R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is the founder and editor in chief ofThe American Spectator.
Latest from R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
LAS VENTAS, MADRID — I am supposedly on holiday in Madrid. I take a break from politics, from public policy, from culture, and take in life in the country. In Spain that means the bullfight. Las Ventas is the major league in Spanish bullfighting, and I am not disappointed in what I see. These are fine bullfighters and ferocious bulls, though I wish Spaniards would give more consideration to the safety of the bulls. This evening, I saw six bulls slain and two bulls pull up lame. At least those lame bulls did not taste the sword.
WASHINGTON -- Over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal, Brian Lamb, the founder of C-Span, tendered a Solomonic statement in his valedictory interview after some 40 years before the television cameras. Said Lamb, “Lying is the word that I would use to describe this town.” And he went on, “I don't know if it will ever stop. It's gotten worse rather then getting better, and both sides do it.
WASHINGTON — Have you heard the good news? Large numbers of students worldwide are going to be skipping school on Fridays until they educate us on the perils of global warming. Moreover, they “are declaring the era of American climate change denialism over.” Those are the words of Alexandria Villasenor, who is 13 years old. She was addressing a crowd in front of the United Nations building in New York City.
WASHINGTON -- Do you remember when rock 'n' roll took its turn for the worse? It was sometime in the 1960s when Bob Dylan and those in his thrall began singing songs about politics. Next came songs about our health. Soon it was songs about politics, our health and Eastern mysticism. By the time the rock 'n' rollers had moved on to vegetarianism and global warming, I had given up on rock 'n' roll, and the rock 'n' rollers were -- let me add -- expiring from ghastly diseases and drug overdoses and, I am sure, suicide.
WASHINGTON — It had to happen. The United States of America has been the most desirable piece of real estate to inhabit for more than 200 years. It was only a matter of time before outsiders took note of our open borders to the north and the south and decided to enter without proper documentation. Those borders have been sparsely patrolled. And so, they entered by the thousands, probably by the millions, some bringing garbage, as commentator Tucker Carlson recently observed, others bringing criminal records, virtually none bringing documents attesting to their legal entry. What was to be done?
WASHINGTON -- Homelessness is up for the second year in a row. That is no surprise to me. I spent the last few days in New York City, where it seems the homeless are as numerous as the tourists. They are everywhere. Not that they are not numerous in our nation's capital, too. I returned to Washington by the train, and there are areas of Union Station that are as populated with homeless people as the nearby shelter. The scenes are appalling. What can be done for these poor wretches?
WASHINGTON -- Now that America has had its holiday from politics, we can get back to poking one another in the eye, and otherwise breaking the rules of decorum for the ladies and gentlemen of public life. Our holiday from politics was occasioned by the death of George Herbert Walker Bush, as fine a gent as has entered public life in decades. Every testimonial delivered to him last week was deserved, save one.
WASHINGTON -- On Nov. 10, the conservative movement lost a giant: Herbert London, a Renaissance man, a scholar steeped in the Great Books tradition, a principled politician and a warm, personal friend of mine. I am running out of friends such as Herb. When I say he was a giant, he was 6 feet, 5 inches tall, led his high school basketball team to a city championship in New York City, and played ball well enough for Columbia College to be recruited by the NBA.
WASHINGTON -- Forty years ago this past Sunday, more than 900 men, women and children killed themselves or were murdered in Jonestown, Guyana. Geography buffs will note that Jonestown is just east of Venezuela, where yet another crazed left-wing experiment is being played out today, though on a much larger scale. And hence, the prospect of death on an even grander scale is still possible in that once prosperous country.
WASHINGTON -- Well, it is not all bad news! Official Washington has unveiled its presidential candidate for 2020, and he will be every bit as effective as the Democrats running for the House of Representatives and the Senate were yesterday. He was chosen by official Washington's kingmaker this past Sunday on the op-ed page of The New York Times, Maureen Dowd. He is 81 years old, and he will be 83 when he enters office.
WASHINGTON -- Last week, upon the arrest of this wretched man, Cesar Sayoc, I heard some good news. Within hours of his arrest, commentators on all sides admitted that, "Enough is enough." Let the recriminations subside. There will be no more virulent charges against the left or the right. Even President Donald Trump seemed to agree, and in his public appearances I detected a note of munificence. He was stepping forward as president of all the people.
WASHINGTON — The midterm elections are fast approaching. All sorts of forecasts are coming out. Oddly enough, no one has asked me what I think the outcome might be. You might remember I disgraced myself in the last election by prophesying that Donald J. Trump would win. I predicted him to be the winner back in the summer of 2016. I predicted his victory throughout the fall.
WASHINGTON — If you have read enough pro-Kavanaugh articles, give this one a pass. You are not going to like it. Yet if you have not heard enough, you will probably like this one. I have nothing but congratulatory things to say about Judge Brett Kavanaugh. As with Justice Clarence Thomas, he is a fighter. He is a gifted defender of the truth. And he is worthy of serving on the highest court in the land. I would trust my case with him, and I would trust yours, too, whether you are with him now or against him. He believes in the rule of law.
WASHINGTON -- My crack team of investigative journalists is sitting on an explosive revelation about a senior Democrat in the United States Senate. When we will publish this story I have not yet decided, but it could come as early as Thursday, when Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh and professor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will supposedly tell their stories in open-door hearings.
WASHINGTON — Many years ago, in the early 1980s, I was drawn ever so transiently into the bureaucratic intricacies of the Roman Catholic Church in America. There was a saintly priest at Indiana University, Rev. James Higgins, who was driven from the university's Newman Center to a parish some 20 miles away from campus. The archbishop of Indianapolis replaced him with two utter lightweights.
WASHINGTON — On Aug. 8, one of the great historians of his generation and — for a certitude — one of the great teachers of any generation, passed away: Robert H. Ferrell. He was 97. Some thought he was too old to die, but nonetheless he worked to the end. When he retired from Indiana University, we thought he would quietly subside. He did not. He continued to write. Even after pulling up stakes and heading off to Michigan to live with his daughter, he continued to write. The result was that he wrote or edited more than 60 books. But books were not his only area of fecundity. As I said, he was a great teacher.
WASHINGTON -- A fellow Spectatorian is under enemy fire, and we all must rally around him, particularly because he has done nothing wrong and because if those attacking him triumph, we shall all suffer. The cause is free speech. The free speech that is endangered is in Great Britain, but if the forces of censorship win in London, it is only a matter of time before the forces of censorship will be bringing their muzzles to our shores.
Did you see a particular Wall Street Journal front-page headline on Monday? It read "Profits Soar as Economy Advances." That headline will probably be the most important headline of the week. It certainly is of colossal importance. Our economy is robust. The rest of the world is not doing so well. Take, for instance, China. Yet our economy is unusually healthy. If we have to engage in a trade war, it is an auspicious time for us to do so.
WASHINGTON — It has been a pretty good week for Donald Trump. The economy is growing faster than anyone on the left or in the middle or among the Never-Trumpers believed possible. Inflation is low, and employment is at a record high. Moreover, the president and the European Union reached an understanding on trade last week that signals the likely end of a trade war, at least with Europe.
WASHINGTON — On Friday, Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative journalist and writer, released a noble statement to the public. Its final words were: “I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life -- full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”