Monthly Archives: March 2004

what’s wrong with the left, and what we can do about it

I’ve reorganized and expanded my previous comments about how to revitalize the Left and have turned them into a single continuous essay, which begins below. I argue that the left suffers from a lack of positive vision that will probably … Continue reading

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character education

One of the things I like best about my job is the opportunity to move almost daily from one professional context to another. Today, I attended a conference organized by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS). This is … Continue reading

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forecasting the election

I’m against progonistication. Our job is to decide who should win the election and what he or she should do in office, not who is most likely to win. Nevertheless, near the beginning of a long and very close race, … Continue reading

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the Frist speech in historical context

Yesterday, Senator Frist charged Richard Clarke with perjury, imputing extremely dishonorable motives to this career public servant. If the Senator is correct, which is certainly possible, then he should produce proof and call for Mr. Clarke to be prosecuted for … Continue reading

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a defense of civic education

James Murphy, a Dartmouth political scientist, wrote an article that was very critical of k-12 civic education in last fall’s Education Next. That journal then published a shortened version of my reply to Prof. Murphy in its winter issue. I … Continue reading

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Richard Clarke, from an ethical perspective

For those concerned with moral philosophy and ethics, this is the most interesting part of yesterday’s historic testimony: JAMES R. THOMPSON, COMMISSION MEMBER: Mr. Clarke, in this background briefing, as Senator Kerrey has now described it, for the press in … Continue reading

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the limitations of analytic moral philosophy

Analytic philosophy is the dominant tradition in the English-speaking world today, and I belong to it. (I was trained in the rival tradition known as “continental” philosophy, but have moved over; see this post for the distinction.) It recently occurred … Continue reading

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new ideas on the left?

(written in Syracuse, NY:) I think that the left desperately needs new policy ideas and new philosophical foundations–and so far both are notably absent in the 2004 campaign. For a long time, I have been worried that the Democratic nominee … Continue reading

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teenagers talk politics

(Written in Syracuse, NY:) ABC News/Weekly Reader recently polled Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 about their political views. This is from the ABCNews.com report: “First, [the poll] finds less political discussion than you might expect: Fewer than … Continue reading

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on giving solicited advice

I think many people deeply want to be asked for advice. This is a way to influence the world, to put one?s own stamp on things, to express oneself, to gain standing and self-respect– all without coercing or bribing people. … Continue reading

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