Fear and Loathing In Cleveland

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Trump may have fired up the crowd in Cleveland, and even those who watched the speech on TV, but such enthusiasm is ephemeral; it won’t last. Trump will get his post-convention “bounce.” Then Hillary will get hers. And then the campaign will settle down to kabuki theatre debates and a war of attrition between negative political ads.

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Message to the Media: Electing a President Is Not Boxing

rubioThe debate post-mortem media analyses are filled with columns on who won and who lost. But rather than see the debate as an opportunity to get a measure of the candidate’s judgment, temperament, and approach to complex issues, we read instead about who “savaged” whom, which candidate “rattled” the other, who threw the most “punches” and who got the best “hit” on the other guy.

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In Defense of Student Commencement Protesters

graduation Has America entered a Bizarro world in which money equals speech but speech itself gets labeled intimidation?

That’s not a far-fetched conclusion to draw in a political culture that has unleashed campaign spending and given it First Amendment protection while at the same time branding the supposed free speech of college students as bullying, tyranny, censorship, and intolerance. Continue reading In Defense of Student Commencement Protesters

Boomer Suicides & The Washington Post: A Flawed Generational Narrative

Washington Post “How did a generation that started out with so much going for it end up so despondent in midlife?”

So asks the Washington Post in its recent front page story, “Why the sharp rise in suicides by boomers?”

The Post supports its claim by drawing on a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which shows that the suicide rate for many boomers in 2010 was significantly higher than it was for people the same age eleven years earlier. Most compelling, writes the Post, is that the 2010 suicide rate for men in their 50s was “nearly 50 percent” higher than that of men who were in their 50s in 1999, rising from about 20 to 30 per 100,000.

Needless to say, headlines, chatter, and conversations followed, all gelling into an emerging conventional wisdom that this alleged spoiled generation just can’t hack growing older.

The problem: as with so much journalism about baby boomers, it’s not only misleading but built on a flaccid foundation of inaccurate history, bubblegum sociology, and generational stereotyping.

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