Ramesh, you’re right. It’s nonsense for any politician to claim credit for a complex social change like a decrease in abortion or an increase in adoption. But there’s nothing inherently offensive about attempting to claim that credit — after all, politicians often are blamed for negative changes in their polities over which they have no control either. And there is one way in which it is probably very slightly acceptable — very, very slightly, though — for Rudy Giuliani to make such a claim. And that has to do with the atmospheric change in New York City under his tenure. The alteration of the city from the crime drop and from welfare reform was so profound that it is difficult quite to capture the effect. It was felt everywhere over time, and it wouldn’t be too sentimental to describe it as a restoration of normal patterns of life that had been disrupted over decades. To the extent that the disruption helped engender a spirit of hopelessness in many quarters — and a corresponding inability to imagine that there was a future that would be any better or different from the present — it certainly contributed to behaviors of hopelessness and an inability to imagine a future. That is, I think we’d all agree, one of the spiritual causes of abortion. The end of the disruption may have had some small effect on contributing to a new sense of possibility in New York City, and thereby played some part, albeit a very small one, in changing the circumstances of abortion and adoption.
Every election people talk about an “October surprise” that upends the conventional wisdom about the outcome. Well, it appears we can see the contours of at least one October surprise. The Democrats have managed to shoot themselves in the foot with their handling of the Brett Kavanaugh nomination and the ... Read More
In the most recent issue of National Review (“The Case against Pope Francis,” October 29, 2018), NR senior writer Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote, “The Francis pontificate was to be an era of mercy for sinners at the peripheries and accountability for malefactors at the Vatican. Instead, almost the ... Read More
Today I learned something truly new. I’d lived my life on this earth almost 49 years before I understood that federal anti-discrimination law defines human existence. Changing that law can thus literally “negate the humanity of people.” At least that’s what I’m learning in response to the news that ... Read More
In Brooklyn, there is an occult bookshop called Catland Books. “Catland” is, one imagines, an apt description of the homes of the women who congregate there. The operators of the establishment have announced that they are planning to hold a special hex session this weekend to make Supreme Court justice ... Read More
With Election Day a little more than two weeks away, Republican Senate candidates in Arizona and Missouri appear to have a small lead over their Democratic opponents. In Arizona, a New York Times/Siena poll shows Republican congresswoman Martha McSally ahead of Democratic congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema by two ... Read More