Frank Rich Lives

Frank Rich, illustration by Gary Bedard (web image courtesy of


Read this New York magazine analysis of the election and national political culture by Frank Rich, former columnist at the NYTimes. His acute observations are refreshing compared to the misleading neutrality of so many mainstream media types.

To give my Facebook friends a breather from the permanent campaign, I’m reserving this kind of posting for this blog, whose subhead is “history and politics.” Politics doesn’t stop, but it become tiresome for most people. Unfortunately, there is so much at stake that we cannot divert our attention completely between election seasons. Democracy is a full-time occupation. It works best when we treat it like a relay team, with different people taking turns on obssessive focus and periods of service. Somebody wrote, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” or words to that effect. It’s unreasonable to expect everyone to be dialed in at the highest level continuously. What’s important is that we have people whom we trust paying attention 24/7. That’s the role of elected representatives, public employees, news reporters, and public interest groups. The voters must keep an eye on what’s boiling in the pot on the civic stove, but voters have their lives to live and families to focus on. In the meantime, we all need accurate information and thoughtful analysis of complex situations and policies to help us fulfill our responsibilities as citizens.