Citizen Leadership

Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership

Demonstrators Give Birth to Brand New Left

The satirist Tom Wolfe coined the term “radical chic” to characterize the way certain stylish New Yorkers in the 1960s fawned over, and financed, law-breaking groups like the Black Panthers. Just as the New Left attempted a “baby-boomer” imitation of real revolutionaries from still earlier eras, something like a Brand New Left is attempting to be born during the World Read More ›

politician speaking flag.jpg
politiician speaking to business people in conference room during meeting

Just Because it is Called “Reform” Doesn’t Mean It’s Progress;

This summer the Congress is expected, finally, to take up the subject of campaign finance reform. If you believe the interpretation put upon this issue by most of the media and the permanent, self-designated “reform” lobby, the only reason to oppose the proposals being made is the self-interest of politicians and their major backers. But this simplistic view increasingly is Read More ›

Can the Church Take the Lead? Saving Marriages and Preventing Divorce

Okay, in order to ease the strain and allow a civilized consideration of this subject, let’s not get personal here. Anyone who has been divorced, is the child of divorce or has close friends and family members who have divorced — in other words, nearly everyone these days — knows the pain of it. There is a tendency when the Read More ›

The Issues Behind Filegate; It’s Not Just a “Bureaucratic Snafu”

If illegal use of confidential FBI files is proven, Filegate will most resemble that part of Watergate wherein White House zeal to dig up dirt on others led to dirty practices–and genuine scandal. No one familiar with the White House pass system could believe that “Project Update” was merely concerned with reviewing 407 FBI files of former presidents’ aides to see if they still merited passes. That transparently false explanation is even more suggestive of a cover-up than the reluctance of the White House to provide Congress with evidence of the affair.

Read More ›

Don’t Kid Yourself, This Was A Biggie

Anti-Democratic feeling was really only anti-incumbent feeling, they declared. In fact, not one Republican incumbent governor or member of Congress lost, only Democrats. A big turnout, if it could be accomplished, would save the Democrats, we were told. But the 39 percent national turnout was two points over average mid-term elections. And in higher turnout states Republicans seem to have made their greatest gains. During the campaign, the actual contents of the "contract" were barely covered by the major media (an oversight now corrected after the election) and were subjected to a negative spin in Democratic television spots. But the "contract" was described in detail over talk radio, computer on-line services and new conservative cable TV programs. Another old political assumption that was dealt a blow is the old Depression-era knock that the Republicans are the party of Wall Street while the Democrats are the party of the little guy. GOP candidates won majorities among working-class voters as well as middle- and upper-economic groups. Big business PAC money, as usual, went overwhelmingly to incumbents and this year that meant Democrats. The first target for a shake-up will be Congress itself, where one of the leaders of reform is Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Bellevue. The House Republican Contract pledged to cut congressional staff by a third, and it should not be hard to do. The Democratic majority typically afforded Republicans only a small share of staff positions. In the House Energy and Commerce Committee, for example, Democrats currently have 180 staff posts and Republicans 17. After a well-deserved one-third cut, there will still be plenty of positions open for Republicans to fill, even permitting them to be more generous to the Democrats than the Democrats were to them. Read More ›