Summer's Not Over (Yet)  
There's a week left in summer, and I see no reason not to indulge in summery themes as long as possible. So:
 
I'm pleased to note that the august Washington Post, the Sunday Business section no less, has a whole article¬†on Rehoboth Beach, the Delaware resort town that has (along with its near neighbor Bethany Beach) been featured more than once in this august newsletter. What's particularly notable is that, in the course of discussing the old-timey character of Rehoboth, the Post even tips its hat to the 55-year old Funland, the site of Kristol family adventures that have been Clearly chronicled in this space.
 
Here's the Post:

Allen Fasnacht, part of the founding family of Funland, noted that his park is in its fifth generation. His 7-year old great-granddaughter is restocking prizes. The rest, he said with a smile, are ride testers.   Said Fasnacht of Rehoboth Beach's appeal, "Its popularity can be traced to nostalgia."   Fasnacht helped found the place in 1962, but on a recent Sunday he was doing trash duty. The 87-year old works almost every day. When he's not at Funland, he said, "I sit upstairs and twiddle my thumbs and wish I was workin'.

 
Sounds like a great American. When Donald Trump is elected president and issues an executive order closing down The Weekly Standard, I'm going to see if Mr. Fasnacht needs an assistant.
 
Speaking of Rehoboth, how, you ask, are the minor league Delmarva Shorebirds doing? I'm afraid the losing effort we witnessed a few weeks ago wasn't unusual. They're in last place in the Northern division of the South Atlantic League. Oh well: It builds character.
 
Speaking of baseball (the summer sport), did you see this last week? Giants pitcher Matt Moore took a no-hitter into the ninth inning Thursday night against the Dodgers. The last time a Giants pitcher had no-hit the Dodgers was 1915. Moore got the first two outs in the ninth, and then, this -- a bloop single to right by Corey Seager. Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully remarked, "It seems almost unfair." "Almost unfair:" That is itself a deep comment on life, prompted in Vin Scully's case by a lifetime of watching baseball, the deepest of sports. 


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Back to School

 

It's the end of summer, which means it's the beginning of the school year. Which means education's on our minds. So let me recommend two conversations to listen to, or watch, (or read): The one I had recently with the University of Virginia's Paul Cantor, who discusses diverse works of literature that teach us about aspects of political and economic freedom; and a new conversation just released with Claremont McKenna professor of political philosophy Mark Blitz. Blitz discusses American liberal democracy, its challenges--most prominently, that the American regime promotes inequality or leads to a lowering of standards--and its strengths. In a political moment characterized by what I call in this week's editorial Cartoonism, Blitz reminds us how to think at once seriously and practically about real-world politics.

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Why We Stand
 
I was exchanging emails the other day with a comrade-in-arms, and, the discussion of the matter at hand having been completed, she commented: "Thanks. We are all caught in the seventh circle of hell. I walk to the edge of my cliff here every morning and scream out over the river. The neighbors understand."
 
I imagine an awful lot of us, an awful lot of you, feel this way about 2016, and about Clinton vs. Trump. 
 
But. Surely all is not lost. Yes, there are plenty of things wrong with our society and our politics, with our elites and our people, with our institutions and our mores. Still, it's really not the case that you always get the candidates you deserve. America had some bad luck this year, but it remains in many ways a great country. Consider this.
 
After San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem Friday night, the spontaneous reaction online was amazing. Kaepernick had said that he was   
 

not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

Here's one response from Dorian Majied, an Army Ranger veteran who served in Iraq, in an article that acquired something like two million readers in less than two days:

 

To refuse to stand for the national anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action. There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don't, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation. My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I've been blessed to lead amongst the world's greatest fighting force.   To disrespect the country that has afforded him the opportunities and fortunes he acquired is only made more offensive by the fact that his life is the personification of the ideals I see in the American flag and National Anthem: a biracial child, raised by white parents, and who has accomplished much despite his "oppression." In how many more nations around the world can a story like that come to fruition?

He made valid points, I'm not ignoring that there are still issues with race in America. However, he is ignoring the positive ideals of America that every colored person who has ever served, fought--while some died--for, by refusing to stand. Proper action is exactly that, action, not the inaction of not standing because he couldn't think of a better way to protest."

Well said.

Meanwhile, this tweet by Johnny (Joey) Jones was retweeted about 50,000 times within a couple of days: 

So: Don't despair. Perhaps we had to hit bottom in 2016 to be able to recover to give our citizens a politics they deserve. Indeed, the more I think about 2017 and the challenges and opportunities ahead, for TWS and all of us, the more energized I get.

 

But for the time being, let's hope for an exciting baseball post-season to keep us occupied until Election Day...

 
 

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Onward!
 
Bill Kristol