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Thanks to at least nine opposing Republican senators, Congress left for its July 4 break without passing a replacement bill for Obamacare. The opposition from these Republicans was two-fold: Four conservatives thought the GOP bill on the table went too far in retaining government control over the medical insurance market, while five centrist members complained... Read More
Although I have not read Thomas Sowell’s latest book Intellectuals and Race, a discussion of its contents in his April 23 column makes me less than eager to read it. For years I enjoyed reading Sowell’s commentaries, and his early research showing the economic progress of American blacks before the passage of federal antidiscrimination laws... Read More
Although I’ve been critical of my state's current governor, it’s usually been to twit him for not cutting budgets sufficiently. While Tom Corbett is spot on in wanting to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor monopoly, he should not be trying to feather the nests of other public employees by promising to pay off teachers with the proceeds... Read More
Some god-terms that issue from the media, and which I had the misfortune of hearing incessantly as an academic, make me wince as soon as they come out of someone’s mouth. Among these particularly obnoxious terms are "social justice," "fairness," and "sensitivity," all of which drip with righteousness and dishonesty. The term or concept that... Read More
I’ve no idea how former Nebraska senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel became President Obama’s preferred nominee for the job of Secretary of Defense. But when I learned about Hagel’s prospects, I was delighted. A social conservative with a skeptical view of America’s mission to convert the rest of the world to our... Read More
Pace Dan McCarthy’s hope about the possible implications of a Romney victory, I think it may be time to hear counter-arguments. Although Dan is right that Romney holds no principles, and although the neocon form of aggressive liberal internationalism may not enjoy huge approval outside of Fox News junkies, this does not justify the belief... Read More
What's the matter with wealthy, white Massachusetts?
As a European historian specializing in the 19th century, I’ve never been able to figure out what American journalists and politicians (not to mention academic sociologists) mean when they refer to “classes.” This term has two time-tested meanings. Either we’re talking about social groupings with legally recognized statuses which until the 19th century had certain... Read More
Today's parties are neither Jeffersonians nor Hamiltonians, but social democrats.
In what for me illustrates the use of confusing labels, George Will recently complained about attacks of "cognitive dissonance" in trying to understand our political terms. Although Americans identify overwhelmingly as “conservatives,” many of them vote differently from the way they describe themselves. They lean theoretically toward Thomas Jefferson, who advocated very limited government, but... Read More
Despite my usual agreement with Sam Goldman on historical questions, I beg to differ with him in his judgments about what kind of alliances European Jews should be making in view of the anti-Jewish sentiments that is now apparent among many Muslim immigrants. In my view, Jews would do best supporting those parties, typically on... Read More
A remarkable historian has died -- but does it matter that he was a Stalinist?
The death of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm at the age of 95 two days ago set me down memory lane. The one time I met this illustrious historian was when Gene Genovese (who predeceased Hobsbawm by just a few days) introduced him to me at a meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston in... Read More
The justly renowned social historian Eugene D. Genovese died yesterday at the age of 82 in Atlanta. His death followed several years of dealing with a worsening cardiac ailment and with a jolting loss in 2007 from which he never recovered. This was the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth (Betsey), who was his frequent... Read More
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GOP efforts to suppress the Constitution Party have a postwar German parallel.
Lately I’ve been gathering information that has made me dislike the GOP more than ever. The Constitution Party (CP), which is a small-government, avowedly pro-Christian, and immigration restrictionist party that came into existence in 1992, is being kept off the ballot in the presidential election in many states thanks to costly Republican efforts. Republican operatives... Read More
In a recent column Cal Thomas states the obvious when he observes "Democrats and their friends in the big media protect their own when accused of outrageous acts." Thomas contrasts the way the media has savaged the Republican Party, including Mitt Romney, for a stupid remark by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin about women being... Read More
The Wisconsin congressman is, if anything, too timid.
Listening to Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers give her (and the Democratic Party leadership’s) reaction to the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate the other day, I thought my ears had suddenly failed. Powers began to rail against Romney’s “dangerous” ideological choice; she assured the TV-viewers that this “is exactly what President... Read More
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Never in my life have I encountered a politician who does a better imitation of a mannequin than Mitt Romney, particularly when called on to address social issues. Does this presidential candidate have an “opinion,” for example, on recent attempts to run the food chain Chick-Fil-A out of large municipalities because its president, Dan Cathy,... Read More
They may not be racist, but voter ID laws undoubtedly boost Republicans.
The voter ID law recently enacted in Pennsylvania and which already operates in other states has occasioned considerable controversy. Although a majority of Americans polled favor the idea that would-be voters should be required to identify themselves with a license or with some other persuasive document, opposition persists. Allow me to express my considered view,... Read More
Students once led monk-like lives. Now they party at taxpayers' expense.
I belong to a generation that still values what is now indiscriminately referred to as "higher education." What that once meant was going to a four-year college, if one’s high-school grades showed promise, and in return for about $700 each semester spending the next four years immersed in books. Back then we studied traditional disciplines,... Read More
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Rabbi Elmer Berger's long struggle against the Zionist movement
An antiwar libertarian and a principled critic of Jewish nationalism, Jack Ross seems the ideal author to have undertaken a biography of Elmer Berger (1908-1996), the Reform rabbi who pursued a rearguard action against the Zionist movement for more than 50 years. An increasingly marginalized figure after the birth of the Jewish state in 1948,... Read More
As the president lurches left, Romney struggles to rally the right.
