Monthly Archives: February 2017

The Enemies of the People

“I think the press has to fit in somewhere in the mission statement,” wrote a reader about the ongoing series to define a mission statement – or describe a common mythology – that can begin to bind this disparate nation together. He attached this editorial from The Dallas News: “What you need to know about […]

We Have Crossed the Line

“I am the son of an immigrant and the husband of an immigrant. I live in a county where half of the residents were born in a foreign country and three-quarters of us were born someplace else – here not by chance but by choice, striving to lead better, healthier, more successful American lives. Welcome […]

Building an American Myth

How do you make a mission statement for a country? has been the theme of my last few posts. How can we recreate a unifying national myth to which all of us can resonate? What follows is a list of eight possible components of an American identity. These are not simple things – they contain […]

Identity Politics

We hear a lot about “identity politics” these days, and most of it is bad. The basic image is of ever-more strident and intolerant groups who are interested only in airing their grievances, establishing their victimhood, furthering their agendas, and shouting down anyone who disagrees – all at the expense of the greater good. But […]

A Mission Statement for America, Part 2

Please join me in this ongoing effort to create a working mission statement for America that may help us to hang together lest, as Benjamin Franklin noted, “we shall all hang separately.” (Note to Oval Office: Franklin: a great American, invented electricity, currently dead.) At the end of yesterday’s post, I wrote of four times […]

A Mission Statement for America

A New Series. America has not been this dangerously divided in many years, and the myths that in the past have held us together and shaped our identity as a people are no longer working. Instead, we have become an angry country where, in the words of W.B. Yeats, “everywhere the ceremony of innocence is […]

“As We Go Marching On”*

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can get you to commit atrocities.” Voltaire It’s been noted that I’m not now, nor have I ever been, a big fan of Donald Trump and that I have at times used this space to express my biased views. True. The responses from those who disagree have fallen […]