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

The first person I came out to was God. And the first conversation I ever had with anybody was in prayer.

The one man more responsible for destroying the Democratic centrist revival, for throwing away the Clinton legacy, and for suicidally pitching his party to the populist left was Al Gore

Torture gives false information. And the worst scenarios that tortured detainees coughed up ? many of them completely innocent, remember ? may well have come to fuel US national security policy. And of course they also fueled more torture. Because once you hear of the existential plots confessed by one tortured prisoner, you need to torture more prisoners to get at the real truth. We do not know what actual intelligence they were getting, and Cheney has ensured that we will never know. But it is perfectly conceivable that the torture regime ? combined with panic and paranoia ? created an imaginationland of untruth and half-truth that has guided US policy for this entire war. It may well have led to the president being informed of any number of plots that never existed, and any number of threats that are pure imagination. And once torture has entered the system, you can never find out the real truth. You are lost in a vortex of lies and fears. In this vortex, the actual threats that we face may well be overlooked or ignored, as we chase false leads and pursue non-existent WMDs.

When Bush says that Abu Ghraib was the work of a few, he forgot to mention that he was one of them.

At home, the public has come to accept torture as a legitimate instrument of government, something that the Founding Fathers would have been aghast at. We have come to accept that the president is not bound by habeas corpus, if he decides he isn't. He can sign laws and say they don't apply to him. We know that an American citizen can be detained for years without charges and tortured and abused ? and then critical evidence of his torture will be "lost." We have come to accept our phones being tapped without a warrant and without our even knowing about it. These huge surrenders of liberty have occurred without much public outcry. When the next major terrorist attack comes, the question will simply be how much liberty Americans have left. That is a victory al Qaeda could not have achieved by force of arms. It is something they have achieved with our witting and conscious help.

Homophobia: the fear that another man will treat you like you treat women.

I think a blog to live really has to be probably four or five times a day.

If you think you?ll find intellectual stimulation, you?re thinking of another era. The conversations are invariably about money or property or schools. I?ve never been more bored by casual chat.

It's also one thing to see a celebrity or some kind of character on a TV show being gay. It's a totally different thing when you know your husband... not your husband, but your brother or your friend or the dude you hung out in high school was gay. I mean, that is what changes people's minds, what changes people's minds.

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.

The fledgling gay adult is so assailed by social disdain that she can rarely afford the vulnerability that complete honesty requires. It?s not as if, in most cases, she can take time out from her life to figure out who she is; she has to figure it out while she lives, and while her parents and friends, colleagues and church, siblings and lovers, impose a willful definition of normality upon her. And when she does engage in the search?in the quiet moments stolen from social interaction?she has to do so against the tide of shame that pushes her as powerfully inward as pride pushes her powerfully outward. And these impulses can make for a crippling combination. Shame forces you prematurely to run away from yourself; pride forces you prematurely to expose yourself. Most gay lives, I?m afraid, are full of an embarrassing abundance of both.

The one thing we know about torture is that it was never designed in the first place to get at the actual truth of anything; it was designed in the darkest days of human history to produce false confessions in order to annihilate political and religious dissidents. And that is how it always works: it gets confessions regardless of their accuracy.

Torture was necessary to maintain slavery. It was integral to slavery. You cannot have slavery without some torture or the threat of torture; and you cannot have torture without slavery. You cannot imprison a free man forever unless you have broken him; and you can only forcibly break a man's soul by torturing it out of him. Slavery dehumanizes; torture dehumanizes in exactly the same way. The torture of human beings who have no freedom and no recourse to the courts is slavery.

When I first started talking about gay marriage, most people in the gay community looked at me as if I was insane or possibly a fascist reactionary.

Blogging is to writing what extreme sports are to athletics: more free-form, more accident-prone, less formal, more alive. It is, in many ways, writing out loud.

How can you tell when a political ideology has become the equivalent of a religion?

I think a lot of people are afraid the truth is in conflict with God. And are unable to let go and let the truth of the world.

I'm a writer by profession and it's totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-Internet age?and all this has helped me become more modest as a thinker, more open to error, less fixated on what I do know, and more respectful of what I don't. If this is a deterioration in my brain, then more, please. The problem is finding the space and time when this engagement stops, and calm, quiet, thinking and reading of longer-form arguments, novels, essays can begin. Worse, this also needs time for the mind to transition out of an instant gratification mode to me a more long-term, thoughtful calm. I find this takes at least a day of detox. Getting weekends back has helped. But if there were a way to channel the amazing insights of blogging into the longer, calmer modes of thinking ... we'd be getting somewhere. I?m working on it.

It's becoming clearer and clearer to me that if we want to win this long war, we have to leave Iraq. Sooner rather than later.

Personally, I'd rather have pins stuck in my eyes than endure a conversation with John Kerry, but I'd love to hang with Bush.

The forces going on in the society are not things the media can prevent or change. But we can and should help understand this crisis and warn against false solutions. If feelings are trumping arguments ? the pun is fully intended ? it doesn?t mean that arguments don?t still have to be made. It may not win the news cycle. It may not even win this election cycle. But it?s a critical task.

The pied beauty of humanity should not be carved into acceptable and unacceptable based on things that simply make us who we are.

Transparency is a wonderful and good thing.

When I was about eight, I asked my mother if it was true that God knows everything about you. When she answered yes, I said, 'Then there's no hope for me, Mum.

Bush has legitimized a huge expansion of the welfare state, liberalizing immigration, and using force for democratization abroad. All the next Democratic president has to do to finish Bush's hard work is to raise taxes to pay for it all.

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