The recently departed Irving Kristol claimed that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. The implication of this is that liberals, so concerned with the problems of others, enter a whole new world when they suddenly experience fear and pain themselves. And there is an ugly racial tinge to this which we can talk about another time. Anyway, this comes up now because of a recent Talk piece in the New Yorker on Cindy McCain. She, apparently, has been suffering from migraines for many years. As described in the article, this is a very debilitating condition. It gets so bad that she finds it at times completely immobilizing. This is an awful thing to come to anyone. Anybody who reads this piece has to admire her courage to go public and reveal the truth about this condition, long kept too quiet. Toward the end of the piece it mentions her crusading for Congressional action for research. She says, “For the first time in my life, I’m going to go to Congress, and I’m going to be tenacious and be forceful and be honest and tell them that it’s time. If you can give five million dollars to study flatulence in cows and its effects on the ozone layer, you can give me some money for migraine research.” This is a good thing. But it got me wondering: “You want help from the GOVERNMENT now?” I starting thinking about Nancy Reagan and her battle for funding for Alzheimer’s, Bob Dole and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The minute a personal problem becomes too big for the folks on top, they become like the rest of us: looking for collective action. It seems that a variation of the Kristol statement can be true. A liberal is a conservative with a migraine.
Talk of the Town: Cindy McCain