Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Civility

From Discriminations comes this little gem:

Still, Toobin makes clear, as have others, that Justice Breyer is a smart and appealing man. It's too bad that so many of today's liberals who generally agree with him fail to emulate his approach to politics and law (especially since so many of these followers fail to see the distinction) as outlined to Toobin:

“You have to assume good faith, even on the part of people with whom you disagree,” he told me. “If you don’t assume good faith, it makes matters personal, and it makes it harder to reach a good result and, in my experience, it normally isn’t even true. People do act in good faith. The best clue to what a person thinks is what he says.”
If even, say, 20% of liberals today approached Republicans, conservatives, and President Bush in that spirit, out political culture would be about 100% healthier than it is now.

This quotation, especially the direct quote in the center, will hopefully serve as a timely reminder for some of my commenters here.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you!! This is a great quote!

Elizabeth

Edward said...

The best clue to what a person thinks is what he says.

That sounds like a good rule of thumb to follow when dealing with ordinary people. With politicians, however, it seems awfully naïve.

Darren said...

But if your default assumption, even for a politician, is "liar", I'm not sure you can accomplish much in life. Let people prove themselves liars first.