Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Character Issue, in a Nutshell

The last paragraph of a piece by Sydney Smith at Tech Central Station nails the character issue:
Does it matter that George Bush is an alcoholic? Would it matter if John Kerry has post-traumatic stress disorder? It depends on how well they handle it. We know that Bush is an alcoholic, he freely admits it. And that admission is the first and foremost step in the successful treatment of any mental illness. We don't know if John Kerry left Vietnam with lasting psychic wounds. He only evades the question when asked. And that evasion is the most disturbing aspect of the Teresa Heinz-Kerry anecdote [about Kerry's nightmares]. It suggests that he has yet to come to terms with the question himself.
If you can't deal with yourself, you're ill-equipped to deal with the world.