Robert Reich’s Speech


The student audience, which at first clapped enthusiastically as Reich started to tell his unspeakable “truths” stopped clapping by the end. Reich had uttered the fundamental heresy. You really can’t have something for nothing. Pulling in one direction meant giving way in another. He went on to say that America was hopelessly addicted to fantasy; that anyone who got up on stage and reeled off the points he had made was politically dead.

Although I may disagree with many of the public policy positions that Robert Reich takes, his point that the truth makes piss-poor politics seems valid. Things come down to choices: lower costs versus death panels; torture versus intelligence; equity versus growth. And politicians, ever eager to garner votes, never want to say this. They will always try to have it both ways. Even when politicians choose one road over the other, they take pains to suggest they are simultaneously proceeding down two paths. One can disagree with the choices Reich makes but he is right to say that choices are unavoidable.

Yes, “progressives” do seem to be allergic to truth, and reality.

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