The glory, folly, reality, and meaning of America’s political scene.
Broomsticks and Politics
A. J. Loftin reviews a history of witch-hunting, concluding that "If witches existed, John Demos would have found them."
In Praise of the Values Voter
Political scientists and liberal reformers want to remove highly charged moral issues to the sidelines, but what is the purpose of politics if not to address fundamental moral questions?
Lincoln's Memo to Obama
On the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, a distinguished biographer muses on the counsel the Great Emancipator might offer the new president who so often invokes him.
The Irrational Electorate
A Princeton political scientist reveals that many of our worst fears about America’s voters are true.
The Thinking Man's Politician
Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the kind of figure who almost makes you wish there were more intellectuals in American political life. But there could only be one Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
“Pollsters and pundits” has become a dismissive epithet in modern politics. Pollsters, at least, deserve much better.
Pity the Poor, Unloved Elite
“Elite” is the laziest slur in the book. Yet, on both the left and right, “elites” — however we define them — are getting whupped.
Love/Hate: New York, Race, and 1989
Three events defined 1989 in NYC: the Central Park jogger attack, the murder of Yusef Hawkins, and the election of the city's first (and only) black mayor.
A Great War Among the Brothers of This Earth
With the murder of Malcolm X, the Selma-to-Montgomery march, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, 1965 was a pivotal year in American history. What lessons does it hold for America in 2015?
Still the Redeemer Nation
The ceaseless quest for redemption in politics and culture is one of the chronic infirmities of American national life. But God forbid we should ever give it up.
GDP growth is strong. That doesn’t mean inequality is going anywhere.
Growth in GDP hasn’t done much for the average American in decades, but it can provide some political cover to narrow the wealth gap: We can afford it now.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Selma
In Selma, there's a tangible sense of regret at how little the 50th anniversary celebrations had to do with the people who actually live there.
Beyond the Bully Pulpit
Theodore Roosevelt famously used the “bully pulpit” of the White House to advance his agenda. By the time he left office, “spin” had become a fundamental part of the American presidency.
The Rude Birth of Immigration Reform
As America debates immigration reform, it is in danger of repeating the mistakes made a century ago when the flawed foundations of today’s policies were established.
Can America Fail?
A sympathetic critic issues a wake-up call for an America mired in groupthink and blind to its own shortcomings.
The Pessimist Persuasion
Throughout history, many intellectuals have been willing to write their society's obituary long before the game was up.
Last Man Standing
It’s no cause for celebration, but the global financial crisis shows why the United States remains the indispensable nation.
Bury the Hatchet
The antidote to frenzied partisanship won’t be found in politics as usual but in problem-solving leaders who govern from the center.
How did the ‘population control’ movement go so terribly wrong?
It seemed an obvious answer to the ills of the developing world. So how did the population control movement go so terribly wrong?
The Lost Art of Cooperation
Americans are obsessed with competition, but they forget that cooperation and collective effort are the foundation of freedom.
The Port Huron Statement: a Manifesto at 50
The Port Huron Statement launched America's New Left in 1962. Today it seems naive and in some ways misguided — yet it raised questions that still agitate Americans today.
The Seventies Shift
When Michael Barone began his career as a political observer, Los Angeles was like Des Moines by the sea and America was transfixed by the Vietnam war and the counterculture. Nobody saw the deeper forces that were beginning to transform the nation.
The Case for an Unprincipled Foreign Policy
“Grand Strategies” are great for winning elections, but they’re terrible for governing.
The Nation-State: Not Dead Yet
In the mid-1990s, many academics declared an end to the nation-state. Twenty years later, the influence of the state over daily life is more extensive than ever.