Tag Archives: logic of government

In a democracy, government is us

One way to see Biden’s ambitious agenda is that it’s an old guy wise enough to not care a lot about another term , transcending the politically calculating caution more typical of a younger politician. Call it burnishing his legacy. Call it doing the right thing, as he sees it. Which also happens to be […]

Free college for all is simple democratic realism

A good thing to come out of the so-called “college admissions scandal” is recognition that it’s not a scandal at all, in the sense of especially shocking or outrageous. The wealthy using their money to get their kids into colleges that will enhance their chances of continuing the family tradition of being rich? It may […]

Good for us; shame on us

You know that trick of eyesight: how you can see a moon crater as concave or as convex, but not both at the same time? It keeps flipping between. There was a story in this paper recently that produced for me something of the same effect. Back in the 80s and early 90s, Ben Buck, […]

Discriminating between two forms of democracy.

As an English major I’ve been confused by the term “populism” being bruited about recently. It has the sound of democracy, of which I have always been a fan. So why are so many liberals associating it with the drift toward fascism? Turning dutifully to my wikipedia, I discovered that the confusion is not just […]

Holding these truths

Here’s a patriotic column for the fourth. In confused and stressful times like these, in which the word “government” has become a curseword, it’s good to go back to the earliest moments of our founding and refresh ourselves with the basic logic of the American enterprise. In fact, our own democratic government is, in theory […]


“Bridge of Spies,” the popular and critically well-received movie that’s been playing locally, is an entertaining true story, comforting in a way we have come to expect of Spielberg. Tom Hanks is always enough to restore your faith in the species. Decency, honor, stubbornness in the service of virtue seem built into his very physiognomy. […]

Money versus votes

I wonder how many of our votes the Koch brothers and friends could buy directly, by offering, say, $1000 paid directly to voters for switching our votes in the midterm election? What would it take? $100? Maybe they don’t have to spend that much. I must say I find it depressing news that we are […]

The poignancy of charity [December 2010 / CCT]

At this time of year we are tugged this way and that. The coldest season demands the warmest heart we can muster. The darkest time of year we confront with the brightest lights. The body assailed with flus and colds, we ask the spirit to rise to the occasion. This year the contradictions are especially […]

Restoring the logic of government [November 2008 CCT]

I imagine Thanksgiving will assume a civic dimension this year it hasn’t had in some time. At many tables there will be thanks for an amazing election that gives us hope that we now have a shot at government of the people, by the people, for the people. “For the people”–remember that? To read letters […]

Healthcare debate and the lost logic of government [September 2009 CCT]

The great healthcare debacle has provided a disturbing tour through that dark and strange terrain, the American psyche. Why is this such an ordeal for us? Why are we acting so badly? It must seem to the rest of the world like we’re flunking a national IQ test. No one challenges the well-publicized rankings showing […]