I recall this term being used often when describing Ronald Reagan. I am not sure he had a "vision", but he certainly understood that the world was becoming a very dangerous place for the United States. Lucky for him, he had a total narcissist and fool to deal with and we all know the result. But here is an interesting nexus. Here, Vladimir Putin (just in case CNBC alters or omits important parts) talks to CNBC's own Hadley Gamble (in Russian with English being heard). At around 6 minutes into interview he asks if the United States understand that by imposing sanctions, they kill US dollar? This issue has been discussed on this blog not for once and it seems that US powers that be do not grasp this simple fact. Recall "Russia's economy is in tatters" by Obama. And it becomes quite clear that it is impossible to communicate to the US "economic elites" how real economy works. Then, of course, one has to deal with US policy makers, and at this point we have to accept the fact that they lack this "vision thing".
Here is an interesting insight which Andrey Raevsky (The Saker) published on his site and I think it gives a good feel why those people in D.C. do not understand what vision is. The piece is by Thorsten J. Pattberg.
Not many relations are as stressful as those relations with a dedicated quibbler. The quibbler is a nitpicker, a raisin-slitter, a hard-ass over the tiniest details and forgettable non-problems – stuff we couldn’t care less about. Such a person will effortlessly drive you mad. He will quibble over the definitions of words, worry about trivialities and find flaws in every case you present to him. “Buddhism was founded in India and spread to East Asia, but in India itself it declined after the 12th Century. ” “Not true,” says the quibbler. He has “seen a Buddha statue in New Delhi last year on a business trip with Joe!” Indeed, the quibbler’s sole proclivity in any conversation might just be to disassemble, to discourage or to sabotage what is the case. This can be done by a sly lawyer who objects to anything the prosecution champions out of principle in order to derail proper proceedings; or it can be done by a chatty manager who shamelessly blames middle management or the bookkeepers in order to obfuscate responsibility. So, when US president Bill Clinton in 1998 technically lied under oath to Congress that he did not have a sexual relation with Monica Lewinsky or any other staff member in the Oval Office, he was nevertheless immediately acquitted during his impeachment trial. This was the result of Bill’s impeccable quibbling to Puritan theology: Apparently, the president was under the general impression, shared by the sages in Congress, that “sexual relations” does not say casual blow-jobs.
It is a concise but extremely focused piece. It is about America's political culture which completely precludes any morality and a "vision thing" which is drowned in quibbling--the only way to to get one to the political top, into the safe confines of the US Congress which exists today for only one reason--to dissipate any kind of personal responsibility for ruining the country, both domestically and on the international arena. US Dollar being the victim of the US insane foreign policy is one such example. US political elites do not discuss anything truly strategic and to the benefit of the United States, no. They quibble about how to better "stop China", how to better sanction Russia, how to better parade their own country as a psychiatric ward (granted, EU takes the lead here)--no visionaries nor "vision things" can emerge under these conditions. And we observed it today everywhere in the US, from media circus, to legislature, to executive branch. They do not know how to do it differently, they do not know how to do "vision thing", because, as Pattberg points out:
Unsurprisingly, quibbling in western Christian denomination has always been associated with ‘the devil’, and the quibblers in literature were ‘the devil’s advocates’. A nation of quibblers, on the other hand, cannot be deterred by ethics or morality. Hence the Americans’ relentless digging the ‘the rule of law’ from under the rest of the world: At one point, the freest people in the world employed 2/3 of lawyers on this planet.
US Congress is run by lawyers, they are everywhere, US Supreme Court long ago stopped being a Court, it increasingly becomes a political organization with the agenda. Recall also that a good share of US journos are, actually, lawyers. Be that foreign policy and international relations ignoramus Jeannine Pirro, or well known to all Megyn Kelly, or Geraldo Riviera, not to forget Jerry Springer. Jeffrey Toobin, despite his urges to masturbate publicly, is a lawyer. They are everywhere, and that is why nothing works anymore in the US. Those quibblers are not into saving the US Dollar or encouraging broad discussion of the life and death issues for the country. They are there to preclude that, even though most of them do not recognize the fruits of their labor. And that is why they cannot recognize that the more they don't have a vision, the more the United States, which lives off the world where it exports its inflation through the US Dollar's "reserve" status, is sinking. Guess who present National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan is--you already guessed it--he is a lawyer by education. So is the President of the United States. See the pattern?
One may argue that Vladimir Putin is a lawyer himself, yes, he is by his initial higher education but then again, people who go through KGB schools, especially famed KAI (former Red Banner Andropov Institute), they are not really lawyers anymore. And as the last 20 years have shown, these guys, do have vision and it is a powerful one. Many of them don't quibble, they just do things and they achieve on such a scale that we will be able to fully judge it in the future.