Quite a few commenters questioned my decision in this post to assume that a certain liberal named Steven Rattner, former counsel to Obama’s Treasury Department, has good intentions.
Here’s what I wrote in that post:
If you believe Rattner to be well-intentioned—and from the sound of him I will give him the benefit of that doubt…
The comments section afterward was replete with responses such as this one by “pst314“:
Neo, something to ask yourself: After how many generations of failure and disaster can one cease to attribute good intentions and deduce malice and utterly careless arrogance?
Those of you who’ve followed this blog for some time are no doubt aware that for many many years I’ve had a series of posts on the “fools or knaves?” question. So not only have I asked myself the question in the quote above, but I’ve explored it over and over and over.
But it’s an important one, so I’ll answer again, and I’ll try to be crystal clear: sometimes the person in question is a fool and sometimes a knave, sometimes both. And sometimes someone in the liberal camp actually is neither, and is making some good points on a certain subject (although that’s rare, I’ve certainly experienced it).
In general, it tends to go like this: leftists are most likely be the knaves, liberals are more likely to be the well-intentioned “fools.” However, political operatives and/or pundits and members of the MSM (in other words, those in power) are more likely to be the knaves, whether liberal or leftist.
As for Rattner himself (whom I realize is not the main issue, but just an example), I know so little about him that I don’t know into what camp he really falls. But more importantly, I assumed for the sake of argument that he was well-intentioned not because I wanted to make a point about Rattner himself, whose thought process and motivations I have no real knowledge of, but because I wanted to say something in that post about the reasoning process of those liberals who are well-intentioned.
They don’t exist, you say? I say: horse manure. I know they do, and I know it because most of my friends are just such people (many of those same friends of mine would of course consider me the fool, but my point is that they are well-intentioned rather than malicious).
What’s more, I know they exist for another reason: I was one of them for most of my life. I absolutely know that, as a liberal, I was extremely well-intentioned. My intentions have not changed; my information has.