Category: Society & Culture

Home Society & Culture
Can the Greens Change Their Colors?
Post

Can the Greens Change Their Colors?

Greens often make conservatives and populists see red—or Reds. In 2004, Australian politician John Anderson called his country’s Greens “watermelons…green on the outside, and very, very, very red on the inside.” His fruity metaphor has become something of a conservative

Hope in Little Platoons
Post

Hope in Little Platoons

For 26 years, I taught hundreds of home-educated students, including my own children. My checkered teaching career also includes a semester in a university, two years at a prison, and two years in a public high school. During my last

Letter to the Bishop
Post

Letter to the Bishop

Your Excellency:

A few years have passed since we corresponded. After my last letter to you, I’m afraid I took a wrong path, crashed and burned, and now stagger forward, burdened by more ordinary trespasses. But still a believer, grateful,

Post

Resurrecting the Old Right

For those who may have noticed, I’ve been absent from this venerable magazine for more than 12 years. Upon returning, I feel obliged to give an account of what I’ve learned in the intervening time. Aside from visiting my family

Perot, the Proto-Trump
Post

Perot, the Proto-Trump

One evening in the fall of 2015, with the unlikely Donald J. Trump already dominating the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, I ran into Ross Perot, Jr., at an exclusive charity event in Dallas. Perot is a billionaire

Ride On, Proud Boys!
Post

Ride On, Proud Boys!

Canada has not done much to assure the world it is anything other than a dog in search of a lap. Americans declared independence from England in 1776, but Canadians still haven’t mustered the gumption to cut ties with the

Interview With a Condemned Academic
Post

Interview With a Condemned Academic

Michael Millerman was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto when he got into trouble. The trouble wasn’t drugs or alcohol, debt, or academic improprieties. Nor was he troubled by poor academic performance.

The trouble was that he was

Post

U.S. Economy Nears Growth Record

The U.S. economy, absent a precipitous decline in payroll employment this quarter, will set a momentous record in July: the longest economic expansion in the nation’s 243-year history.

This news is a reminder of the perils of relying on the

Post

Let’s Stop Equating Slavery and Abortion

Frequently, pro-life leaders draw a parallel between slavery and abortion. “You Say Abortion Is Legal? The Supreme Court Also Legalized Slavery,” reads one popular bumper sticker. The motivation for this comparison is understandable, since slavery and the Civil War occupy

The Death of Comedy
Post

The Death of Comedy

The left hates comedy. It subverts and challenges the dicta of the liberal hegemony, and is closed down whenever possible. The Left has had notable successes, especially in Britain, where I can point precisely to the roughly two decades in

Rough Men, Rough Language
Post

Rough Men, Rough Language

“You can’t run an army without profanity; and it has to be eloquent profanity.  An army without profanity couldn’t fight its way out of a piss-soaked paper bag.”
—George Patton

My father is an Army veteran, a former auto-body

The Little Guy and the Right
Post

The Little Guy and the Right

To judge from what is going on in Italy, the only major European country where populists are in power, right-wing populism works, but left-wing populism does not.

Populism, they tell us, is a meaningless word.

What else, after all,

The Left: A History of Violence
Post

The Left: A History of Violence

The sight of American leftists getting on their moral high horses to attribute blame to conservatives for the growth of political violence in America is exasperating, to say the least.  The dispatch of mail bombs to critics of Donald Trump

Post

Happy Warriors

For decades, conservative commentators and writers have told anyone who would listen that America is going to hell in a handbag.

(An aside: Why do people always go to hell in a handbag?  If I must go to hell, I’d

Borders and Other Silly Concerns
Post

Borders and Other Silly Concerns

My housekeeper personifies the American Dream.  Her journey from rags may not have ended in riches.  But she now enjoys a solid middle-class existence after decades of backbreaking labor.  Born and raised in the Mexican state of Puebla, Laura married

Post

Breeze Over the Border With Me

Let’s conduct a thought experiment.  Imagine that you have just landed at New York’s JFK International Airport after a 15-hour flight from Mumbai.  Although you splurged for a business-class ticket, the extra-large seat, constant parade of food, and infinite selection

Your Pink Hat Is Transphobic
Post

Your Pink Hat Is Transphobic

If Madonna were a standard white person, her appearance at the August 2018 MTV Video Music Awards—at which she delivered a rambling, self-referential soliloquy about the influences she’d absorbed from Aretha Franklin while costumed in an alarming getup that

The Battle for America’s Mind
Post

The Battle for America’s Mind

Heralding the rise of the daily newspaper in 1831, French poet and politician Alphonse de Lamartine declared journalism would emerge as “the whole of human thought,” but that thought itself “will not have time to ripen, to accumulate into the

