Ramesh Ponnuru discusses Mona Charen criticizing J.D. Vance and Patrick Deneen’s attack on the pro-life movement and finds a common thread: a lack of charity.
My point in considering these two incidents together is not to say that we should be more charitable to one another just because it would be nice (although that is certainly advice I could stand to dwell on). It’s not even that different types of conservative should be charitable to one another for the sake of the causes they hold in common. It’s that often, and in these particular cases, charitable assumptions about other people can aid understanding – whether it’s understanding of why a lot of conservatives support Trump, or of the obstacles between pro-lifers and our objectives.
My own view is that someone forfeits any right to have their actions viewed charitably if they engage in a longstanding pattern of deception or dishonesty. But that’s not the case in the situations Ponnuru describes. I alluded to this at the end of my latest podcast, saying that many of the conflicts I have had have been unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, and that some charity among good people is a desirable thing. I’m happy to do my small part to amplify Ponnuru’s call for the same today.