Jeff Jacoby
Jeff Jacoby
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

How Democrats and Republicans rig the rules against independents

July 17, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

Second of two parts (Read Part 1 here)

America has two major political parties. Tens of millions of Americans don't care for either of them.

In states where voters register by party, 28 percent sign up as independents. In opinion surveys, nearly 4 in 10 adults say they consider themselves neither Republican nor Democrat. According to Gallup, a majority of the American public hasn't had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party since 2009, or of the GOP since 2005.

We are a nation awash with independent voters. So why don't more independents get elected to office?

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What to Frederick Douglass is the "Douglass Plan"?

July 15, 2019  •  Arguable

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., last week unveiled a sweeping proposal to devote tens of billions of dollars and expanded federal powers to, in his words, the "dismantling" of America's "racist structures and systems."

Buttigieg calls his proposal the "Douglass Plan," in honor of the great 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. In its vast scope and ambition, he says, it would be like the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. But the Marshall Plan was a straightforward economic recovery project compared to the social transformation Buttigieg has in mind.

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George Washington was right about 'baneful' two-party politics

July 14, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

First of two parts

Toxic partisanship in the United States is not a new problem. In 1796, President George Washington was so distressed by the way America was splitting into two political factions — the Democratic-Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson, and the Federalists of Alexander Hamilton — that he devoted much of his Farewell Address to warning his countrymen, "in the most solemn manner, against the baneful effects of the spirit of party." He acknowledged that it was natural for people with common interests to organize into competing groups. But passionate loyalty to political parties too often fueled "the most horrid enormities" — vengefulness, dissension, and repression.

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Your legislature in inaction
Bay State lawmakers blow off their deadline. So what else is new?

July 10, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

IN VIRTUALLY every state of the union, the new fiscal year began on July 1, and in virtually every state of the union, the legislature passed a budget before the deadline arrived. Only in Massachusetts and Ohio have lawmakers failed to put together a spending bill to fund the government for the next 12 months. The nonfeasance in both cases is egregious — crafting a budget, after all, is the legislature's most important task.

But the reaction in the two states could hardly be more different.

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'Proclaim Liberty': How the Hebrew Bible molded revolutionary America

July 7, 2019  •  The Boston Globe

THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS in Philadelphia approved the final text of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July, but it wasn't until July 8, 1776 that the historic document had been printed and could be publicly read. From the tower at Independence Hall the great bell rang out, summoning citizens to hear the new nation's proclamation of sovereignty. What we know today as the Liberty Bell had not yet acquired its iconic crack. But its noteworthy inscription was plain to see: "Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof."

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