Thursday, July 21, 2016

Standing Up to a Bully

Mike Pence did a creditable job, but the evening belonged to Ted Cruz.

Was it good politics? We do not know. Did it begin or end Cruz’s career. We do not yet know. Many pundits think that they know the future. They do not.

The Trump campaign knew exactly what Cruz was going to say, but let him say it anyway. The New York delegation erupted in boos after it recognized that Cruz would not be endorsing the Donald. Rumor has it that they were told to do so.

One would have had more sympathy for New York Republicans if they could deliver the state for a Republican presidential candidate. They cannot. They know they cannot. The rest is bluster.

And, Trump himself, a man with little more to offer than his oversized persona, walked into the hall at the end of the Cruz speech, the better to steal his rival’s spotlight. After watching his children sit stone-faced during the Cruz speech, the arrival of the Donald suggested that he has no class, that he cannot resist the temptation to put other people down. He has gotten to where he is by mastering political theatre. By most indications he has thus far failed at organizing a political convention.

Under the circumstances, and faced with a man who lacks character, Cruz was facing a lose/lose proposition. If he had endorsed Trump he would have looked craven and weak. By not endorsing Trump, he looks courageous and dignified… but he risks being blamed for an eventual Trump loss. You and I know that if Trump loses the blame game will become a national Republican sport.

Since Trump was always known to be the one candidate against whom Hillary Clinton had a real chance at victory, those who voted for him might start considering how well they have placed their enthusiasm.

As for Cruz’s political calculus, time will tell. Cruz was bold and daring and courageous. He was appealing to more traditional, not populist, values. In calling for a return to freedom, he was reaching out to libertarians. As of now, approximately 10% of the electorate prefers the libertarian candidate.

And yet, people are saying, with considerable sound and fury, that Cruz did not fulfill his pledge to support the party’s candidate. In truth, John Kasich did not either. Jeb Bush did not either. Kasich did not even show up for a convention in his home state. Nor did anyone named Bush, or prior presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Yesterday, John Kasich revealed that he had been approached by someone from the Trump campaign and asked to be the most powerful vice president in the nation’s history, in charge of both domestic and foreign policy. When Kasich asked what the president would be doing, the caller replied: making America great again.

Trump denied making the call. Trump, Jr. denied making the call. Trump, Jr. said that anyone who had said such a thing would be a meathead. Hmmm.

And yet, Kasich is not the type to make things up whole cloth. The bright side of the issue is that apparently Trump understands what many of us have been saying for months, that he will never be able to do the job of president. If so, he is showing more perspicacity than many of his supporters.

It is not the first time the meme has been floated, so I imagine that it is true.

As of now, Republicans are outraged that Cruz has not kept his pledge. And yet, keeping one’s word is not a moral absolute. If, in the time following the pledge, circumstances expose the bad character of one to whom you have made the pledge, you are relieved of your duty to keep your word. There are times when that one cannot be good to one’s word and save face at the same time.  You should not keep your word when you would be compromising your dignity and self-respect.

Let’s see: Trump called Cruz a liar, over and over again. He maligned and insulted Cruz’s wife. He defamed Cruz’s father by saying that he was part of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy. In so doing, he relieved Cruz of the obligation to keep his pledge. You are not obliged to keep a pledge to someone who treats you like garbage.

Had Cruz endorsed Trump, it would have counted as an abject capitulation, an appeasement and a submission. At a time when we have all come to see the Obama administration as supine and submissive on the world stage, Republican candidates should not set an example of caving in to a bully.

Writing in the London Telegraph Tim Stanley describes the Marco Rubio video:

He [Trump] once met a guy called Marco Rubio when running for the nomination – “little Marco”, he called him – and so Rubio was asked to give an endorsement, too. He did so via a video. So tawdry was Marco’s humiliation, so abject, that he decided it was best to deliver it as far away from the convention as possible.

If Cruz had endorsed Trump, you would have read the same lines, with his name put in place of Rubio's.

In purely psychological terms, it is bad to kowtow to a bully. It is bad to give the impression, in any way, that you accept the role that you have been cast in. People have been saying that Trump was magnanimous in giving Cruz a prime time speaking slot, but Trump also orchestrated the boos and tried to steal the stage by walking into the convention as Cruz closed his speech. If you think that Trump was not trying to rub his defeated rival’s face in the mud, you do not understand very much.

