Category Archives: Politics

Sen. Collins says No to democracy

It always seems odd to me when events that make such sense on one level, aggregate to produce effects that make no sense at all on another level. This is what Adam Smith had in mind when he said that … Continue reading

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Another Marshmallow Test

Many years ago, psychologist Walter Mischel devised a test of the ability to defer rewards. For experimental subjects, he used students at his daughter’s grade school. For rewards, he used whatever kind of treat a child might choose. Some years … Continue reading

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Abraham Lincoln to the Rescue. Again.

I have been thinking, especially during the Trump era, about our democratic political institutions.  Trump and “Trumpism” put a great deal of pressure on these institutions.  Trump offered an alternative model: the authoritarian leader.  To followers of such a leader, … Continue reading

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The Battle for the Soul of the Rs

A lot of discussion recently has focused on what is being called “the battle for the soul of the Republican party.”  By that, “Trump” or “not-Trump” is seen to be the battle line.  That’s not what it looks like to … Continue reading

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The (Former) President’s 1776 Report

Former President Trump convened a body of writers to produce a new version of American history.  He didn’t give them much time to do it.  They were appointed thirty-three days before the inauguration of President Joe Biden and it was … Continue reading

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Trumpism and Greater Appalachia

Here is the first paragraph of Colin Woodard’s examination of the “American nation” he calls Greater Appalachia. [1]  “Nation” is a cultural reference in Woodard’s usage and Greater Appalachia is the culture where I was born and raised.  (See the … Continue reading

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Did anybody remember to bring the boxes?

Like a lot of people, I spent most of yesterday watching television.  I learned as lot from the commentary.  The video, not so much.  All day, they showed the same protesters coming up the same stairs their progress being retarded … Continue reading

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Eggs and Omelettes

As I write this, it is getting dark in Washington D. C. There are still pro-Trump rioters inside the Capitol and darkness does odd things to riots.  On all the channels I have watched, the reporters and commentators are asking, … Continue reading

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Balance of Power?

The government of the United States was built to be a balancing act.  Just what elements of this mechanism are supposed to be “in balance” have changed from one time to another.  Early ideas were that the largest states were … Continue reading

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“Give me a break”

Trump’s recent phone call to Georgia is iconic.  It puts on display nearly all the things that are most characteristic of Trump [1] and most dangerous to democracy. Here is the account of the call as it appears in the … Continue reading

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