Video: Charles Krauthammer vs Jon Stewart – Conservatism vs Liberalism

| October 26 2013
David Leeper

Raising the level of dialog between Left and Right, here is full the Jon Stewart interview of Charles Krauthammer on Stewart’s Daily Show, Oct 23, 2013.

Warning: Both of these men say things that will make Tea-Party/Constitutional conservatives cringe, but the interview (about 25 minutes) is worth listening to, and not just for its substance.

Note how Krauthammer disarms Stewart early on with humor and deferential statements toward the “great achievements” of liberalism: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (Cringe).  Stewart is obviously pleased. And that’s an opening for Krauthammer to say why those well-intended programs will self-destruct if they aren’t modified. It’s also his opportunity to define what he calls “mainstream conservatism”.

I find this interesting because I’m still not sure myself how to talk to liberals. I’ve had some of the standard shouting matches, and I’ve had discussions where I deliberately adopted the liberal line myself, not sarcastically, but as if I really meant it.  The latter approach is more fun, because I like to see where liberals draw the line on their liberalism. But it may be that the Krauthammer approach in this interview is the best one — that is, bow from the ankles toward the accomplishments of liberalism, even at the risk of overdoing it just a bit, and then bring the discussion back toward the right.

Compared to the garden variety shouting matches on Fox or other networks, which are getting predictable and tedious, this kind of exchange and repartee between intellectuals is a pleasant break!