between that which he had been and that which he sought to be.

Still plagued by the need to manipulate perceptions, Giuliani subsequently married his second wife…in the Catholic Church…a move that preserved his identity as a man of faith in the good graces of his chosen religion.

As Giuliani’s career progressed, so too did his willingness to venture beyond the prison of his fears. In fact, during his tenure as mayor of New York, Giuliani became so bold as to conduct extramarital affairs…making little effort to conceal their existence. As it played out, Giuliani and his second wife held separate press conferences to announce the end of their marriage. Giuliani’s revelation came after it was already widely known that he no longer lived with his wife in the Gracie Mansion and that he was involved with Judith Nathan, the woman who would eventually become his third wife.

In perhaps the ultimate of ironies, during the divorce proceedings with his second wife, Giuliani’s attorneys made note of his impotence…a condition precipitated by his battle with prostate cancer. Strangely, the filing sought to detail the fact that Giuliani and Nathan hadn’t engaged in sex for over a year…a move viewed by many as an effort to define a significant relationship between Nathan and Giuliani…one that was more than a conventional affair.

I argue that the move is further evidence of the fears that continued to nag Giuliani as well as his need to create a favorable public persona…one that could no longer be tied to that which he sought to deny.

While it is a widely held belief that Giuliani withdrew from the New York Senate race as a result of his prostate cancer, I remain unconvinced. Clearly I cannot prove otherwise, but if my theory is correct, the fears surrounding his messy divorce and what may have been revealed by his angry second wife and those familiar with the details played a larger role. I contend he withdrew in response to the fears that plague him…fears that would not allow him to accept the negative attributions that would most probably result.

As obtuse and offensive as this may sound, 9/11 was a stroke of good fortune for Giuliani. The mayor who had reconciled himself to serve out the remainder of his term and retreat to a life with his new wife was suddenly thrust into the limelight and he performed admirably in handling the situation and the attention.

Suddenly, his then current regressive period…one that could be compared with the time he spent weighing the merits of the priesthood versus a career in law…provided a moment of renewal and the opportunity to replicate the feelings that accompanied his days as a prosecutor…days that allowed him to focus on those guilty of egregious acts while relegating his own fears and doubts to a position of obscurity.

Further, the magnitude of 9/11 was far more significant for the nation and for the Mayor. Frankly, one would be hard pressed to identify an event that could create more distance between Giuliani and whatever valid or perceived fears he still held. In that regard, perhaps nothing better offsets fears which manifest in the ego than an opportunity to play the role of a hero…and Giuliani must be given credit for his fine performance.

The events of 9/11 may have changed the dynamic surrounding the Mayor and his professional circumstances, but there is no reason to believe that it significantly altered the core identity of Rudi Giuliani. Yes, the man that was able to augment his own persistent doubts years ago by choosing to attend law school and become a prosecutor is the same man who took the reigns following 9/11. Notwithstanding, the man who followed his career as a prosecutor with episodes of ego induced impotence is the same man who emerged from the events of 9/11. To assume otherwise is to ignore the wisdom of history.

Even worse, the psychological parallels which can be drawn between the life of George Bush and Rudi Giuliani are frightening. I contend that both men are prone to compensation…a process whereby their own innate fears and impotence are masked by making choices they believe…consciously or sub-consciously…may augment each man’s chronically challenged self-concept.

Rudi may be better spoken and better educated than George Bush…but with men so similarly susceptible…such attributes may only amplify the opportunities for him to draw America into activities which serve his neediness…all the while eroding what remains of the respect we have commanded by electing leaders who possess the capacity to not only see past their individual needs…but embody the empathy essential to enable and enact actions that serve the greater good of the entire world community.

Further, I fear that Rudi Giuliani exhibits even more of the bravado which has become the Bush administration’s foreign policy concept of “Cowboy Diplomacy”…a propensity to paint the problems which plaque us with a broad and arbitrary brush…one that is couched in certainty despite a deficit of details…one that removes repressed feelings of emasculation and which engenders feelings of empowerment.

Sadly, 9/11 has unlocked an analogous mechanism for many Americans with which to address their feelings of inadequacy…feelings that feed upon those opportunities that allow us to focus our frustrations upon the failings of others while fully ignoring or acknowledging our own flaws. America’s answers and our own individual aspirations will not be achieved through the arbitrary assassination of all things alien. America must not only defend and protect itself from outside threats; it must commit itself to addressing our own internal, individual, and often implacable ailments.

America can ill-afford another president plagued by a history of reacting to deep seated and persistent fears…fears which have a fragile and frequently impotent ego at their core. Just as George Bush embraced 9/11 as an opportunity to mask his own recurring feelings of inadequacy…feelings that are best suppressed when one is able to point to and punish others believed to be far worse…so too will Rudi Giuliani. Balance is not the mainstay of these men. They are prone to compensations which address their own feelings of impotence while ignoring other more obvious and objective realities.

Any presidential candidate who cannot see the error in taking phone calls from his wife while in the middle of a speech is not a man who should have his finger on any trigger. The pathology which leads a man to view his taking of a phone call from his wife in such circumstances as evidence of his virility and proof of his potency is a man caught in the throws of an insufficient ego and the talons of a woman who has mastered the art of playing him like a fiddling fool. Americans must not place our fate in the hands of another human who is hamstrung by his insatiable search for hero status.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Moral Mutiny

Monday, October 1st, 2007

As a Democrat, I have more than passing experience on the difficulty of keeping disparate groups all under the same tent. Not that our philosophies are all that different, mind you. Our troubles stem from disagreement on implementation, and priority. Dean’s 50 state strategy comes to mind. When he first started with it, the old school was calling for his head. Now that we hold majorities, he’s hailed as a hero. Good ol’ hindsight.