Selling Them the Rope
Post

Selling Them the Rope

The United States recently came under an attack by an activity so insidious that Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his Wisconsin colleague Tammy Baldwin joined forces in an effort to demand it be “reined in.”  Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, the Senate’s

Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists
Post

Teddy Wilson and the Swing Era Vocalists

Midway through Billie Holiday’s plaintive 1941 recording of “Jim,” there is a short piano solo barely 25 seconds in length—not even a full 32-bar chorus—by Teddy Wilson.  “Jim” is largely forgotten today, but Wilson’s lightly swinging interpretation of the melody

Post

Uber Über Odor

Brennan_08-2018

My wife and I obey a simple rule regarding our leisure travel: She makes the plans; I follow them.  Since she enjoys researching hotels and locations, and my tastes overlap with hers, we find it easier for her to do

Syria and Our Deaths of Despair
Post

Syria and Our Deaths of Despair

Just two days after the alleged April 9 chemical attack in Douma, Syria, TV host Tucker Carlson asked Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, “What is the American national security interest that would be served by regime change in Syria?”

Wicker

Monumental Stupidity
Post

Monumental Stupidity

There is a scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1959 classic North by Northwest in which the characters look out at a brooding Mount Rushmore from the dining-room terrace of the Sheraton-Johnson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota (since renamed the Hotel

March Against Middle America
Post

March Against Middle America

In March, Americans braced for the nationwide “March for Our Lives,” and what they witnessed was the latest battle in the culture war, with children paraded through the capital as nouveaux Jacobins. “This is the beginning of a revolution,” declared

Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War
Post

Taiwan, China, and Unnecessary War

While America’s attention remains focused on the North Korea crisis, another dangerous East Asia confrontation has re-emerged.  The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is taking new steps to intimidate Taiwan and force the island’s leaders to move toward political reunification

Hogging the Guns
Post

Hogging the Guns

Facts ruin bad arguments. So let these facts sink in for a minute. According to the FBI, in 2016 murderers using handguns killed 7, 105 Americans. That same year, murderers using any kind of rifle—muzzle-loading, breech-loading, lever-action, bolt-action, or even

A Conservative Tax Code
Post

A Conservative Tax Code

Few American objects attract more scorn than the federal Internal Revenue Code.  When initially drafted in 1914, it contained 11,400 words, about the length of a long magazine article.  Today, the Code weighs in at about four million words, with

Post

The British War for Independence

The anti-Brexit hysteria never went away.  “How Brexit damaged Britain’s democracy” was the headline of the regular political columnist “Bagehot” in The Economist (March 30).  One can hold different views on the value of Brexit—but a referendum is a “threat

A Free Ride to Clown College
Post

A Free Ride to Clown College

Not content to suffer quietly under a $352 billion state debt, a crumbling post-World War II infrastructure, and a $65 billion unfunded pension liability in its largest city, the state of New York hastened its impending financial devastation this spring

Farewell to P.C.
Post

Farewell to P.C.

“It is true that Professor Esolen enjoys academic freedom,” said Madame Lafarge, who now numbers among my former colleagues, “but academic freedom must be used responsibly.”  The assembled students, almost all of them from the political left, cheered and clicked

Post

Race and Civil Rights

One would expect race-baiting liberals and leftists to try to glorify the “civil-rights movement” and the laws of the early 1960’s, insisting that we view all of it as earth shaking history, more important than the fall of the Roman

Post

Sewanee, Deconstructed

“Make it new!” demanded Ezra Pound.  Would he have liked the cover for the outrageous winter 2017 issue of the Sewanee Review, America’s oldest continuously published literary quarterly?  It consists of a mustard-yellow ground on which, in addition to

Post

Blurred Lines

What’s with Pope Francis?  What has been his effect on the Church?  To understand the situation we need to look at secular culture, the state of the Church, and Francis himself.

Public culture today is atheistic.  It excludes God, natural

Post

Conspiring With Terror in the West

The liberal paradigm is dying before our eyes.  At twelve midday on March 22, Theresa May announced at Prime Minister’s Questions that she had sent her condolences to the family of Martin McGuinness, who had been the capo di capi

Reading Huxley Between the Headlines
Post

Reading Huxley Between the Headlines

“Is it time to reread Brave New World?” asks the distinguished historian Anthony Beevor, in a recent article on Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.  I think it is.

Of the two great fictional casts into the

Post

Southern Baptists Versus the South

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has over 15 million members.  With over 46,000 churches, they are present in all 50 states (as well as several foreign countries).  It is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.  Nonetheless, for nine