The Fake Raptor Pages

Chapter one: Veritas Obscura

There seems to be some misunderstandings about what exactly is a normative statement and what isn't floating around here. A certain faction continuously asserts that there is no such thing as a normative statement, and has launched a winded and ultimately futile campaign to prove the truth that there is no truth.

Of course, this is utter nonsense. It is yet understandable that one visiting the essay section of this website could come to that conclusion. After reading a wealth of the political essays, I've discovered that a major theme among the worst of them is the ranking of American presidents, usually with a focus on the current one being of the lowest rank. This is not a normative statement, as I can quickly demonstrate, but is the personal opinion of the author, buttressed by a highly superficial and subjective analysis.

For instance, it is said that George Bush is the worst American president because he launched multiple wars at the same time. I can prove as a fact that this reasoning is faulty.

I exhibit the Wilson Administration. Under the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, the United States went to war against the states of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, The Ottoman Empire, Germany, and launched an incursion into Mexico to hunt down the bin Laden of the day, Pancho Villa.

Even if we could normatively conclude that fighting multiple wars at one time is a terrible thing to do, we would not eliminate other contenders for being the worst. Besides Wilson, there would be George H.W. Bush, who was the Commander in Chief over operations in Panama and the Gulf War, William Jefferson Clinton, who oversaw conflicts in Somalia (1993), Sudan (1998), Afghanistan (1998), Bosnia (1990s), Kosovo (1999), and Iraq (1993 &1998). Some differentiate operations under the Nixon Administration in Cambodia and Vietnam as different conflicts. Franklin Roosevelt oversaw the fighting against Italy, Japan, and Germany. James Madison's presidency saw wars against Great Britain and Tecumseh's Native American Confederacy. U.S. Grant, among other presidents, had presidencies marred by conflicts against numerous Indian tribes.

With the exceptions of the Bush 41 and Clinton administrations, the wars of the current regime have been less bloody than the others. This is proven in the body counts. For instance, FDR oversaw more than 200,000 US troops. Clearly, no normative benchmark demonstrates that the current wars are worse.

Others have argued that the current president is worse than all others because this one didn't allow same-sex marriage. Well, neither did the previous forty-two. Others have pointed out that this one has overseen a recession. So did Franklin Roosevelt, James Carter, Richard Nixon, U.S. Grant, and others.

Chimps don't actually smirk, and a bad president a smirk doesn't make.

All this may leave you with the conclusion that no clear definitive answer exists, but this isn't so. I can prove as fact that George W. Bush is the best American President of the twenty-first century. The evidence should be clear to anyone that this is so. Consider that he became president on Inauguration Day of January 2001, and will be the American President until January 2009. William Clinton was president from January 1993 to January 2001, therefore not being a president of the twentieth century.

Examine the above paragraph for a conclusion, and you'll come to the normative answer that no other American President could be the best of the twenty-first century. Only George W Bush remains. Therefore, I've proved a claim contrary to what most essays conclude here. Nonetheless, all other answers are falsehoods. This will undoubtedly upset many people, but others will smile at the logical gymnastics I've pulled.

You see, some arguments can be pinned down as truth, if properly isolated from variables that could render the conclusion invalid. Truth can be found only when inconvenient phenomenon are factored in. My proof that Bush is the finest president of this century carries little weight in ranking him with those of other centuries. Likewise, deeming him the worst when overlooking the historical facts that other presidents have faced equivalent events as the current one renders the anti-Bush essays equally invalid.

Variables are very stubborn things, and will infuriate ranking efforts even if a consensus could be found as to what are good traits and what are bad. Life is so complicated that even determining the value of one aspect of life, say, "the economy," is going well or not. Conducting a statistical analysis is difficult, but mainstream economists have largely settled on Gross Domestic Product as the measuring stick. Typically, this grows in industrialized countries in good shape (Ireland), and remains stagnate in both slumping industrialized countries (Germany) and failed states (Somalia).

Statistics such as GDP only give an overall picture, and are supplemented by many gauges at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve, and other governmental sites. Not all of these statistics are satisfactory to everyone, however. There are alternative statistics used by alternative economists, and they generally depict a different view of American prosperity. Both sets of numbers are truthful, but they measure different things. The consumer price index and other indexes meant to gauge the living standards of consumers often portray a very different picture of the American Dream than labor wage statistics, per capita GDP, or the unemployment rate. However, while the numbers generated by these alternative statistics may be valid, they often make value judgments. Products in the CPI, for example, may not be as essential to American lifestyles as the micro economists claim. Moreover, maintaining that these items have a certain value is a subjective practice, and yet, the details of what these numbers actually mean are lost on the American people. They may be used to proof of a certain outlook, without most voters knowing how they're tabulated.

The subjective values placed in the alternative statistics are why mainstream economists generally reject them. Because they're abstaining from accepting arbitrary values for detriments like pollution, economists are hanging closely to the rigors of science, but may be missing critical portions of the picture. This may be rectified by compiling statistics of ailments like asthma, subtracting the medical cost and productivity lost from the statistics. This presents a clarified picture, without conducting a subjective analysis. Even so, absolute truth about what's good and what's bad for us isn't being measured. Yet coming to an absolute truth is hardly necessary for voters and policymaker to make decisions, and more importantly, untruths can be proven to be invalid. What we have now is the best truth we can have until through diligence we can develop a better system.

It should be noted that forecasting presents more variables that can't be measured in the present, and that the past can be obfuscated by revisionist historians and other frauds, and that the best way to overcome them is to diligently follow the current scientific methodology, which has been perfected through trial and error. Mostly through well-documented error.