Alas, the Empathic Rationalist will be forced to take this coming weekend off. Your humble scribe will be in the Left Coast, celebrating his 35th reunion with other members of the Stanford Class of 1981. But before I sign off for a week and a half, let me just say how refreshing it will be to leave Washington, D.C. at this particular moment in our nation’s history.
My city is, appropriately, obsessed with the Presidential Election. Yet what is so difficult to watch is how so many educated, intelligent people seem utterly incapable of taking both sides of this debate seriously – or even pretending to take them seriously. By mid-October of a Presidential Election Year, this city becomes infested with spin doctors. Some are paid, others are not, but spin is the name of the game. I expect to find more truth watching my old classmates drink to excess and then speak their minds. Even after a few martinis, their ideas will be more nuanced and fair than those of the most eloquent spin doctors.
Let me now leave you with a quote by a man who may well have been more intelligent and educated than ANY 21st Century D.C. spin doctor. The man is John Stuart Mill, the quintessential liberal, feminist, utilitarian, voice of reason:
“It might be plausibly maintained, that in almost every one of the leading controversies, past or present, in social philosophy, both sides were in the right in what they affirmed, though wrong in what they denied.”
Discuss among yourselves.