Supposedly, Trump is a master of reality television. The unfortunate thing is that nominating conventions are not reality television. By all indications he has failed at organizing the convention.

Who is at fault for the Cruz non-endorsement. Donald Trump, that's who. If Trump wanted an endorsement, he should have been magnanimous in victory and taken back the flood of insults that were directed against all of the candidates, but most viciously against Ted Cruz. He should have apologized. When he did not, Cruz could not have endorsed Trump without accepting the caricature that Trump had established.

If someone is bullying you, the one thing you cannot do is to give in and to accept the role he is casting you in.

When Trump did not take back his slanders, he left Cruz no other choice but to set an example by standing up to a bully. Others who have suffered the wrath of Trump did not show up. Others who made the pledge do not feel bound by it.

Of course, the New York delegation had been told to boo Ted Cruz. While many commentators have declared that Cruz put an end to his political career, the verdict is still out. Writing in the Weekly Standard, John McCormack offers a different angle:

But the booing and atrocious treatment Cruz and his wife received after the speech made Cruz's remarks seem downright courageous. CNN reported that Heidi Cruz had to be escorted out of the event by security, as one man screamed "Goldman Sachs!" in the investment manager's face.

That treatment, which Cruz has been receiving from Trump supporters as well as from establishment Republicans like John Boehner and Peter King, has put him in the position where going along with the majority feels like a capitulation. Keep in mind, the one person the Republican establishment did not want to see as the party standard bearer was not Donald Trump: it was Ted Cruz.

A political candidate needs to show that his opponent is very bad news, indeed. Obviously, it is not difficult to show that Hillary is a nightmare waiting to happen.

And yet, if the only rationale for the Trump candidacy is that he is not Hillary, it will not suffice. Trump remains the only Republican who almost certainly will not be able to beat Hillary. Not because anyone underestimates the horror of a Hillary presidency, but because there is no real rationale for the Trump candidacy. A presidential candidate has to show people why they should vote for him, not merely why they should not vote for the opposition.

So, last night Cruz delivered a speech that was more intelligent, more substantive, more conservative and better delivered than anything Trump will come up with. It did not set out an agenda but lay down the foundation for one. It was at times moving. It was at times inclusive.

Clearly, Cruz gave the speech he would have given had he been the nominee. He was trying to provoke a sense of regret at what could have been. He has been roundly criticized for failing to unite the party, but that role should fall to the nominee, not to those who lost out.

If the nominee does not reach out, does not apologize for the torrent of insults he shot out at all his serious opponents, he has relieved them of their obligation to keep their pledge. For all I know, Trump might have found a winning strategy. Many people do not understand that the inability to apologize is a sign of weakness, not strength. How many there are, we do not yet know.

[Addendum: from Gerald Seib's Twitter: Cruz to Texas delegation just now(at around 9:30 a.m.): "I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father."]

[Addendum 2. Cruz added this morning: “And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi, that I’m going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.”]


Ares Olympus said...

A good avoiding the republican spectacle for the last weeks, but Ted Cruz's speech is a good chance to reflect.

Here's the nearly Trumpless transcript, worth a full read for anyone who didn't hear it. Its a speech that an ernest Trump Jr. might equal to make in a few years, and better looks, but it would be completely beyond Trump Sr's range and attention span.

And the Kacich story seems very credible, that Trump might outsource all practical presidential work to his vice president. Trump is running for president because he likes to win, not because he's interested in doing actual work that doesn't involved his own narcissistic drives. And even his "Art of the Deal" ghostwriter feels responsible in helping create this monster.

Stuart: Many people do not understand that the inability to apologize is a sign of weakness, not strength.

I can agree with the principle of that assertion, but the exception might be in status hierarchies.

Finally I do wonder about Cruz's future, while some of Trump's charges are accurate - he's not well liked in the Senate, and you almost imagine Cruz would have a harder time leading his own party in Congress if he was elected.

