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The Honest Pursuit of the Truth is a Moral Virtue

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One of the characteristics of arrogance is the refusal to subordinate oneself to something beyond oneself. And here, too, the lack of honest discipline in the pursuit of the truth is part of the larger pattern.

Just as this President has never been willing to sacrifice power to serve a greater good; just as, in his role as commander-in-chief, he has arrogated to himself powers unchecked by Constitutional safeguards; just as he has pursued a war he 's not bothered to justify in terms of international law, and against the wishes of the international community; just as he has refused to check the unbridled pursuit of profit by his industry cronies to protect the integrity of the earth 's living systems; so also, in the same way, has he showed a systematic unwillingness to bow down to any truth that does not serve his interests.

In the moral life, the sovereignty of reality must be acknowledged. What is true exists independently of us, and is not determined by our needs or wishes. But whether we ignore it or honor it, it will be there, and it will come out and bite those who carelessly trod upon it.

America now has a leadership that does not recognize any sovereignty beyond its own wishes. And that part of the public that has been gratified to identify with such leadership that has indulged its willingness to believe what it wants to believe-- is complicit in its sins.
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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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