How did the Saturday Night Live Point – Counter Point skits of the 1970’s, where each view point started with a personal insult grenade “Jane you ignorant slut!”, somehow take the place of real political dialogue in this country? What kind of insane CGI wizardry has morphed Walter Cronkite into Jon Stewart? How far down the sociological self-sabotage scale do you have reach to reach the point where men and women of great achievement – astronauts, writers, artists, that guy at Wham-o who invented the giant bubble set, Frisbees, the hula hoop, and the Frisbee – are replace as idols by Paris Hilton and a gaggle of mean girls?All these questions rattled through my mind as I read Justice Sonia Sotomayor memoir “My Beloved World”. She is an incredible lady whose life path, driven by excellence, is the personification of the opportunities possible through America’s freedom. The difficulty and obstruction of her journey took many forms, but even with all those walls that had to be scaled she never doubted the path’ existence. Justice Sotomayor recognized that America’s greatness and power was not due to it’s achievements such as men on the moon, defeating fascism, military might, or technological invention. America’s greatness is born out the ideals to which she aspires. Even when our country was nowhere near living up to these ideals, as is seen in the huge percentage of delegates to the Continental Congress who were slave owners, they remained her compass.I was also struck by how similar Justice Sotomayor’s life is to that of Condoleezza Rice. Clearly these women are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. This leads me back to Point – Counterpoint. It seems to me that while we often disagree with one another’s understanding our ideals, each philosophy is strengthened by the necessity to compete with differing viewpoints. It is often a messy or even horrifying process, as with the Civil War. Ultimately it is a process that continues to find ways to liberate from darkness those who do not yet share the full measure of freedom. My fifteen year old daughter answered the Facebook profile question about her political views by saying “Politics are corrupt”. I believe this level of cynicism, especially from one so young, is the greatest threat to our continued freedom. This is why Justice Sotomayor’s memoir, like that of Dr. Rice and so many others, is an important inspiration in the ever present fight for liberty.