Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Ambiguity is that uncomfortable realm which we all squirm to evade in search of clarity and determination. We generally seek to reduce the preponderance of variables along the road ahead, in hope of increasing predictability. The future becomes more absolute and apparently a majority of us feel safer when uncertainty has been erased from subsequent eventualities. Through skillfully crafted and effectively delivered rhetoric, Obama has moved the masses to support, as well as find comfort in pragmatic ambiguity.

Somehow, the collisions in this oxymoron have slid into acceptance with little reaction. While we’re saliently aware that masses can be manipulated through anger and absolutism, they can also be moved by the well packaged and deftly delivered absolute ambiguity. Delivery is critical, since we also tend to readily accept what we can rapidly comprehend.

In his drive to appeal to everyman Obama has made emphatic non-statements and delivered ad hominems that have resonated with our emotions and even invoked the melodramatic. The provocation of reason has purposefully been omitted. His political record in Illinois is void of any evidence of what he has stood for. He evidently refrained from voting so as to not offend anyone in preparation for future political endeavors. This omission from his record doesn’t mean he is not principled, but it does seriously indicate a lack of evident direction. His votes might have also demonstrated some particular principals and leanings.

Six months ago Obama’s only emphatic statements were that he represented change and hope. He would get out of Iraq. He now makes statements about getting out of Iraq with more planning than we went in. No kidding? What a decisive commitment to make to the American people whose backs are breaking from its cost burden. It is easy for him to point a finger at McCain and Clinton for having voted in favor of the war when he wasn’t around to lend a voice. We can only assume, if his record is any indication, that he would have voted “present.”

Much is written about this election and the candidates, from the astronomical billion dollars being spent on campaigning to the vague bromides on taxes, or refunds, or not. There is however, a dearth of absolutes on Obama and about all we can put our collective finger on is his ambiguity on all fronts. Obama’s ardent supporters are demonstrating the intolerance of absolutists. In such environment there is little room for adverse opinions or dissent. On the other hand, even with our natural tendency toward its intolerance, it is difficult to reason or debate the ambiguous, and virtually impossible to debate with pragmatic ambiguity.

Although Obama appears eloquent and intellectually capable, there is also much evidence of indecision.


  1. Drivel. Has it occurred to you that you may prefer a well-penned flowery post over one that is true? Please, please, please read his substantial policy proposals before you sound off about how he doesn't have any. Especially if you are going to do it in public. otherwise, you may end up sounding like en empty shell, who is trying to fool us with emotional language, and we know how you feel about people like that, now don't we....

  2. Having a policy to "have a policy," isn't a policy.