Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: mitt romney

Spare time

Starting from August this year I have watched some remarkably good documentaries that are freely available online – for now. You can also download them on your laptop/pc using this website, so that you can watch these documentaries without an internet connection. These are three documentaries I selected. Unfortunately, all of them are in English with no possibility of using subtitles.

BBC: The Banker’s Guide to Art

The Banker’s Guide To The Art Market is a revealing, wry and ironic look behind the forces that move the market of fine arts. Propelled by the newly rich of the financial world, London’s art market has soared to historic highs. But is it all good to put a price tag on art? And is this really a recent phenomenon, anyway?

 

BBC: Niccolò Machiavelli

 A Florentine historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer, who is recognized as one of the pioneers of modern political science and much of contemporary political ethics.

 

National Geographic: Before the flood

This documentary has been shared on their social networks by a very large part of my friends. It conveys the urgency of something that all the sensitive readers of this blog already now. It is followed by an invitation to join a movement on beforetheflood.com/act.

 

Bonus: movie

This a movie I wanted to watch for a long time. Last week I finally did, courtesy of Niels. And what a better moment could I pick? The movie is an intimate diary of Mitt Romney’s primary campaign (2008) and presidential campaign (2012). Watching the documentary today, shortly after the G.O.P.’s landslide victory in November elections, feels a little bit surreal. 

 

Unfortunately I can only display the trailer here. Those of you with a Netflix account will be able to watch the full movie there.

We don’t even see the other side

As I ride my bike in these beautiful Swiss landscapes I listen to interviews, audiobooks, and podcasts. Thanks to Giallu I have recently discovered the Axe Files and I would suggest to those of you who have a keen interest in American politics and some spare time to use it for listening this podcast. There are three points coming out of these sessions that are worth sharing with you now, because they are fundamental issues of our contemporary way of living politics and they apply to the debates in the US as well as to most of the European countries where I have lived. They certainly apply to Italy. They go like this:

First, it is increasingly common that we only read news we agree with. This, of course, has been facilitated by the rise of the internet: with Facebook, twitter, and googlenews we tend to read only articles of persons to websites we sympathize with. These articles are likely to reinforce the opinions we already have, rather than offering a view on the other political sides. It is a vicious dynamic.

Consequently, we are unable to seriously engage in a political debate. Not only: we talk contemptuously about people we disagree with.This, mind you, is widespread among everybody, especially my friends on the left of the political axis. How many times have I read conversations like ‘Matteo Renzi is shit’, or ‘Donald Trump is crazy’, or ‘Bernie Sanders is a socialist’ without even trying to engage with the ideas and the arguments. There is a tendency, in other words, to demonize political opponents.

This, of course, makes reconciliation almost impossible. Ultimately, aspirational leadership has the capacity to break through contempt – see the Obama campaign of 2008, what a marvellous campaign it was. But reconciling differences and creating an inclusive narrative in such toxic environments is becoming an incredibly difficult challenge. Those who want to improve the political climate should probably try harder to see the other side of the debate and engage seriously with the arguments and the ideas rather than demonizing the individuals.

 

This newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him

I was waiting for it, it is out now, it is compelling as expected.

The first presidential debate

Tonight there will be the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. I imagine it will go along these lines.

Voting for Mitt Romney

I wanted to talk about Barack Obama and why he still is the best candidate in the American elections. But then I said to myself: it would be far too easy to support this guy here in Europe where everybody already supports him; plus, I did it already, anyway. So, I thought, why not try to play the devil’s advocate and see what are the reasons for supporting good old Mitt Romney?

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Personally, I dislike Mitt Romney at least as much as I dislike his ideas. But he has at least two winning arguments. First, the majority of the country believes the government does too much. There Romney has a great advantage, going right at the size and irresponsibility of government against the incumbent president who, interestingly enough, seems to have a fascination for the European tradition in social security and equality. Second, Romney was a successful entrepreneur. You might not like that, but he managed to earn a lot of money with his companies. This was also the reason why some many Italians voted for Berlusconi in the 90s. The logic behind this thought is that if one succeeded in managing such big companies, he may as well succeed in managing a country. These are the two main arguments Romney is trying to play on. And he could do it well, considering that he has received a shitload of money for his political campaign.

The next structured event in the presidential campaign is the first debate between the two candidates, that will take place at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.

Curious aside note: I was giving a look at the page: Celebrity Supporters of Mitt Romney. The only ones I know are The Lynard Skynard (not really a big deal, as they have played at 3 Republican Conventions), Cindy Crawford, Clint Eastwood, Brad Pitt’s mom, Angelina Jolie’s dad, and porn-star Jenna Jameson. This is really quite embarrassing.