|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks - no form of government can render us secure. -James Madison, Virginia Ratifying Convention||Quotes|
What could be more fun than to use some dry mathematical humor to add some refinement to this political epigram? And so is born the Law of Political Scruples.
President Obama's Cuban plan started the process of normalizing relations between the U.S. and Cuba. President Obama's Cuban policy has components found in other of his administration's foreign policy efforts: To fix the present by symbolic attempts to mend the past. They are marked by a recognition that: incremental and indirect change can be just as important as more obviously interventionist moves can be; change in other parts of the world is usually shaped more by internal efforts and perceptions than external; dialog with other countries is a vital part of exerting influence on change outside our borders.
In the world of politics, the degree to which scruples are exercised is in inverse proportion to the degree to which moral rectitude is claimed.(1)
Political ideologies, or ideologies wielded in the service of politics, share the property that they can erase any reality that contradicts them.
(1). See also The Law of Political Scruples.
In a response to the recent furor over the Confederate flag and its removal from public grounds, Kevin Drum just nails it:
Are we still arguing about whether the Civil War was really fought over slavery? Seriously? What's next? The Holocaust was really about Jews overstaying their tourist visas? The Inquisition was a scientific exploration of the limits of the human body? The Romans were genuinely curious about whether a man could kill a hungry lion? The Bataan death march was a controlled trial of different brands of army boots?(Kevin Drum, Are We Still Yammering About Whether the Civil War Was About Slavery? Really?, Mother Jones)