. . . Tuesday October 26, 2004

Thinking in Public

Andrew Sullivan Endorses Kerry:

And it is simply foolish to ignore what we have found out this past year about Bush’s obvious limits, his glaring failures, his fundamental weakness as a leader. I fear he is out of his depth and exhausted. I simply do not have confidence in him to navigate the waters ahead skillfully enough to avoid or survive the darkening clouds on the horizon.

Kerry? I cannot know for sure. But in a democracy, you sometimes have to have faith that a new leader will be able to absorb the achievements of his predecessor and help mend his failures. Kerry has actually been much more impressive in the latter stages of this campaign than I expected. He has exuded a calm and a steadiness that reassures. He is right about our need for more allies, more prudence, and more tactical discrimination in the war we are waging. I cannot say I have perfect confidence in him, or that I support him without reservations. But not to support anyone in this dangerous time is a cop-out. So give him a chance. In picking the lesser of two risks, we can also do something less dispiriting. We can decide to pick the greater of two hopes. And even in these dour days, it is only American to hope.

I don’t agree with all of Sullivan’s points in this endorsement, and I often disagree with his takes on his blog. But here and there, we see him thinking out loud, ruminating, being honest about his internal conflicts. There simply aren’t a lot of people who are willing or able to do that during crunch time. It’s hard not to get swept up in the undertow of your own extended community; and nearly impossible to critcize your team or to defend theirs. In these days of constant attacks, Sullivan offers an occasional respite from the storm. We need more of that. It’s called thinking.

Concentration is important!