November 5, 2012
'Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. " That was Barack Obama in 2008. And he was right. Reagan was an ideological inflection point, ending a 50-year liberal ascendancy and beginning a 30-year conservative ascendancy. It is common for one party to take control and enact its ideological agenda. Ascendancy, however, occurs only when the opposition inevitably regains power and then proceeds to accept the basic premises of the preceding revolution.
October 22, 2012 |
"The press is trying to paint me as trying to undo the New Deal. ... I'm trying to undo the Great Society. " - Ronald Reagan, January 1982 diary entry Faced with an economic crisis during his first year in the Oval Office, Ronald Reagan was demagogued by the media, welfare-industry lobbyists, and Democratic leaders who accused the former California governor of balancing the budget on the backs of the poor, elderly, and disabled....
March 9, 2008
Poverty's enabler Harold Jackson's column "Quieter, still destructive, riots today" (Inquirer, March 2) fails to acknowledge that, even after affirmative action and President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs of the 1960s, no amount of money will break the sense that a community is being dumped on. Jackson points to the 40-year-old Kerner report as if it is speaking about today's America. Obviously, America is not as backward as it was then. The column should have focused on the causes of poverty that continue to plague black communities.
August 10, 2007 |
It has occurred to me more than once that University City Science Center employees are not paying enough attention to the contemporary-art exhibitions in their Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, which occupies at least a quarter, or possibly even a third, of the building's lobby. I've rarely seen more than one other person in the gallery on my visits there, though I see and hear a steady stream of laughing passersby headed to and from the elevators. Do these people know what's going on under their very noses?
February 26, 2007 |
One month and 1,400 e-mails later, here is a progress report on What Works. That's a series of columns I started last month in which I asked folks to tell me, in 250 words or less, about programs in their communities that have shown success in improving the lives of black children in five specific areas: self-esteem, violence prevention, education, fatherlessness and poverty. And then came the deluge. So far, I've read through about 400 of your 1,400 e-mails. Let me share some impressions: 1. There are some rather . . . visionary thinkers out there.
November 13, 2002
This ceremony is a celebration of a group of Americans who displayed impressive values in a terrible time and in a terrible place. . . . love of country, faith, and the courage to care about your friends. . . . Most important, when you are utterly terrified, you do not turn and run, but stand and fight, because your friends are counting on you. Today we have a great opportunity to acknowledge that those qualities are crucial in creating a society where the opportunity to achieve is possible without eliminating the caring and compassion that are hallmarks of a great society.
February 9, 2001 |
John DiIulio, director of the federal government's new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, insisted yesterday that "fact, not faith," would guide the Bush administration's efforts to enhance the role of religious and volunteer organizations doing social work. "The President wants results," DiIulio told a news conference in his office at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is on unpaid leave from his duties as Penn's Fox Leadership professor of politics, religion and civil society.
June 29, 2000 |
It's been nearly 30 years since the United States officially decided to join the rest of the world by converting to the metric system. So how come it hasn't happened yet? How come we're still clunking around with our inches, pounds and quarts. Some observers blame you and me. They say that we can't deal with concepts that have arcane names like liters and kilometers. Whether that's the reason or not, the conversion to metrics - like old soldiers - has been allowed to just fade away.
December 10, 1999 |
Like many Americans, I was deeply opposed to Lyndon Johnson's pursuit of the Vietnam War. My views on the war have not changed, but my opinion of Johnson has. I believe now that with the exceptions of Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt - and perhaps Theodore Roosevelt - Lyndon Johnson was the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. John Kenneth Galbraith called recently for a reassessment of Johnson, arguing that history was unfair in identifying his presidency primarily with the war. Galbraith is on the mark.
October 12, 1998 |
He's not the oldest or longest-serving of the 21 House members who are retiring this year and not running for other offices. He may not have had the political impact of a much more junior Republican retiree, New York's Bill Paxon, who appeared to be on track to a speakership until he fell out with former ally Newt Gingrich. But my hunch is that no one will be more missed by his colleagues of both parties than Lee Hamilton of Indiana, who is ending a notable 34-year career in the House with the adjournment of this Congress.