The last few weeks in the wine blogosphere have seen a large number posts taking the contest between Barack Obama and John McCain to realms previously unseen in political discourse. While some offer pretty humorous takes on comparing wines to the candidates, it is undeniable that others are stating their support for a candidate.
More often than not, that candidate is Barack Obama. That is fine by me (hey, the blogosphere is a free and unrestricted medium). But there is a painful philosophical paradox which many bloggers must face.
I would like to hear how many in the wine producing, wine writing, wine selling and wine promoting sectors explain the following paradox.
Enter the paradox:
Senator Obama has expressed his support and inclinations towards increasing government regulations in certain sectors of our economy and our society. If you support him, then his philosophy must resonate with you to some degree. At minimum, you recognize that these regulations are a necessity, a necessary evil, an acceptable means to an end.
But a majority of wine bloggers are opposed to at least one (if not all) of the following:
- An absolute definition of quality (for variety and region).
- A standardization of wine rating.
- A certification standard for wine bloggers.
- Regulation and oversight of regional typicity by an independent body.
If one is philosophically opposed to regulation, standardization and any standard in the world of wine, how can one reconcile that with their support for a candidate who endorses regulation and oversight of economic and social realms?
Criteria can be always determined by a group of people dedicated to reaching consensus. I cannot accept the arguments of: “who watches the watchers?”. That line of reasoning is deflective. There comes a point where we must put our faith in a group of people we deem capable of doing a said job.
If you endorse or vote for a presidential or senatorial candidate, you are the watcher. Who watches you? We must not give in to the temptation of this “infinite line of watchers” argument. The buck stops with us. If it doesn’t, nothing will change.
For the record, I think Senator Obama has very valid points and (having grown up in a socialist country) I am not convinced that his proposals will go to the extremes some would propose. Additionally, I have spoken in favor of each of those four areas of standardization and regulation in the world of wine.
So how do we reconcile this discrepancy between supporting a pro-regulation presidential candidate and opposing any regulation and standardization in our own sector?
I once heard it said: “If you don’t know what it’s about, then it’s about money”.
Is that the case here?
…or… could we be facing this kind of future?
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