Just a few years ago the Religious Right was talking about making itself more appealing and effective in mainstream politics. The head of the Christian Coalition at the time, Ralph Reed, declared that the Religious Right needed to tone down its rhetoric, overcome its tradition of racial bigotry, and reach out to Jews, Catholics and ethnic minorities.
When the last remnants of Operation Uphold Democracy—a UN peacekeeping force but predominantly American for much of its duration—left Haiti a few weeks ago, some observers voiced dire predictions of a descent into chaos and civil war. Time will tell. But others argued that the situation could hardly be worse than it is.
It took Richard Nixon, a fervent anticommunist, to begin a new era of relations with communist China, and perhaps it takes a Republican supporter of capital punishment to launch a new era of opposition to the death penalty.
After St. Louis Rams receiver Isaac Bruce made the game-winning touchdown against the Tennessee Titans in the Super Bowl, he gave credit to God. “It was all God. I knew I had to make an adjustment on the ball, and God did the rest.” Sports fans are accustomed to this kind of piety.
A rising economic tide lifts everybody’s financial boat. Well, almost everybody’s. Thanks to the country’s unprecedented economic expansion, the great majority of Americans are better off financially than they were several years ago. Not only are the rich getting richer, but the middle classes too have seen a surge in income and wealth. The economic boom has even helped low-income families.