Op-Ed Columnist – Obama and the War on Brains – NYTimes.com
Oh, Kristof! I’ve always liked you! Why do you have to think like so?
An intellectual is a person interested in ideas and comfortable with complexity. Intellectuals read the classics, even when no one is looking, because they appreciate the lessons of Sophocles and Shakespeare that the world abounds in uncertainties and contradictions, and — President Bush, lend me your ears — that leaders self-destruct when they become too rigid and too intoxicated with the fumes of moral clarity.
Is there any moral clarity to be had regarding the issues you have—I think rightly—championed? Cambodian sex slavery? Darfurian genocide?
Today Kristof had a fascinating video about educating the beautiful children of the Pakistani rural areas. But his worldview was on display again: he closed the presentation by saying that Pakistan’s greatest enemy was “not India but illiteracy.” It’s neither, of course, and until liberals see the greatest enemy, the one inside their own hearts—as Alexander Solzhenitsyn did—the world will disappoint them.