Thursday, October 20, 2016
In a recent op-ed entitled, “The ‘Enlightenment’ keeps on winning,” James A. Haught, an editor emeritus of a West Virginia newspaper, asserts in his latest column that since the advent of the Enlightenment, for three centuries, liberals have scored a string of historical victories over conservatives, and he “hopes the progressive pattern keeps rolling forever.”
Haught writes: “Around three centuries ago, major thinkers began advocating democracy, human rights and personal freedoms. Their period became known as the Enlightenment. It launched the long-running liberals-versus-conservatives conflict still driving much of today’s politics.” After scantily listing the contributions of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704; photo, right), Baron Montesquieu (1689-1755) and even Voltaire, he goes on to characterize our Founders: “Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, etc. were brilliant radicals who absorbed the Enlightenment ideas and incorporated them into the first modern democracy.”
Yes, our Founding Fathers were brilliant men, sons of the Enlightenment, but as to being called “radicals” that is subject to debate, as is the...
Friday, October 14, 2016
The Trump bandwagon keeps rolling along, gathering speed despite the bumps and potholes in the road. Rather than try to give a reasoned analysis of what seems to be an unreasonable phenomenon, I will put down some random thoughts.
The man with many faults
● Trump sometimes uses vulgar language. Perhaps this is to teach us that even the most disgusting language is superior to disgusting behavior. Perhaps this is to remind us that no mere language can be as damaging to a woman as being sexually assaulted by a man, and then being humiliated by his wife — a “bimbo eruption” or a “vast right-wing conspiracy” or a “narcissistic looney-tune.” Perhaps Trump’s crude boasting about what women didn’t object to is morally superior to Bill Clinton’s smug silence about what women did object to (photo, below: Bill Clinton's women accusers) — and Hillary’s anti-feminist stance of not believing them and publicly insulting them. Besides, Hillary sometimes uses vulgar language herself.
● Trump often uses strong language. Perhaps it is to make up for the politicians who talk incessantly, but who use weasel words that are ambiguous and can be construed as...