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Pragmatism and Accurate Political Speech

A rather slight entry from a favorite blog of mine, talking about Cameron’s quote but which could be applied to any number of tone-deaf pronouncements about morality and foreign policy:


There may be a good argument that we should intervene where we prudently can, and that inconsistency and selectivity is an unavoidable part of international relations. But that argument is different and more subtle than Cameron’s latest spasm of morality, elevating one case to a universal doctrine without bothering to think about its implications for our policies elsewhere. 

It is disturbing at this critical moment in world politics to hear our leaders makes statements that are so diplomatically innocent.

Obviously politicians are just that, but there’s very little evidence that this kind of talk is really all that effective at swaying domestic constituencies one way or the other. Voters are pretty reactive when it comes to foreign policy for the most part, so the only real conclusion to make from this is that guys like Cameron actually believe crap like this when they say it.

I wonder if this is just a part of the political process: guys that think like this tend to do well in the electoral side of government and get to make stupid quotes like these while those who actually have the inclination to note the subtle but necessary realities of international politics end up writing behind paywalls.

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