While Trump can pretend he's a dealmaker. In fact Trump would appear to have no party loyalty at all, and he might attempt to reach across the aisle to gain Democratic support and side-step the recalcitrant Freedom Caucus and Tea party members who have taken much of our congress hostage under republican leadership.

So who can say what will happen? Perhaps Ivanka and Melania will even help Trump save Planned Parenthood from defunding?

Given we're on the dootmat of a recession just looking for a trigger for something bigger, you have to have pity for whomever becomes president in November. Cruz 2020 works much better against a Hillary win in 2016 than a disaster Trump 2016.

Anonymous said...

Cruz made a promise and broke it in front of millions of people. Spin it as you like

Malcolm said...

Chris Christie has it right regarding Ted Cruz.

AesopFan said...

My favorite Recovering Liberal has much the same opinion as Stuart.

Here is my comment on her post:
This is one example of why (1) Gingrich is a better politician than Trump; and (2) Cruz is a better man than Trump.

I sent money to Cruz yesterday for his Senate election.

Dennis said...

Just for a little balance:

What one sees in these conventions is guided by their political leanings and how the government, establishment, treats their concerns.
Many of the Trump supporters have been ignored by the establishment, called rubes, et al and want the government that is supposed to represent them to do that represent them. These are good people who do not deserve the enmity exhibited by those in the establishment. One can understand their distrust and anger.
It is my opinion that Cruz, as Gingrich intimated, did support Trump if even half-heartedly so, but that was to be expected. It did seem to me that Cruz, who I used to like, did as much as he could near the end of his speech to elicit a reaction from Trump supporter. I suspect this is not going to help him in the long run. One can only alienate so many before it has a deleterious affect. Honor is the first word that comes to mind. As Anon makes the point.
Trump, to me, needs to appoint Newt Gingrich as Chief of Staff just to keep him centered on the job requirements of being president. It would be nice to have a president that actually stayed within the Constitutional requisites. Pence will be a welcome addition.
In the end, though I am not a real fan of Trump, he is far better than Hillary Clinton would be and he does have a number of truly qualified people around him. All this other blather about those outside the arena carries little weight to the ultimate winner and their affect on this country's people.
One of the things that best represents my concerns is how much money Hillary has spent of ads and staff compared to Trump. True this has cause some problems, but it is a true indication as to how each would spend the people's money. If Trump, which I think he can do if he starts being more in line with his management skills, wins it will put to rest the mime that money buys elections.

Dennis said...

One more point. I am constantly amazed at the people who are still fighting the last war while they are losing the next war because they cannot let the past be the past and recognize the importance of the future.

Anonymous said...

This election is not about who you like it is about who you disagree with the least. For me that is an easy choice Trump. I like his stance on immigration , security, Israel and the economy.

Malcolm said...

People hate Trump more than they love the truth.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I've always enjoyed Dennis Prager's analysis on American party politics: "There is a dangerous party, and a stupid party. I am a member of the stupid party."

The Republican Party is once gain behaving stupidly. Trump won the nomination. After all threats of convention mischief, Trump still won the nomination. He won it with 3 staff. He defeated 16 of the "brilliant minds" the Republicans (especially GOPe) had to offer. Trump was such a horrible person because he called them names like "low energy" and "Little Marco." Wow. Tough stuff.

I'm sorry... what profession are they in? And they once wanted to be President of the United States of America? And we're giving them power or a microphone or a podium to bitch, whine and moan about how they were treated by an opponent they originally dismissed as a billionaire real estate tycoon? Really? GOPe is going to revise the future nominating process so this kind of "insurrection" never happens again? Why, so one from this collection of wimps get an easy path to the nomination?

Originally, there was great worry and gnashing of teeth about this particular candidate "going rogue," and there was the moment of truth, at the first Republican debate in Cleveland, when Bret Baier asked each candidate whether they would support the party's nominee in Cleveland. All said yes, except Trump. Boos galore. He later met with the same GOPe coordinating the machinations against his candidacy, and said he would support the nominee. It wasn't necessary to test his word, as he is officially the party's nominee.

How about the others up there?

Ted Cruz violated his pledge, and he's oh-so-principled, isn't he? Jeb! Bush violated his pledge after blowing $50 million per delegate. John Kasich violated his pledge (he barely won his own home state, and now he won't go to his own party's convention taking place in his own state). Lindsay Graham wants people who endorsed Trump to "un-endorse" Trump.

