Intellectual Dissection of “The Forest vs. The Trees”

I posted the following analysis of the substantive differences in seeing intellectual truths via “The Forest” vs. “The Trees,” on Jay Bookman’s blog, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on the morning of May 6, 2016: (Link:

Part 1:

The author of “The Guardian” article, entitled “Democrats acting Elitist, Not Progressive,” (Link:  ), Thomas Frank, centered his entire article on a false premise, in my opinion.  By example: The former Instructional Superintendent of Schools of the system in which I had worked, promoted me to the role of his Instructional Lead Teacher (to the jealousy of some of my peer teachers. He gave me wise advice after he had promoted me, years ago. That Doctorate of Education, and my principal, had said to me, “When people have nothing to criticize you for factually, because your work is excellent, they will go for character assassination, for that is all that they have left to use, because they want to bring you down.”

Imho, Thomas Franks’ entire article was a wrong-headed characterization of Democrats. Thus, my argument was designed to refute his contention in his article by showing how wrong he was regarding the Democratic agenda. Therefore, I needed to give a strong defense of the Democratic Party’s agenda over the past 5 decades, in contrast to that of the Republicans.  Any reasonable person would have read my words that way.

Part 2 (continuation)

Now, you and several others, are trying to pull me into an intellectual rabbit’s hole to which I do not wish to descend.  You both believe strongly in “facts,” and you state that over and over again. I believe in the importance of facts, also.  However, the important thing to remember about so-called “facts” is that they can be used to destroy an otherwise valid argument, or person, if those facts are not interpreted correctly.

One of you mentioned Thomas Franks’ assessment of Obama as being elitist as an example of Obama’s lack of care of immigrants, based on one sentence Obama had stated about immigrants to America.  One sentence, out of context, does not the character of Obama make, nor of the character and agenda of the Democratic Party over the last decades.  You wanted to steer to discussion not to that (I am still not convinced that you even read the Franks’ article), but to Bill Clinton’s role in the Financial Crash of 2008, which even the other poster said was not the point.  I did not want to get side-stepped by you both on whether Bill Clinton did or not help to create that crash.  Off target.

One can cherry pick “facts” at will, especially facts regarding a person’s character and beat them to death, incorrectly, by either limited, or devious, interpretation.  I believe you and the other poster both are guilty of that mental process and that is why, I believe, that you often miss seeing what is most important, the forest not the trees, or the trend of the ideas which show truth, not isolated facts, misinterpreted.  The Democratic ideological agenda did not bring the working class people of this nation low, as implied by author Thomas Franks.  That was the ideology and the political agenda of the Republican Party of the last 50 years.  Thomas Frank interpreted facts incorrectly, imo, and you played with facts in order to “win” an intellectual battle with me that was only in your own head, not mine.

I will not be pulled into any more “intellectual rabbit holes” with you and the other poster, if I can avoid it, again.  One can take “facts” and misinterpret those facts to others, all day, in a juvenile intellectual  “one-ups-man-ship”  game.  I want no part of that game.


Jay Bookman: “You cannot debate or discuss issues with them because the facts that exist in our dimension do not exist in their dimension, and vice versa.”


Mary Elizabeth:

“Simply stating facts will never bring people together. Only wisdom and love can do that. . . One can cherry pick ‘facts’ at will, especially facts regarding a person’s character and beat them to death, incorrectly, by either limited, or devious, interpretation. . . Too little value is placed on wisdom and love today.  Winning has become everything in America.  We think we can ‘win’ by spouting facts as we can ‘win’ by shooting bullets. This path only leads to cynicism and death, if not of the body, then certainly of the spirit.

We must reject those values, and start to value more wisdom and love, if we will save our nation and our world.  And, we can start changing directions, right here, on this relatively unknown blog. Offered as a prayer.


Another poster to Mary Elizabeth on May 12, 2016:

“I’m open to being educated about this problem of stereotypical thinking that you’re so often talking about. Can you give me a concrete example of how Hillary Clinton is the victim of this kind of thinking?”

Mary Elizabeth’s response to that poster’s inquiry:

“Reread what I had previously written to you about thinking in stereotypes (the above article), even to the point of using ‘facts’ to defend your own stereotypical thinking, as the author of ‘The Guardian’ article, Thomas Frank, indulged in, without being intellectually aware of the fallacy of, or weakness in, his own thinking, imo.

Substitute Hillary Clinton’s name for Barack Obama’s in Thomas Frank’s article to understand the ‘wrong thinking’ that is often attached to using ‘facts,’ in a limited way, and used simply to serve one’s own limited intellectual vision and reasoning, which may be faulty.

One more thing:  If Hillary Clinton is a ‘problem’ to the American way of life, according to the thinking of Bernie Sanders, then so is Barack Obama for he has taken money from CEOs through political PACS to have won his two elections unlike purist Bernie, and Obama I will remind everyone is endorsing Hillary for President over Bernie.  Ask yourself, ‘Why’?  Perhaps Obama sees something of depth in Hillary that Bernie lacks.  I certainly do.  Read my link below, which is a recent entry into my own blog, which was an edited version of the long essay I wrote to you on this blog, which was almost not posted until I protested, by saying that my post contained, ‘intellectually worthy words,’ which it did, and does.







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One Response to Intellectual Dissection of “The Forest vs. The Trees”

  1. Pingback: Projecting One’s Own Thoughts Onto the Words of the Writer or Speaker | maryelizabethsings

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