Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bobby Jindal's "Parlor Games"

Last night the Republicans held their Lincoln Day dinner in Des Moines. Chris Good was there covering the story for ABC News. Apparently he decided to confront Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal with the same question that managed to get Florida Governor Jeb Bush to fumble: Knowing what we now know, was the decision to go to war in Iraq a good idea? Jindal dodged the question, dismissing the consideration of such hypotheses as "parlor games." In doing so, he may have earned himself poster-child status in representing our prevailing culture that seems to lives by the motto "Ignorant of history and proud of it."

Put another way, Jindal appears to assign little value to a critical question:
How did we get where we are?
Whether "where we are" is particularly good or really bad (which seems to be the case at present); we need to deal with the present with some frame of reference other than "shit happens." If Jindal's were an isolated voice that could be ignored when cooler heads prevail, then his reinforcement of our willful ignorance of history could be dismissed as a statistical outlier. Unfortunately, he is more likely right there in the center of a statistical norm; and, if, as a culture, we dismiss as a "parlor game" the need to reflect on how we got ourselves into our present mess, then it is likely that the next mess will come soon and with even greater impact.

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