About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, March 13, 2006

What's the matter with McCain?

Paul Krugman of the New York Times apparently reads my mind. He wrote a scathing op-ed piece on Senator John McCain, precisely when I was thinking of writing this blog entry. Kudos to Krugman, and I'll say my part anyway.

John McCain is a strange character. He was attacked below the belt by George W. during the 2000 presidential campaign (down to spreading false rumors with voters in South Carolina that McCain had an illegitimate black child – obviously a no-no among enlightened southern Republicans), and yet he “bravely” supports Bush in almost everything he does. McCain was for years a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and fought hard to pass an anti-torture bill just a few weeks ago. What happened? Bush signed it, but only after having added a provision that essentially allows him to disregard it whenever convenient. Did that bother Senator John? Apparently not enough to stop him from praising the hell out of George W. at the recent convention of southern Republican leaders this past weekend. Is McCain a moderate in the midst of a bunch of lunatics? Well, it depends on one's definition of “moderate,” considering that John has advocated an aggressive foreign policy against “rogue” states since 2000, and has recently said he would have signed into law the radical anti-abortion bill passed by those nuts in South Dakota.

OK, John, which way is it? Are you a reasonable conservative (no, that's not exactly an oxymoron, as hard as it is to believe these days), or a radical who poses as a moderate for purely opportunistic reasons? Are you really putting your integrity and ideals first, as you continuously claim in your books and interviews, or are you just a flip-flopper positioning himself for the 2008 Presidentials? I'm beginning to think that these aren't really hard questions to answer, unfortunately.

1 comment:

  1. McCain's ambitions have trumped his integrity and ideals. This appears to be a pandemic disease running through our corporations and legislators. Ethics is defined as, whatever you can get away with and the one with the most integrity is the one who can best hide his skeletons.


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