I Would Have Had Better Evidenced-Based Policies If It Wasn’t For Those Pesky Kids

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From occasional NM scribe and prominent writer and psychiatrist, Dr Tad Tietze comes a brief summation of a recent address by Barack Obama.

Taking time out from watching The Donald in action, here is Obama doing a Commencement Address at Rutgers. The meaty stuff starts at around 53 minutes.

A few thoughts as I watched it:

(1) Obama’s timing is genius.

(2) If it was Obama-Trump, Trump would most likely be toast.

(3) Obama appearing in public makes me realise how awful Clinton and her campaign strategy are.

(4) Obama never had to say “vote for me because I’m a black guy and it’s time a black guy got elected”. Substitute “woman” for “black guy” and you have one of Clinton’s openly stated campaign pitches. Sad!

(5) Obama does a great job selling human progress, reason, science and free speech against pessimism and anti-intellectualism.

(6) He then uses that to make a case for politicians as technocrats (I guess he tried to be technocrat-in-chief). This conflates what happens in society, where there are real and competing social interests, with the alienated realm of politics, which has interests of its own. Therefore he cannot conceive of how the scientific consensus on climate change can so easily be subverted by its association with political struggles.

(7) Finally he complains about low voter turnout as stunting his ability to deliver even better “evidence-based” policy outcomes. The 2014 midterms had the lowest turnout since WWII, and apparently only 1/5 of young voters turned out. This bit reminds me of Scooby-Doo: “I tried to be a successful technocrat. And I would’ve gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids!”

I’ll miss him, though.

Dr Tad has also written about the paradox of Donald Trump, which you can read on the excellent blog Left Flank here. He’d also like to thank The Piping Shrike for bringing his attention to the video.

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Tad Tietze

Tad Tietze is a Sydney-based psychiatrist who co-runs the political blog Left Flank. He was the co-editor (with Elizabeth Humphrys & Guy Rundle) of On Utøya: Anders Breivik, Right Terror, Racism and Europe.

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