Excuse me, these are scoundrels! If you want to call Trump a bully, fine. What ought we do with this stable of scoundrels?

Cruz, Bush and Kasich would not have stood a chance against Hillary Clinton. They would've taken the "reasonable, respectable and intelligent" approach/strategy to how Republicans lose. Maybe not Cruz so much as the other two, but Cruz would've been savaged for his conspicuous Christianity.

Hillary is an extremely vulnerable candidate. Trump can take her on. C'mon... When was the last time you were excited about a Republican presidential candidate? I've never been. I vote for Republicans because I think Democrats are dangerous, and becoming moreso as they move ever-Leftward.

Instead, the Republicans are going to stupidly self-destruct and not support the nominee. Wow... brilliant. Cruz is so smart. Jeb! is so respectable. Kasich is so reasonable. That'll mean a lot if Trump loses -- and they'll can wash their hands, and say they knew it all along. My goodness, what vacant stupidity to laud such people. I thought the country was at stake if Hillary wins. I guess not. Nothing Trump can do or say will assuage the conservative intelligentsia, the has-been candidates whose "turn" it was, nor the establishment types who've proven time and again they're so adept at losing.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

First, the Republican Party nominated John McCain because it was his "turn." He lost, Obama wins, and the destruction begins in earnest. The Republican Party told us we needed Republicans to win the House and stop Nancy Pelosi and Obama. We delivered the House. Then the Republican Party nominated Willard Romney because it was his "turn." He lost, Obama won again, and the destruction continued (with a generous helping of lawlessness). Then the Republican Party said we need Republicans to win the Senate and stop Harry Reid and Obama. We delivered the Senate. Then Republicans were able to halt/hamper important aspects of the Democrat agenda. Then we're told we need Republicans to have the presidency AND Congress to get our agenda through or turn back the clock on Obama. Now the Republican Party tells us we picked a billionaire real estate tycoon -- against their wishes -- so none of this matters. The Republican Party establishment won't support the duly-elected nominee because he's somehow awful. Now the Republican Party is worried about losing Congress. Pardon me while I vomit at this reckless, nonsensical effort at institutional self-destruction. The party's leadership is beneath contempt.

Let's be honest... we're not worried about Hillary, we're worried about what our friends will think of us if we vote for Trump. So much for the much-vaunted "principles" of Cruz, Bush, Kasich, Ryan, Hume, Will, Krauthammer, Hayes, GOPe, etc. Turns out there's nothing like being a principled loser.

I may not be a Trumpist, but I am not a loser.

Scullman said...

Let’s not forget the vitally important states Ted Cruz won during the Republican Primary: Utah, North Dakota ( Wisconsin, Colorado and Wyoming.

If it wasn’t so funny it would be damn sad.

Carly Fiorina, Jeb, and Kasitch didn’t bother showing up for their Party convention. That's fine. But Cruz did show up to take his moment in the sun with a national audience (which you couldn’t drag him away from with chains and a caterpillar tractor) and his disingenuous and phony message, reminding people to vote for “principles" and “honesty" and not to stay home in November.

And then to discover this morning it was all about his wife and father being dissed during the campaign? That’s the real reason he wouldn't endorse the nominee of his Party? And he was hoping for a future in politics?

What a giant cry baby and genuine spoiled little p#ssy. Go back to the private sector, Ted. Your not tough enough for politics at the national level.

Hillary Clinton would eat your lunch, steal your milk money and smack the crap out of you, just for fun and exercise this fall.

And after you got up off the deck, you'd probably quote The Constitution or read something important to her out of "The Cat in The Hat."

Maybe you could get a job with the Mrs. at Goldman too, cause your career in politics just flamed out.

sestamibi said...

Sorry to admit that I voted for Cruz in the NY primary (grew up in the Bronx but live way upstate now). However, unlike the rest of the sour grape contingent, I enthusiastically support The Donald. Would be nice to have an obnoxious New Yorker who speaks with the same accent I have--someone who will bring that obnoxiousness to the table in dealing with our enemies, and not someone who is a fake New Yorker and says we have to "empathize" with them.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Cruz should challenge Trump to a duel.

