Featured Issues

Globalism vs. Nationalism: The Ideological Struggle of the 21st Century

Jan 21st, 2017 | By
iipi012117

For much of the 20th century, ideological discussions and debates have centered on liberal versus conservative, left versus right. No longer. The ideological divide of the 21st century is emerging as globalism versus nationalism. Since the end of World War II, global integration and technological progress have fueled a new world order centered on free trade, open borders and interdependent economies. Goods, capital and people should be able to move freely across borders, which is actually the meaning of globalization. But Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal argues that globalism is a “mindset that globalization is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.” The new nationalist surge has startled and shocked the advocates of globalism. This new nationalism is the vital center of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.



The Withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East: The Consequences

Jan 14th, 2017 | By
iipi011417

The post-World War II international order, organized by the United States, is coming apart. There is probably no more poignant example of this truth than the Middle East. The US has been the key to relative stability and order in the notoriously complex Middle East. From the creation of Israel in 1948, through the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973, the United States brokered the peace that ultimately preserved the existence of Israel and kept the major powers (e.g., the Soviet Union and now Russia, as well as Iran) at bay. Under Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Reagan, the US brokered peace deals between Israel and its neighbors based on the premise of “land for peace.” No longer!



The Need for Educational Reform in America

Jan 7th, 2017 | By
292761884_1f13ad4d5f_b

As a reward to the teacher unions of the United States for strongly supporting his run for the presidency, Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education, a Cabinet level Department with a large bureaucracy. Today that Department funnels billions of tax dollars to elementary, secondary and college institutions throughout the United States. Especially for the public elementary and secondary schools, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that this Department and the tax dollars spent since 1979 have not produced a good return on investment. . . Arguably, most intellectually honest educators admit that the American system of public education is in need of thoroughgoing reform. But both Democrats and Republicans have blind spots when it comes to educational reform. . .



The State of Civilization’s Foundation: Marriage and the Family (2016)

Dec 31st, 2016 | By
iipi123116

American civilization and the broader western civilization have embraced a radical re-definition of marriage and family. This is beyond the culture’s accommodation to same-sex marriage. For example, the approval of unwed parenthood is now at 61%; the approval of divorce at 71%; and the approval of premarital sex at 53%. Rather shockingly, support for plural matrimony (i.e., polygamy) has risen from 7% to 16%. The logic of this change is obvious: Given the accommodation to same-sex marriage, on what ethical and legal basis is American civilization going to deny the right of citizens who wish to have multiple partners in a marriage?



The Christmas Story: Belief or Nostalgia?

Dec 24th, 2016 | By
iipi122416

“I believe; I believe. It’s silly, but I believe.” These familiar words were spoken by young Susan Walker in the popular Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street (1947). Today, her words accurately reflect how faith is commonly portrayed—a blind leap in the dark; believing for no reason at all. The shepherds, the wise men, the Bethlehem star, the babe in the manger make us feel warm, comfortable and happy, but whether it is all true or not is irrelevant. But what if it is true—all of it? What if the angels, the virgin birth, the Incarnation are true? What difference would it make?



“Post-Truth”: The 2016 Word of the Year

Dec 17th, 2016 | By
iipi121716

Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year. The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Oxford dictionary’s editors noted a roughly 2,000% increase in the usage of “post-truth” over 2015, especially with far more frequency in news articles and on social media in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The choice of “post-truth” is actually rather astonishing as a word choice, but, in light of the 2016 presidential campaign where “truth” was not a term one would use to describe either candidate’s campaign, it makes sense: Intentional lies and misrepresentation of facts were the norm.



Is the Electoral College Still Necessary?

Dec 10th, 2016 | By
iipi121016

The 2016 presidential election is history and the difference between the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won by over two million votes, and the electoral vote, which Donald Trump won decisively, is disturbing to some. Because this is the second time in recent history where the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote, many argue that we should abolish the Electoral College and simply adopt the standard that the one who wins the popular vote (presumably a majority requirement) is the president . . . Should we abolish the Electoral College as an antiquated, 18th century innovation of our Founders?



Metaphors for America’s Cultural Divide: “Hamilton” and the University

Dec 3rd, 2016 | By
iipi120316

The 2016 presidential campaign just does not seem to end. The cultural divide that this campaign accentuated keeps raising its ugly head. Although the voting data now becoming available does not permit quite this simplicity, the national media often painted the recent election as a binary one: rich vs. poor, rural vs. urban, white vs. people of color, and the male working class vs. everyone else. Despite what many evangelicals argued, this election was about far more than abortion, same-sex marriage or transgender bathrooms. This election was about the changing identity of America as a Republic founded on the principles of equality, virtue and community (see the first few paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence).



Reflections on the 2016 Presidential Election

Nov 26th, 2016 | By
iipi112616

The impact and the implications of the 2016 presidential election are coming into focus. The results were surprising and defied all of the conventional wisdom before the election. Every major polling entity got it wrong and every projection I know of was off significantly regarding the Electoral College.



The UN, UNESCO and Temple Mount in Jerusalem

Nov 19th, 2016 | By
iipi111916

During the month of October, UNESCO (the cultural organization of the United Nations) has been dealing with the state of Temple Mount in Jerusalem as a historic site. In a recent resolution, by secret ballot, UNESCO approved a resolution that denied any Jewish connection to Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The document refers to the Jerusalem site that Jews call Temple Mount only by its Arab name—a significant semantic decision also adopted by UNESCO’s Executive Board that triggered condemnation from Israel and its allies. The resolution was passed by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, which consists of 21 member countries: Ten countries voted for, two against, eight abstained and one was absent. (Neither Israel, the U.S. nor Palestine is on the World Heritage Committee.)