Election Interference

A close friend with whom I have recently been having distinctly adversarial conversations and email exchanges on political topics wrote to me a couple of days ago, effectively daring me to deny that Russia’s interference in our most recent presidential contest had taken place (and, it was implicit, thereby cast a pall over the election’s legitimacy), and asking whether I think our government is doing enough to prevent such acts in the future (the implication being that the Trump Administration, being too friendly with Russia, is not). A longer version of my off-the-cuff email response is presented below:      

Of course the Russians interfered with our election – as they have been doing since the revolution. They are not our friends...

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A Right to Privacy?

In writing these posts, I generally try to present myself as being both surer of my opinions and more eloquent than I actually am. I figure that expressing my thoughts boldly and as elegantly as I can makes them more worthy of your time than they would be if I simply tossed off random ideas. I will only keep half of that implicit bargain in this post, though, because while I’ll try to write it clearly, I’ll be more open about my own uncertainty as to what the right policy or personal responses should be to the dilemmas I’ll describe.

This https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/05/06/the-new-face-of-tyranny/ article by historian Paul Rahe raises, and gives historical context to, a set of issues that I have been thinking about for some time: how the intersection of modern technology...

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The Religion of Fools

It has long been said that anti-Semitism is the Socialism of fools; perhaps so, but my variant is that Socialism is the religion of fools.

Seriously, how dumb do you have to be to believe that the solution to our problems is to have the government run (and, in that ideology’s purest version, own) pretty much everything? Dumb enough to believe in the “new man” who will triumph over his “base” instincts that favor self-preservation and personal enhancement. Dumb enough to believe that people will work just as hard in a system that purports to distribute goods equally, but actually distributes them based on political power...

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MacDonald’s Insight

In an oped that appeared in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago, Heather MacDonald made a simple point that I have been thinking about ever since:


“By perpetuating a false narrative about its own racism, Yale, like the vast majority of colleges and universities today, encourages its minority students to think of themselves as victims. That mentality is contrary to fact and will hinder those who adopt it from fully seizing the boundless opportunities …

I don’t doubt that academics think that they’re promoting their idea of justice by teaching the idea, now taken as Unchallenged Truth in academia and popular culture, that “implicit bias” against minorities is deeply – and often unconsciously – embedded in our society. (Well, “implicit bias” against non-Asian-American minorities...

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American Anomie?

To an extent that I have only come to appreciate with the passage of years, I was born in the shadow of World War II. As a boy in the 1960s, that war seemed like ancient history to me; my father had fought in it, but refused to speak about his wartime experiences, so all I had for perspective about that actually recent history were patriotic war movies of the sort that haven’t been made since that time. In those movies, our guys wore the white hats and they always triumphed, albeit generally at a poignantly felt cost. 

To my father and others of his generation, no doubt war memories, many of them horrid, were all too fresh – the thirteen years between the war’s end and my birth must have seemed like the blink of an eye to them – shorter than the time between 9/11, which I remember wi...

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A Curious Absence of Curiosity

Why aren’t my Democrat friends and relatives even slightly curious about the origins and purpose of the Trump/Russia collusion hoax? Now that it should be clear to all that there never was any genuine evidence of traitorous wrongdoing by the Trump campaign, shouldn’t we all wonder whether prominent members of the Obama Administration cooked the whole thing up to cover their tracks? 

Admittedly, it’s still possible that there’s an innocent explanation for Comey’s FBI having tried to entrap George Papadopoulos and misled the FISA courts with the (actually Russian-sourced and Clinton bought-and-paid-for “Steele Dossier”) in order to get authorization to spy on the Trump campaign. 

Maybe they thought Trump was really, really icky...

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Why Do They Grieve?

What were you hoping the result of the Mueller investigation would be?

Were you hoping that the Special Counsel would find evidence of Russian collusion on the part of the Trump campaign sufficient to convince the Senate that the President should be removed from office? Many partisan Democrats, celebrities and members of the press – groups with nearly complete overlap – were clearly hoping for just that. They wanted – and no doubt still want – to believe that that President Trump was, to quote Stephen Colbert’s (homophobic, FWIW) “joke”, President Putin’s “cock holster”.

That possibility never made much sense...

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Failing Gatekeepers

I attended Phillips Exeter and Princeton. As an undergraduate, I majored in English and studied three other languages – one living, two dead. I loved most of my courses.

As I recall, in the late 1970s standards were quite high in Princeton’s English Department; I worked very hard at my studies and achieved only the level of being slightly above average in my departmental ranking. I did not graduate with honors. At the time, I excused my undistinguished academic record as having been caused by my participation in – and an excessive focus on – varsity athletics, but as many others have shown, that’s a lame excuse.

My loves of reading and writing, nurtured through my formal education, have followed me through life; I would also like to think that my course of study – which bo...

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Winner Take All

The machinery of politics in our great nation has grown rusty. Radical policy shifts proceed from the executive and judicial branches in fits and starts, with much grinding of the gears and screeches from the unhappy. Congress does little. President Trump’s abrasiveness, no less than that of his opponents, is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the evolution from consensus-driven democratic governance to a quasi-monarchical, winner take all system.

Article One of the US Constitution reads, in part: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives” but Congress has largely neglected or delegated its powers.

Laws (or rather, regulations that have the force of law) are effecti...

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Being There?

The combination of arrogance and ignorance among darlings of the left can reach stunning levels, and in that respect none can match – though seemingly many try – the dizzying heights regularly achieved by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Just days after releasing a “Green New Deal” proposal under which the entire US economy would be reorganized in a time frame and manner that would have caused the late Pol Pot to envy her style, AOC, as she’s called, celebrated the cancellation of Amazon’s plan to build a secondary headquarters in Queens with a tweet excoriating Amazon’s “corporate greed” and its “worker exploitation.”

These are stock phrases for leftists; taken together, they translate loosely as “the characteristics of a private enterprise that hasn’t given in to my dema...

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