A Call to Mend, Not End the NEH

In its draft budget, the Trump administration has proposed the abolition of the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of a dramatic reduction in non-essential discretionary spending. The NEH’s budget is so small (0.004 percent of the federal budget) that its elimination would serve as a mere gesture. In fact, Trump-inspired conservatives

By | 2017-04-24T17:49:52+00:00 April 24th, 2017|

How Trump’s First Three Months Point the Way to Three Percent Growth

The great nineteenth-century man of letters William Dean Howells once made a remark that I have long cherished as a sort of personal motto: “The problem for a critic,” Howells said, “is not making enemies, but keeping them.” A critic who does not make enemies is unlikely to be doing his job, inasmuch

By | 2017-04-24T17:53:13+00:00 April 22nd, 2017|

Draining the Academic Swamp

Civil rights historian Abigail Thernstrom once spoke of the American campus as “an island of repression in a sea of freedom.” That was in 1989. At the high tide of freedom we who believed in unfettered inquiry and free speech believed these islands might “stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which

By | 2017-04-22T00:36:01+00:00 April 19th, 2017|

Get Smart: “Fundamental Transformation” Demands Chaos

It's the chaos, stupid. Nothing more clearly marked the intended mission of Barack Obama’s presidency than his own words, spoken shortly before the 2008 election:  “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Two markers from his final month in office are the concluding grace notes of his

By | 2017-04-22T01:18:04+00:00 April 18th, 2017|

Obama’s Chaos Strategy: The Case of the IRS IED

As Lois Lerner attempts to garner the public’s sympathy and a sealing of her testimony in a federal case looking into the targeting of political opponents during the Obama Administration, new reports now suggest that the House of Representatives will recommend the Department of Justice (DOJ) file criminal charges against her. Lerner is

By | 2017-04-21T00:03:47+00:00 April 15th, 2017|

Chairman of the Board Trump

  With the rise of the modern corporation, we have come to see the corporate CEO as the paradigm for leadership. We expect that Trump, the first president whose entire experience of leadership is in business, would work as we imagine today’s CEOs work, or especially the most visible CEOs, the heads of

By | 2017-04-21T00:01:18+00:00 April 13th, 2017|

Let My People Go: Removing the Shackles of Academic Jim Crow

On Wednesday March 29, Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, gave a thoughtful speech before the Brookings Institution. The speech was a substantive development in a week otherwise dominated by the ongoing investigation into the Trump administration, which—as it happens—is turning into an investigation of Democrat spying. In her speech DeVos’s noted that, “parents know

By | 2017-04-03T06:52:59+00:00 March 31st, 2017|

The Art of the Possible in an Age of Recrimination

As Otto von Bismarck several times had occasion to observe, “Politics is the art of the possible.” On at least one occasion he added, “the attainable—the art of the next best.” Since, as Henry Kissinger once observed in a long essay on Bismarck, the Prussian colossus was a “revolutionary” who sought not to “adapt [his]

By | 2017-03-26T20:39:35+00:00 March 26th, 2017|

Open Borders Do Not Lead to Prosperity

Illegal immigration has plagued the United States for decades. The business, political, media, and academic elite in America today insist that the unfettered movement of all people will, among other things, lead to a greater level of innovation. According to this theory, whenever America becomes less inviting to foreigners, that talent chooses to go elsewhere.

By | 2017-03-23T21:27:52+00:00 March 23rd, 2017|