Speak out for the World our Kids Will Live in

Frank Luntz, the Republican focus group wizard, says a magic phrase for Republicans is “for the children.” Talk about kids, and voters are with you. So what do people who […]

Don’t Talk Like a Twit

I was hitchhiking around England in the Spring of 1983. It happened to be the middle of an election campaign: Margaret Thatcher was running for re-election against a professor named […]

Why Can’t Politicians Speak for Themselves?

It was late in the afternoon, the big hearing was the next morning, and the chief counsel of the US Senate subcommittee realized that no one had written an opening […]

War and Warming: Polemical Blowback

Of all the sources of unintended consequences, war probably is the greatest. The forces set in motion rarely stop where the participants expect. The Civil War helped spawn the large […]

Politics Just Doesn’t Get It

Ever since the recent election there has been hand-wringing and recrimination on the Democratic side. They need to move to the center. They need bold new themes. They don’t have […]

Free Market Violence

I was surprised that Todd Gitlin chose to scold congressional Democrats for trying to tackle TV violence (“Imagebusters: The Hollow Crusade Against TV Violence,” Winter 1994). His insights regarding the […]

Disclose donors in political ads

Political candidates are a lot like purveyors of processed meat. Both deal in unsavory ingredients they would prefer to keep to themselves–but are obliged to some extent to disclose. Thanks […]

The Case for the Clean Slate

Congress has now limped out of Washington. Democrats are seething and scared; Republicans are gleeful at the hash they’ve made and are licking their chops for more. “Glorious Gridlock,” The […]

Ralph Nader Reconsidered