A recent syndicated column by Peggy Noonan makes useful observations, together with one rather questionable point. Noonan blithely assumes that while the president has “fully absorbed the general assumptions and sympathies of the political left,” his opponent Mitt Romney reflects “the general attitudes, assumptions and sympathies of the political right.” Noonan may be seeing something... Read More
A broad-minded reactionary takes libertarians to task for abusing the term.
Having been at work on a book dealing with changing definitions of the “F word,” meaning in this case not the one-time obscenity but the ultimate evil in the world of political correctness, I find my comments on the subject have caused considerable irritation. Although I once assumed that only the conventional left was fixated... Read More
Having seen Samuel Goldman’s thoughtful response to Kenneth McIntyre’s sizzling review of my book, I think that I might introduce myself as the author of the still rarely read volume that Professor McIntyre discusses in his essay. By now I am used to the admission that most critics of the review use to introduce their... Read More
Between Obama's left-wing agenda at home at Romney's neoconservative foreign policy, the right hardly has a choice.
As the November election approaches, I find myself faced with a dilemma. I would like to vote for the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as the better of two distasteful choices, but would have to hesitate at this point. It’s not that I’d be tempted to vote for Obama, although I can well understand the... Read More
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César Franck: His Life and Times, R.J. Stove, Scarecrow Press, 371 pages
R.J. Stove’s intensively researched biography of Belgian French composer César Franck (1822-1890) has striking merits. Stove writes exquisitely, in periodic sentences, and manages to make detailed discussions of musicology an aesthetic experience for experts and neophytes alike. He also blends his musical discussions with well-told anecdotes, the most appealing of which is his recounting of... Read More
What may be a declining force in American political life is the Tea Party movement, which in 2010 played a critical role in winning congressional seats and governorships for the economically conservative wing of the GOP. Since then, national support for this loosely organized movement has fallen precipitously. Between March 2010 and April 2011, according... Read More
Ever since I dared criticize the Obama administration and its partisans, I’ve been getting less than friendly email messages. Supposedly I work slavishly for the GOP and spend every waking hour listening to Rush Limbaugh or trying to imitate his verbal outbursts. For the record, I’ve been attacking the GOP at the national level ever... Read More
Since neoconservative journalists, at least to my knowledge, have not been lately slamming the “German connection,” I rejoiced at a feature article in yesterday's New York Post (March 20) going after the “series of German outrages” that helped push us into World War One. A commentary by Thomas A. Reppetto, on German saboteurs during World... Read More
Despite high unemployment and soaring gas prices, it seems the Obama administration may survive the November election. This is due not only to Republican infighting but also to the support given to liberal Democrats in the media, educational establishment, and entertainment industry. But even these factors may not tell everything. Perhaps more importantly, Obama and... Read More
Although not many people in high places may notice what I’m doing, I’d like to ask the following questions to three of the surviving GOP presidential contenders. First, why did Mitt Romney, as late as 2002, respond to a questionnaire from Planned Parenthood indicating that he fully supported Roe v. Wade and favored state funding... Read More
For the last few weeks Catholic clergy and GOP politicians have denounced the Obama administration for forcing Catholic-affiliated institutions to provide coverage for birth control and abortion-producing pills. After hearing strong reactions from his Catholic Democratic advisors, Obama offered an apparent compromise (if a pun may be permitted) to coat the bitter pill. Arrangements would... Read More
Allow me to vent an old complaint. It’s something that I can’t get off my chest, although I have written about it many times. Every time I hear a politician utter the word “values,” I throw my shoe at the TV. I throw both shoes at the screen when I hear the term “family values.”... Read More
During the Republican presidential primary debate from Des Moines on December 15, Ron Paul caused uproar when he said that a strike against Iran “would risk a repeat of the useless Iraqi war.” In response to a question from Bret Baier, Paul made this statement: “To me the greatest danger is that we will have... Read More
Steve Chapman has partly anticipated my argument when he describes Newt Gingrich as a “conservative, sort of.” Chapman is astonished that “conservative” Republicans have turned to Newt “in their hour of need.” This “onetime house speaker is a consistent conservative like I’m a duckbill platypus. In a contest with Romney for the most zigzags, Gingrich... Read More
Kenneth Minogue is a distinguished figure for serious students of political thought. A longtime professor (now emeritus) at the London School of Economics, president of the Mont Pelerin Society, and the author of provocative works on nationalism, ideology, and egalitarian democracy, Minogue is one of the most illustrious representatives of what survives of the European... Read More
In a syndicated column, National Review senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru tries to explain how the GOP really lost its way. It seems that Republican Congressmen with a “fixation on ideological purity” have been misleading their party by complaining about government expansion. Republican leaders who lament that their party has been “fiscally irresponsible” are supposedly barking... Read More
The PC police are at it again. According to a sympathetic Associated Press report on November 7 and a survey conducted by the American Association of University Women, “sexual harassment is pervasive in grades 7-12.” Such improprieties are taking place “in person or electronically via texting, email and social media,” and those issuing and summarizing... Read More
