For longer than I care to remember, we’ve been hearing some very partisan claims on social media about rating presidents. Who was the worst? Most historians have a very strong candidate — James Buchanan, our 15th chief executive (1857-1961), the president just before Abraham Lincoln. In fact, there is a new biography out entitled Worst.
Category Archives: Political
A thought for this inauguration day — Have you ever studied Abraham Lincoln’s pose at the Lincoln Memorial? Specifically, notice his hands. His left hand is a tightly clinched fist, while the right hand is resting relaxed on the chair arm. This suggests there are two equal components of American leadership — strength and compassion.
In the last century or so we’ve focused a great deal on equal opportunity. Sometimes in the conversation we tend to forget women, hence the rise of feminism. Recently I ran across an article that reminded me yet again that equal means just that — equality in all phases of life, only in this instance
This Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Then the real work begins. So what’s it like to be a presidential staff member working in the White House? This week’s Time magazine (cover date Jan 23, 2017) has a twenty-page cover story entitled “Incoming:
Speaking of fake news, how do you counter dangerous speech on social media? The best idea I’ve seen so far has come from Kenya. This country went through a very violent election cycle in 2007 with over 1000 people killed. It seems cellphones were just becoming very popular, and incendiary text messages helped fuel the
What do you need for a successful democracy? One of the most important elements is a free and independent press. I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying about power corrupting, so having a watchdog on the beat is essential. I’ve been thinking about this for two reasons. The first is all the discussion about “fake
There is a fine line that separates us from anarchy — our legal system. Most of us think our system works pretty well, the occasional horror story on social media notwithstanding. And yet, I’m finding enough of those horror stories to give me pause. For example, Jim Parsons was convicted of murdering his wife twelve
We seem conditioned to read the emotions of people we come in contact with, then respond in kind. If they smile, we smile. Or if they are angry, we get angry. Our reaction usually controls our response, kind of like the dogs in the photo. This is called complementary behavior. It is perfectly natural
During the recent presidential campaign, there was talk of establishing a Muslim Registry as an anti-terrorism tool. Some may be surprised to learn that’s already been tried. On September 10, 2002, the Bush Administration implemented the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), also known as INS Special Registration, to register non-citizens like students, workers, and
Since things have (hopefully) cooled down from this election by now, I want to tell you about something I did for the first time in my life — I was a local volunteer for one of the major political parties. Which party I worked for is not important because this is about the process —