“There Is No Substitute for Victory” and Other Flights from Reality

Long ago, Douglas MacArthur proclaimed: “There is no substitute for victory.” John McCain has been repeating this bromide on the campaign trail. Maybe this is mere red meat intended for the Republican base. If not, McCain is on a dangerous flight from reality. These speeches make me wonder where he has been over the past five years, and whether he has any greater grasp of reality than MacArthur did in Korea…


Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.