Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Re: Cardboard cutout people
Author: David Carter-Tod Posted: 12/21/1998; 6:33:34 AM Topic: Cardboard Cutout People Msg #: 1542 (In response to 1480) Prev/Next: 1541 / 1543
>A friend of mine once said stop telling me what you think I think, just tell me what you think. Good advice.
Team-building research suggests that it's sometimes a good idea to let people know what you think you're hearing them say (not exactly what you said, I know), because sometimes we're not being as clear as we think we are.
My sense is that a lot of the argument arises from whether you look at this as a legal case or a political case (or both).
I also think that the problem with talking about the "will of the American people" is that whatever it is, it is not monolithic. The American people want very many different things and have very many different opinions. Politicians have a tendency to say that their constituents want one thing, whereas the truth is that a majority may want one thing, but many of them may want something else. An individual may not feel 100 percent one way or another as well. It's okay to be gray -- these aren't always black and white issues, but that's a difficult message to present.
Anyway, if you look at the case as a purely legal one, there are signficant problems, including the failure to specify what statements are perjurious. As a legal case, this would not have made it in a court of law, partly due to the discretion of prosecutors, but mostly because it would come down to a "he said, she said" situation with no possible independent verification. That said, I hope that in the Senate we'll get some semblance of due process, (presumption of innocence, specification of charges, opportunity to present a defence, etc.)
As a political case, (which in my opinion it is), it seems clear that opinion polls reflect the political desire of a majority of people, but indeed, representatives are under no obligation to reflect that.
Actually, what I come away with is a sense of the strength of a democracy which can wage war and deal with an impeachment at the same time. I agree with those who say that for Clinton to resign right now would be a fundamental weakening of democracy. That is the greater danger. It would reinforce the idea that to get rid of a president, you would just have to fling enough accusations at him, something a particularly partisan house, of either hue, could do all too easily. I'm looking forward to the following through of due process. I'm hopeful that the constitution will be stronger as a result.
There are responses to this message:
- Re: Cardboard cutout people, Dave Winer, 12/21/1998; 6:59:42 AM
- Quote of the Day, Dave Winer, 12/21/1998; 8:46:55 AM
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