The cartoon that accompanies this column is a deliberate but good-humored provocation meant to lure student activists into a discussion of what is important and not important, what is central and what is peripheral to their cause.Read more
The other day, my sister told me a friend of hers had revealed his growing interest in the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. The things Trump says “make a lot of sense,” the friend said, echoing the opinion of millions of voters who have already been drawn to The Donald’s campaign.
What do we make of this phenomenon?Read more
The Second World War is rightly remembered as a heroic time when Americans led the world to victory over German and Italian fascism and Japanese imperialism. But the glory of that era is marred by two enormous moral failings.Read more
There is a British prankster named Jack Jones who is trying to kick start a comedy career for himself by posting videos of his rude public encounters with unsuspecting people. One may or may not find Jones’ antics amusing, but he stepped way out of his shallow depth when he tweeted a serious message about last week’s brutal Islamic State attack in Lebanon in which 43 people were killed and 200 wounded.Read more
There are few things as horrifying as a merciless fanatic willing to commit any conceivable atrocity for the sake of his religion. Nationalism, political beliefs or pure criminality can drive people to engage in extreme violence and cruelty, but religious zealotry adds a peculiar righteous frenzy that seems more difficult to counter because it is, literally, otherworldly.Read more
When you think about it, picking a president is not that different from picking someone to meet for a drink at a bar -- and, maybe, a relationship. Voting is a gut reaction as much as an intellectual exercise. As proof of that, consider the two men currently leading the Republican race for president, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. It is personality, not policy, that has driven them to the top.Read more