Herewith some idiosyncratic, perhaps eccentric, observations on the electoral contests so far in this presidential cycle.
1. Turnout is down. In the first five contests -- the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire, South Carolina and Michigan primaries -- Republican turnout was down from 2016, the most recent cycle with serious ...Read more
What's been missing these past couple of months from the coverage of and debate over the failed immigration bill? Some important basic facts and lots of historical context.
First, basic facts. Coverage in left-leaning newspapers and even in the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page has suggested that without new legislation, the Biden...Read more
What does America's overclass think of the rest of us? The short answer is "not much." They think ordinary people's splurging on natural resources is destroying the planet and needs to be cut back forcefully. And that the government needs to stamp down on ordinary people enjoying luxuries that, in their view, should be reserved for the top ...Read more
What happens when a political party becomes demotic? Before answering the question, note that the word in question is not demonic, from the Greek word daimon, meaning a deity (remember that the Greek gods were notoriously jealous and greedy), but demotic, from the Greek word demos, meaning the people -- the same root as democratic.
My question ...Read more
The last six or seven months have been a couple of tough seasons for public policies based on lies. Two examples come to mind. One is the Disinformation industry, which has eroded the credibility of the public health establishment. The other is the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion industry, which has infected American higher education with a culture...Read more
What went wrong with Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign? You can list many arguable mistakes, as you can with any campaign, and you can add, as some reporters have, that the candidate was not likable or good at retail campaigning -- which mostly reflected reporters' personal dislike of DeSantis or resentment at his refusal to schmooze what he ...Read more
Forty years ago, when Walter Mondale won 49% in Iowa's Democratic caucuses, far ahead of Gary Hart's 16%, the media spotlight nonetheless immediately focused. With the help of a brilliant spot by consultant Ray Strother showing him tossing a hatchet into a tree, Hart went on to win the New Hampshire primary eight days later, 37% to 28%, and he...Read more
Is democracy at risk this election year?
Yup, is the answer given by President Joe Biden in his speech last Friday, ahead of the third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the United States Capitol as both houses of Congress were assembled to receive the electoral votes for the November 2020 election.
He argues that if Donald Trump is ...Read more
To explain the latest young generation's pessimism, Washington Post opinion writer Taylor Lorenz took to what was then called Twitter last February to lament "the fact that we're living in a late stage capitalist hellscape during an ongoing deadly pandemic w record wealth inequality, 0 social safety net/job security, as climate change cooks the ...Read more
How's America doing? Government statisticians provide mounds of data that provide useful clues, and none more so than the Census Bureau's estimates of population, announced in the holiday weeks at the end of each calendar year. The latest numbers measure the estimated population of each state as of last July 1 as compared to the constitutionally...Read more
At a time when voters have rejected the party of the incumbent president in the last two elections, and in which current polling has the incumbent trailing, both parties seem bent on nominating two men who have served as president and about whom substantial majorities of voters have negative feelings. What gives?
You could argue that each party...Read more
Institutional rot. That's the verdict recorded in recent days on the performance of leading institutions by observers not known for pessimistic temperaments or alarmist analysis.
One occasion for such judgments was the testimony of three presidents of eminent universities -- Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University ...Read more
For those dismayed at how many college and university students and faculty, even, or especially, at selective and prestigious institutions, have been cheering Hamas' Oct. 7 atrocities and calling, in only slightly veiled language, for the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews, the question is how this vicious line of thought gained hold in ...Read more