Nuance

I use nuance every day to handle important but delicate issues. I believe that nuance is often the key to getting people to agree on issues that divide them.

But understanding of nuance is in short supply these days. As an example, I wrote a post last week saying that the “spam crisis is over“. Matt got what I was saying and he blogged back that the crisis may be waning but the problem was still pretty bad. I blogged back that I agreed. Meanwhile, people were commenting on my blog saying how dare I claim that the spam problem had been solved. They failed to understand the nuance of my post. I was saying that the crisis was over, not the problem itself.

But spam isn’t on my mind this morning. Presidential politics is. I am sick and tired of George Bush’s lack of nuance and I am particularly sick and tired of his tendency to ignore the nuance in John Kerry’s stand on Iraq.

John Kerry voted to give Bush the authorization to go to war. He did not vote to go to war. Only the President can do that. But every time Kerry says he would not have actually gone to war, Bush points to the vote, the respect frankly, that Kerry gave him two years ago. He did it again yesterday in reaction to Kerry’s good and strong speech at NYU. The New York Times says:

Mr. Bush attacked his opponent’s declaration that he would not have started the war, contrasting it with Mr. Kerry’s Aug. 9 statement that he stood by his Senate vote to authorize the use of force.

There is nuance to Kerry’s world. Lot’s of it. And I like that. I am willing to take the time to parse through his positions and understand the nuance. When you are dealing with very divergent views, nuance can be a real asset.

Think about how this would play out in the business world.

Do you want to do the strategic deal with Microsoft? For Bush, its yes or no. For Kerry, its on what terms.

Do you want to buy this stock? For Bush, its yes or no. For Kerry, its at what price.

Do you want to hire that person? For Bush, its yes or no. For Kerry, its for what role?

I’ll take nuance every day over strong and wrong. That’s my new name for our current president and his administration.