In Praise of Andrew Sullivan
Sullivan understands that in politics (and life), we should tell the truth as best we see it.
Too many political writers and public “intellectuals” don’t understand their job. They mistakenly think they’re press secretaries for their favored party and political candidates. But a healthy democratic discourse leaves the post-hoc rationalizing and the rhetorical dodges to the party hands (and hacks).
Opinion writers, on the other hand, are supposed to tell the truth as best they see it. Sometimes that could point them leftwards, sometimes rightwards. But the point is that they should be modeling the independence of mind, rigorous thought, and openness to being persuaded by good arguments and evidence that mark a responsible citizen. Good political writers and thinkers should make us want to replicate their approach to politics—to be a bit more thoughtful, a bit less tribal, a bit less knee-jerk, a bit more willing to see the world as it truly is and not as our in-group wishes it to be.
Andrew Sullivan is one such writer.
A gay, Catholic, small-c conservative British ex-pat, Sullivan has always been a must read, which is why I was so excited to review his most recent book, a collection of his writings from 1989-2021, for Merion West magazine.
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