I promise this will be the last “West Wing” quote for a while, but this one hit home because of all the changes in the political landscape the last few years.
DONNA So he cripped Kant. Isn't that what you're suppose to do? JOSH It comes from a 193-page book called "A Critique of Practical Reason." It's about metaphysica and epistemology. Tomba's impressively boiled it down to two-thirds of one page. Give me another one. DONNA "Look outside the cave." JOSH Right. That's from an old paperback called "The Republic" by Plato. Lucky Tomba's been able to fit on fortune cookie so it suits the attention span of the Republican nominee. Here he quotes Robert Frost. "Good fences make good neighbors." Did he talk about that? DONNA Yeah. JOSH What did he say? DONNA Basically, that if you stay within your personal space, you'll end up getting along with everyone. JOSH You had to study modern poetry. DONNA Yes. JOSH Is that what Frost meant? DONNA No, he meant that boundries are what alienate us from each other. JOSH Why did he say "Good fences make good neighbors?" DONNA He was being ironic, but I still don't see... JOSH What does this remind you of? "I believe in hope, not fear." "I'm a leader, not a politician." "It's time for an American leader." "America's earned a change." "I before 'E' except after 'C'!" It's the fortune-cookie candidacy! These are important thinkers, and understanding them can be very useful and it's not ever going to happen at a four-hour seminar. When the President's got an embassy surrounded in Haiti, or a keyhole photograph of a heavy water reactor, or any of the fifty life-and-death matters that walk across his desk every day, I don't know if he's thinking about Immanuel Kant or not. I doubt it, but if he does, I am comforted at least in my certainty that he is doing his best to reach for all of it and not just the McNuggets. Is it possible we would be willing to require any less of the person sitting in that chair? The low road?