It’s so nice of New Mexico’s political overlords to allow businesses to re-open a bit — until they change their minds again. We should gather in the frozen fields and sing hymns to their glory. Wearing two or three masks each, obviously. If you don’t praise the bully when he beats you slightly less, you’re ungrateful.
A reader emailed me asking how I feel comfortable sharing political views that are widely unpopular. He also asked if I’ve written about this, and I don’t think I have, so here’s my response.
(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 10, 2021)
When something is important to you, you want to share it. If other people don’t understand it, you want to explain it to them.
You usually want others to like and understand it as much as you …
[I]n addition to being treacherous and menacing, the insurrectionists are also, strictly speaking, pathetic. These are grown men and women whose lives are apparently so devoid of other sources of meaning that their self-worth depends on who occupies the White House.
(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 3, 2021)
Politics has a strange effect on people.
I’m stunned at how many people can’t let go of Donald Trump. They cling to him like a life raft in an ocean of uncertainty.
I’m not talking about Trump’…
We are now unquestionably at a crisis point for free speech, academic freedom, and intellectual diversity in higher education. Ritualistic denunciations of faculty who dissent from consensus, under the thin veneer of combating “misinformation,” are now practiced by prominent universities and broadly accepted within higher education.
It’s easy for people with contrarian ideas and opinions to long for public validation. After years of being mocked and worn down, there’s a tendency to fantasize about one great moment where all your opponents are owned and utterly embarrassed.
“[T]o restore the soul and to secure the future of America,” President Joe Biden said in his inaugural speech, “requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. … This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.” The bad news: Where politics is concerned, “unity” is a pipe dream.
(My Eastern New Mexico News column for January 20, 2021)
No matter how you feel about them, U.S. presidents are both too powerful and figureheads without any real power. It seems contradictory, but it’s true.
A president has the power to sign…
Few will find it surprising that the incoming Biden administration looks, in both form and function, a lot like the Obama administration of 2009-2017. After all, Joe Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice-president for those eight years. His staff and cabinet appointments comprise a veritable Who’s Who of Obama holdovers and members of Biden’s own political circle, built over decades in the Senate and White House.