While a curious 28 percent are happy with the current meltdown of our political system, most Americans are disgusted by the choices and tenor of this election. With the two most unpopular nominees to ever run for president for the main parties, both campaigns long ago abandoned the hope of getting voters to actually vote for their candidates. Instead, they are focusing on simply getting voters to hate the other candidate more than their own. In the midst of this race to the bottom, Wikileaks has given the public a new insight into the communications of political operatives, media, and activists. While stolen (and allegedly the product of Russian hacking), the public has been fascinated — and disgusted — by the contents of the emails. The emails have exposed a cesspool of hypocrisy, betrayal, and dishonesty in Washington. The more one reads, the harder it is to understand how this country could fallen into such absolute control of so few with so little integrity. While the Wikileaks emails recently have focused on the Clinton campaign, there is little in Washington that resembles any notion of civil virtue on either side. Strangely, the longer the campaign goes on, the more this election looks like a season of Game of Thrones. Below is my column in USA Today for those seeking insights from the “Seven Kingdoms.”
Last week, the disclosure of a total of five immunity agreements handed out by the Justice Department as part of its investigation of the Clinton email scandal. The extent of the deals and the recipients were surprising, particularly in the failure to previously disclose those deals. As a criminal defense lawyer, I was surprised to see the deals include Cheryl Mills, one of the highest officials accused in the deletion of tens of thousands of emails and the failure to heed warnings over the risk to national security from the use of the Clinton private server. Below is the column.
Below is my column on free speech on college campuses and the courageous decision of the University of Chicago to reject “safe spaces” and speech regulation. We are facing a growing movement to curtail free speech on campuses. Conservatives rightfully complain that they are being silenced as hecklers bar speakers and administrators punish unpopular speech. The forced silence of students and faculty will be the death knell for American higher education. Too many faculty are unwilling to speak against these measures in fear that they will be labeled racist or micro aggressors. Others like University of Chicago Professor Eric Posner have readily embraced speech regulations by belittling college students as just impressionable children.
They think universities are treating students like children. And they are right. But they have also not considered that the justification for these policies may lie hidden in plain sight: that students are children. Not in terms of age, but in terms of maturity. Even in college, they must be protected like children while being prepared to be adults.
So now people who are adults legally will be dismissed as children to justify the imposition of speech codes where faculty dictate what is acceptable or unacceptable viewpoints. It is incumbent upon the rest of us to fight the rising tide of speech regulation and intolerance. To that end, every faculty senate should consider replicating the letter of the University of Chicago to its incoming class, as discussed in the column below.
Below is my column in the Washington Post on Donald Trump’s proposal of “extreme vetting” for immigrants to the United States. While some have suggested that the proposal would violate the Constitution, I do not agree. There are ample concerns or objections that can be raised as a matter of policy. However, such vetting is neither unconstitutional nor unprecedented. Particularly if implemented with congressional approval, I believe that such a heightened level of scrutiny would pass constitutional muster. Conversely, this is clearly something that Congress could prevent legislatively.
Below is my column in USA Today on Donald Trump’s statement that he thinks that American citizens should be tried at Guantanamo Bay with other “terrible people” accused of terrorism. I have previously criticized Hillary Clinton for her views on free speech and executive power. However, the suggestion that U.S. citizens could be sent for faux trials at Gitmo is truly chilling. Here is the column.
Below is my recent column in USA Today on the anger of voters with the two mainstream presidential nominees and my recent trip to Alaska. Below are some pictures from the visit to Mike Carpenter’s trading post on the way to Denali National Park.