The neighborhoods of Fred Rogers and Donald Trump

Sam Smith - An exceptional new documentary on Fred Rogers hit a theme for me about two thirds through: I realized that Mr Roger's neighborhood was the exact opposite - in decency, integrity, friendliness and happiness - of that being created by Donald Trump. Fred Rogers wasn't a perfect individual. He was, in that fine … Continue reading The neighborhoods of Fred Rogers and Donald Trump

When television took over politics

Sam Smith - It's been my long held thesis that few things have altered American politics more than the arrival of television's popularity as a source of news and opinion.  As noted here before, for example, it had a profound effect on political corruption. Prior to television, corruption was a feudal arrangement i.e. politicians were … Continue reading When television took over politics

Finding new homes for the moral and the decent

Sam Smith - With the evangelical right dismantling Christianity, with attendance at churches dropping, and with a lack of alternative places in which to discuss, promote and activate the  the decent, America is facing a crisis unlike anything in its history: the increasing expulsion of the moral from our lives, our media, our businesses, our … Continue reading Finding new homes for the moral and the decent

Gun control: the wrong issue at the wrong time

Sam Smith We should have learned from Prohibition and the war on drugs that banning doesn’t change culture. It can, in fact, encourage it. Consider that in the past six months, during which there has been growing pressure for gun control, the stock of Smith & Wesson has gone up over 40%. Gun sales generally … Continue reading Gun control: the wrong issue at the wrong time