Getting it right

One of the chief pleasures of being back in the US is reading good newspapers. The ability of (many) journalists to find le mot juste is astounding. In the New York Times Book Review today, for instance, I found the following paragraph (from Fareed Zakaria‘s review of George Packer’s The Assassins’ Gate):

Packer describes in microcosm something that has infected conservatism in recent years. Conservatives live in fear of being betrayed ideologically. They particularly distrust non-partisan technocrats – experts – who they suspect will be seduced by the "liberal establishment." The result, in government, journalism and think tanks alike, is a profusion of second-raters whose chief virtue is that they are undeniably "sound."

I guess that is the problem with all ideology, whatever political banner it comes under. When the map does not agree with the terrain, the terrain is right. No matter what the press releases say.