As the years went by, and we both left Princeton, I am afraid the incipient intellectual and emotional gulf between us got wider, especially after what I saw as Dick’s turn toward ultra-nationalism with the publication of Constructing Our Country. Dick had always been and remained to the end of his life a “liberal” (in the American sense, i.e., a “Social Democrat”): a defender of civil liberties and of the extension of a full set of civic rights to all, a vocal supporter of the labor unions and of programs to improve the conditions of the poor, an enemy of racism, cruelty, arbitrary authority, and social exclusion.
On the other hand, I found that he also enjoyed a spot of jokey leftist-baiting when he thought I was adopting knee-jerk positions which he held to be ill-founded. That was all fair enough. I tried not to rise to the bait, and usually succeeded, but this did not contribute to making our relation easier or more comfortable for me. The high (or low, depending on one’s perspective) point of this sort of thing occurred sometime in the 1980s when Dick sent me a postcard from Israel telling me he had just been talking with the Israeli official responsible for organizing targeted assassinations of Arab mayors on the West Bank. He closed by saying he thought this was just what the situation required.
–Raymond Geuss, “Richard Rorty at Princeton: Personal Recollections,” Politics and the Imagination (2010), p. 159.