Articles by Bill Asher

The Tyranny of Ignorance

Forgive the voice-to-text historians who hear German whenever President Trump speaks, who see a madman with bad hair, who see the open hands of benevolence toward a master race, who see the closed hands of belligerence toward a specific race.  Forgive these self-anointed Murrow Boys who mistake the sight of smoke and the sound of […]

Turkey Plays Chicken

One bullet can start a war, but no rifle has enough bullets to end a war.  To know this truth is to see our troops in Syria, where peace with honor is improbable and the freedom of a just peace is impossible, because we are belated bystanders—we are witnesses after the fact—to a treaty between […]

A Throne of Grace

In a windowless room whose layout is as familiar to lawyers and judges as it is foreign to American ideals of justice, where judges act like clerks and justice feels as cold as it looks, where the powers of the state belong to a mallet too small to be a murder weapon but strong enough […]

Tom Friedman Discovers America

When Tom Friedman feels the urge to type, when he acts according to type, when he ties his hospital gown and wears his slippers, when he writes PRESS on the back of his paper prescription, when he appears with a wirebound steno pad in one hand and an Esso travel map in the other, when […]

A Very Cracked Kristol Ball

To see the speck in your brother’s eye, to see your brother as guilty of the highest crimes and the lowest deeds, to see so little and condemn so much, to hate to see your brother make war, to accept war until your brother sees the wrongness of the oldest hatreds, to see yourself as […]

Bill Weld Torches His Mind

Bill Weld is as much a constitutional scholar as I am a geneticist. His maddening cry for the execution of President Trump is no better than my non-informed diagnosis of Weld’s case of acute madness: that he has the WASP equivalent of Tay-Sachs disease, minus the covenantal nature of Judaism and the high intelligence of […]

Neither Good Nor Godly:
The Fall of Williams College

To see the campus of Williams College is to read the story of America. To see the beauty of brick and gold yield to the banality of steel and concrete is to read a story about the decline and fall of both a college and a country. It is a story about the deconsecration of […]

Zucked Up Beyond All Recognition

Stop the video. Rewind the clip. Watch the steam go from the ears to the head, forming a crown, not of apostolic succession but apocalyptic surrender. Picture, too, a trio of technicians off-camera: engineers in white coveralls—men pacing inside a 1967 Ford Econoline—struggling to grab the toggles on a remote control, while the man in […]

The Death of Ideology, Not Irony

What politics forbids, politicians foment—namely, absurdity. The absurdity of uniforms. Absurd uniforms born of uniformity of thought, of Blackshirts and Brownshirts, of jodhpurs and jackboots, of green robes and black masks. The absurdity of maniacs writ short and tall, from the exuberance of a little Caesar to the exaltedness of the Führer to the exaggerations […]

The Man with an Everlasting Name

Imagine the body confounding the language of life, while the mind continues to consecrate the Word of God. Imagine the body conflating the words of the Bible, reducing the Five Books of Moses into biological babel. Imagine the body biting itself like a serpent and stinging itself like a viper. Imagine the body as an […]

Conviction vs. Passionate Intensity: A Story for the Ages

Between the Bible and the Complete Works of William Shakespeare is the story of humanity. Between the “Song of Solomon” and Shakespeare’s sonnets is the language of Western Civilization: a language that speaks to the better angels of our nature, while reminding us of the frailties of human nature, for temptations abound.  Unless we remember […]

The Meaning of Labor Day

Not a vacation day, but a display of vocation. A day to safeguard workers and sanctify the nature of work, where the ability to do—the willingness to work—is more than an attempt to make ends meet but a means to an end: to climb the ladder, be it actual or analogous, where each rung is […]

The Genius of Dave Chappelle

Common Sense is the radicalism of Thomas Paine, while common sense is the righteousness of the Everyman. The man whose masculinity students disdain, whose mindset critics despise, whose thoughts are an affront to the mindless groupthink of the crowd, the mob, and the Twitterverse of professional victims. Among the latter, who banish their enemies not […]

Ending the Drug Czar’s Endless War

The words “drug czar” say more about the futility of endless war than all the words written about war.  The title is as foreign as it sounds: a Russification of American politics not by trolls and viruses, but an infiltration just the same. A corruption of the state by the administrative state. An abuse of […]

Up in Smoke: California’s War Against E-Cigarettes

The California State Capitol disproves the idea that great civic architecture attracts great civic leaders, that the strength of our civil religion corresponds to the symbols of our devotion. The columns and pilasters, the arched windows and drum walls, the red curtains and green tones, the granite dome and gold rotunda—all of these things are […]

Once Upon a Time in Hell

What if there were a chemical reason for the chain reaction of the summer of 1969? A series of odorless but nonetheless noxious fumes: Ben Day dots that color the smog and shape the layers of subterranean gases that swirl from sewer grates and lifted slabs of sidewalk. A demonic air of delusion that surrounds […]

Nike: Goddess of Ignorance

The flag of 1777, not 1861. The Stars and Stripes, not the Stars and Bars. The flag of Betsy Ross, not Nicola Marschall. The flag of the United States, not the Confederate States. The flag of Union blue, not rebel gray. The flag we salute, not the one a critic condemns.  A critic who kneels […]