How Best to Support… on A Shot to the Head Didn’…
in the public debate:
In reading about policy battles, international relations and economic fortunes: history as it is happening, we seem to learn things, important things. Six months later, these conclusions borne of hard experience are forgotten, barely recalled or distorted beyond recognition. This might be surprising, then again, just as there are people whose careers depend on our amnesia, there are people whose livelihood is built on ensuring that amnesia.
Stephen Hayes is thinking about trust in government and reminds us of events that have brought us to our current low.
The decomposition of the Obama presidency has created what Obama might call a teachable moment. “
Where William Kristol uses specific Obama failures to introduce specific thinkers. One example refers to his father:
Liberalism’s domestic policies aren’t working quite the way they were supposed to? Acquaint them with Irving Kristol: “I have observed over the years that the unanticipated consequences of social action are always more important, and usually less agreeable, than the intended consequences.”
Scott Alexander ponders what an outgroup really is in a long post: I Can Tolerate Anything Except The Outgroup.
It seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don’t really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don’t regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. You forgive a conventional duel just as you forgive a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven.
…But the best thing that could happen to this post is that it makes a lot of people, especially myself, figure out how to be more tolerant. Not in the “of course I’m tolerant, why shouldn’t I be?” sense of the Emperor in Part I. But in the sense of “being tolerant makes me see red, makes me sweat blood, but darn it I am going to be tolerant anyway.”