The greatest fence-straddle of all time.

Do you know of the “if-by-whiskey” speech?  Wiki has both it and its context.  In full:

My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey:

If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.

Isn’t that amazing?  And you thought I was spineless.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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5 Responses to The greatest fence-straddle of all time.

  1. thepi says:

    Heh, makes John Kerry’s “I was for it before I was against it” sound relatively honest and refreshing.

    But really, I think he means that as a politician he is in a quantum state until he is observed to have taken a position. His waveform has not yet collapsed and he is both for it and against it until such time he has to act.

  2. wormme says:

    Schrodinger’s Politician. Nice!

  3. Xpat says:

    Dang, I wrote a series of posts just like that back when I was on a science-religion discussion board and wouldn’t take a position on evolution that satisfied anyone. So I wrote the posts to make fun of myself, and I thought I had that bold and forthright sounding but completely noncommital and slippery tone totally down.

    But this whiskey guy outdid me.

    But of course, I’m not saying he’s better than me. Neither am I saying he’s worse than me. Nor will I hesitate irresolutely on this issue, nay, nor dither noncommitally, neither feigning to say nor deigning to claim that neither of us is necessarily better than the other. No, I hereby and forthwith reject such wan, wallowing wishy-washiness, and boldy take my stand, unshaken, unshakable, firm, immutable! Let this be my uncompromising proclamation!

  4. Pingback: My stand on Christianity. | World's Only Rational Man

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