Elkhorn Creek Lodge

From the Gut

Posted in biden, mccain, obama, palin, politics by Eugene Podrazik on September 18, 2008

Here’s another article, from across the pond, about the “cerebral” and intellectual Obama versus the from the “gut” or “heart” McCain and Palin. I don’t know where Biden falls in; maybe not past the ear plugs. Again we’ve more drivel about how we’d all vote for the Democrats if we voted with our “head.” But, being the non-sophisticated rubes from the American heartland we vote with some other organ (you choose).

Yet, if you look at the psychology of decision making, you’ll find the neophyte making will be a very conscious and linear processing of a checklist. The experienced pro will view the same situation and give a brief answer. That pro, in fact, may not be able to give the reasons for the decision other than it was, in fact, right.

There was a such an example given in a WSJ article, about a decade ago, on this  subject,  using the example of a fireman evacuation a particular room in a burning building just before the floor of that room collapsed. The neophyte would have recognized the same situation by the fact that the room was hot but with little visible flames; giving to the conclusion that the floor beneath was burning making the imminence of the floor collapse a near certain probability. The seasoned pro, in the same situation, would have looked at the same scenario and just give the preemptory order to “get out now.”

Everyone has had to learn lessons and “show your work” just like in algebra class. But, as we mature, the lessons are internalized. Our subconscious mind makes these decisions, sorting at lightening speed the myriad of permutations and producing a conclusion; a brief imperative on how to act.

But, the right conclusion, the right imperative comes only if you learned the proper problem-solving protocul in the first place.

And, so we come to Americans voting this November 4th. Live experiences will choose between two candidates, McCain and Palin, who’ve come up the hard way, with plenty of mistakes in their wake. They have challenged the status quo and succeeded. 

Or, Obama and Biden who’ve come from senator-for-life careers who’s only challenges are keeping their political machines fat and happy. They talk well and never lived in a world outside of politics. They are the people Buckley referred to when we remarked that he rather be ruled by the first 2000 names out of the Cambridge phone book that the Harvard faculty.

McCain’s own father once noted that history is made by poker players and not analysts. Analysts are frozen into inaction wondering about all the bad things a given decision could bring and through their inaction allow the very situation they feared to happen anyway.

That’s the world and its problems. You need leaders who’ve been bloodied by working in the real world and who will have developed the instincts to act and not dither. Leaders who know how to distill hard decisions down to a brutal bifurcation of “yes” or “no.” Leaders who know from bitter experience that crucial decisions are almost never a choice between unalloyed good and bad; rather a choice between bad and worse. A decision like one coming in the next six months as to whether to accept Iran as a nuclear power or to take (very messy) action to stop it before Iran acquires such a capability. 

Obama’s going to get rolled by reality. You don’t need a degree from Harvard to figure that out.

 

 

 

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