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(RNS) Perfection is a savage god. It doesn't just isolate you from other people. Perfection corrupts your soul by making an idol of your tastes and preferences.

4 Comments

  1. This commentary has me so befuddled!

    You cannot have your perfect weekend in the country with your family because you are constrained by Sunday meetings. So you make the best of your situation by going for a long walk and feeling the cool breeze. The Clintons rent a vacation house, and unlike you, are not grappling with constraints that require them to make the best of the situation. You seem to be suggesting that they should have downgraded, but I’m not sure why you think that, and what it has to do with your situation.

    In addition, I am not sure the behaviors we are currently witnessing on the part of our most extreme political ideologues can be attributed to perfectionism. I agree that they represent an ideal of ideological purity. However, I believe that what they really want is for “their guys” to be in charge and for “the other guys” to be dominated. That’s not the same thing as perfectionism. But I agree that they couch their arguments in those terms.

  2. In support of Tom Ehrich and a book length explanation of the roots of political partisanship, read Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. The perfectionist attitude that “I am right (and also righteous)” is a deeper cause than control issues – although they also play a role. Haidt’s book is lengthy, but a good read and fully documented with research studies and citations.

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