Reading the New York Times today left me laughing, however. The Republicans have a moral mutiny on their hand, with the uber conservative crowd threatening to branch off in support of a third party candidate who is less objectionable than cross dressin’, mob lovin’ Rudy. Ooh, he “likes” abortions too. Boo!

A revolt of Christian conservative leaders could be a significant setback to the Giuliani campaign because white evangelical Protestants make up a major share of Republican primary voters, including more than a third of voters in Iowa and South Carolina. — NYT

Running a third party candidate is an excellent idea. I strongly support that. Go to town. Watching the far right marginalize themselves after disenfranchising their moderates is the sweet taste of victory. The Republican Party is a political car wreck.


GOP Front-Runners: There Are No Blacks In America?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Every now and again, news events create a uniquely instructive conflation. Such a situation can be found in the events and the headlines of the last two days. Yesterday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad responded to a question about the mistreatment of homosexuals in Iran with an answer that would befuddle anyone with remotely identifiable cognitive abilities. In suggesting that Iran doesn’t have homosexuals, the defiant leader, who seems so determined to establish his own legitimacy, elicited little more than laughter and ridicule. The response was appropriate and should have been anticipated.

Today, the discussion centers upon the apparent decision by the four GOP presidential front-runners to forego attending a PBS sponsored debate being held at a prominent Black college in Baltimore this Thursday. While the invitations were issued back in March, somehow each of the four leading candidates has declined due to “scheduling conflicts”.

One might be inclined to extend the benefit of the doubt had these same candidates participated in a debate sponsored by the Hispanic television network Univision and a forum in July hosted by the NAACP.

“I think the best that comes out of stupid decisions like this,” said former Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts, is “that African-Americans might say, ‘Was it because of my skin color?’ Now, maybe it wasn’t, but African-Americans do say, ‘It crossed my mind.’”

All four GOP presidential front-runners — former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson — have said they will not attend a PBS debate at a historically black college in Baltimore hosted by Tavis Smiley.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who’s weighing getting into the race, called that excuse “baloney” and called the no-shows “fundamentally wrong.” On “Good Morning America” today, Gingrich said GOP candidates are making a mistake because “African-Americans have been hurt more by the failures of government” than any other group.

Watts pointed out that some of the candidates with more liberal histories on issues such as guns and abortion have reached out to conservative groups that don’t share their views.

African-Americans are the most reliably Democratic voters around, with up to 90 percent voting Democratic in the last five presidential elections, but Watts and other Republicans including former vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp, and former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, have said that’s exactly why Republicans need to reach out to them.

These no-shows come just days after the Spanish-language channel Univision canceled its debate because only one of the 11 Republican candidates — McCain — accepted.

Frankly, I view the refusal of these GOP candidates to participate in the PBS debate, as well as the prior NAACP forum, in much the same manner as I view the Ahmadinejad statement. For all practical purposes, these candidates are telling Americans that there are no blacks in America.

To understand the degree to which blacks have been ignored by the GOP, one need only look to the sitting President…a man who attended his first NAACP meeting in the sixth year of his presidency. Whether his decision to attend was at all intended as atonement for the poor handling of Katrina can’t be determined…but the about face seems rather suspect.

More telling, Robert Draper, author of the new Bush biography, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, during an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher, offered some added insight into the President’s views on the lack of interest in courting black voters. Draper recalls the words of George Bush following his election as Governor of Texas, “The Blacks didn’t come out for me like the Hispanics did, so they’re not going to see much help from me.” Draper qualified his statement…elaborating that the remark was offered as an example of the President’s petulance; not any innate bigotry.

While the President doesn’t speak for all Republicans, the fact that the four front-runners seem to be responding accordingly simply highlights the apparent complacency on the part of the GOP with regard to the issues of Blacks in America. We need candidates who seek to represent all Americans…and that holds true for both Democrats and Republicans.

While not participating in a forum or a debate isn’t the equivalent of the spoken words of Iran’s fanatical leader, the refusal seems to send a similar message…one that would rather ignore an American constituency than address their presence and their issues. Let me be clear…refusing to attend a debate should never be seen on par with Iran’s execution of gays. Clearly, the former is a unwarranted snubbing and the latter is a blatant disregard of basic human rights.

Regardless, I find it fascinating to watch the outrage from the right at the Iranian President on an issue (gay rights) which the GOP has a less than stellar record. When this outrage and this record are juxtaposed with the silence by many on the snubbing of Blacks and Hispanics, it provides an important look into the prevalence of bias and the refusal to acknowledge and address it.

Fortunately, the United States isn’t Iran and our record on human rights issues is commendable and often regarded as a model for the rest of the world. Nonetheless, as we prosecute this war on terror and extremist ideology, we would be well advised to recognize the comparison and contrast found in these recent events. We must avoid the inclination to suspend civil liberties in order to preserve and protect our hard earned freedoms.

Further, we must never forget that our freedoms will prevail so long as we extend them equitably and without bias. What led us to demand and create them will always provide the motivation and the passion to defend them. We can only be defeated by succumbing to our own shortsightedness and fear.

Cross-posted at Thought Theater