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 […]

Priorities: Fighting Bigotry Over Babbittry

Common men and women can learn from the examples of great men and women. In this way, one can learn how to prioritize between concurrent challenges, applying lessons from a prior and intense conflict even to present but lesser conflicts. Some threats are worse than others, and so our it’s reasonable that one places more […]

Committee to Investigate Russia: ‘This is No Movie Script’

In the video above, Morgan Freeman reminds Americans that Russian interference in our electoral process is ‘no movie script’; Vladimir Putin is a dictator, murderer, and inveterate enemy of America and our democratic traditions. The newly-formed Committee to Investigate Russia ( made its début yesterday. The CIR is a nonpartisan group – with both conservative, liberal, […]

Truths About Trump

For supporters and those in thrall: It was a con. It was always a con. even people who thought they were in on the con were being conned. — Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) September 14, 2017 You know why? Because you elected a guy who has broken every promise he’s ever made to his wives, his […]


Norman Rockwell wasn’t the finest painter of the twentieth century (to express the matter gently), but at least when he created a painting capturing the spirit of free speech as one of Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, he understood speech as a right, not a privilege, lucky break, or favor from government. So it is with government, […]

The United States Senate Joint Resolution Condemning White Nationalists, Neo Nazis, KKK, and Other Hate Groups

Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution condemning white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK,  and other hate groups. It was the right decision, of course, and the resolution now goes to the House, and to the president if it passes both chambers. It’s more than regrettable – it’s a disgrace, truly – that this president […]

The Premature Question

Over at the Daily Beast, Joy Reid asks What’s Going to Happen When the Trumpists Realize the America They Yearn for Is Gone? It’s an interesting question, perhaps, but more importantly it’s a premature one. We’ve a long road ahead before Trumpism is finished, and you’ll excuse me if the time for pondering life after […]

A Telling Comparison

People in small towns, nearly everywhere in this country, have access to national programming & news on television and online. As easily as one could subscribe online to something like the Janesville Gazette, one could subscribe to the Chicago Tribune or Washington Post. Imagine, then, a choice between editorials in the Gazette and the Post […]

The Existential (Imagined and Real)

It was Michael Anton (writing as Publius Decius Mus) who exactly one year ago famously declared that 2016 was “The Flight 93 Election,” an existential fight for survival for state-loving conservatives: 2016 is the Flight 93 election: charge the cockpit or you die. You may die anyway. You—or the leader of your party—may make it […]

For Your Consideration, Dr. Jonas Salk

Each year, newcomers arrive in Whitewater to take positions of one kind or another. Two weeks ago, in Welcome to Whitewater, I posed this question to new residents: “If Whitewater were perfect – that is, complete and lacking nothing – would anyone have needed you?” Beyond that question, with its interpretation and answer left to […]