Question: Who was your greatest influence?
Michael Sandel: Well I think as a child, it was mainly family. And in terms of political figures, the person I admired most was Robert Kennedy, who I think was poised when he was running . . . seeking the Democratic nomination for President in 1968. I think he was poised to put American politics on. . . really on a different footing to redefine American liberalism. And he was tragically assassinated. And so much of the creativity and hope that was associated with Robert Kennedy, in that moment, was shattered and lost. So in terms of political figures, I think he’s the person in my lifetime whom I most admire. And then there were intellectual figures later when I became interested in political philosophy.
Recorded on: 6/12/07
Michael Sandel: I think the reason we have such an impoverished public debate is that we are too reluctant to take on hard controversial, but important moral questions that really go to the heart of the question...