PostHeaderIcon Plans Change

“I have a plan… My opponent has no plan… The American people want a leader with a plan…”  I have often wondered why the word “plan” tests so well with focus groups.  For me, politicians who fancy themselves my leader or daddy, scare the hell out of me with their plans.  The only saving grace is that they rarely get the chance to implement one.

Jonah Goldberg has a piece in National Review Online entitled, “The Best Laid Plans . . .It’s all absurd intellectual vanity,” which struck a chord with me:

The simple fact is that planning is very hard. Even plans to build
houses often require countless revisions. But planning for people is so
much harder. Every weekend I have a plan for how my one 5-year-old
child will spend her day. Keep in mind: I am literally the boss of her.
She has no money, little education and no reliable means of escape. And
yet, she foils my plans time and again. But somehow we’re
supposed to believe that a plan involving billions or trillions of
dollars, millions of people (each with their own agenda) and thousands
of communities influenced by countless interested parties and
bureaucracies is not only possible, but the highest responsibility of
our elected leaders.

Even worse, after every debate we are subjected to an endless parade of
focused-grouped “swing voters” who think they’re
oh-so-terribly sophisticated for wanting to hear ever more details
about this candidate’s plan for education reform or that
candidate’s scheme for health care. It’s all absurd
intellectual vanity. These voters are undecided not because they
haven’t been spoon-fed enough policy detail, but because they
haven’t been paying attention and haven’t bothered to do
even minimal research about the candidates.

I’m not saying
that candidates shouldn’t have platforms. But voters â€”
and journalists â€” should look at them as mission statements,
not the political equivalent of instructions that come with a
disassembled bicycle.

The real hints for how to choose a
candidate, at least in a general election (as opposed to a primary),
reside in the realm of judgment, philosophy, track record and
temperament. And, using those criteria, the choice shouldn’t be
hard at all.

I could not agree more… but then, when I vote, I am trying to select an employee who will follow our lead, not a leader, daddy, nanny, messiah, or king.  â—„Daveâ–º

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