Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

The Closing of the American Mind 

(Hill Street Studios/Getty Images)
The media and the universities have mostly lost interest in fair debate

Cheers, but just two of them, for this special issue of National Review on the defense of America’s heritage and heroes.  

Following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, it was inevitable that a strong reaction would take place. All elements of American society joined in condemnation, from the president, to members of Congress, to the black leadership, to the population at large. Protests ensued, directed first at the police and then at targets indifferently charged with a measure of blame, from the federal government, to the nation’s historical legacy, to the newly minted abstraction of “systemic racism.” Dismissing the plea

This article appears as “The Closing of the American Mind ” in the July 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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James Ceaser — Mr. Ceaser is a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1976.

In This Issue

A Defense of America

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Most Popular

U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? Chico Marx in Duck Soup (1933) The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and ... Read More

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? Chico Marx in Duck Soup (1933) The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and ... Read More