The attacks on Herman Cain that I’ve encountered in recent weeks have gone from dumb to outrageous. I’m not speaking of any substantive complaint, for example, that his 9/9/9 flat tax plan may be simplistic or that Cain took two opposing positions on abortion in the same interview. A longtime businessman, he is admittedly a... Read More
A columnist for my local paper is looking for a “peace candidate” who has no desire to build other peoples’ nations for them and who would be willing to reassess our “military intervention throughout the world.” She reaches the conclusion, however tentatively, that instead of having so many of our troops bogged down thousands of... Read More
For several weeks now, what one critic has called “the anti-God squad” has been at work attacking Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and other presidential candidates who publically display their Christian values. A torrent of abuse from the New Yorker, New York Times, and Washington Post has caused even the moderate Times columnist Ross Douthat (August... Read More
Like my friend Taki, I sympathize with Rupert Murdoch in his time of travail. Not only has Murdoch seen his lieutenants dragged off to jail after their assorted misdeeds, but the president of News Corporation was physically assaulted on July 19, after an abusive grilling by the House of Commons, as he was trying to... Read More
An article in the Yale Alumni Magazine by Nicole Allan, a recent alumna and an associate editor of Atlantic, explains that sixteen Yale students and graduates are bringing a suit against their educational institution for sexual discrimination. According to Allan, this suit runs parallel to other suits being brought by other prestigious universities under Title... Read More
In a well-argued commentary (June 23, 2011), Michael Barone calls attention to the “kangaroo courts” that are springing up on campuses across the country to discipline male students who have been accused of “sexual harassment.” Barone points out that in the world of higher education, faculties and administrators do not have to be pushed very... Read More
On June 3, the Sunday Harrisburg Patriot News ran a front page report by Jan Murphy noting Governor Corbett’s misplaced priorities. This was the gist of the criticism: “The governor has resisted taxing Marcellus Shale natural gas drillers and wants to slash business taxes by $300 million. At the same time, he proposed drastic cuts... Read More
It is commonly believed that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. In the case of Alexander Boot and his celebrated son Max, we may have a grand exception to this rule. It is indeed hard to associate father and son in either their views or their prose. While the son grinds out neoconservative... Read More
Although I’ve usually benefited from reading Tom Sowell, his recent syndicated column “Obama hides his ideology” leaves much to be desired. According to Sowell, “Obama’s ideology is an ideology of envy, resentment, and payback,” and nowhere is this supposedly more evident than in his conduct of foreign affairs. Driven by “a vision of the Haves... Read More
The Republican establishment courts the left and repudiates the right.
Republican columnists are already urging their fellow party members to nominate a centrist for the 2012 presidential race. Kim Strassel (April 5, 2011) and Peggy Noonan (April 29, 2011) in the Wall Street Journal and Michael Barone and Jonah Goldberg in their syndicated columns have all warned against reaching too far right for a presidential... Read More
Two friends of mine, one of whom was my colleague for several years, Matthew Woosner and April Kelly-Woosner, have published an exhaustively researched book, The Still Divided Academy: How Competing Visions of Power, Politics, and Diversity Complicate the Mission of Higher Education, and several thoughtful essays on higher education. Although it is impossible for me... Read More
Michael Brendan Dougherty‘s analysis of the Religious Right and its impact on the GOP makes several convincing points. One, white Evangelical Protestants, who constitute almost a third of the electorate, contribute mass support for signature neoconservative policies that neoconservatives could not generate without this assistance. Two, Evangelicals, and more generally the Religious Right, are disproportionately... Read More
If I were arguing that the WSJ frowns on non-authorized GOP candidates, I would find my view confirmed by Journal columnist, Peggy Noonan. According to Noonan, “Obama can lose.” His popularity continues to plummet, and according to an Ipsos survey, “69 % of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, up 5% since... Read More
Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel wonders who’ll be “the GOP’s next big thing” as she considers which Republican candidate has “the prospect of defeating President Obama.” While I agree with Strassel that the party needs a “hard-charging, big-thinking-articulate new face” and that the present field of candidates is less than inspiring, I find the... Read More
It is hard for me to stay neutral in the battle between Republican governors and public sector unions. This may be the boldest task that Republicans have shouldered in decades, and I can only hope they’re willing to see it through. At issue here are not only the financial crises of states that are running... Read More
Paul Gottfried
About Paul Gottfried

Paul Edward Gottfried (b. 1941) has been one of America's leading intellectual historians and paleoconservative thinkers for over 40 years, and is the author of many books, including Conservatism in America (2007), The Strange Death of Marxism (2005), After Liberalism (1999), Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt (2002), and Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America (2012) . A critic of the neoconservative movement, he has warned against the growing lack of distinctions between the Democratic and Republican parties and the rise of the managerial state. He has been acquainted with many of the leading American political figures of recent decades, including Richard Nixon and Patrick Buchanan. He is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.