The Reagan-Clinton Rule
The Reagan-Clinton rule is something I developed as a way to try and keep myself honest when it came to political discourse and my opinions about political figures. I use the terms Reagan and Clinton because they fit into my generation but any names can be used.
The basic idea is to select on person who you generally agree with and who you generally find to be a good person and one who you tended to disagree with or tended to find a not so good person. You then use it as something of a yardstick to measure if you are being honest when reacting to modern politics.
For example I was and still and an admirer of President Reagan, even if I did not always agree with him on the issues. So when I look to actions by political figures I do not like I ask myself ‘would I still be unhappy or disapprove if Reagan did the same thing.’.
Similarly, while I sometimes agreed with President Clinton I tended to find him a not very admirable figure. So when it comes to actions by people I do like or agree with I ask myself ‘would I approve of this if Clinton did the same thing’. In this way I try to keep myself balanced.
Obviously this rule does not apply to policy issues, since those issues tend to go one way or the other just based on the policy itself. But when it comes to reacting to scandals, both small and large, as well as basic public faux pas events it is quite helpful in keeping you on your toes.
Does anyone else use this rule or a variation of it ?