Saturday, February 28, 2009

Diseases of the left and of the right

Many years ago, George Will wrote of a film, "It was made by the type of people who think they are virtuous because they are not Richard Nixon," diagnosing with particular acuity a syndrome of the Left. But I wonder if there isn't a similar malady on the Right, people who think they are virtuous because they are not -- who? Ted Kennedy? one of the Clintons? Nancy Pelosi? the current President?

Don't get me wrong. I do not mean to heap praise on any of those figures mentioned, just as Will did not mean to praise President Nixon. But it occurs to me, and to Will, that virtue, be it civic virtue or moral virtue, consists in something entirely different from hating the right people, or merely voting for the right candidates. Anyone can do that.

Inchoate thoughts, these.