Other Commentaries

50 St. Patrick’s Days ago

After a lifetime spent in the company of the rogues, the rascals and, yes, the phonies of politics, I have concluded that American voters are searching for one of two presidential types: A warm conservative with a generous heart or a tough liberal with a steel backbone. As the late wise ...

Democrats can take the House, if they pick Conor Lamb over Hillary Clinton

What if they held a special election and nobody won? That’s more or less what happened in southwestern Pennsylvania, in the special election to fill the vacancy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. Democrat Conor Lamb narrowly defeated Republican Rick Saccone — by 627 votes ...

Babies with Down Syndrome have right to life

WASHINGTON — When Karen Gaffney’s mother found out she would be born with Down syndrome, the doctor said Karen probably would not be able to tie her own shoes. Instead, as Karen explained in a moving and eloquent TEDx talk, she has become an accomplished open-water swimmer who has crossed ...

Dem Pundit: ‘Paying off porn star presidential?’

When it comes to the issue of porn star Stormy Daniels, we should welcome the media and the Democrats’ newfound interest in the treatment — and mistreatment — of women by powerful political figures. Never mind that whatever relationship Daniels had with President Donald Trump was ...

The most vital demo for election 2018

The election season got started this past Tuesday in Texas, and the primary results are being analyzed for clues about what they mean for November. The results confirmed that the Democratic enthusiasm is real, but it’s probably not strong enough to turn Texas blue. The number of votes cast ...

Go for it, Hollywood

You probably didn’t watch the Academy Awards — most people didn’t — but you might have caught a bit of Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech for her Best Actress award. At the end of a stirring speech about women in post-Weinstein Hollywood, she said, “I have two words to leave with ...

China trade has been a bust

There’s already a trade war, and it’s being waged by Beijing. China’s ascension to the World Trade Organization nearly 20 years ago has failed in its large-scale strategic objectives. It hasn’t created a liberalizing regime or a free-market economy in China; in fact, it hasn’t even ...

Let him arrest me!

Recently we were treated to a series of bizarre interviews on nearly every major cable television channel except Fox when a colorful character named Sam Nunberg, a former personal and political aide to Donald Trump, took to the airwaves to denounce a grand jury subpoena he received compelling ...

Squashing free speech on campus

Leftists in the Trump era claim to be the guardians of the First Amendment against an allegedly authoritarian president. But over the last few years, leftists have been the authoritarians on campus, squashing speeches by speakers they deem “fascist” and claiming that ideas they don’t ...

Trumpism is psychology, not ideology

For the last couple of years I’ve been banging my spoon on my high chair about how Trumpism isn’t a political or ideological movement so much as a psychological phenomenon. This was once a controversial position on the right and the left. Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon ...

The scarcity of genuine political heroes in our time

It was the southern novelist and college professor Reynolds Price who wrote in the Saturday Evening Post in 1978 that “It may in fact seem a bad time for heroes.” Watergate had swept a thoroughly corrupt president out of office, and the overwhelming ravages of the Vietnam War were ...

‘Fake News’ is just propaganda

I taught a course called "Reading Pravda" for 25 years at Bucknell. The purpose of that course was to analyze the methods of Soviet propaganda and compare the Soviet press with that in the US. Midsemester of "Reading Pravda" I announced the final project. Students were to choose a major ...

Only fools believe North Korea

To what shall North Korea’s latest pronouncement to give up its nuclear weapons in exchange for certain “security” guarantees be compared? Choose from one of the following familiar promises: Of course I’ll respect you in the morning; I promise to pay you back; I’m from the ...

Trump on trade: Better than Smoot-Hawley?

Donald Trump’s announcement that he is imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from other countries has aroused little enthusiasm and much criticism. It evidently prompted the resignation of Gary Cohn as head of his National Economic Council. It has also prompted free trade-minded ...

Tariffs will force Trump to break key campaign vows

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s announcement that he will impose stiff tariffs on American companies that purchase imported steel and aluminum should have come as no surprise. From moving our embassy to Jerusalem to pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, Trump is a president who does ...

Trump vs. perpetually panicked press

dia establishment flogged itself for focusing on scandal over substance. In a four-hour PBS special during the fall election season of 1996, elitist Hedrick Smith confessed: “By focusing on scandal and conflict over substance, and by our increasingly negative tone, the media has distorted the ...

Give VA Secretary David Shulkin the boot

Will the VA scandal never end? While the Department of Veterans Affairs secretary lives high on the hog and his lying chief of staff resigns in disgrace while escaping any punishment, legions of vets every day in this country are denied the medical care they earned. President Trump was ...

Perceived biases, attacks erode trust in press

Awarding a grade to a concept like press freedom might seem like an impossible task, but here at the First Amendment Center we give it our best shot. In April of last year, we began compiling quarterly First Amendment report cards, relying on a panel of 15 experts from across the political ...

The cultural nuances of the gun debate

A recent Politico headline shouted a message that liberal Democrats were longing to hear: “Gun control support surges in polls.” Given the fact that Republicans are generally opposed to strict gun controls, that seems like it should be a boost for the Democrats in the midterm ...