Saturday, June 04, 2005

"What Is It Like To Be A Bat?" (With Apologies to Thomas Nagel)

A peek into the belfry of the conservative mind. Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal columnist (the one with a crush on Reagan), on the coming out of Deep Throat (Mark Felt):

"What Mr. Felt helped produce was a weakened president who was a serious president at a serious time. Nixon's ruin led to a cascade of catastrophic events--the crude and humiliating abandonment of Vietnam and the Vietnamese, the rise of a monster named Pol Pot, and millions--millions--killed in his genocide. America lost confidence; the Soviet Union gained brazenness. What a terrible time. Is it terrible when an American president lies and surrounds himself by dirty tricksters? Yes, it is. How about the butchering of children in the South China Sea. Is that worse? Yes. Infinitely, unforgettably and forever....

Were there heroes of Watergate? Surely many unknown ones, those who did their best to be constructive and not destructive, those who didn't think it was all about their beautiful careers. I'll give you a candidate for great man of the era: Chuck Colson. Colson functioned in the Nixon White House as a genuinely bad man, went to prison and emerged a genuinely good man. He told the truth about himself in "Born Again," a book not fully appreciated as the great Washington classic it is, and has devoted his life to helping prisoners and their families. He paid the price, told the truth, blamed no one but himself, and turned his shame into something helpful. Children aren't dead because of him. There are children who are alive because of him." (The Wall Street Journal, "The Legend of Deep Throat Was Mark Felt really a hero?" Thursday, June 2, 2005).

Let that stand as the last word on the philosophy of mind.


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