How do we understand the contemporary conservative pride in political incorrectness? One of the core principles of contemporary conservatism today is that identity — race, gender, sexuality — should neither entitle anyone to rights, nor imprison them in an ideology. Identity, conservatives argue, is something that liberals use to create constituencies around “special rights,” rather … More Understanding Conservative Political Incorrectness
If, at some point, a new diagnosis is announced that describes people who can’t stop purchasing and reading books about the 2016 presidential campaign, I could be one of the first to sign up for treatment. I imagine that while wellness professionals will recommend some combination of meditation and exercise, psychologists will have a behavior … More A Historian Obsessed With the Present
What harm does Facebook do? In the last several months, it appears to have done plenty, opening its platform to operatives who were directly or indirectly employed by the Trump campaign. There is always someone new to blame for electing Donald Trump: depending on who you ask, it was Bernie Sanders, “the alt right,” Bernie … More The Facebook Follies
I had heard the rumors that Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon planned to primary New York’s Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo, but I didn’t believe them. It made so little sense to me that I ignored it until yesterday, when Nixon actually declared her candidacy. According to the Siena College poll of registered Democratic Party voters and … More Is (Cynthia) Nixon the One?
I didn’t stay up to see Conor Lamb bring the eighteenth Pennsylvania congressional district back to the Democrats. I think this result will stand, although I think we have to presume that if the final margin is under 1,000 votes, the lawyers will go to work on it, creating a slim possibility that the seat will … More Pennsylvania Had a Little Lamb
The International Women’s Strike (IWS), which coincided with International Women’s Day, associates itself with every progressive cause there is, making Betty Friedan’s actual dream for feminism—not that it would be a radical movement for women, but that it would be a liberal equality movement for all people—a reality. But do we make a mistake when … More Is Women’s Solidarity Possible?
Joseph Castillo and I met in the fall of 1976 as first year students at Yale University. He was from the southwest, I was from the Northeast; he was a science major, and I was an English major. Joe became an engineer and entrepreneur and I became a history professor, he is politically right of … More After the Parkland Massacre, What?
At the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, I was lucky enough to moderate a conversation between Earl Lewis, the outgoing President of the Mellon Foundation, and William D. “Bro” Adams, the former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The conversation had actually begun a few weeks earlier, at Mellon, an … More Are the Humanities Really in Crisis?