I recently told my Beguine editor, Terri Stewart, that, because I regarded the re-election of Trump as quite likely, I considered politics a dead subject for leftists / progressives, at least for the near- and medium-term future, and that I would henceforth write about science, art, philosophy, in other words, anything except politics. I had every intention of abiding by that resolution until I read a column by Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post of April 27 exulting in his prediction – which, to repeat, is probably accurate – that Trump would not only win the election in 2020, but that the election would not even be “close” (Hewitt’s word, not mine). The reasons Hewitt cites for that prediction, while factually accurate, go straight to the heart of what it means to be a nation – and,
I am re-publishing this column in observance of Veterans' Day, and in honor of my Dad, a veteran of World War II and D-Day. They must never be forgotten, especially now that fascism, the very plague my dad and his comrades fought and bled to exterminate, is gaining power in Europe and even in the United States.
"For at any price, we must keep those who have too clear a conscience from living and dying in peace." -- E. M. Cioran, "Thinking Against Oneself" in The Temptation to Exist
Given how short Americans’ collective historical memory has become, many people – and it may be all “millennials” – would be hard-pressed to attach any significance to today: 6 June 2017. But before someone cues up the theme music from “Final Jeopardy”, please allow me to enlighten you: as of today, it has
Monday of next week, 28 May, is Memorial Day. So the following is dedicated to those who fought in the Nation's wars, especially those who never returned home. In particular, and most personally, I dedicate this to the memory of my father, Cpl. Leonard Eugene Cowles, who served in Battery C of the 174th Field Artillery Battalion, and of whom I have written previously. The following poem by Walt Whitman was reprinted on the flyleaf of Dad's copy of We Did, the history of the 174th which was issued to every member of the Battalion as they left the Service at the end of World War II. (The title of the history was chosen so as to finish the Battalion motto: Possumus Et Volumus -- "We Can And We Will".) How painfully nostalgic to reflect that the men who received that Battalion history wen