Andrew Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan

Andrew
Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan
1963

English Author, Editor, Blogger, Conservative Political Commentator, Editor of The New Republic

Author Quotes

Friendship, for Aristotle, seems to be the cornerstone of human society and flourishing, an integral part of happiness, and bound up inextricably with the notion of virtue.

I must say that the Katrina response does help me better understand the situation in Iraq, ... The best bet is that the president doesn't actually know what's happening there, is cocooned from reality, has no one in his high-level staff able to tell him what's actually happening, and has created a culture of denial and loyalty that makes fixing mistakes or holding people accountable all but impossible.

If you change the society and a culture, the politics will follow.

It is a Bush administration official on the moment when torture breaks a victim: The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely. From Neil Gaiman?s account of a torturer in hell: We will hurt you. And we are not sorry. But we do not do it to punish you. We do it to redeem you. Because afterward, you'll be a better person ... and because we love you. One day you'll thank us for it. War is peace. Torture is freedom. In the end, you love Big Brother.

Obama is looking good because he kept his nerve and retained his restraint. That's a tough combo: nerve and restraint. It takes a cold-bloodedness to pull this off, and there are times when ice seems to run through the man's veins.

The essence of romantic love is not the company of a lover but the pursuit.

The New York Times had not become The New York Times overnight. It had to earn its reputation day-by-day.

To rid the world of Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki and Moammar Qaddafi within six months: if Obama were a Republican, he'd be on Mount Rushmore by now.

What?s interesting to consider, however, is that at the time of Sullivan?s writing ? and certainly in Aristotle?s time millennia earlier ? the physical and the real overlapped far more congruously than they do today, in the age of digital sociality. Consider, for example, the friendship between two people who live apart and rarely spend physical time together, but are constantly and intimately connected via email, Facebook, Skype, text-messaging, and other digital extensions of physical presence. Is that relationship any less real, even though it isn?t rooted in physicality? Perhaps the criterion of ?people with whom one spends one?s life? is better reframed as ?people on whom one spends one?s emotional energies.?

Any president can start a war, and use the chaos of disorder that such a war creates as an indefinite argument for prolonging it. It's a war that keeps on giving. Failure means it's even more necessary to keep failing.

Friendship? is almost a central symbol of human autonomy, and the most accessible example of that autonomy in practice.

I purge compulsively. I'm constantly shedding things.

If you suspend the Geneva Conventions, give the green light to anything that will get intelligence, round up thousands all over the globe with reckless disregard for guilt or innocence, you are effectively and knowingly issuing orders to seize innocent people and torture them. Any president who decides to do that and then says it was not his intention to do that is a fraud or a fool.

It is not an opinion that "enhanced interrogation techniques" are torture. It is a legal fact. And it is also a legal fact that the president is a war criminal.

Of course, the impossibility of love is partly its attraction. It is an irrational act, a concession to the passions, a willing renunciation of reason and moderation ? and that?s why we believe in it. It is also why, in part, the sober writers and thinkers of the ancient and medieval worlds found it a self-evidently inferior, if bewitching, experience. But their confidence in this regard was based not simply on a shrewd analysis of love but on a deeper appreciation of friendship. Without the possibility of friendship, after all, love might seem worth the price. If the promise of union, of an abatement to loneliness, of finding a soulmate, was only available through the vagaries of eros, then it might be worth all the heartbreak and insanity for a glimpse, however brief, of what makes life worth living. But if all these things were available in a human relationship that is not inherently self-destructive, then why, after all, should one choose the riskier and weaker option?

The first big surprise when I first started blogging 10 years ago was that within minutes of writing the first post, someone wrote back to me. This was not normal for a writer.

The occupation of Iraq is completely self-perpetuating: The worse things get the more we are obliged to stay. And the longer we stay the worse things get. Wonderful, no? Being trapped in Iraq, moreover, has clearly prevented us from tackling Iran with any traction. One argument commonly made for staying in Iraq makes no sense to me at all. It's McCain's "if we leave, they will follow us home." But if we stay, they can follow us home as well. And by staying, we have clearly created more of them to follow us. The second argument that fails to convince is that by leaving, we give al Qaeda a propaganda coup. Yes, we would, and it would be intellectually dishonest to deny that. Any argument for withdrawal needs to take that into account. But by staying and losing, we also give al Qaeda a propaganda coup. And by constantly giving al Qaeda an anti-imperial narrative, we also prevent Muslims and Arabs from recognizing them for what they are: not anti-imperial liberators but theo-fascists.

Today's age of politicized and intolerant Christianism seems to me to be one of those moments when Christianity has estranged itself most thoroughly from the priorities and spirit of its founder. But this will pass. Christianity will survive Christianism. Some true followers of Jesus will recover their faith from Caesar's grip at some point.

When a reporter is quoting Sid Blumenthal on president Bush, you know he's scraping the barrel.

Anything that raises any internal honesty about gay life is inherently suspect.

Here?s why I find it impossible to be a Republican: any crowd that instantly cheers the execution of 234 individuals is a crowd I want to flee, not join.

I think a blog that isn?t updated every hour is at an incredible disadvantage.

If you teach people that something as deep inside them as their very personality is either a source of unimaginable shame or unmentionable sin, and if you tell them that their only ethical direction is either the suppression of that self in a life of suffering or a life of meaningless promiscuity followed by eternal damnation, then it is perhaps not surprising that their moral and sexual behavior becomes wildly dichotic; that it veers from compulsive activity to shame and withdrawal; or that it becomes anesthetized by drugs or alcohol or fatally distorted by the false, crude ideology of easy prophets. A

It is one of history's great tragedies that American conservatism, born in part in resistance to Soviet torture, should end by endorsing it in America, by Americans.

Ownership of a website is kind of impossible because you can?t own people.

Author Picture
First Name
Andrew
Last Name
Sullivan, fully Andrew Michael Sullivan
Birth Date
1963
Bio

English Author, Editor, Blogger, Conservative Political Commentator, Editor of The New Republic