Tuesday, February 02, 2010
meddle -- to involve oneself in a matter without right or invitation; interfere officiously and unwantedly
Meddlers come in all shapes and sizes. Some mean well, and some don't, but all annoy. Why?
Because even in the rare case that the meddler really does have the best interests of others at heart (and he is also actually right), he is failing to respect their sovereignty as individuals. This meddler is also often, like his close cousin, the incessant proselytizer, guilty of a failure to communicate objectively. Such a failure usually starts without even bothering to listen before droning on about whatever it is the whole world ought to drop everything to start doing right now.
In such a best case, such a failure can antagonize even people who might otherwise be naturally inclined towards a meeting of minds with the proselytizer or the meddler. It rankles to be spoken to like a child about a matter, as if one has never given it a moment's thought before. I wonder how many times fellow advocates of Objectivism have made such a mistake -- particularly when still new to the philosophy and so eager to get the word out that they become blind to the need for other people to see for themselves what the big hubbub is all about. I've made this mistake before and will doubtless stumble into it again.
In any event, it was while pondering Cassandra's dilemma that I ran into several blatant examples of our "Commander"-in-Chief, a consummate meddler who does not have our best interests at heart, both failing to respect the personal sovereignty of his employers and being guilty of non-objective communication. On the latter score, Obama is doomed to communicate non-objectively because his goals require him to be deceptive.
First -- and I am disgusted to see a Republican siding with him here -- the President of the United States is preparing to stick his nose into how a game is played:
... President Barack Obama, before he was sworn in, had stated his preference for a [college football] playoff system. In 2008, Obama said he was going to "to throw my weight around a little bit" to nudge college football toward a playoff system, a point that [Republican Orrin "Boyle"] Hatch stressed when he urged Obama last fall to ask the department to investigate...And note the condescension below, adding insult to the injury of the threat to violate the property rights of those involved.
[Assistant Attorney General Ronald] Weich said that other options include encouraging the NCAA to take control of the college football postseason; asking a governmental or non-governmental commission to review the costs, benefits and feasibility of a playoff system; and legislative efforts aimed at prompting a switch to a playoff system.Obviously, since Barack Obama sees things differently than the rubes who run college football, they can't have thought of "other options" or crunching the numbers on a playoff system. The nerve! Even if a playoff system would make them more money, perhaps the BCS was chosen for some other reason. It really doesn't matter, though: It's Barack Obama's job to make sure we, the people, can mind our own affairs, not to tell us what to do in excruciating detail.
Moving along, we have Barack Obama admitting to a room full of political opponents what we all figured he knew all along -- what he had to know:
The last thing I will say, though -- let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we've presented -- and there's some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [bold in original]As if we're supposed to get up and thank the One for putting a stop to the political gravy train before it was too late...
As with his lousy governing philosophy and policy ideas, Barack Obama's meddling and obfuscation, which are part and parcel of his motivating philosophy, are becoming too obvious to ignore. Mark Steyn, writing about the State of the Union Address, sums this up beautifully, although some dots could use connecting:
Simply as a matter of internal logic, this [advocacy of government solutions for everything] is somewhat perplexing. After all, when he isn't blaming George W. Bush, Mr. Obama blames "Washington" - a Washington mired in "partisanship" and "pettiness" and "the same tired battles" and "Washington gimmicks" that do nothing but ensure that our "problems have grown worse." Washington, Mr. Obama tells us, is "unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems."I think he does, but that he thinks the American people are too dull-witted to catch on. Too bad Orrin "Boyle" Hatch is really playing on the same team.
So let's have more Washington! That raises the question: Does even Mr. Obama listen to his speeches?