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Ecumenical Conundrum

From the March 2001 Print Edition

Ecumenism”or at least ecumenism rightly understood (definition supplied below)”is not an optional matter for Christians. It is a necessary obedience to the will of Christ that his followers might all be one. But I have to confess to a good deal of confusion as to how precisely we are . . . . Continue Reading »

Winning Semi–Ugly

From the February 2001 Print Edition

The best thing to be said about the endgame of the presidential election is that, bad as it was, it could have been much worse. It was unfortunate, to put it mildly, that in Bush v. Gore the U.S. Supreme Court voted five“to“four along predictable ideological lines to end the endless . . . . Continue Reading »

Whose Left?

From the January 2001 Print Edition

There’s this friend of mine who’s a liberal. For years now, he’s been trying to persuade me that I (and conservatives in general) have a fundamentally skewed picture of the American political scene. We are wrong in particular, he thinks, about the state of the political left. From . . . . Continue Reading »

Peace When?

From the December 2000 Print Edition

It seems that Bill Clinton won’t get that Nobel Peace Prize after all. On no issue of foreign policy has he expended more time and energy than settlement of the Israeli“Arab conflict, and after almost eight years of effort he has precisely nothing to show for it. Indeed, worse than nothing. As . . . . Continue Reading »

Goo–Goo Time

From the November 2000 Print Edition

We are in the heart of an election season, which means we are also deep in goo“goo time. Goo“goos are people who believe that political process determines political substance. (In the nineteenth century the original goo“goos”the term came from “good government””persuaded them­ selves . . . . Continue Reading »

Whistling Dixie

From the October 2000 Print Edition

Judging from the public face it presented at its convention in Philadelphia in early August, the Republican party is made up disproportionately of people of color and plucky survivors of an astonishing range of physical disabilities and random acts of God. That seems to be the way we do politics . . . . Continue Reading »

The Politics of the Id

From the June/July 2000 Print Edition

My first political epiphany came at the movies. I was about thirteen years old, and in those days, somewhere between the previews of coming attractions and the main feature, you got a newsreel. This one featured a violent political protest in a Latin American country (I think it was Panama). I . . . . Continue Reading »

Conservative Confusions

From the May 2000 Print Edition

John Stuart Mill famously labeled conservatism the stupid party. Whatever was the case then, that hardly holds today: modern conservatives, at least in America, are bursting with ideas. The problem is that they cannot agree among themselves just which ideas they should hold to. The conservatives’ . . . . Continue Reading »