‘Indoctrinationism’: The Ideology of Speech Policing

Speech policing in the United States, often called “political correctness,” has inspired much resentment and concern along with advocacy. Right now only its advocates have an action plan—which is to institutionalize PC on university campuses through the appointment of administrators responsible for developing and enforcing policies to control expression. Those who object to

By | 2017-07-22T10:34:35+00:00 July 20th, 2017|

Make Rhetoric Great Again

At the university where I teach rhetoric, an organization called the Center for Public Deliberation promotes events where students, faculty and other citizens can discuss issues that are relevant to American democratic life. Among the goals listed on the Center’s website are decreasing political polarization, creating safe spaces for dialogue between “co-creating agents

By | 2017-07-22T10:38:26+00:00 July 20th, 2017|

Donald Trump vs. the Post-West

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, our civilization and to set free suffering humanity....and we know that by thy grace, and the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph." Who wrote those words? Someone

By | 2017-07-22T10:33:17+00:00 July 18th, 2017|

Swampland’s Ten Commandments

The Trump family is no doubt canny about the dog-eat-dog landscapes of the Manhattan real estate lagoon. But when the Trumps arrived in Washington, as political novices they entered an entirely new swampland, with which so far they remain unfamiliar. Their transition down the coastal corridor is sort of like leaving a Florida

By | 2017-07-20T19:13:32+00:00 July 17th, 2017|

The Hollowness of the Conservative Intellectual Elite

The rise of Donald Trump not only highlights the fecklessness of the political class but also the blindness of the conservative intellectual elite. Conservatism Inc., the vast apparatus of thinks tanks, policy journals, and periodicals that have formed the intellectual foundation for the Right over the past few decades, has failed to deliver

By | 2017-07-18T13:11:26+00:00 July 14th, 2017|

No, You Can’t Have My Country

You can’t have my country. You cannot take away anything that makes her her. She has stood proudly head and shoulders above others ever since her brilliant, bombastic founding. She has withstood fire and assault and wars and ravages. Her people have shed blood for her. America is under a dreadful assault. The

By | 2017-07-16T23:48:12+00:00 July 12th, 2017|

Inside Chomsky-World

Some 35 years ago I attended a party in honor of Noam Chomsky. A group of us stood around him, hearing his thoughts on the relevance of psychology to linguistic theory. Inevitably, conversation flagged—not least because he didn’t see much relevance in it—so I piped in. I had just seen an ad in

By | 2017-07-13T14:48:59+00:00 July 9th, 2017|