Newspeak's Comeback and the Invincible Sincerity of America's Liberal Elite
December 4, 2013 • The American
Did President Obama lie to the American people when he said that those who liked their current health insurance policies could keep them? Or was he simply out of the loop when it came down to the details of his health care reform, as he has claimed in his own defense — a defense that, in the minds of some of his critics at least, comes suspiciously close to Bart Simpson's "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything." After all, how could a man of Obama's obvious intelligence fail to know something so critical to the success of his most significant piece of legislation? Since Obama is not a fool, he must be a liar.
When Nudge Comes to Shove
November 13, 2013 • The American
Today, the phrase "social engineering" has fallen into disgrace. Yet the policy of social engineering, the idea of which goes back to the time of Plato, is still with us today, most conspicuously in the Affordable Care Act (more popularly known as Obamacare). Within the first few weeks of its rollout, Obamacare began to show the telltale signs of social engineering: nothing worked the way it was originally planned. Soon the words "debacle" and "fiasco" were being routinely employed by the mainstream media to describe Obamacare's first dismal month — the same words that have been so appropriately applied to the ill-fated social engineering ventures of the past.
The Political Genius of Ted Cruz
October 31, 2013 • The American
Why does the Tea Party love Ted Cruz despite his decisive role in the recent partial government shutdown, which many consider a debacle for the GOP? Why aren't Tea Partiers blaming Cruz for their drop in the polls, as mainstream Republicans are busily doing for their own decline in popularity? A CNN-ORC International survey from shortly after the shutdown ended shows that 56 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of the Tea Party, while "only 28 percent" see it in a favorable light — the Tea Party's lowest favorability rating since its emergence in the wake of the 2008 election of President Obama.
Sympathy for the Devil
April 27, 2013 • The American
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, Americans are again searching for motives. It is our way of dealing with acts that shock and outrage our collective sensibilities. We looked for motives after the Oklahoma City bombing and after 9/11. We looked for them in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, when we asked ourselves what motive a young man could have to kill first graders. But what exactly are we doing when we go in search of a motive for such crimes?
North Korea's Bluffing Blowhard
April 6, 2013 • The American
On February 12, 2013, North Korea announced to the world that it had conducted an underground nuclear test, its third in seven years. Had this announcement come from any other nation, it would no doubt have been accepted at face value. But North Korea is not any other nation. "As is usual with tests by the secretive North," the New York Times noted at the time, "it was not even clear if the underground test was nuclear, rather than conventional bomb blasts meant to mimic an underground nuclear test." Indeed, two days after the test, no trace of radiation had been discovered by North Korea's neighbors, South Korea, China, and Japan. The lack of such traces does not prove that the North Korean test was a hoax, but the fact that we cannot be absolutely certain whether it was a hoax indicates just how little we really know about North Korea and its new leader, Kim Jong-un, and how difficult it is for foreign observers to assess what is merely bluff and what is a real and genuine threat.
Books by Lee Harris
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