The New (Old) Ground Game

Aside

Pollsters, consultants, and data-crunchers: if you want to find the biggest losers from last night, go look in the mirror.

The “ground game” is not what you thought it was.

Data is not king. Polls do not win elections. Numbers do not deliver the White House. For better or worse, we are back to a style of campaigning that predates all of that.

And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

A New Era

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Two things will for certain place our nation onto the path to tyranny: coddling the lazy and the indolent, or coddling the wealthy and powerful.

If you have not already, please go vote. And regardless of who wins tonight, let us commit ourselves to ensuring that the new administration understands both the nature and limits of the mandate we have given it.

The Real Bill

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I always wonder about William F. Buckley, Jr.: as a man of acute control, what beliefs did he conceal? And how did that shape conservatism?

Something to think about in the coming months as America’s political spectrum goes through its biggest re-alignment in at least a generation, and probably two.

Wesleyan Administration: Black Lives Matter and So Does Free Speech

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Short and sweet:

“Debates can raise intense emotions, but that doesn’t mean that we should demand ideological conformity because people are made uncomfortable. As members of a university community, we always have the right to respond with our own opinions, but there is no right not to be offended. We certainly have no right to harass people because we don’t like their views.”

Source: The Wesleyan Argus | Black Lives Matter and So Does Free Speech

America’s O’Reilly Factor

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To my friends on the Left who see in Bill O’Reilly’s troubles a chance to deal a blow to the Fox News Right: you do not defeat an ethos by the immolation of a single herald. Whatever happens to O’Reilly, it will have a minimal effect on the current state of play in the American far right. O’Reilly has proven himself a hubristic wing-nut and his downfall will be easily contained.

To my friends on the Right who see Bill O’Reilly as a martyr: he is not. Mother Jones may well be a radical rag and the charges overblown, but O’Reilly has mounted a self defense that is pathetic and, in many ways, disturbing. The more credibility and political capital we invest in defending him on this issue, the more we demonstrate support for journalistic vanity and prevarication, and our disregard for truth and humility.

Let Bill work his own way out of this. We all have bigger fish to fry, and The O’Reilly Frackup is a meaningless distraction that casts no credit on any of the participants.

A Better Defense

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To me the courage to rethink defense must include over a dozen major reforms inside the Pentagon, but more importantly a strategic one: we need to stop being interventionists, covert warriors, world police. There will always be a need to keep a sharp spear, but we are engaged in far too many places for reasons that defy any reasonable definition of the national interest.

Rights

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Keep in mind something important about America that is true and must always be so:

The Constitution that affirms your legal right to live your chosen lifestyle also enshrines my right to voice my moral objections to it.

If you make it illegal for me to publicly criticize – on moral grounds – the way you live your life, you place the nation on a pathway directly to tyranny, and on the road to outlawing your lifestyle as well.

I promise to defend your legal right to live the way you wish. You must promise in return to defend my legal right to find moral fault with it. That is the bargain of democracy.