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

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March 31, 2019

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 […]

Where We Are

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December 22, 2018

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 […]

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 […]

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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The Russian Question

December 13, 2017
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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 […]

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The Violence and Where it Comes From

October 15, 2017
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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 […]

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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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