Describing our troubles as the result of bad faith on the part of our leaders, or “worship” of capitalism, is infantilizing and manipulative.
Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, and John Berryman, all of whom died more than 40 years ago, remain the most famous American poets born in the 20th century. They are known even more for their tortured, prematurely extinguished lives than for their poetry.
The apparent revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with a suspected Russian intelligence asset has predictably reignited questions of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
The Roman atmosphere at the beginning of 2019 is typically fetid and sometimes poisonous, with a lot of misinformation and disinformation floating around. That smog of fallacy and fiction could damage February’s global gathering of bishops, called by the pope to address the abuse crisis that is impeding the Church’s evangelical mission virtually everywhere.
Treating economic action as a solely private preserve, any attempt to regulate or interfere in the terms of trade or the allocation of capital has been attacked by intellectual conservatism and its increasingly powerful libertarian allies. The fact that this has made ever more and more of industrial America a wasteland littered with closed factories, abandoned houses, and dollar stores doesn’t matter to these market fundamentalists.
It does no good to insist that Trumpism is the natural endpoint of conservatism, or that Republicans alone owe apologies.
President Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency to break the impasse over the funding and construction of his beloved border wall. This might be a good negotiating tactic, but actually doing it would be a bad idea, both legally and politically.