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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Soap Box

I have my students doing a practice essay to get them ready for next week. So while they're diligently writing about the importance of voting I just could not resist writing down my views on Ralph Nader.

First the definitions:

Superego -- giving, loving, sacrificial part of being human
Id -- self-centered, lustful, me me me, part of being human
Ego -- The part of every person that ballances Superego and Id.

Most people find a ballance between the sacrificial and the selfish aspects in their lives -- they have a healthy ego. For some reason when we talk about the most selfish we say they have a big ego, or are egomanics. Actually they have a big Id.

I explained all this to focus on the word Id. It's a greek word meaning self and the greeks had it as the root to another word. This word described someone who was highly intellegent, but was so self-centered that they could not see how their actions damaged the community as a whole. They called these people idiotes. The English word is IDIOT.

Which brings me to Ralph Nader. The poster child for the word IDIOT? He's not illiterate or ignorant or even stupid. No one doubts that he's quite intelligent. He just has a huge Id.
He wrote a book about an unsafe car and got fifteen minutes of fame forty years ago and he can't let it go.
In 2000 he ran for President on the Green Party ticket. Normally this would have made little difference, but that wasn't a normal year. That was a year when the votes he pulled away from Al Gore in critical states helped get George Bush elected. The party and person who are politically opposite of what Nader stands for.
Now why did Nader continue to run in 2000 knowing how close the election was and that if he endorsed Al Gore, a strong environmental advocate, it would tip the ballance to him?
He can't to this day see the damage done to all the things he stands for by Bushco. Or how the rest of us have been damaged by this decision.
His presidential campaign didn't matter in 2004. His candidacy then was a joke, and now it's past being a joke and is just plain pathetic.
He squandered his one opportunity to make a difference in 2000, but his Id got in the way.


Unknown said...

p m: As a car nut, he never adequately got to the bottom of why the Chevrolet Corvair was "Unsafe at Any Speed" (the title of his book). I sat down to lunch with an engineer who told me how this car was never designed to roll out of the assembly line as the cheapened product it was. The Accounting people caused many design changes to save money and what should have been the 1959-68 version of the BMW Mini Cooper became a hodge podge of ill conceived parts--a mess. I couldn't help but chuckle at your Freudian link to the word "Idiot"! And I'm glad I avoided politics when I look at Nader! A great post!!

1 plus twins said...

wonderful post!!!!!

again i don't talk politcs or religion so that is all i am gonna say.

wonderful post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

1. returning the favor of posting a comment

2. freud's tripartite personality - id, ego, superego - has a venerable history, traceable at least to aristotle's "rhetoric", in which three modes of argument - ethos, pathos, & logos - were defined. aristotle was a great labeler - he categorized/labeled everything... frequently in triplets.

modern social psych has tripartite theory of attitude formation: cognitive, affective, behavioral - traceable to same source.

the "i'm okay, you're okay" pop psych books of 70s (?) used the same basic categorization.

so... any time you see anything sliced up into three categories, think "aristotle".

[a semi-personal example: my great unwritten history: "The Jewish century: Marx, Freud, & Einstein"... a nice tripartite analysis!]

(note: previous version of this post deleted - i needed to make a correction & don't know how to edit a comment! - delete & repost was easy)