Reading Next: Truth Decay (‘An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life’)

I’m currently reading Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury on the Trump campaign & administration. (FW has a currently reading widget on the right sidebar of this website.) Afterward, I’ve something in queue, from Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich – their just-published Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis […]

Whitewater’s Outlook for 2018

An explorer comes to a forest, one he’s not seen before. He’s been in forests before, but not one as dense and dark as this one. He could stop, and make predictions about what it might be like, but however long he takes, the forest yet stands before him. Our national outlook is like this, […]

Rabbi Sharon Brous’s Advice for Small Towns (and Everywhere, Really)

Over at The Atlantic, there’s an interview with Rabbi Sharon Brous, the senior rabbi at IKAR, a non-denominational synagogue in California. See ‘I’ve Spent My Life Studying These Books That Say Decency Actually Matters.’ Rabbi Brous describes religious belief among progressives in contemporary America, and two of her observations are particularly suited even to Whitewater […]

‘America the great’

Shikha Dalmia writes, truly, of America the great: Ever since President Trump sauntered into the White House, America’s image — or “brand,” in marketing parlance — has taken a beating. This month, a Nation Brand Index poll of public opinion in 50 countries found that the “Trump effect” had caused America’s reputation to drop from […]

Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1863

From first proclamation until now, across generations, Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation has inspired and reassured (and ones hopes does so again today): The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to […]

National in Local

I’ve always thought that the best approach for local public policy is to reach for competitive national standards (where one truly tries, rather than simply insisting that local work is nationally competitive). A focus on a national approach now matters for another reason: our current national environment is troubled, and by focusing on it reminds […]

‘Gradually and then suddenly’

David Frum, to explain inevitable failure, instructively quotes Ernest Hemingway on going broke: A famous line of Ernest Hemingway’s describes how a rich man goes broke: “Two ways … Gradually and then suddenly.” That’s how defeat comes upon a president as well. The live question for Trumpists in 2018 will be whether they can hold […]

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) on Trump

CORKER UNLOADS: He would NOT support Trump again; says Trump NOT a role model; won’t say if he trusts Trump w nukes https://t.co/oAGIWVZ8P9 — Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 24, 2017 Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee might have delivered these accurate, critical remarks earlier; it’s still worth hearing them now.

‘When 20,000 American Nazis Descended Upon New York City’

America has faced movements dark before, not only from abroad, but sometimes from within. It’s worth reminding ourselves, today, that in little over six years’ time after Nazis gathered in Madison Square Garden, the United States – through countless, painful losses and sacrifices – rightly destroyed the very nation that inspired those gathered in 1939. […]

Rural America Turns Against Trump

One often reads that it’s rural America that elected – and will always stand by – Donald Trump. In fact, Trump’s support in rural communities is in decline. Chris Kahn and Tim Reid report Trump’s popularity is slipping in rural America: According to the Reuters/Ipsos daily tracking poll, the Republican president’s popularity is eroding in […]

‘Can Conservative Journalism Survive?’

Conservative Conor Friedersdorf, now at the Atlantic, asks whether conservative journalism can survive. See, entitled just that way, Can Conservative Journalism Survive? In truth, he’s writing about traditional conservatism (and not just journalists), and the generation of traditional conservatives that brought Reagan to office. I’d recommended the whole essay. Friedersdorf asks: ….If conservatism is to survive […]

The Erosion of Political Norms (Concluding Part 4 in a Series)

More than one small town has struggled for years under the debilitating influence of political & economic conflicts of interest, misguided priorities, and dodgy or grandiose claims. These conditions where those that  That Which Paved the Way for Trumpism. Those locally who carried on this way made Trumpism more likely, the way a moderate illness might weaken […]