Friday, December 11, 2009

Palin advised to use Chesterton as a role model

"I wish she would articulate the Paradoxes more. There are many, she has done some, but not specifically addressed. Case in point, ‘a Death Panel is part of Government Healthcare’ is a simple paradox that cuts to the core of one of the problems of Socialism and Medicine. The paradox is a simple and complex rhetorical tool, it encompasses “common sense conservatism” and requires the reader or listener to start thinking, something that the liberals really fear. It also drives the inteligentsia nuts, that Palin can master the paradox, and use it in a normal way, without using cocktail party nuances that are not paradoxes. To point out that there is a paradox, is the last part of the issue that is missing. or maybe that is deliberate?

GK Chesterton wrote a book related to the issue “Eugenics and Other Evils” that articulates the same sort of problems that England faced in 1922. it is a worthy read, and is free to download/view on Project Gutenburg, as per the link. Chesterton is considered the master of the Paradox, and would serve as a role model for how to clarify and discuss the common sense, almost so simple that it sounds like a child asking questions with simple wonder, but with the wisdom of a grandfather."
Interesting article. I've just read Palin's interesting and compelling autobiography over last weekend, and I liked it, and will talk more about it.

H/T: Dave Z. Thanks.


  1. Somewhere Chesterton laments that we find ourselves in political camps with despicable people and laments that 'men of good will'(many of whom occupy the opposite camp) cannot simply get together to work things out without the sleazy politcos on both sides who have their own self-interested agenda. Being a conservative Catholic does not requre me to respect a lying acquisitive twit like Sarah Palin.

  2. I like Palin and I'm opposed to Obamacare.

    Having said that I'm uncomfortable with this statement being called a Chestertonian paradox because it involves an essential misrepresentation.

    Palin is referring to Section 1233 which mandates advanced care directives between mature patients and their doctors. This is already a common sense practice in medicine and it's a good practice.

    I'll concede that making this common sense practice a mandatory/volitional (talk about paradox) part of national healthcare insofar as I am opposed to socialized medicine in general.

    I'll even concede that such things may set a precedent that leads to the kind of socialist dystopia Palin evokes.

    Had she said "Death Panels very well could become a part of National 'Health Care'" I'd have less to make me feel uncomfortable. As is, however, this is an unsettling combination of hyperbole and paradox that is simply inaccurate and makes it open for dismissal.

    Besides, true Chestertonian paradox almost always involves general, first principles, as opposed to particular policies. I'll leave this example and let you draw your own conclusions:

    "The more alike the enemy becomes, the more different he will appear."

  3. "Being a conservative Catholic does not requre me to respect a lying acquisitive twit like Sarah Palin."

    Tommy: I have to say, this is not a Chestertonian--or even a Christian--attitude. Chesterton would love the person, and attack ideas. What IDEAS of Palin's don't you agree with?

  4. Many a mother has said what my mother often said, "If you don't have anything nice to say..." so I am justly reprimanded. I can merely apologize and drop it. I don't have anything nice to say.

  5. I just saw this today, but I'm going to join in anyway, on the off chance that someone might still see this thread.

    Blognerd makes an excellent point; Palin's "death panels" rhetoric is hyperbolic at best.

    So, what's the purpose of using this kind of hyperbole? Isn't it to demonize one's opponent? One could attack the idea of state-sponsored advance directive counseling in much more measured language (as blognerd demonstrates). Using the phrase "death panels" clouds the discussion of the idea, but it serves the rhetorical purpose of making the proposer of the idea appear sinister and scary.

    So, shouldn't Palin be told what Nancy says to a poster here: "this is not a Chestertonian--or even a Christian--attitude. Chesterton would love the person, and attack ideas."


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