Too many Americans think they’re more patriotic than most other Americans

As the 4th of July draws near, this seems a perfect time to reflect on some of the more curious aspects of what we call American patriotism. Most of us — 60 percent, according to a poll of a few years ago — consider ourselves just as patriotic as the next guy. But fully one-third of Americans say they are more patriotic than most other people. Forty-three percent of Republicans in general and 51 percent of self-described Tea Party types in particular feel that way. This sense of superior patriotism is also far more common among senior...

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If the GOP loses the culture wars, its tricks on economic issues will be laid bare

Here are the trends: President Obama is rising in the polls. Americans generally approve of recent Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and Obamacare. The Confederate flag has fallen into great disfavor, and Americans are more sensitive to the persistence of white racism in our society. Donald Trump’s wild disparagements of immigrants have made him a pariah. Much of the populace is laughing at the clown car full of GOP presidential candidates. Yes, these and other developments are evidence that the long-term right-wing offensive in the...

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Respectable conservative sees Christianity in decline, prescribes a new awakening

New York Times columnist David Brooks is a moderate conservative who’s generally sympathetic with the cause of American Christianity. He’s definitely not the kind of fire-breather so common among the worst elements of the Religious Right. Even if you disagree with Brooks, as I often do, he’ll usually make you think. His stuff is not as easily dismissed as the rants you hear from some of the loud-mouths on the right-wing fringe. The latest piece from Brooks suggests that he’s feeling at least a little down about what he...

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It used to be that time was God’s way of keeping everything from happening at once

The headline above sounds like a joke, but it might not be. The rush of events in the 21st century seems perceptibly faster, doesn’t it? The world’s storehouse of knowledge multiplies at an ever faster rate these days. And the pace of change — social, political, scientific and otherwise — actually is gaining speed. Variations on this theme are on the minds of lots of people in these waning days of June, 2015. Events of the past few weeks — beginning with the Charleston Massacre and ending with the Supreme...

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OK, I admit that I dissed Justice Scalia simply because he dissed my blog

  You’re probably aware by now that Justice Antonin Scalia waxed highly indignant, if not at least a little insane,  in his dissent this past Friday from the Supreme Court ruling that legalizes gay marriage in all 50 states. But you may not have noticed that Scalia’s dissent included his claim that the majority opinion in the case at issue was “pure applesauce.” Well, I noticed it — and I took great umbrage. When I launched this blog seven a half years and 12,000 posts ago, I named it Applesauce. The...

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Conservatism has more branches than a forest full of trees

From time to time, this blog receives comments that wrongly label certain right-wingers as “neo-conservatives” — but I rarely bother anymore to correct such mistakes. Not all conservatives are neo-conservatives. Wikipedia says this: “The term ‘neoconservative’ refers to those who made the ideological journey from the anti-Stalinist left to the camp of American conservatism. Neoconservatives frequently advocate the promotion of democracy and promotion of American national interest in international affairs,...

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