A Tipping Point

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October 23, 2018

Almost exactly one year ago, I explored the confused state of distress and depression into which the American political crisis had driven me. “Alarmed hardly expresses what I feel. The impossible is happening.” And it goes on happening. The theme of that post was violence. In Trump’s candidacy, the invocation of images of violence was […]

As I was finishing this post, Donald Trump went to Europe. He trashed America’s allies, declared them foes, and, as the civilized world watched with disbelief, the American president surrendered America’s values and world leadership to the thug of the Kremlin. His performance appeared to many as an act of treason, which act, in the […]

The Russian Question

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December 13, 2017

The media is full of rumbles that Trump is trying to cook up a politically credible excuse to fire Robert Mueller. If Trump does this and the Republican majorities in Congress refuse to block him, the game, in my opinion, is up. Over. Trump can get away with any sort of lawless action that he […]

I’ve been trying understand the emotions that have been stimulated by the Trump presidency. My own emotions concern me; they are like the canary in the mine shaft, a sort of neuro-spiritual warning system. The furious chanting at Trump pre-election rallies alarmed me: “Lock her up,” over and over as if Hillary’s guilt for an […]

Some Urgent Thoughts About the Health Care Bill

July 24, 2017
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In these commentaries, I’ve tried to stay impersonal. The facts speak both for themselves and for me. However, I want to say something about how I feel about the things I am thinking about. I will do this by proxy, because I want also to say something about my perspective, the lens through which I […]

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Seven Days in May: NATO and Paris

June 13, 2017
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I recently re-watched John Frankenheimer’s 1964 film, Seven Days in May, about an attempted coup d’etat in the United States, a fictional close-call that was engineered by a General (Burt Lancaster) who fashioned himself as the savior of the country. The political contexts were somewhat different, but the underlying message, about the vulnerability of constitutional […]

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James Comey and the Russian Connection

May 17, 2017
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Reflections about the news from France, the repulse, on May 8, of the Front National will have to wait. The connections between President Trump and the Russians and the firing of FBI Director James Comey is of greater significance. I am aware that both issues have been widely covered by American TV, print, and late […]

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The Wall – A Preliminary Discussion

April 24, 2017
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“An impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” Donald Trump’s campaign promise about a border wall is coming up to an important test, one that gives resistance an opportunity to take direct action. This Friday, 28 April, the budget resolution will be debated and possibly voted on in the House. In this, will be […]

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Practical Action

April 15, 2017

This is a short commentary with a specific goal: to suggest concrete action and to introduce an organization which many of you probably know about, but in case you don’t… On April 12 Trump gave a rambling, almost incoherent, interview to Fox Business News. It was full of the usual self-inflating intensifiers, about how very, […]

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The Personality of the President

March 17, 2017

In the first of these commentaries, I quoted New York Times’ columnist David Brooks’s assessment of Trump’s qualifications to be president. He wrote that Mr. Trump was: …professionally unprepared, intellectually ill-informed, morally compromised, and temperamentally unfit. Now forty days into the Trump presidency, I want to revisit the subject of the personality of the president, with […]

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