Alan: The above quotation was sent to me by a right-wing Texan. I am increasingly struck that many great truths lend themselves to favorable interpretation on both sides of the aisle. This meta-level truth goes nearly unmentioned, perhaps because it's unmentionable.
What do we do when we realize our theoretical agreement but, as a practical matter, speak different languages?
George Orwell: "Politics And The English Language," 1946
Alan: In my personal experience, the most striking instance of a right-wing friend applauding a fundamentally liberal truth was her approval of the following passage by Trappist monk, Fr. Thomas Merton:
"The terrible thing about our time is precisely the ease with which theories can be put into practice. The more perfect, the more idealistic the theories, the more dreadful is their realization. We are at last beginning to rediscover what perhaps men knew better in very ancient times, in primitive times before utopias were thought of: that liberty is bound up with imperfection, and that limitations, imperfections, errors are not only unavoidable but also salutary. The best is not the ideal. Where what is theoretically best is imposed on everyone as the norm, then there is no longer any room even to be good. The best, imposed as a norm, becomes evil.”
"Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander,” Thomas Merton
More Merton Quotes
Compendium Of Best Pax Posts On "Too Pure Principles" And The Collapse Of Conservatism
"Is Perfectionism A Curse? Paul Ryan Tells The Truth"