Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Political vandalism

George Will reflects on the political incivilities we have been wittnessing since the Bork hearings. He doesn’t like it. His conclusion: "Life has been called a series of habits disturbed by a few thoughts. Civil society is kept civil by certain habits of restraint. Inflammatory political ideas can overturn habits, sometimes for the better, usually not. But no discernible ideas, at least none that are more than appetites tarted up as ideas, account for the vandalism by political overreachers of both parties.

Each vandal seems to think that his or her passions are their own excuse for existing. As Santayana said, such thinking is the defining trait of barbarians."

Discussions - 2 Comments

I wonder what Will thinks of being quoted in the Berkeley study?

"As Santayana said, such thinking is the defining trait of barbarians."

Here is a very popular liberal website. Note the lack of intellectual response (to Jacoby’s simplistic "reasons"). Bartcop is the very essence of the next generation of Democrats. On his homepage he responds to one of his readers thus:


Jeez man, what is this idolotry you have for Bill Clinton the biggest fake since Warren G. Harding! He faked his whole presidency.

Wait, you’re saying peace and prosperity are fake, but war and recession are real? Let’s go with the fake, then. Nobody died under Clinton.

"Nobody died under Clinton" is, of course, a tacit lie. Yet it is a lie that should not be easily dismissed. Like Clinton himself, the lie is made so effortlessly, and with such simple conviction that even I, one who knows better, was at first taken by it.

It is often said these days that conservatives think liberals are stupid while liberals think conservatives are "evil." Quite the opposite may very well be closer to the truth.

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