Rod Dreher

When ‘Political Realism’ Becomes Unrealistic

By on 2.26.14 | 11:18AM

Rod Dreher claims to understand that populist movements only have to be “credible,” not “flawless,” though I’m skeptical he even holds that position. He writes at the American Conservative:

[Tea Party groups] have failed to appeal beyond a hard core, in part because they are so highly and unrealistically ideological. They seem to exist as a protest movement, not as a movement that can actually get things done. I’ve talked to some Tea Partiers who are reasonable, even if I don’t share their passion or their ideology. But many Tea Partiers of my experience are like better organized version of Occupy: long on outrage, but short on any serious idea about what might be done to fix the (very real) problems that provoked their outrage.

Dreher is expecting too much. The point of a populist movement is to spark mass attention to a specific cause and mobilize. It’s the job of those who agree with the group’s basic ideas—and are politically savvy—to articulate the message and see it translated into policy.

Science is Not Philosophy

By on 2.19.14 | 11:18AM

Rod Dreher calls attention to a physicist, Vlatko Vedral, who claims that the origin of the laws of nature can be explained scientifically:

We believe in one method of understanding the ultimate, secure truth: the scientific method.

Vedral rejects the philosophical objection that scientific explanations for the laws of nature end in infinite regress—whatever causes the laws of nature needs a cause, which needs a cause, ad infinitum. Vedral hands the accusation back to religious philosophers: who created the Creator? God is apparently stuck in the same infinite regress that philosophers accuse scientists of entertaining.

Still Unenlightened

By on 6.15.09 | 11:42PM

Rod Dreher:

Boarding the flight for Dallas at Heathrow, I saw a stack of American Spectators free for the taking. I saw on the cover a story titled, "Obama's national socialism." I picked up the magazine anyway, and was glad I did, because there's always something worth reading in the Spectator.


[W]hat if you were a normal person looking for something to read on a long flight, and you eyeballed that magazine near the gate. Would you think a magazine that called Obama an exponent of "national socialism" had anything interesting and important to say to you? Or would you be more likely to think it was a scream-sheet of the loony right, one safely ignored?