Partisanship is the defining characteristic of the American media landscape. Historically, the media seemed less partisan and more reliable because it did not have any competition. The structure of 20th-century communications technology facilitated the rise of a national, cultural elite. This elite class has an inordinate influence on American culture because it makes American culture. Journalists, professors, entertainers — they produce the information we consume.
Media professions generally attract people predisposed to an interest in aesthetics and ideas, traits strongly correlated with politically liberal views. Youths with these traits pursue careers in media and participate in a positive feedback loop…
On Independence Day, I like to reflect on the historical improbability of my circumstance. I could have been born in a different place, at a different time. If I had been, I almost certainly would have lived a life of relative suffering. I might have been born in pre-history and been prey to giant birds, snakes, and cats. Or, I might have been lucky enough to be born in a stable civilization, like Ancient Rome, where I would have been drafted into a legion and sent away from home to fight fearsome warriors in hand-to-hand combat at the edge of…
The current cultural climate imposes self-censorship on reasonable individuals by threatening personal relationships and career prospects for breaking with the perceived consensus. This dynamic will only grow more extreme as our civic culture continues to fray and we view each other as enemies rather than neighbors. I have refrained from contributing to the public conversation because it is thankless. Under normal circumstances, the risk is high and the reward is low. But these are not normal circumstances. Everyone intuitively feels that we have entered a period of profound change. Whether you think that change is for better or worse, the…
I stood beneath a statue of Christopher Columbus, in one of many cities bearing his name, and read the following inscription:
THE SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY
HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE
THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY
AS DEMONSTRATED BY
THE VOYAGES OF
SHATTERED THE BOUNDARIES
OF THE WESTERN WORLD
MODERN HISTORY HAS BEEN SHAPED BY
ONE MAN’S COURAGE TO PURSUE A DREAM
It seemed improbable that the statue had been built recently; praising men like Columbus was not in vogue. Every year on Columbus Day the usual suspects preen themselves, hoping that their self-flagellation will go viral…
Occasional writer, law-student, Ohio politico.