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William Murchison

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William Murchison is a corresponding editor of Chronicles and the author of Mortal Follies: Episcopalians and the Crisis of Mainline Christianity. His latest book is The Cost of Liberty: The Life of John Dickinson. To find out more about William Murchison, and to see features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.Creators.com.

  • An Over-the-Top 'Scandal'

    By William Murchison | May 17, 2017
    Is firing a government official serving at the president's pleasure now an impeachable action? The terms of presidential duty are changing faster than the media and the Democrats can invent them.
  • The Tyranny of Non-Thought

    By William Murchison | May 10, 2017
    City government wants to consign the public images of Jefferson Davis, P. G. T. Beauregard and even Robert E. Lee to a sanitized existence far from daily sight. To what end?
  • Of Baseball Bats and Tax Reform

    By William Murchison | May 03, 2017
    The coming fight over tax reform highlights distinct and seemingly irreconcilable views of government. We might want to reflect on them, as the major players ready the armament: brass knuckles, baseball bats, Fox News and New York Times commentaries.
  • The Know-It-Alls

    By William Murchison | April 26, 2017
    The impression that Americans can't talk to each other anymore grows and grows: fastest at the university level, where apparently it's being decided and worked out that non-progressive speakers don't deserve a hearing.
  • Life Without Norms

    By William Murchison | April 19, 2017
    What you end up with when the moral barriers topple is, not least, the end of due process at American colleges and universities.
  • Why Are They Gunning for Gorsuch?

    By William Murchison | April 05, 2017
    The Gorsuch nomination affords reasonable Democrats—there are still some around—a chance to say, look, we need to do business together, for the nation's sake.
  • Judging Judge Gorsuch

    By William Murchison | March 22, 2017
    The left understands Gorsuch to represent the nonpolitical temperament it would exclude from the court, so as to broaden the ability to impose on the American people (bless their pointed heads) plans and objectives for which they have not asked.
  • You Get What You Need

    By William Murchison | November 09, 2016
    Voting for Trump felt good. It amounted to hitting a lick in behalf of ideals and ideas scorned in our time as backwards: patriotism, piety, moral strength, the come-on-let’s-get-agoin’ virtues that swept back the frontier and elevated America to world supremacy.
  • In Search of a New Free-World Leader

    By William Murchison | November 17, 2015
    Is Vladimir Putin the new leader of the free world? All we currently know is that the job seems open, and that Putin has seemingly sent in his resume, showing openness to the idea of an anti-Islamic State alliance with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
  • Offside at Mizzou

    By William Murchison | November 10, 2015
    I tell you, it's great to be alive and cognizant that the greatest thing going on at the University of Missouri, large-domed citadel of learning and culture, is—you guessed it—football!
  • All Talk, No Action

    By William Murchison | November 03, 2015
    By Monday, interestingly enough, the Russian invasion of Syria was receding as a topic of public concern.
  • The Sad Fate of Jim Webb

    By William Murchison | October 27, 2015
    With Jim Webb's resignation from the presidential race goes a piece of history. Will a moderate to maybe-just-a-little-bit-conservative man—or woman—emerge ever again to offer Democrats a national leadership profile independent of the Hillary or Bernie template?
  • A Pope and His People

    By William Murchison | September 22, 2015
    The chair of Peter—the furniture that Francis occupies temporarily—exists to make sure heaven gets the hearing it deserves, in preference to the Supreme Court or the United Nations. Heaven has a prior claim on us. We tend to forget.
  • The Real Meaning of Kim Davis

    By William Murchison | September 08, 2015
    Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to give out marriage licenses to gay couples, is out of the clink at last. But in political and cultural regards, her nation and ours is not in the clear.
  • Marse Robert and the Lynch Mob

    By William Murchison | July 07, 2015
    Calls resound, from right and left, for pulling down statues of Confederate heroes.
  • What This Country Needs

    By William Murchison | June 17, 2015
    The Amazing Media Machine, dripping oil and self-satisfaction, roared to new life with Jeb Bush's declaration of his presidential candidacy. At last—something to talk about.
  • Hillary on the Right to Vote

    By William Murchison | June 09, 2015
    Moving up the road from this latest Clinton tour de force shouldn't be hard. The Clinton view of the right to vote is that it exists to put Clintons in office, rather than to affirm faith in the power of free, unimpeded voter choice.
  • A 'Damascus Road' Vision for Castro?

