The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Slight Dissent on Michelle Obama

She deserves credit for standing up for civility. But her comment that “fear is not a proper motivator” is mistaken. Fear is a perfectly good motive in politics. I vote against a lot of candidates because I fear that their policies would harm my state or country. Every candidate makes fear-based appeals. Mrs. Obama’s husband certainly did. And while the specific appeals he made may have deserved criticism, there was nothing wrong with their activation of fear. The species has fear for a reason, after all. But this may be a point that conservatives are more comfortable making than progressives.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Other Case against Reparations

Reparations are an ethical disaster. Proceeding from a doctrine of collective guilt, they are the penalty for slavery and Jim Crow, sins of which few living Americans stand accused. An offense against common sense as well as morality, reparations would take from Bubba and give to Barack, never mind if the former ... Read More
Politics & Policy

May I See Your ID?

Identity is big these days, and probably all days: racial identity, ethnic identity, political identity, etc. Tribalism. It seems to be baked into the human cake. Only the consciously, persistently religious, or spiritual, transcend it, I suppose. (“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor ... Read More

‘Silenced’

Someone tweeted this cartoon today, which apparently is intended to depict me. A few thoughts: I love the caricature. It’s really good. I may steal the second panel and use it for advertising. I hear this line of criticism fairly often from people who are not very bright or well-informed; in truth, I ... Read More