Category 5. Politics

Trump/Mueller

In response to yesterday’s post, one of my closest friends emailed me without comment three of yesterday’s presidential tweets. He knows that I don’t ever use Twitter, or customarily read tweets.

Each one was disparaging of Robert Mueller and his ongoing investigation of TrumpWorld. The unwritten text of my friend’s emails would have been something along the lines of: how can you defend this jerk?

For my friend’s benefit, in this post I will give my own sense of the meaning of the current scandals, although it must be said that I am properly humble about what I don’t know – additional pertinent facts will doubtless emerge over time, and they may change how I see these matters...

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Uncivil Discourse

Last night, the Beloved Spouse and I were privileged to attend an absolutely beautiful dinner party given by two of our favorite people. Roughly twenty-four of us enjoyed a rich and delicious meal together in the temperate summer air, overlooking a glorious water view. There was a tent overhead in case of rain, but the weather held until about half an hour after the party ended. Then it stormed. Let’s just hope that wasn’t a portent.

Not long after we were seated, a highly accomplished and generally friendly man at my table, whom I had not previously met, went on a riff about how wouldn’t it be great if the CIA were to kill President Trump. He meant his comments to be taken as humorous, clearly assuming that the rest of us at the table shared his perspective that a deus (or rather, assas...

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Compassion

I have been mulling over a comment that Bernie Sanders made while being interviewed a few days ago. He said that the one word that would characterize a Sanders Administration if he were elected would be “Compassion”.

The left’s idea of compassion is pretty simple: let’s take more money from Peter and give it to Paul. In their view, the right’s domestic policy prescriptions boil down to: let’s take less money from Peter and give less to Paul. The left views itself as the sole and stalwart defender of Paul – the compassionate team. This makes it easy for them to see those who disagree with their policies as mean-hearteded or evil.

But there are, ah, a few things missing from this simple ethical dichotomy...

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The Progressive Mindset

I am used to being surrounded and outnumbered. As even the most casual reader of this blog knows, I have libertarian leanings – and I have never lived anywhere but the northeastern corner of the United States.

The northeast is a fantastic place, and it could not be so without its natives, who are among the most competitive, argumentative and interesting people you could ever hope to find. The only thing on which nearly everybody here seems to agree is the one thing about which I dissent: progressive politics.

“Progressivism” is the de facto state religion of the northeast: it is inescapably the dominant culture in our governing bodies, schools, towns, workplaces, churches, synagogues and homes...

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