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Death by a Thousand Slurs

This has been the mainstream media’s intention from the Republican primary, through the presidential campaign, and throughout Donald Trump’s first year in office. First there were the characterizations of him as a rude, insulting, narcissistic fool who had no business running for office. After his election, the depiction changed to evil genius who conspired with Russia to subvert the election. Since investigative efforts have revealed that Hillary Clinton is more suspect than Trump in that regard, the narrative has shifted again.… Read More


The Age of the Double Standard

Applying a double standard means minimizing or overlooking the lapses in logic or ethics of people we like or agree with, while magnifying those of people we dislike or disagree with. Logic condemns double standards because they constitute unsound thinking; ethics condemns them because of their unfairness. Unfortunately, double standards are so common that they have come to define modern discourse, especially in political matters.

A typical example of a double standard occurred in mid-August of 2017 in the media attack on President Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, MD.… Read More


Memo from the National Liberal Journalists’ Association

[Author’s note: The sender of the following memo evidently mistook me for an NLJA member]

Dear NLJA member:

I needn’t tell you what a difficult time we liberals have had since the 2016 election was decided. That fact makes it all the more urgent that we adopt a strategy for maintaining our campaign message that Donald J. Trump is a bigoted, sexist, xenophobic individual who lacks the intelligence, character, and demeanor to be President of the United States.… Read More


Ted Cruz’s Missed Opportunity

Ted CruzSenator Ted Cruz is a born-again Christian and the son of an Evangelical pastor who exhorts his congregation to “tithe mightily” and to be “biblically correct.” The senator has ignored the first exhortation and missed a singular opportunity to demonstrate the second.

According to his tax records, Ted Cruz ‘s tithe is not the biblical 10%, but a paltry 1%. Contrast that with Bernie Sanders’ 5%.… Read More


Avoiding Hypersensitivity

Cringing FaceDonald Trump ate a taco on Cinco de Mayo and some of his critics took great offense, calling his action “cultural appropriation.” That was a new term to me, and I couldn’t help wondering how it applied to my Irish/Italian American heritage.

I’ve seen tens of thousands of non-Irish people running about on St. Paddy’s day wearing shamrocks, stuffing themselves with corned beef and cabbage, swilling green beer, and even affecting a brogue.… Read More


How Charitable Are the Candidates?

Good SamaritanIn evaluating political candidates, it is helpful to determine how closely their actions match their words. In the matter of overcoming poverty, for example, Democrats believe governmental programs are necessary whereas Republicans believe private charities such as churches are more effective. We would therefore expect Republican candidates to give more of their personal income to private charities.

Let’s see if that is the case.

Donald Trump reportedly had an income of $362 million in 2014.… Read More


Who Is Responsible for Violence in America?

Angry MobThe cover of The Week presented a caricature of Donald Trump with his face twisted in an angry snarl and his fist held out as if poised to smash someone’s face. The caption read “The Threat of Violence: Trump’s warning to protesters and Republicans who would block his nomination.” Inside, the magazine addressed the question: “Is his incendiary rhetoric fueling violence?”

The underlying idea is familiar: Trump’s words cause hatred of immigrants, racial division, misogyny, homophobia, and general animosity.… Read More


Leaning Toward Rubio

Marco Rubio 2Like many other Americans, I have not yet decided which Republican candidate I will support. As the campaign has progressed, my preferences have changed.

Prior to the campaign, I had great respect for Jeb Bush because I considered him a man of integrity who did an excellent job as governor of my state. I was also impressed by his plain-spokenness and humble demeanor. However, from the outset of the debates, he seemed weak and uncertain, even at times confused.… Read More


Capitalizing on Republican Resources

White House, 32738169_sThough it’s much too early to predict the outcome of the Republican presidential sweepstakes, it’s not too early to speculate about which two candidates would provide the strongest, most electable ticket and to imagine what offices the other candidates might fill.

Many pundits believe that Donald Trump will continue to wow the crowds and lead the polls for a time but ultimately lose. A growing number believe, too, that Jeb Bush has been sufficiently weakened by Trump’s attacks and his own lackluster responses to lose his bid.… Read More


The Coming Attacks on Trump

Trump, 23231295_sDonald Trump has already been the subject of one attack ad by Senator Rand Paul, and other candidates are reportedly planning to launch similar attacks in the coming months. I believe this will be a serious mistake.

I should begin by pointing out that I have not been a Trump supporter. In fact, in a July 2015 essay I noted that, though he is forthright in expressing his views about the serious problems facing the country, he is prone to demonize those who disagree with him.… Read More