Some of Tuesday’s meeting with former President Clinton was on the record, but much of it was off. I am (still) waiting for a transcript so I can write about it. The people at the Clinton Foundation are busy, because they are getting ready for next week’s Clinton Global Initiative. (I’ll be there. Check out the guest list and tell me what I should wear.)
But one thing Clinton said has me thinking about something else, (and it was in the off-the-record part of the meeting but was the kind of thing I am sure it is OK to repeat). He said something about how conservatives can become very compassionate when they have direct contact with something. He mentioned as an example how they are supposedly against gay people, but the ones who actually know any gay people don’t have any problem with it. He used the example of Vice President Cheney whose daughter is a lesbian and Cheney is OK with it. He repeated this a few times, about how conservatives have to have personal contact with something before they seem to get it…
This reminded me of something I came across recently.
I am reading George Lakoff’s latest book, Whose Freedom? In the book, Lakoff explores the difference between direct and systemic causation, and how conservatives focus on direct causation while progressives focus on systemic causation. Lakoff explains direct causation as, “You throw a ball and the ball goes through the air. You flip a switch and a light turns on.” But a systemic relationship is a a causal relationship involving a complex system. Example” “Global warming is causing the melting of the polar ice caps. The use of fossil fuels is causing global warming.” He cites the use of “i “A complex system functions over a significant period of time, during which human prevention or corrective action can occur.”is causing.”
So conservatives say that driving their SUV doesn’t cause the polar ice caps to melt because they only put a little bit of CO2 into the air. It’s like they have to be hit over the head, something right in their face, before they see connections. (Unless it’s connections between the UN and black helicopters, I guess.)
Anyway, this is just a quick note explaining why I haven’t yet written very much about the meeting. I do have a lot to say, but I think I should wait until I know what s on or off the record.
Meanwhile, go read Christy at Firedoglake.