America, a Theory

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May 21, 2020

This commentary will be my last. These somewhat rambling—and often too long—essays have had the purpose of helping me think through the present American crisis. I want now, for reasons of my mental and spiritual health—I am 80 years old—to return to the sort of writing I think I do better than analytic prose.  In […]

The impeachment has come and gone. Trump, as anticipated, was not convicted. He crows that he was acquitted. He wasn’t acquitted in any moral or factual sense. He did what he did and everyone knows it; he is guilty as charged but the Republicans put on a show trial, called no witnesses, and whitewashed it. […]

The Republicans have made the charge that the Democrats are “socialists.”  The implication is that Democrats are unamerican, that they are the enemy of a vaguely defined frame called “the American Way of Life.” If we are to understand what the Republican Party has become, we must understand why the “socialist” label is more than […]

As I write, the elected leaders of the free world have come together to commemorate a great battle that was the pinnacle of the four-year-long struggle to free Western civilization from a threat to its very existence. What was at stake was stark and clear. Nazism, for all its goose-stepping discipline and pomp, was barbarism. […]

Decline and Fall

March 31, 2019
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In the second century of the Christian era, the Empire of Rome comprised the fairest part of the earth,and the most civilized portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valor. The gentle but powerful influence of laws and manners had gradually cemented the union of the […]

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Where We Are

December 22, 2018
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After the midterms, the desire to feel hopeful was overpowering. My adoptive home-state, New Mexico, flipped all Democrats and all women, including a Native American. And Kyrsten Sinema, the Democrat I wrote about in my last post, became the senior senator from, of all places, solid red Arizona. I wrote about the Sinema campaign to […]

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A Tipping Point

October 23, 2018
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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 […]

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See No Evil, Speak No Evil

July 18, 2018
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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 […]

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American as a Morality Play That is Still Ongoing

March 4, 2018
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Midway in our life’s journey, I went astray from the straight road and woke to find myself alone in a dark wood. How shall I say what wood that was! I never saw so drear, so rank, so arduous a wilderness! Dante, Inferno, Canto I Republics don’t last forever. None ever has. Rome as a […]

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The Right Names for Things

February 28, 2018
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In the last of these commentaries discussion of Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian efforts to affect the outcome of the election. There was no doubt about a number of issues connected to the Russia story. There’s much less doubt now, after Mueller’s February 16 announcement of indictments and revealing how […]

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