Category: Politics

The Problem With Social Media Righteousness

If there’s anybody who is writing more incisively about social media culture right now than Freddie deBoer, I don’t know who it is. There are quite a few valuable points in his latest post, but I want to focus on...

/ April 22, 2017

The Death of Expertise

Remember that famous scene in Peter Weir’s “Dead Poets Society,” in which professor Keating (played by Robin Williams) orders his English literature students to tear out the introductory pages of their poetry textbook? Those pages, Keating explains, are the soulless...

/ April 20, 2017

Billy Graham Rules!

Right now the Big Thing On Twitter™ is the “Billy Graham Rule.” A new debate was flared up by news that Vice President Mike Pence practiced his own form of the rule. Some well-followed progressives wasted no time before lambasting...

/ March 30, 2017

If You Like Your Theocracy, You Can Keep Your Theocracy

My issue with pieces like this one comes down to a question of good-faith. In a certain context, given some mutual assumptions and amongst people who share particular convictions, arguing from the New Testament to a certain political program can...

/ March 16, 2017

The Ignore Button

So let’s recap: Milo Yiannopolous’s career thus far consists entirely of a rhetorical con. He insists that he is a champion of free speech and that people only shut him down because they are scared by the correctness of his...

/ February 21, 2017

Michael Novak & Me

Michael Novak passed away today. I owe this remarkable Catholic intellectual a debt of gratitude, because his lecture “Awakening From Nihilism” was crucially formative for me. At the First Things blog, I’ve written a brief reflection on Novak’s insights and why...

/ February 17, 2017

The Coming Polygamy Showdown

Critics of legalized same-sex marriage have often made the point that many, and perhaps all, of the arguments in favor of what the Supreme Court in Obergefell can also be applied to the legalization of polygamy marriage and plural marriage. Proponents of marriage...

/ February 12, 2017

A (Very) Brief Word About the Education Debate

For the last two weeks my social media feeds have burst with punditry on Betsy DeVos. Probably the majority of my feed think her appointment as Secretary of Education is a mistake. The rest wonder aloud when it was that...

/ February 7, 2017

Why Do Liberals Love Harry Potter?

My favorite read of the day is this article on understanding why progressives, especially millennials in the Obama to post-Obama era, are so in love with using the Harry Potter stories as metaphors for America’s current cultural moment. The author...

/ February 6, 2017

About Those Violent Campus Protests

I like what National Review’s David French has to say about the recent violent protests at UC Berkeley. Though I would probably be more sympathetic to the difference between protesters and rioters, I think French is exactly right on two important...

/ February 2, 2017