Articles by Christopher Roach

The ‘Fun Police’ State

nce upon a time, America’s unofficial motto was: “It’s a free county.” Americans largely agreed that all could and should do what they wanted, assuming they weren’t hurting anyone else. You like vacations, someone else likes being a homebody. You like rock, he likes rap, and she likes country. If you wanted to smoke, ride […]

President Trump: Do Something

he last few weeks have seen a nonstop explosion of disorder, violence, and hostility to America and its history. The message is plain: the old America was bad to its core, worthy of no respect, and therefore its heroes, history, and heritage must be paved over to make way for a new order. President Trump […]

Unmasking Marble and Bronze

rotests and looting were supplanted last week by an orgy of more symbolic destruction. Statues of various figures from our civilization’s past—Christopher Columbus, a Texas Ranger, numerous confederate Civil War memorials, and even Philadelphia’s Frank Rizzo—have been toppled, defaced, or scheduled for removal by compliant officials. In the same spirit, a Senate GOP committee recently […]

Night of the Generals

uring the Iraq War, the insurgency spent a lot of its resources attacking infrastructure, particularly the electrical grid. This made life miserable for ordinary Iraqis. That outcome seems to go against the logic of insurgency, where the center of gravity is the people’s allegiance. But making life uncertain and unbearable means that even if the […]

Whatever Happened to Law and Order?

ace riots are underway again; beginning in Minneapolis but now spread to many major cities. These things always follow the same trajectory. First, there is a questionable incident involving law enforcement and a black man. Next, the ugly images, questions, protests, and agitators. Then the protests turn violent. The logic of collective punishment is afoot. […]

Life Is Risky

erhaps the most unserious response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the facile assertion that lockdowns, the destruction of the economy, and the suppression of our historic freedoms are all justified if they “save just one life.” As Joe Biden put it on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No one […]

We Were Never Asked

olice officers dealing with the public have a fairly savvy approach to persuasion: first ask, then tell, then force. It works because it accounts for the dignity and self-respect of others. Uncertain rookie cops and bullies are the ones who forget to ask, adding unnecessary friction to encounters between citizens and the state. In the […]

Georgia On My Mind

eorgia is one of the largest states to reopen after imposing a virtual lockdown to fight the Wuhan coronavirus. “Republican Gov. Brian Kemp allowed gyms, barbershops, hair salons, tattoo parlors, and bowling alleys to reopen their doors, just a few weeks after he issued a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” according […]

2000 and 2020

here was real panic in the air 20 years ago. The “Y2K bug” was a deceptively simple flaw in older mainframes and software. It coded the year portion of dates with two digits, but this flaw would face a reckoning upon the turn of the millennium, as 2000 would now only be rendered as “00.” […]

Can We Trust the Experts?

ne of the great themes of the Trump presidency has been an overarching conflict between the people’s democratically elected president and the technocrats. Which claim to rule is legitimate? The one rooted in the consent of the people or the one rooted in the expertise of these technocrats? Whether it’s trade, foreign policy, or the […]

Is Nothing Sacred?

aster is coming. We are at the conclusion of Lent, a time of sacrifice and spiritual renewal for Catholics. During Lent, we imitate Jesus’ fasting in the desert. Our small self-denial is rightly understood not as an exercise in masochism, but as a form of spiritual food. Sadly, we cannot go to Mass and celebrate […]

We’re All Preppers Now

oomsday prepping has always been a controversial, minority pursuit. While it has occasioned some curiosity from the general public—and even some reality shows—generally speaking, it is not in keeping with America’s culture of optimism and consumerism. No one likes the bearer of bad news, and preppers suggest that American security and prosperity are fragile things, […]

A Real Crisis Yields Real Politics

o much of the news cycle and the telegraphed concerns of our commentariat are completely fake. Fake crises like “climate change,” a phone call with the leader of Ukraine, or whether someone used the wrong pronouns tend to dominate the news cycle. The recent Democratic presidential primary is a good example. At one point, the […]

An Ideal Deep State Figurehead

hile Joe Biden recently has become the Democratic establishment’s answer to the Bernie Sanders insurgency, his declining cognitive ability is hard to ignore. Garbled speech, nonsequiturs, confusion, and the appearance of an actor forgetting his lines characterize most of his unscripted remarks, whether in public venues or on the debate stage. This evident cognitive decline […]