John Samples

Four More Lies

 

Both of our serious presidential candidates present themselves as mavericks willing to tell the truth to the American people. Here are four truths neither will ever let slip to voters: 1. We can’t do much about inequality. The Democrats have focused on the growing inequality of income for some time now. All of my life, […]

Continue Reading

What Sort of Country?

 

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-minded American Is Tearing Us Apart By Bill Bishop (Houghton Mifflin, 384 pages, $25) This presidential election has already produced its fair share of predictable foolishness and sheer demagoguery. The candidates have promised to heal the sick, fix the economy, and create wealth without risk, even if they […]

Continue Reading

No, You Can’t

 

Much has been made about Barack Obama’s difficulties attracting the votes of conservative Democrats. Some say his problems go back to his race. Others cite his comments about guns and religion. Still others say his social liberalism turns off conservatives in both parties. Obama, and liberal Democrats in general, do have a cultural problem with […]

Continue Reading

What’s So Great About the Great Society?

 

Forty four years ago this week Lyndon Baines Johnson traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to deliver a speech that outlined the vision that would guide his administration. The speech may be read profitably today. Barack Obama has evoked “change” and “hope” while denying he is a liberal. Yet Obama’s supporters expect his administration will become […]

Continue Reading

Character Issues

 

We are often told that presidential campaigns should be about “the issues.” But voters will not be enacting laws in November. They will select a president who may well face unexpected dangers or opportunities over the next four years. Voters need to know how candidates might respond to both. They need to know what kind […]

Continue Reading

Obama’s America

 

In the middle of his now famous speech on race and politics in America, Sen. Barack Obama claimed that his life story has made him an unconventional candidate. Yet the content of the speech reveals him to be an entirely conventional presidential candidate. Sen. Obama undertook the speech to deal with some objectionable comments by […]

Continue Reading

Against a Common Purpose

 

The day he lost the California primary Barack Obama said his campaign has unified Americans of all backgrounds in pursuit of a “common purpose.” Three weeks later, in Texas, he said the nation needs “leaders who can inspire the American people to rally behind a common purpose and a higher purpose.” As long ago as […]

Continue Reading

McCain vs. Madison

 

Suddenly, John McCain has become the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. His support in national polls among Republican voters has risen 16 points since December. He may turn out to be the only person standing between Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama and the presidency. Since McCain is thought to be on the right, the […]

Continue Reading

Close-Mouthed Republicans

 

Last week a staunch Republican friend came back from Capitol Hill with discouraging news. “I can’t believe,” he said, “how many things Republicans don’t believe in that I thought they held as a matter of principle.” He might have been talking about limiting the federal government, controlling entitlement spending, federalism or a realistic foreign policy. […]

Continue Reading

A Free Speech Kind of Thing

 

Eugene McCarthy will always be remembered as the man who “toppled LBJ” in 1968. His campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination that year seemed futile. Whatever his problems, Lyndon Johnson had one advantage: he was the incumbent who enjoyed the benefits of office. But McCarthy’s upstart campaign managed to lose and to win the New […]

Continue Reading