    By William Murchison | May 12, 2015
    You might have another notion entirely. I prefer to see the fruits of Raul Castro's semi-conversion to Catholicism before reaching conclusions as to his sincerity.
  • The Silence of the Lambs

    By William Murchison | May 04, 2015
    Here's how it stands with Western civilization—what's left of it, I mean—insofar as various Westerners are concerned. You keep your lip buttoned whenever foes, internal as well as external, jump up and down on you, kick you around, make known their fondest wish is to do you in, ideals and all.
  • The Court and Marriage

    By William Murchison | April 27, 2015
    Well. I really can't believe I am saying this. The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to tell us what marriage means. Not speculate; not explain. Tell: as in, "Wipe that smile off your face and listen to what I'm telling you."
  • Cashiering Andy Jackson

    By William Murchison | April 21, 2015
    Playing around with history can be dangerous, as reflecting temporary trends and passions instead of worth and achievement; reflecting, too, basic ignorance of history's complexities.
  • Of Jordan Spieth and Hillary Clinton

    By William Murchison | April 14, 2015
    I'm. Just. So. Excited. That. Hillary. Clinton. Is. Ready. To. Be. My. Champion. I mean, she says she's ready, what with "the deck . . . still stacked in favor of those at the top."
  • The 'John Wayne Moment' We're In

    By William Murchison | March 25, 2015
    Wait! A sudden thunder of hooves in the distance! A shout! A shot! It's... It's ... Ted Cruz, declaring his candidacy for the U.S. presidency.
  • Trashing the Academic Mission

    By William Murchison | March 17, 2015
    Maybe the question is, who'd want a degree from a university whose administration, on learning of a frat-boy incident on a bus, behaves as though God had personally dispatched the whole academic bureaucracy to wreak revenge.
  • Moral Dumbing-Down

    By William Murchison | March 03, 2015
    I gather from Gregg Easterbrook's review in the Wall Street Journal that Jay M. Smith and Mary Willingham, in "Cheated", tell a tale of significant dimensions, concerning the indifference of a putatively great university to the chicanery involved in sponsoring fake classes for athletes who can barely read.
  • The President Who Doesn't Get It

    By William Murchison | February 17, 2015
    Days after the mass beheadings of Coptic Christians in Libya, profoundly serious questions linger in the air. Does Barack Obama know what's going on all around him? Does he have the slightest inkling?
  • Nuts to You!

    By William Murchison | February 10, 2015
    It's been kind of fun, I tell you: a Florida Democratic congressman, one Alcee Hastings, calls Texas a "crazy state." Texans—e.g., Rick Perry—joyfully, jubilantly acknowledged the craziness that has made our state (yes, I am one of the assorted bedlamites) foremost in the country for economic growth.
  • The Proofs of the Christmas Pudding

    By William Murchison | December 23, 2014
    The acid skepticism of centuries past concerning the reality of the Christian revelation bubbles in the 21st century to a degree, and with a corrosiveness, unseen for quite a long time.
  • Standard Practice

    By William Murchison | December 09, 2014
    A moral system presupposes some general level of personal restraint in word and deed; some level of decorum and consideration for others. Yeah. Well. That's not where we are right now.
  • Why We Don't Like Politicians

    By William Murchison | November 04, 2014
    "The polls" have it that Americans in 2014 expect virtually nothing from the 2014 style in Washington politicians.
  • Government as the Great Equalizer—and Other Absurdities

    By William Murchison | October 28, 2014
    The really troubling point that Joel Kotkin makes in the New York Daily News is that New York can't figure out how to do the economic equality thing we hear so much about in this and every political season.
  • Why Wendy Can't Win

    By William Murchison | October 21, 2014
    Why does Texas, a pulsating, change-oriented state, full of young people, full of minorities, full of those women the Republicans are alleged (by Democrats) to be running a "war" against -- how come Texas "remains strongly Republican"?
  • When Duty Doesn't Call

    By William Murchison | October 14, 2014
    Americans will cease arguing over the federal Voting Rights Act and its intricacies—oh, I imagine around the time Texas starts exporting ground water to Minnesota, or the Lord returns to judge the quick and the dead.
  • Time to Share the Foreign Policy Vision (If Any)

    By William Murchison | May 27, 2014
    The way to have the foreign policy you want is first to figure out what kind of foreign policy you want.
  • Get Sterling!

    By William Murchison | April 29, 2014
    Inevitably, the country’s No. 1 basketball fan, Barack Obama, weighed in on Sterling's comments from Malaysia, as to the continuing effects of race and slavery.
  • Return of the '70s

    By William Murchison | March 18, 2014
    As the Russians push their imperial agenda in the Ukraine, and Western leaders wring their hands, the '70s come painfully to mind. I bring up the '70s—of god-awful memory—as much to nourish hope as to enlarge perspective on current events in the world and the nation along with it.
  • Texas and Heterosexual Marriage

    By William Murchison | February 27, 2014
    Barely eight years ago, 76 percent of Texas voters affirmed by constitutional amendment their commitment to heterosexual marriage as the proper relational norm.
  • Wendy

    By William Murchison | February 17, 2014
    Look, the Wendy Davis candidacy for Texas governor isn’t going anywhere. (Ain’t goin’ nowhere, Bubba, as we might say in Texas.)
  • You Gotta be a Football Hero

