In my column in today’s YDN, I defend the indefensible: the role of ideology in politics. It’s on-line here:

Praising McCain, a committed conservative, as a voice of reason reinforces the prevalent media narrative in which conservatism represents the mainstream of American politics. Ironically, it may be an aversion to understanding politics this way — as a contest between fundamentally opposed ideological visions — that helps to explain McCain’s peculiar popularity on this famously Democratic-voting campus. The McCain of myth, the unyieldingly principled and incomparably pragmatic leader who stands astride petty partisan divides and offers only straight talk, offers a convenient symbol for those Yalies who identify an excess of ideology as the main problem with politics today and pragmatism as the solution.

From the LWB archives: John McCain is not awesome; bashing marginalized folks is not courageous; it’s fair to judge politicians on their politics.


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