Tag Archives: Modest Proposal

Jonathan Swift, Master of Fake News

Fake news, which played a role in the 2016 election, may have become particularly sophisticated, but satirists have been creating fake news since at least the days of Jonathan Swift. Take, for instance, Swift’s “The Last Speech and Dying Words of Ebenezer Elliston,” which supposedly lowered the crime rate but which, for that reason, is problematic.

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If Swift Had Known Donald Trump…

Jonathan Swift would have had a field day with Donald Trump. I suspect I’ll say this often in the upcoming years.

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A Modest Proposal for Shooting Students

Reacting against a proposal to allow guns on Idaho campuses, an Idaho professor has come up with a modest proposal of his own.

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Stewart Should Learn from Jonathan Swift

Jon Stewart may be one of our leading satirists, but satire comes up short in handling this country’s healthcare crisis.

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Swift and Food Stamp Cuts

What would Jonathan Swift say to GOP radicals who seek to cut food stamps.

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If They Lose, Irish Can Turn to Poetry

Even if they lose the national championship game, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame have Ireland’s poetic legacy to fall back on.

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The NRA’s Modest Proposal

The NRA’s call for armed guards in every school sounds like Swift’s “Modest Proposal”–only the NRA is serious.

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Obama, Idealist or Realist?

2010 in Review There was an interesting dust-up last week amongst conservative intellectuals following the release of some more Richard Nixon tapes. Henry Kissinger can be heard making the following cold-blooded remark about Soviet Jews in 1973: “Let’s face it: The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign […]

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Mothers “Dropping” Babies?!

First, congratulations to Elena Kagan for being the fourth woman chosen to the U. S. Supreme Court. I have written about Kagan’s love for Pride and Prejudice here, as well as the reasons why, given a choice, it’s better to have a Pride and Prejudice lover than a Wuthering Heights lover on the Court (click […]

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Bush, Obama, and Gulliver’s Travels

I return for one last time to Swift, who provides invaluable perspectives for understanding contemporary politics. Swift was a shrewd student of political dynamics. His satire is often an allegorical depiction of real life people and incidents, and if one knows one’s history, one can read parts of Gulliver’s Travels as a roman à clé, […]

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