If you’ve already scanned to the bottom of this to see how long it is and thought about not reading it because it seems too long, you’re the person I’m talking about (along with the rest of us).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this quote: “It will be necessary to resist the tendency to render easy that which cannot become easy without being distorted.”
Our world is trying to “render easy” everything. There is an expectation, stronger the younger the person, that technology can make everything easier. This is great—for the most part. (more…)
The media have spent the last two months wringing their hands over how badly they mis-predicted the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. They had sought out thorough data and reviewed it carefully; analyzed policy positions against demographic and social trends; accounted for socio-economic, racial, educational, and other factors; and missed by more than 34 electoral votes.
Why? Why did all this research, study, and analysis miss so badly? Because the electorate didn’t do any of that. We elected the president we did because we’re a nation of smartphone products. You read it right: we are the products of our smartphones, not the other way around. The election results reflect it—and the President-Elect reflects it. (more…)
Republicans are feeling their oats after the 2014 election when they increased their hold on the House of Representatives and gained control of the Senate. The race for the 2016 presidential election is accelerating (it never stopped, it just slowed a bit) and lots of Republicans are testing the presidential waters. The problem is that the same two things that brought them success in 2014 will disappoint them in 2016, in the Senate and in the race for the White House. (more…)
The Republican Party is dying. The GOP is on the wrong side of irreversible demographic trends and quickly changing social perceptions. And yet, the party continues to promote policies that push away minorities, young people, women, and the ever-expanding group of people on the losing end of increasing wealth disparity. It seems that without some quick adjustments, the party will fade into insignificance within a decade in all but a few southern states. But Party leaders aren’t stupid. They see the cliff coming. So, what’s the plan?
Mitt Romney’s sudden veering into the center lane in early October took most everyone by surprise. At first it seemed like a move of desperation from a lagging campaign grasping at straws. I mean, no one had ever waited so long to move to the center. But I think it was planned that way, and it has to do with a Supreme Court decision and (of course) money. (more…)
Mitt Romney has a problem. He has to somehow convince some people that he is exactly the opposite of what he’s trying to convince others he is. I know; confusing, huh. That’s why his campaign seems so wishy-washy. (more…)
“I have no other end in this writing, but only to discover myself, who, also, shall, peradventure, be another thing tomorrow, if I chance to meet any new instruction to change me.” – Montaigne
The term flip-flop has become as ubiquitous in accusatory politics as the ridiculous “footwear” that bear the same name have become in the population at large. I have to say that I prefer a change of mind to a precarious piece of rubber snapping at my heel. (more…)
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” –James 1:8
In the movie All of Me the soul of Lilly Tomlin’s character is mistakenly trapped inside the body of Steve Martin’s character. Anyone who has seen this movie has witnessed one of the great masters of physical comedy do some of his best work as his body lurches around, trying to obey the two wills trapped inside it.
It’s funny when it’s Steve Martin, but it’s not so funny when it’s your government. (more…)
A while back I wrote about how the things we’re told we shouldn’t talk about—religion and politics—are precisely some of the most important things we can talk about. Sitting with someone of a different mind about either subject, but who is respectful and can express herself well, is a very pleasant experience. The problem most of us face—and the reason for the advice to avoid talking about religion and politics—is that most people drop respect, humility, and good communication when it comes to these things. My argument today is that such should not be the case, because most of these disagreements are arguments of degrees. (more…)
In plodding my way slowly through the Great Books series, I found a special treat in Michel de Montaigne, a 16th Century French philosopher. His thoughts peel back the surface of human interaction, often to an uncomfortable degree. But he does it in such a self-effacing and often humorous way that we take it in stride and ingest it. He is surely a great mind that deeply influenced many others, including another of my favorites, Eric Hoffer. (more…)