[KB] KB, Transcendence, and the Election
Edappel8 at cs.com
Mon May 5 11:32:47 EDT 2008
For two reasons I can't stay off this list any longer:
One, I can say no to MC, Jerry, Jim, Kenneth, and even Lance. But I
cannot say no to a good woman. I don't have the heart. Maybe that sounds too
old-fashioned, courtly, and inappropriate for a contemporary academic venue,
but that's the way it is.
Second, when I respond to a post on kb off list, the author of the
original post doesn't want to reply to me off list. He or she wants to continue
the discussion where it began, in front of everybody. More bang for the buck.
So, those of you who don't like my style, please be advised to delete
my posts. It is simple to do. Actually, if your inbox is like mine, you
don't even have to delete. Simply ignore what I post and in a couple of weeks it
will disappear, out of sight and totally out of mind.
I am a wild horse. I am not a carriage horse, like the ones that took
Jane Austen's social climbers to the Netherfield Ball. David runs this list.
He's the owner. If he gets fed up with my ravings, he can pull the switch
on my subscription.
Now to the main point of my screed, my reply, off list, to Bob Wess's
post on this election, the presidential role, and Burkean transcendence:
I think you make a good point about the transcendent as a requirement
for a presidential candidate in the United States, especially given the dual
role of that office. But didn't the nation "elect," if we can call it that,
something of a "transcendent" "uniter, not a divider," in 2000, whose ethos
seemed to trump logos in the national assessment? And have not the "specifics" that
that leader has foisted on the nation brought great harm, specifics that
seemed to get relative short shrift during the campaign?
[Proper name missing here because I'm referring to private
correspondence] has downplayed content and detail as paramount factors in persuasion, if
not also in importance, in presidential rhetoric. Isn't there a potential
danger in putting too much stress on the "generic" and "transcendent" in our
assessment of candidates for this particular office? Aren't we paying a price for
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