April 29, 2008

EVEN WORSE THAN PERSONALITY IS IDENTITY:

A Race of Personalities: Ken Livingstone vs. Boris Johnson (ANNE APPLEBAUM, April 29, 2008, The Washington Post)

[I] first met Ken Livingstone, the current mayor of London, now up for re-election, some 15-odd years ago too, when he was a member of parliament.

I don't know his mistresses — though I gather there are several — or his colleagues. But I do recall one memorable dinner, organized by a London newspaper, during which we argued at some length about whether Stalin was evil. I said yes. He disagreed. No one laughed. [...]

Any long, drawn-out contest between two people who don't — let's face it — differ that much on fundamental issues will invariable turn into farce; Whether it's an amusing one, as in London, or a "bitter" one, as in Pennsylvania, depends on the characters of the candidates involved.

So three cheers then, for ideological politics, or at least for real clashes of ideas, and let's hope our presidential elections, when we get to them, include some: At least they make everyone talk about things that matter. And yes, I do hope Boris wins.


As William F. Buckley Jr's campaign for Mayor of New York demonstrated, the opposite is also true. What began as mere farce became an important campaign because he differed so much from his opponents on the issues.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2008 7:47 AM
Comments

All I would need to know about Livingstone, is that he's a penpal with suicide bomber sponsor
Quradawi, yet he wants to convict the President
on war crimes charges.

Posted by: narciso at April 29, 2008 9:21 AM
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