Today’s post is the first – and very likely the last – political post of my blogging career. The reason for this is simple: I am one of the most apolitical people I know. Ever since 1964, when Goldwater ran against Johnson, I’ve tried to avoid political discussions, which to me seem unproductive at best and divisive at worst. Whenever I hear a political argument, or am tempted to advance one myself, I hear a little voice inside me saying, “But what about this?” or, “What about the other hand?” The closest I come to a personal political philosophy is a paraphrase of Newton’s Third Law: “For every political argument, there is an equal and opposite rebuttal.”
So why have I chosen to turn my back on my apoliticism now, after more than half a century? The answer is two-fold. First, the upcoming presidential election here in the United States is, to a greater extent than ever before, more about character than about issues, and I feel on much more solid ground evaluating the candidates’ personal strengths and weaknesses, which are on display daily for everyone to see, than their political positions, which are subject to endless debate. Second, I recently discovered Sam Harris: American author, neuroscientist, and philosopher. Harris sees clearly – and articulates precisely – what most of us see only dimly and cannot articulate at all. He has strong opinions on the subject of Trump vs. Clinton. I’m convinced he’s right, and am happy to let him speak for me.
Harris regularly publishes a podcast, “Waking Up with Sam Harris“, and the video below is taken from his update of June 15. While there is obviously more that could be said about Trump vs. Clinton, what follows is enough. As Harris says, a lesser-of-two-evils argument makes perfect sense here. Take a few minutes, listen to what he has to say, and judge for yourself.