Magazine | November 12, 2018, Issue


Model of a NASA space shuttle (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

Keep the Electoral College

I enjoyed Luke Thompson’s article “The Almost Excellent Electoral College” (October 1). The most excellent Electoral College forces one to recognize that our republic was designed to be made up of united sovereign states: House members from state districts, senators from state legislatures, and the president from state electors.  

Sectionalisms and regionalisms remain real and must be balanced to form our more perfect union.

If we were to move to a national popular vote, then, as the article notes and President Trump has said, presidential candidates would focus on areas where the most votes are and great swathes of our U.S.A. would become true flyover areas, their people consigned to the fate that Lord Byron described as being “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown.”

David W. Holmes
Blue Ash, Ohio

Why a Space Force?

I thoroughly disagree with your endorsement of creating a sixth branch of the armed services, a.k.a. the “Space Force,” in the Week (September 10).  

Don’t we have enough waste, fraud, expense, and bureaucracy already with the five branches we have? How are we going to pay for it? Isn’t it rather hypocritical to bemoan the national debt and our out-of-control spending while advocating another black hole for taxpayers’ money?

I am not suggesting that we do not need to address the military threat in space. What I am hoping is that these problems could more inexpensively be handled through an already-existing entity such as the Air Force or NASA. With a revision of their mission statement and some additional personnel, we could take care of the problem and hold down costs as well.

Karen Krieger
By email

The Editors respond: This is an entirely legitimate concern, and we are usually hesitant to endorse any new bureaucracy, but space is an emerging area of conflict that needs its own organizational focus. Just as it didn’t make sense to keep the Air Force part of the Army any longer in the 1940s, it is time to break the realm of space out from the Air Force.

Edgy Manhattan

Having seen the latest remake of A Star Is Born, I largely agree with Ross Douthat’s assessment (October 29): Better than we feared, worse than we hoped. To Mr. Douthat’s astute observations I will add only that Lady Gaga’s character starts out performing in a scruffy bar for “a mostly cross-dressed crowd,” and her rise to larger audiences and more broad-based popularity is portrayed as a shameful abandonment of her honest, genuine, really real roots. Only in Hollywood could men pretending to be women be considered the standard of authenticity.

But I do have a bone to pick: When did Brooklyn and Queens become the “outer boroughs”? What about Manhattan? For goodness’ sake, you can see New Jersey from there! Whereas if you go to Bushwick or Ridgewood and look in any direction, all you see is New York City. Take the 7 local from Flushing to Grand Central and you’ll find out how much Queens there is. Face the truth — unless you consider wherever you are to be the automatic center of the universe, Manhattan is just as peripheral as Staten Island.

Tony Paglia
Bayside, N.Y.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue



Education Section

Books, Arts & Manners


Music Too

Robert Dean Lurie reviews Anything for a Hit: An A&R Woman’s Story of Surviving the Music Industry, by Dorothy Carvello.




"I try to learn the prose of life, but my slavish reproduction of its speech is wooden..."

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More