Dissent on George’s dissent on Peter Wood and Mencken

I have to admit that I am not a fan of Mencken’s. Even aside from his needlessly vicious attack on William Jennings Bryan, his contempt for the ordinary American people permeated everything he said, and I do not see him as a model for good conservatism and traditionalism today. I also think he didn’t really understand American literature. 


Bryan was a good man and a populist and admittedly wrong about many things, but in the Scopes trial he was upholding a principle that many conservatives sponsor today: that parents should have some say over what their children are being taught. It’s not an absolute principle, I know, but we do sometimes have recourse to it in response to educational elites who want to be free to shove their theories and their pedagogies and their liberal and “progressive” ideas into children’s heads.

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The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More