Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

A Defense of America: An Introduction

(Tetra Images/Getty Images)

The last couple of months have been profoundly dispiriting. We’ve gone from the George Floyd case and a discussion of some potentially worthwhile police reforms to, in many influential precincts of our culture and in the streets, a wholesale rejection of the police and a poisonous critique of America at its roots. We’ve gone from a debate about the status of Confederate statues to the toppling, defacing, and removal of statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. We’ve gone from the 1619 Project’s appearing in an issue of The New York Times Magazine to its becoming the dominant narrative of America in many quarters. In recent weeks, demands that would have been considered preposterous a short time ago — the band the Dixie Chicks must change its name, the Florida Gators must abandon their chant — instantly became reality. It is in this context that we’ve devoted our current issue to a defense of America. The pieces range from history to data about racism to culture, and all are devoted to the idea that, despite our current tribulations, we still live in the last best hope of earth.

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In This Issue

A Defense of America

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Barr-room Brawl

I’ll confess that I did not watch the entire Judiciary Committee hearing with Bill Barr; I’m grateful that Andy and Rich did the work for me. But I have seen enough of it to fully agree with their sentiments. It was a circus, full of gross process fouls, and everyone who is familiar at all with Congress knows ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Barr-room Brawl

I’ll confess that I did not watch the entire Judiciary Committee hearing with Bill Barr; I’m grateful that Andy and Rich did the work for me. But I have seen enough of it to fully agree with their sentiments. It was a circus, full of gross process fouls, and everyone who is familiar at all with Congress knows ... Read More
U.S.

The Chicago Gun Myth

The tragically incompetent mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend to deflect attention from the horror show unfolding in her city by blaming interlopers for its spiking murder rate: “We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, ... Read More
U.S.

The Chicago Gun Myth

The tragically incompetent mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, appeared on CNN’s State of the Union this weekend to deflect attention from the horror show unfolding in her city by blaming interlopers for its spiking murder rate: “We are being inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control, ... Read More
Culture

Our Summer of Cultural Suicide

Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit. Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off. Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ... Read More
Culture

Our Summer of Cultural Suicide

Cultural suicide used to be a popular diagnosis of why things suddenly just quit. Historians such as Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee cited social cannibalism to explain why once-successful states, institutions, and cultures simply died off. Their common explanation was that the arrogance of success ... Read More

Waiting for the Counterrevolution

We are in the midst of a revolution, a cultural and racial one, that seeks to refute the past, damn the present, and hijack the future. So far, however, we have only heard from one side, the revolutionaries and their enablers themselves. Those trying to reject and then reboot America are small as a percentage ... Read More

Waiting for the Counterrevolution

We are in the midst of a revolution, a cultural and racial one, that seeks to refute the past, damn the present, and hijack the future. So far, however, we have only heard from one side, the revolutionaries and their enablers themselves. Those trying to reject and then reboot America are small as a percentage ... Read More