I’ve never met Derb, but I think I’d like him if I ever did, and I imagine that there are few pundits you’d rather have on your side in a brawl, or on a battlefield. And I’m glad he’s out there writing – because he’s a great one for cutting through cant and telling inconvenient truths and saying the things that everyone thinks but no one dares to put in print, but also because he’s a perpetual reminder that taking the world as it is comes can lead you into some pretty dark places, that moral theories and philosophical abstractions have their uses, and that humanity needs a little idealism, as well as a little brutal realism, to carry us through our years and days.

Ross Douthat with some interesting thoughts on John Derbyshire: