Blaming John Rawls

I would take issue with a variety of things Linda Hirschman says in her article bashing John Rawls, but surely it's obviously insane to blame Rawls for Democratic Party electoral defeats. I read it again, because I thought Hirschman might be making a more subtle claim, but, no, she's actually describing a causal connection between Democratic defeats and Rawls' philosophy, arguing that "It is not a coincidence that the only successful two-term Democratic presidency of the Age of Rawls was engineered in part for Bill Clinton by Bill Galston, a political theorist with a background in classical thought. "

I'm reasonably confident that this actually is a coincidence. You can read the classic essay on political strategy that Galston wrote with Elaine Kamarck "The Politics of Evasion" and you'll see it has very, very, very little to do with the sort of philosophical issues that divide him from Rawls.

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Politics

Just In