Magazine | December 31, 2014, Issue


Fellow Heroes

I read with great pleasure your piece in “The Week” (December 8) regarding the long-overdue awarding of the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing. However, I feel called upon to question one aspect of your otherwise excellent piece. Lieutenant Cushing may not actually have threatened to shoot any man who retreated from his unit’s position during the Battle of Gettysburg. In the first place, such an act would have been totally alien to Lieutenant Cushing’s gentle character, and in the second place, such a threat would not have been needed. My great-grandfather, Sergeant Frederich Füger, who took over the battery upon Cushing’s death, and who later guarded Cushing’s body until Cushing’s brother Milton arrived to deliver it to West Point, described his commander as follows: “He was a most able soldier, a man of excellent judgment, and great decision of character; he was most faithful in the discharge of every duty, possessed of mental and physical vigor, joined to the kindest of hearts; he commanded the love and respect of all who knew him.”

Thank you again for your acknowledgment of Lieutenant Cushing and his heroism on July 3, 1863.

John G. Northgraves

Millis, Mass.

The Editors reply: Thank you for the explanation, Mr. Northgraves. As you know, many accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg repeat the story of Lieutenant Cushing’s shouted threat, but at this point there is no way to determine what may have been said on a thunderous and chaotic battlefield a century and a half ago. What is not even remotely in doubt, however, is Cushing’s bravery and dedication to the Union, and the justice of his finally joining your great-grandfather on the roll of recipients of our nation’s highest military honor.

A Kinder, Gentler Intelligence

To Ian Tuttle’s spot-on observations about the Left’s love affair with intellect, especially its own (“The IQ Cult,” December 8), I would add that our perception of a person’s intelligence tends to be inversely proportional to our perception of his niceness or warmth. In the United States, that dynamic is correlated with regional accents: Southerners, or at least those who speak like southerners, are felt to be “nicer” than those who speak like northerners, but northerners are felt to be “smarter” and “in charge,” according to a recent study.

Candidates for public office need to balance the two dimensions, perceived intelligence and perceived warmth. A low-information politician can always educate himself, but it’s harder for a cold fish to transform himself into a teddy bear, though he might begin with a dash of self-deprecating humor. When asked about the plight of the intellectual in politics, Adlai Stevenson admitted that “via ovicapitum dura est.”

Duane Sims

Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Henry Olsen — Mr. Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, an editor at, and the author of The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.

In This Issue



Politics & Policy

To Carry the Fire

What we call the beginning is often the end And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.       – “Little Gidding,” Four Quartets, T. S. ...
Politics & Policy


Usually one makes the case for a policy before enacting it. Not so with the Left’s new push to promote long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), such as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Getting to Brussels

Since the emergence 25 years ago of his groundbreaking essay “The End of History,” Francis Fukuyama has become one of America’s foremost public intellectuals. Political Order and Political Decay is ...
Politics & Policy

Roots of a Tyrant

One brief paragraph terrorized Joseph Stalin. It was the postscript to the document known as Lenin’s Testament. That document has never been authenticated, yet it weighed on Stalin because, even ...


Politics & Policy


Fellow Heroes I read with great pleasure your piece in “The Week” (December 8) regarding the long-overdue awarding of the Medal of Honor to Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing. However, I feel called ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Think about it from Jeb’s perspective: Would you want to be the only Bush who doesn’t get to be president? ‐ An armed Islamic radical took hostages in a café ...


Showman scientist and charismatic universe-explainer Neil deGrasse Tyson had some tweets the other day on the subject “When I was your age.” They were lessons about technological progress, aimed at ...
Politics & Policy


PURSUIT She was a child possessed with fears Whose dreams revealed another place Where shadowed shapes that lived in mirrors Pursued her at a furious pace. She ran all night and every night And finally slept ...

Most Popular

PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More
Film & TV

Joker: An Honest Treatment of Madness

When I saw that the New York Times and The New Yorker had run columns berating the new Joker movie, criticizing it not simply on cinematic grounds but instead insisting that the film amounted to a clandestine defense of “whiteness” in an attempt to buttress the electoral aim of “Republicans” — this is a ... Read More

The Origins of the Transgender Movement

Editor’s Note: This article has been adapted from remarks delivered at a Heritage Foundation summit. I’ve been asked to talk about the origins of transgenderism and how it relates to children and their exploitation. But first, I would like to start with a little story. Yesterday I was wandering around ... Read More

The Democrats’ Disastrous CNN LGBT Town Hall

A few days after Donald Trump committed the worst foreign-policy blunder of his presidency by betraying America’s Kurdish allies in northern Syria, former vice president Joe Biden, the elder statesman and co-frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, was on a national stage talking to CNN’s primetime ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More

CNN’s Anti-Religious Town Hall

LGBT activists gathered last week for CNN’s “Equality” town hall with the Democratic presidential candidates. The advocates present were, in the words of Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, the “tip of the spear in our fight for full equality.” The “spear” metaphor grew more apt as ... Read More