Ares Olympus said...

Anonymous at 7:48 PM: Maybe Cruz should challenge Trump to a duel.

Don't be silly. Cruz is standing right where he wants to be. He just needs Trump to lose in a landslide and he'll have "told you so" rights for 4 years.

Interestingly Mark Cuban thinks Trump's Brand will sky-rocket even if he loses. Trump can blame the disunified GOP to explain it and take no credit for the lose.
Cuban wrote that after the loss, "It's truly the gains he could see. He would immediately turn into a good guy since he would no longer be a threat to the safety of the free world.
"He would be a former candidate who has a winning and compelling story. He may even get sympathy from people. That would be Huuuge for him."

Trump also wins when Obama' fake recovery finally tanks under Hillary, and he'll have "I told you so" rights for life, while all his fake promises never have to be fulfilled.

Sometimes losing is the closest to win winning when we're all losing no matter who steers the ship.

The demonization of President Hillary will of course go on, and the country will continue dividing day by day. She's a liar, and Bill is a rapist, and all that jazz. And surely the GOP can block a Supreme Court nominee for another 4 years. How hard would that be? Especially if Libertarian Gary Johnson helps Hillary win with a 43% presidency like Bill. She'll be easy to deny.

But of course there's still a chance that she'll win so big that the Republicans lose the Senate again, maybe even a filibuster proof majority, and the house to boot. But the Democrats also benefit by republican control over congress. They can say their hands were tied as well, and no side will have to follow through with any campaign promises due to the loyal opposition.

And the unsteerable Titanic will keep sailing forward into the moonless night of history.

Dennis said...

Isn't the operant word here support? I would suggest there is a difference between endorse and support. One would think a lawyer would understand the difference? Cruz could have easily supported the nominee of the party without endorsing him.
I am not sure where people got this idea that politics is a comfortable game of lawn bowling? Any endeavor where power and control is involved is just another form of war. If one cannot stand to see "their own blood on the floor,"metaphor, then they should not run for office. What are the people akin to "snowflakes" going to do when the exigencies of the office prove difficult? It would seem that ISIS has the perfect way to get to Cruz. If one can be controlled this easily then they need to get out of the arena.
If my sources are correct Cruz was suppose to speak for 10 minutes. He spoke for 23 minutes thereby proving he had no respect for those who came after him. Did one not notice that Gingrich was seemingly speeding through his speech? Gingrich had the courtesy and respect to smooth over Cruz's obvious desire to elicit a negative response from Trump supporters and provide the time for Pence to present himself to a large number of people who would get to know him as a person and as a candidate.
Cruz's actions were not the actions of someone willing to put his party and his country first. I have the same feeling now about Cruz as I did about Jim Carter. I liked Cater and voted for him. I will Not make that same mistake with Cruz. He has demonstrated a lack of honor and demonstrated a disrespect for others around him. This kind of childless is unbecoming a "supposedly" intelligent man or woman. Cruz's actions further demonstrates to me that for much of the population they have a long way to go to become adults.

Dennis said...

In WWII Hitler assiduously avoided bombing the cities of England preferring to bomb only military targets. Well as wars go people make mistakes that affect how the various populations see the other. It would seem that a German bomber got off course, I believe, during a night raid and dropped a load of bombs on London. This error lead to England doing the same thing to German cities. Then the Germans reciprocated. By the time the mistake was found the die was cast.
I am not sure whether it was Cruz or one of his followers, I prefer to believe it was not Cruz, attacked Trump's wife. Trump reciprocated because he did not want his wife attacked. Here I believe Cruz is being disingenuous in using the attack on his wife as an excuse. Another example of followers doing what they believe their candidate wanted and the adults in the room unwilling to take action to ameliorate the warfare between them to the detriment of each of them.
I am not sure whether either one of them can remember who did what to whom.

Dennis said...

Just an aside here. With all the gnashing of teeth about Ohio's open carry laws was there any uses of guns by those carrying? A true misunderstanding that when one is carrying one CANNOT legally brandish a weapon. I would posit that Ohio's open carry law was one of the reasons why the demonstrations were as peaceful as they were and the Black Panthers were unusually quiet. That and the police did an excellent job in controlling the interactions between various protestors. In most cases there were more media than protestors.

