US middle class shifting to GOP

While bad news for Democrats, predicting US political realignment is a tricky business

US middle class shifting to GOPPolitical junkies have a weakness for big ideas, particularly those purporting to explain how the future is going to unfold. Invariably, it’s a matter of identifying underlying realignments, preferably those linked to factors which are deemed immutable, at least in the near-term. My first encounter with this phenomenon came in 1969, courtesy of Kevin Phillips…

Winston Churchill and the villainous ‘Guilty Men’

An influential book from 1940 laid the guilt of appeasing Nazi Germany at the feet of 15 public figures

Winston Churchill and the villainous ‘Guilty Men’While writing a recent column on Winston Churchill, I thought about the so-called Guilty Men, that being the title of a hugely influential polemic first published in the summer of 1940. The book’s thesis was simple: Britain’s dire straits could be laid at the door of 15 public figures who were deemed guilty of having…

If Bobby Kennedy had been more like Margaret Thatcher

History may have played out differently if Kennedy had shown Thatcher’s political courage

If Bobby Kennedy had been more like Margaret ThatcherIn politics, as in life, sometimes it’s necessary to throw caution to the wind, damn the torpedoes and just go for it. Indeed, as Margaret Thatcher demonstrated 40 years ago, fortune can be induced to smile on the brave. Thatcher’s catalyst came from Conservative disappointment with the results of the October 1974 UK general election.…

The 2016 Republican race could be a real nail-biter

The GOP has some of the strongest candidates since 1980

The 2016 Republican race could be a real nail-biterBelieve it or not, it’s almost 40 years since Americans last had a suspenseful presidential convention. It happened in 1976, when Ronald Reagan’s insurgency came within a whisker of denying the Republican nomination to the incumbent president, Gerald Ford. Since then the nominations, whether Republican or Democrat, have been securely locked-up well before convention time.…

Winston Churchill: ruffian or hero?

A very useful guy to have around when the chips were down

Winston Churchill: ruffian or hero?When Winston Churchill died 50 years ago this month, it marked the end of an era. Already a shade past his 90th birthday, he was the last survivor of the Second World War’s top political leadership. And given his youthful participation in a cavalry charge at the 1898 Battle of Omdurman, it was as if…

Elvis Presley at 80

If he were alive today Elvis would be a Republican

Elvis Presley at 80Had he lived, Elvis Presley would be celebrating his 80th birthday this month. If you entered your teens in the second-half of the 1950s, the idea of Elvis being 80 sounds slightly ridiculous. After all, for a brief few years he was the symbol of teenage rebellion and parental dismay. Surely the guy who prompted…
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