    By William Murchison | July 24, 2012
    Joe Paterno and other winning coaches found themselves on the road to divinization—no healthy estate for mortals. Gods can do no wrong. They need merely win games.
  • Barack in Wonderland

    By William Murchison | June 19, 2012
    When Congress, split seven ways from Sunday on the question, squelched legislation granting resident status for those formerly called "illegal aliens," President Obama said, in effect, so what?—we'll do it anyway.
  • The Perils of Greatness

    By William Murchison | May 01, 2012
    The thing about Lyndon Johnson was that he knew what he was doing. There was more to it even than that. He knew how to get things done.
  • Newt, the Democratic Mole

    By William Murchison | January 09, 2012
    The terrible, horrible, no good, please-go-away race for the Republican presidential nomination has the potential to deliver President Obama the kind of ringing affirmation that seemed impossible not many months ago.
  • Democracy at Work (for Better or Worse)

    By William Murchison | August 08, 2011
    Whoever said it first spoke a mouthful: Rome wasn't built in a day. To which I would add: congressmen didn't build it either. Members of Congress bicker, bellow and throw nails under each other's pickup tires seemingly trying to block meaningful action like the enactment of legislation authorizing payment of national obligations.
  • A Crisis—Hooray!

    By William Murchison | July 28, 2011
    It's not that this wonderful land of ours has never known political fracases. A war that took place midway through the 19th century comes to mind. There was also, years later, if memory serves, an upheaval known as the New Deal, during whose course all manner of head-butting took place.
  • The Filthy Rich

    By William Murchison | April 26, 2011
    I haven't investigated, but I'm sure of it. A pollster in ancient Babylonia was sampling the citizenry on a proposal to raise money by taxing the vineyards and flesh pots of the obscenely rich. I don't know a word of ancient Babylonian, but can we doubt the response went something like, "You bet! Go for it! Get those miserable shekel-grubbing sons of camels!"?
  • Teachers and Parents

    By William Murchison | March 15, 2011
    Our national weeping and wailing over education spending cuts, public employee unions, and such like cause minds of a certain vintage to stop still and wonder. When were the divorce proceedings between home and classroom filed anyway? And who filed them, and why? It can be argued that the current traumas of education proceed from that divorce: further testimony to the general understanding that it's the kids who get hurt worst in divorce.
  • Organized Coercion

    By William Murchison | March 03, 2011
    The more it changes, the more it's the same, hmmm? In this present instance, meaning our country's seemingly fresh-scented wrangle over union power. The scent isn't fresh at all, nor is the wrangle. The arguments are old, the question at stake is old: namely, when is the public interest served by giving organized coercion its way?
  • Health Care Debate—At Last

    By William Murchison | January 18, 2011
    A new Associated Press-GfK poll that shows Americans evenly divided on the Obamacare repeal is getting big play as the House opens debate on precisely that course of action. Won't it be amazing to hear Democrats argue—in view of this spectacular turn in public opinion—that House Republicans should now back off?
  • A Role Model for Boehner

    By William Murchison | January 04, 2011
    The battle smoke lifts, the noise of past political combat dies away, and we envision at last the right role model for John Boehner as he assumes the speakership. Who else, I ask, but Nancy Pelosi?
  • At War With the Military

    By William Murchison | December 09, 2010
    The motive behind the proposed repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is, hmmm ... what, exactly? A stronger military? Better projection of American might in tight corners like Afghanistan and South Korea? Well, not precisely any of that.
  • Those Whom the God Would Destroy...

    By William Murchison | December 01, 2010
    As life in the 21st century gets loopier and loopier, the truly deranged come out of the woodwork, passing themselves off as benefactors of mankind, candidates for sainthood, etc. Maybe—who knows—candidates for another Pulitzer Prize: something The New York Times hardly needs, but self-inflicted moral grandeur can do odd things to you.
  • The Palin Perplexity

    By William Murchison | November 23, 2010
    Sarah Palin is the best thing that's happened lately to the right and the left, both at the same time. Much of the right pays her obeisance for mobilizing the troops and smart-alecking the left—which in turn loves her for splitting (so the left hopes) the right over her personality and track record.
  • The Tax Rate Racket

    By William Murchison | November 16, 2010
    The flap over whether to extend present tax rates for the rich finds its center in a cultural proposition: Liberals, including rich liberals, either don't like the rich or feel obliged to pretend they don't.
  • Atheism: What a Joke

    By William Murchison | September 20, 2010
    Assuming, no doubt, our anxious world could use a good laugh, Stephen Hawking undertakes to provide one. He says the universe created itself. The theory itself isn't the joke. The joke is the dogged persistence of atheists trying in the face of common sense to persuade the world as to the wisdom they see in their every utterance. Another way of putting it would be, atheism is the joke.
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