Life without norms

What you end up with when the moral barriers topple is, not least, the end of due process at American colleges and universities. It’s a dreadful prospect you likely wouldn’t imagine without having scanned some of the stories on the rape crisis said to be spreading across American campuses. Supposedly, college women are at immense […]

Healthcare and we, the people

The Obamacare debacle — we might as well call it by its right name — underscores an abiding truth about democratic politics; to wit, politicians rarely get anything important done. Theirs, save on rare occasions, is the wrong forum for doing important things. In politics, you work with open minds and closed minds and reprobates […]

Judging Judge Gorsuch

A guide to the Neil Gorsuch nomination uproar: If you want the federal government to exercise greater and greater power over daily life in America, with minimum backtalk from us, the people, you deplore the prospective elevation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. If, by contrast, you regard the expansion or contraction of […]

Immigration: Some thoughts

May I quote myself? Thanks. I shall. “Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.” I have used this bon mot on various occasions since coining it for a 1987 speech. I like its accuracy, its brevity and, not least, the sly pun. Yet as those original Americans, or the English, would say, it neither butters […]

The uproar over DeVos

The bad thing about elective politics (not the only bad thing; there’s a long list) is the philosophical and, especially, rhetorical extremes into which it squeezes differently minded folk, who, more and more frequently, find themselves saying things like: “You un-American crackpot!” “You racist neo-fascist!” “You (expletive) hater of (fill in the blank).” Which could […]

Turnaround time in America

Like him or not — and I can argue it both ways — established constitutional processes have hoisted Donald J. Trump atop the presidential plinth, where he stands now, getting ready to run things, insofar as anybody runs anything anymore. The latter point — the semi-chaotic nature of 21st century social and political life — […]

Two kinds of power

If we could just, at last, finally get the right government in! Then we’ll get things fixed. What kind of things? All kinds of things: so that they can be — it always seems to work this way — un-fixed by the next succession of leaders, with their own notions as to how things should […]

The God gap

God (lucky Him!) doesn’t vote. But this indisposition does not make Him a mere spectator of our electoral processes — or their aftermath. If you go to church regularly, the Pew Research Center says, you are likelier than not to have voted for Donald Trump. If you hardly ever darken a church door, you are […]

When things fall apart

What with writers and speakers everywhere quoting William Butler Yeats’ poetic appraisal of modern times, as I read recently, maybe we can better appreciate House Speaker Paul Ryan’s present dilemma and resolve to leave the guy alone. He is a good man doing the best he can in bad — no, awful — times, despite […]

The horsewhipping of Donald Trump

To call the massive media obsessed — eyes roaming crazily in all directions, mouths afoam with horror — would be an understatement. They fear that the sovereign voters, in their obvious dimwittedness, could put Donald Trump in the White House. And so the words of abuse tumble forth. The New York Times is unable to […]

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