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Word Weavers

Over the last few days we have lost two amazing writers and thinkers--Irving Kristol and William Safire. Thinking about them, I've thought of some things they said, and others have said. As I sit here, holding the positions that I re-examine regularly, but still find fairly good even after all this time, I wonder about how my positions that once were labeled as fairly leftist (okay, except for my consistently hawkish stand on the military), now have me hovering right near the center line. And how that area feels to me much like the No Man's Land of WWI--where the far right (which pretty much describes the vocal apparatus of the Republican party these days, and excludes neo-nazis, survivalists, and KKK) and the far left (which pretty much describes the vocal apparatus of the Democratic party these days, and excludes PETA, Earth-first, etc.) lob shells at each other and tell themselves they're governing when all they are doing is creating a generation suffering from political PTSD and a wasteland composed of equal parts scorched earth and unexploded armaments, just waiting to explode without warning.

But anyway, here are the words I remembered, as I remembered them, double-checked that I was attributing them to the right speakers:

"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." Irving Kristol

"The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right." William Safire

"Anyone who isn’t a liberal by age 20 has no heart. Anyone who isn’t a conservative by age 40 has no brain." Winston Churchill

"It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize." Theodore Roosevelt

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." Franklin D. Roosevelt

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." John F. Kennedy


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
"Liberal" in the sense of the Founding, is very much a Centrist position now. The principles in the Founding itself were extremely daring in what they wanted, but the people espousing them were careful thinkers who worried about the one thing that I generally don't see in the actions of any party in control--the willingness to ask about the unintended consequences. How different things would be if the ruling parties, in turn, when they are in power, would temper their actions by how they will affect the seventh generation....

Actually, one of the things I admire so very much about you is that you present a very sensible face of moderation and centered thinking.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )