Irving Kristol

This may be belated, but we wanted to honor Irving Kristol, who passed away last week at the age of 89. Known in some outlets as the father of “neoconservatism”, he was actually a forward thinker. He saw problems with “progressivism” and chose to address them honestly, and was critical in helping the Republican Party (through Reagan) embrace supply-side economics. A congenial and warm soul from all accounts of those who knew him personally, we can only point to his writing. And this quote, which we read in an obit, struck us strongly.

It seems to me that the politics of liberal reform, in recent years, shows many of the same characteristics as amateur poetry. It has been more concerned with the kind of symbolic action that gratifies the passions of the reformer rather than with the efficacy of the reforms themselves. Indeed, the outstanding characteristic of what we call ‘the New Politics’ is precisely its insistence on the overwhelming importance of revealing, in the public realm, one’s intense feelings — we must ‘care,’ we must ‘be concerned,’ we must be ‘committed.’ Unsurprisingly, this goes along with an immense indifference to consequences, to positive results or the lack thereof.

And knowing the truth of this, as we do, is it any shocker that we distrust ‘healthcare reform’?

In any case, RIP to a great thinker and man.

Leave a comment