Fred Thompson, 1942-2015

In 1993, I was sent to Nashville by Esquire Magazine to write a profile of Fred Thompson, who was about to undertake a run for Senate in Tennessee. I arrived and spent a day digging through the archives of the city’s two newspapers to find out whatever I could about him. I knew he had been a lawyer in private practice and had become a movie actor by accident following a stint as minority counsel on the Senate Watergate Committee. I remembered having watched as Thompson asked White House official Alexander Butterfield the question whose answer ultimately led to the downfall of the Nixon administration — a question about whether there had been a secret taping system in the White House.

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Fred Thompson, 1942-2015

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Triumph of Reason at the United Nations

A bright light in a dark place.

When UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced America’s withdrawal from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last October, it was clear this was only the beginning. UNESCO had spent decades defying American law and denying Israel ownership of its own cultural heritage. The organization’s “extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment,” Haley said. Quoting Ronald Reagan, who withdrew from UNESCO in 1984, she added that American taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for an institution that is “hostile to our values and make a mockery of justice and common sense.” That logic demands bold actions from the United States. After all, UNESCO isn’t the only arm of the United Nations that offends American sensibilities and advances the objectives of despots and thugs. Now, it seems the UN ambassador is ready to make her next move.

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A Bias in Favor of Bias

Selectivity in the social sciences.

Last year, I criticized universities for hurrying to implement programs to combat microaggressions, “mostly subtle, mostly inadvertent slights directed at racial minorities and other ‘marginalized” groups.’” According to a review of the research conducted by Scott Lilienfeld, professor of psychology at Emory University, there was little, if any, evidence that such programs do more good than harm. Universities, which should pride themselves on following the evidence wherever it leads, seemed to have succumbed to the pressure to “do something” about racism.

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The Party of Trump, If You Can Keep It

Will the reverence Trump inspires outlast his presidency?

Approximately once every quarter for the last two years, we’ve been bombarded by declarations that Donald Trump’s takeover of the GOP is complete. The frequency with which the verdict is rendered would suggest the thesis is flawed.

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Fossil Fools

Fanaticism.

Over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee voted in favor of refusing all future donations from fossil-fuel companies. They’re so proud of the decision that it was only publicized on Tuesday, and then only by reporters who had to do some digging to learn the news.

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Canada Comes to Its Senses on Iran

Iran's isolation won't be reversed.

I have never been mistaken for a fan of Justin Trudeau, nor will I ever be so mistaken. On the whole, I agree with Ben Shapiro’s assessment of the Canadian prime minister (“Justin Trudeau is what would happen if the song ‘Imagine’ took human form…”). Trudeau’s commitment to full-spectrum progressivism, combined with his vanity and moral preening, make him one of the least serious figures ever to lead a major Western power. Even so, I found myself cheering Trudeau’s Liberal government on Wednesday after it backed a resolution in the House of Commons to “immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions” with the Iranian regime.

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