Food For Thought: Laying A Foundation For Approaching Political Issues, A Goal-Oriented Approach

I’ve never discussed political issues before on this blog, not of any nature. Most of my opinions have been about objects of entertainment, like movies, TV shows, restaurants, etc. However, I’ve wanted to talk about these things very much and I am now going to give it a try. A lot of the issues I want to talk about are sensitive issues. I am aware that just speaking the names of these issues may make many upset, a lot like how Voldemort’s name should not be spoken in the Harry Potter books. With that in mind, I’m going to try to take an approach to these issues which may explain my thought process as well structure the discussion in a way that’s easy to digest and which may keep people calm and cool tempers.

Introduction: pretend you are an intelligence analyst.

Imagine that you work in the American government. Not just the government, you work in the intelligence services. Your job is very important. You are an analyst; your job is to provide analysis and report on various subjects that go directly to the president of the United States. Part of that job involves not only trying to concisely describe organizations, problems, and mental states of individual or groups of people, it also involves trying to classify and identify problems. Most importantly, it involves trying to foresee future problems. Your job is to try to predict the future, mostly based off whatever information you have in front of you. Not only do you have to try and figure out what may happen or the probability that any future events will happen, you have to figure out what we should do about. What course of action do we take to change the outcome? Can we change the outcome? Why should we change the outcome?

Underlying all these considerations is the most important consideration: you are not the one who gets to make decisions. You’re job is to describe the current state of things, future potential events, and how we can act to alter those events. It is not your job to decide what is in our best interest. That job falls solely to the president of the United States or your boss. Your job is to not only educate the president, but to provide him options. Regardless of whatever your beliefs are, you must set them aside as well as your ego and approach the issues coldly. You describe things. The president decides them. Only he may allow personal feelings to be a consideration. You must take yourself outside the equation because this is not about you. This is about the information and the options. You don’t get to decide what is in the country’s best interests or what is right or wrong.

Back to reality and away from pretend.

The approach described by our imaginary intelligence analyst is the approach I will try to take here. It is an approach that attempts to be objective and absent my own beliefs. It is not about me. It is about the issues and describing as accurately as I can.

In furtherance of that goal, there are some things I should say. Firstly, I am an American civilian. I do not have access to top-secret information much less that of foreign countries. I don’t have private corporate information. All I have is what I can buy in real life and what I can find on the internet. Accordingly, that is what my opinions will be based on.

With that said, that doesn’t mean we should foolishly believe everything we read. We can be skeptical. In fact, we can create a foundation upon which to build our opinions, a starting point upon which to approach each issue.

The starting point is this: everyone is selfish.

This may sound cynical or obvious to some, but the point this statement may not be what you think. The point is that my approach will assume that people will do whatever they think is in their best interest. People will chase after what they want. When I say people I mean any amount of people, be it an individual or a country.

This will be our starting point. What do they want? Why do they think they want that? How do they think they will get that? What happens after they get it? Is it even possible to obtain that? What can/should we do about their pursuit of whatever it is they want? What are the consequences/effects of them wanting that? There are more questions, but the point is we start by trying to figure out what whichever person or group of persons we are talking about want because this is important in understanding an issue or a problem. However, the most important goal of the discussions of this blog are something else.

The future is always the goal of whatever issue is discussed on this blog.

Looking backwards on an issue is always helpful in understanding an issue. It also helps in creating a pattern in which to try to foresee future possibilities, which is the ultimate goal here.

I can’t change what has already happened. No one can as far as I know. I can change my perceptions of the past, but that is still a future action. For the purposes of this blog, what I care about is the future. Everything I write about in regards to political issues will have an eye towards the future and potential outcomes. I don’t truly care about what came before except in how it affects the future.

Morality and pride/ego have no place in these blog posts.

Recall a few paragraphs up where our exercise in pretending we were intelligence analysts required us to set ourselves aside. It is not our place to decide what is right or wrong nor what are our best interests. My goal for future politically oriented blog posts is to inform and predict. That’s it. I won’t try to decide what’s right or wrong. I will try and figure out what events and actions will bring about certain outcomes. I will try to guess at the likelihood of future outcomes.

To that end, I will likely discuss the history of an issue and I will try to do so dispassionately. This is to build an understanding and a model upon which to make future predictions. It is not to judge the righteousness of past actions or to decide what is deserved in the future.

I’m an American.

A lot of these views will be American-centric. I will try to be dispassionate, but I can’t help what I am or how I was raised.

One last thing before the conclusion: I will approach each issue knowing that I may be wrong.

No one is perfect as far as I know. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has things they want and don’t have, things they have failed to achieve. I am the same. My point is this: I will approach each issue I write about with the knowledge that my preexisting beliefs as well as my conclusions may be wrong and I hope that you as the reader read whatever future posts I write with the same knowledge. As far as I know, people are not perfect gods, we are imperfect and make unforced errors despite our efforts.

Conclusion

Well, I think that’s a sufficient enough foundation to approach future contentious issues. To the handful of people who actually read this blog, I’d be happy to take suggestions in the comments of what to write about first, though if my stock market posts are any indication, no one will reply. If no one replies, I’ll pick a topic of my own interest and discuss it. My hope is that when you read whatever it is I intend to write, read it with an open mind and a dispassionate heart.

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