Is the political map, so familiar that even non-pundits offhandedly refer to red, blue and purple states, changing before our eyes? Yes, at least to a limited extent -- and it's probably about time.
Victims aren't always virtuous. That's a sad lesson that people learn from life. Human beings have a benign instinct to help those who are hurt through no cause of their own. But those they help don't always turn out to be very grateful.
Donald Trump has just made changes, again, in his campaign's top leadership, shoving aside the seasoned Paul Manafort and installing Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon and veteran pollster Kellyanne Conway. He's obviously acting in response to his falling poll numbers nationally, in target states and even in some states that have been safely Republican in recent elections.
On Friday, Republican National Committee and Trump campaign staffers held what one described as an "emergency meeting" at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando. The obvious subject: what to do about Donald Trump's flagging campaign and how Republican down-ballot candidates can avoid the possible (likely?) downdraft.
Google "Donald Trump" and "nationalism" and you'll get 1,090,000 results, the large percentage of which are, to judge from the top hits, negative. "Nationalism" is deemed to be bad stuff, maybe even akin to Nazism.
The scholar Francis Fukuyama has been widely ridiculed for the title of his 1992 book, "The End of History." Critics point out that we've had -- suffered -- a lot of history since then: the 9/11 attacks, prolonged wars in the Middle East, a worldwide financial crisis and deep recession.
Opportunity cost. That's an economist's term for what you lose out on when you divert your investments and attention to something less profitable. It's also a good term for the losses Donald Trump has incurred in the last six days -- more than 6 percent of the 94 days between the close of the Democratic National Convention and the election in November.
What is the campaign strategy for the two political parties? Clues can be had from the responses to a question I asked about a dozen dignitaries of each party at their conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. What's your best guess, I asked, emphasizing guess, of your nominee's percentage of the popular vote in November 2016?
It was a variant on a traditional convention for a party seeking a third straight term in the White House, attempting to overcome an apparent post-convention bounce for the opposition's candidate: shades of 1988 or 2000 or 2008. Usually it starts with a valedictory speech by the incumbent president, followed by celebration of the new nominee and ending with a rousing acceptance speech.
"Make America One Again." That was the stated theme of the last night of the Republican National Convention. In the welter of analysis of Donald Trump's acceptance speech, few have commented on it, but it's worth taking it seriously.