Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Professors Against Drunk Voting

Some of us are prone to excessive and blinding political passions. Politics does that to you. Those in political philosophy, like me, have to balance the sober study of politics with the active life of a citizen who loves (yes, loves) justice. Love engages the passions, and the passions cloud the mind. You see the problem.

Because politics, unlike mathematics, necessarily involves profoundly important moral questions, political passions are both necessary and dangerous. God made us to love righteousness, but not to idolize a well ordered life in this world.

In this week's Worldmag column, "Victory and Idolatry," I reflect upon the forms that excessive and misplaced political hopes often take: millenarian enthusiasm and disgusted withdrawal. I intend this as a tonic especially for Republicans and Tea Partiers as we approach the November election. But not a paralyzing one.

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