Sunday School Logic in American Politics

I recall sitting at a bierhaus in Germany in March of 2004 and trying to explain to a group of appalled German graduate students why George W. Bush would be re-elected later that year. At that time, many, many Europeans loathed Bush as a corncob-piped simpleton with a unilateral, shoot-first-aim-later foreign policy. These Germans were […]

Presidents Don’t Magically Create Jobs

Politicians love to talk about job creation. In the midst of a recession, politicians need to talk about job creation (preferably while wearing hardhats). Businessmen do not care about job creation. A savvy businessman does not go into business to create jobs, but rather to create wealth. In fact, a savvy businessman is dragged kicking-and-screaming […]

Idolatry of the Family

Jesus didn’t die on a God-forsaken cross to preserve your horn-rimmed vision of 1950s Americana. He did not go through hell and back to secure the keys to an exclusive gated community. And he didn’t suffer lacerations so that your nuclear family could be photographed beside the tulips in matching shiny egg-white shoes. Jesus had […]

In 40 States, Your Vote Doesn’t Matter

Are you ready to rock the vote? Are you ready to exercise the fundamental right of electoral democracy? Are you ready to choose the next President of the United States? If you live in 10 of these United States, then congratulations! Your big day is coming on November 6! If you are not registered to […]

Privatization at the Republican National Convention

What could go wrong if the United States privatizes Medicare and Social Security? Just ask the delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. After last night’s session (featuring Ann Romney pro-love and Chris Christie anti-love), many delegates attempted to take a 10-minute chartered bus ride back to their hotels. Two hours later, these huddled […]

How to Fix College Sports

There once was a time in America when an institution of higher learning chose to field extramural athletic teams with a single ambition: to further the institution’s educational mission. The now-arcane-sounding concept of the student-athlete—a pedagogical thesis rooted in the ancient ideal of the warrior-poet—was that physical competition sharpens a student’s mental faculties. Vestiges of […]

Too Serious to Matter

Among the innumerable rituals of the residents of the Casa Verde, the house where I lived in college, was what we referred to as “Casa Talk,” a mixture of stream-of-consciousness banter with a series of gourmet desserts, or what we preferred to call “snax.” We debated the limits of the space-time continuum over Bananas Foster, […]