This and That
Follow Your Heart

Nuance and the Great Awokening

This from my friend Robert Malchman:

“People are gray. As a teenager, I had all the certainty that life was full of heroes and villains, and never the twain would overlap. [Our mutual acquaintance] was a great teacher and mentor, but was also a deeply flawed man. Understanding that a heart of gold and feet of clay can exist in the same person was a leap of maturity for me.

And I keep seeing the phenomenon that so many have trouble with. For example, Woodrow Wilson: First he's the visionary of the 14 Points, the League of Nations, Savior of Democracy in Europe. Now he's the racist scumbag who segregated the federal government. But he's also the guy who put Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice, on the Supreme Court. But he also put James McReynolds (racist, anti-Semitic, reactionary, more obnoxious that even Donald Trump) on the Court -- but admitted later it was a mistake (Wilson had thought McReynolds was a progressive trust-buster). So do we now take Wilson's name off everything? I think, on balance, yes; he should not be lionized, and his racism should be disqualifying. But it's a nuanced question, and most people don't do nuance.”

To which I can only say Amen. This is the single most succinct summary of a more nuanced way to react to the great awokening that I have read so far.


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