Charles Krauthammer died today. Here are a few of his better quotes, some from his book Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics (2013):
I don’t really care what a public figure thinks. I care about what he does. Let God probe his inner heart.
In explaining any puzzling Washington phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit.
The essence of foreign policy, is deciding which son of a bitch to support -in 1941, Hitler or Stalin; in 1972, Brezhnev or Mao; in 1979, Somoza or Ortega. One has to choose. A blanket anti-son of a bitch policy, like a blanket anti-ethnic cleansing policy, is soothing, satisfying and empty. It is not a policy at all but righteous self-delusion.
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil. For the first side of this equation, I need no sources. As a conservative, I can confidently attest that whatever else my colleagues might disagree about—Bosnia, John McCain, precisely how many orphans we’re prepared to throw into the snow so the rich can have their tax cuts—we all agree that liberals are stupid. We mean this, of course, in the nicest way. Liberals tend to be nice, and they believe—here is where they go stupid—that most everybody else is nice too. Deep down, that is. Sure, you’ve got your multiple felon and your occasional war criminal, but they’re undoubtedly depraved ’cause they’re deprived. If only we could get social conditions right—eliminate poverty, teach anger management, restore the ozone, arrest John Ashcroft—everyone would be holding hands smiley-faced, rocking back and forth to “We Shall Overcome.” Liberals believe that human nature is fundamentally good. The fact that this is contradicted by, oh, 4,000 years of human history simply tells them how urgent is the need for their next seven-point program for the social reform of everything.
In 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney handed down the Dred Scott decision upholding and extending slavery. Taney’s opinion was, it is generally agreed, “the worst constitutional decision of the 19th century” (the words are Robert Bork’s). Yet there is a curious and little known fact about Judge Taney. More than 30 years earlier he had freed his own slaves. Today, therefore, we would say that while he was “personally” opposed to slavery he did not want to “impose” his views on others.
History has blessed us with all the freedom and advantages of multiculturalism. But it has also blessed us, because of the accident of our origins, with the linguistic unity that brings a critically needed cohesion to a nation as diverse, multiracial and multiethnic as America. Why gratuitously throw away that priceless asset? How mindless to call the desire to retain it ‘racist.