Anonymous said...


Cruz complained about his wife being dissed. However...wasn't it Cruz who started the nonsense in the first place by posting pics of Melania from her 2000 GQ shoot? If you're gonna start something, you better make sure you finish it. All it proved is that if you go after Trump, he'll go right back at you.


If Trump isn't presidential, what exactly were McCain and Romney? Both of them pretty much went fellatio over Obama and wouldn't/couldn't fight. Trump may have some issues, but at least he's going after the Democrats.

Lincoln had a similar outlook on General Grant: "I can't spare this man. He fights."

Blahgga the Hutt

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Spot on, Dennis. Spot on.

Oh, let's examine how this went down and what Ted Cruz's reality is today...

Cruz's surrogates put up a provocative old picture of Melania. It's retweeted by supporters. It's personal. Of course, Cruz denies any wrongdoing, despite a proven pattern of benefitting from these kinds of shenanigans (think Ben Carson).

Trump hits back hard against Cruz's spouse. He threatens to release "something," which is signaling. Cruz doesn't get the signal. Instead, Cruz chides, and simultaneously dares him to let fly. Not a good strategy to smooth things over. Trump releases his side-by-side of Heidi and Melania. Cruz is indignant. Trump calls his move a "mistake." Cruz can't bring himself to call off his own dogs.

Trump seeks to get under Cruz's skin the day of an important late primary, telling a crazy, irrelevant story. Cruz takes the bait, and shows up indignant. He calls upon the "body of Christ" to support him. This is the day of the Indiana primary, which he had to win to remain viable, according to pundits. Trump crushes Cruz 53-36% in a reliably conservative winner-take-all state where Cruz had Mike Pence's endorsement and he and Kasich were supposedly joining forces. Trump beat Cruz with evangelicals by almost 30 points! (As an aside, Kasich today is such an important political force today that my spellchecker still doesn't recognize his name)

Now, 78 days later, Cruz still feels it's "personal," and that somehow grants him an exemption from his pledge. I don't recall that qualifier being asserted at the August 2015 debate in Cleveland.

A stand for honor. And then showing you not only have no honor, but no class, no responsibility. Nice combo.

If this is all it takes to get under Ted Cruz's skin, what would he do if ISIS went after his family? Would he consider his family first, or the good of the country? I have doubts.

One thing is certain: Ted Cruz likes Ted Cruz. A lot. Too bad no one else does. I'm surprised Stuart is talking about people not being smart politicians, but somehow Cruz is a smart politician. How smart a politician are you if you're an uber-principled, unmovable man who's running to lead a nation? How smart a politician are you if you have nothing to trade? Consider that Cruz has nothing to trade with Trump. Trump could say, "Be my buddy, and I'll give you something... what do you want?" A chance at a seat on the Supreme Court? He's a non-starter in the confirmation process because everyone in the Senate hates him. A chance to be Attorney General? Ditto. No chance.

Ted Cruz has no friends, he has followers. He has no political capital. He has nothing of value. He has nothing to trade. Therefore, it's wise for Trump to let him stand up there and sink himself, and give the media something to chatter about. Game on.

"Lawn bowling." I like that. But I'm sure the GOPe would find it much more palatable and sophisticated if you said "Bocce."

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Anonymous @July 22, 2016 at 8:03 AM:

McCain took Rev. Jeremiah Wright off the table. Game over.

Romney backed off after winning the first debate. Game over.

You cannot play it safe. You have to play to win. The GOPe is content being reasonable, respectable, intelligent losers.

Another story with Grant at the Battle of the Wilderness with all his commanders running around worried about Robert E. Lee is doing this and that: "Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do."

My Grant-like advice to Trump: "Keep moving by the left flank." That's what won the Civil War.

I still think Obama should go to Richmond and apologize for the United States winning the Civil War.

Anonymous said...


"He is unashamedly proud of his country, and has made it clear that when it comes to foreign policy and trade, he intends to put its interests first. He is pro-life, and supports police and the military. He supports Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself. He does not buy into currently popular (and in some circles mandatory) issues like global warming and multiculturalism."