Nicholas Kristof speaks to me. I love to read his column in the NYTimes because he is pretty liberal, but he's--well--kind. I hope he doesn't mind that description, because it may sound very unjournalistic not to be described as bombastic, scathing, cynical, or strident. But in the national media, it's refreshing to read someone intelligent, analytical, but kind. He has spent a good bit of time this year writing on the sex trade in the Far East. While "on location" he ran into some International Justice Mission types, and seemed touched by their comittment. He said something nice about evangelicals.This shows he is not only kind, but courageous. Today he weighed in on the Micheal Moore phenomena. He broaches the Bush as liar rhetoric like this:
"A consensus is emerging on the left that Mr. Bush is fundamentally dishonest, perhaps even evil — a nut, yes, but mostly a liar and a schemer. That view is at the heart of Michael Moore's scathing new documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11."
In the 1990's, nothing made conservatives look more petty and simple-minded than their demonization of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who were even accused of spending their spare time killing Vince Foster and others. Mr. Clinton, in other words, left the right wing addled. Now Mr. Bush is doing the same to the left. For example, Mr. Moore hints that the real reason Mr. Bush invaded Afghanistan was to give his cronies a chance to profit by building an oil pipeline there.
"I'm just raising what I think is a legitimate question," Mr. Moore told me, a touch defensively, adding, "I'm just posing a question."
Right. And right-wing nuts were "just posing a question" about whether Mr. Clinton was a serial killer.
I'm against the "liar" label for two reasons. First, it further polarizes the political cesspool, and this polarization is making America increasingly difficult to govern. Second, insults and rage impede understanding."
Kristof values understanding. Kristof, kind and courageous.
His writing raises hard questions, but I'm sorry, it just has a kind tone to it. Robert Coles (Pulitizer Prize winner who wrote the Moral Intelligence of Children) distills the meaning of morality as basic kindness. So hats off to a liberal with MORALS. Fancy that.
I dont' know how to do links yet, so here's the URL for Kristof today.