Ted Frier

Ted Frier
April 02
Ted Frier is an author and former political reporter turned speechwriter who at one time served as communications director for the Massachusetts Republican Party, helping Bill Weld become the first Bay State Republican in a generation to be elected Governor. He was Chief Speechwriter for Republican Governor Paul Cellucci and Lt. Governor Jane Swift. Ted is also the author of the hardly-read 1992 history "Time for a Change: The Return of the Republican Party in Massachusetts." So, why the current hostility to the Republican Party and what passes for conservatism today? The Republican Party was once a national governing party that looked out for the interests of the nation as a whole. Now it is the wholly-owned subsidiary of self interest. Conservatism once sought national unity to promote social peace and harmony. Now conservatism has devolved into a right wing mutation that uses divide and conquer tactics to promote the solidarity of certain social sub-groups united against the larger society while preserving the privileges of a few.


Ted Frier's Links


It is hard to know what to make of a CEO preaching a more loving and benevolent species of capitalism when he also embraces as his spiritual mentor a free market militant like Milton Friedman, who once famously declared: "Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations… Read full post »

MAY 2, 2014 11:41AM

Capitalism Under Fire

If the early reviews prove prophetic, the publication of Thomas Piketty's Capitalism in the 21st Century is destined to take its place alongside Karl Marx's Das Kapital as a world changing event.

Piketty's exhaustively documented thesis is that returns on capital have historically outpaced the rate… Read full post »

APRIL 28, 2014 10:15AM

Work Ethic a Fraud

One of the great hypocrisies of our times has been the readiness of people who are contemptuous of work, and studiously avoid it themselves, to nevertheless preach to others the homey virtues of prudence, diligence, reliability and responsibility enshrined in what we like to call the&n… Read full post »

It's a tradition as old as the day mariners first began sailing the seven seas: The captain of a vessel in distress is always the last one off.

So why is it, as we've seen in two recent maritime disasters, that the convention of the sailing master heroically going… Read full post »

APRIL 24, 2014 9:12AM

Sons of Liberty or Sons of Anarchy?

Right wing "real" Americans flatter themselves that they are the nation's super-patriots. But if these conservatives have any more months like the one they just had they might want to consider changing their moniker from Sons of Liberty to the Sons of Anarchy.

Egged on by conservatives at… Read full post »

APRIL 20, 2014 2:28PM

Unity: The Liberal's Burden

There is just no getting around the fact that being a liberal in American politics today is a far heavier lift than being a conservative.

In military terms, conservatives enjoy what's known as "interior lines of communication." Being near ones home base and closely surrounded by allies… Read full post »

APRIL 13, 2014 8:38AM

Sex! Now That I Have Your Attention

I am a rationalist. Or maybe a romantic, because at the end of the day I really do believe that good arguments prevail over bad when it comes to the nature of the Good Society and much else. 

But that does not mean I'm not a sucker for theories which… Read full post »

We can thank Divine Intervention for the fortuitous fact that Charles Koch's whiney, "self-pitying billionaire screed" in the Wall Street Journal against his name-calling liberal detractors (as Jonathan Chait phrased it) arrived on virtually the same day that John Roberts' conservative Supreme Cou… Read full post »

Strong-willed ideologues who are passionate about politics have always been disappointed with a political system that allows power to be monopolized by just two major parties. To these critics of America's two-party system, Republicans and Democrats are Tweedledee and Tweedledum (or Tweedledumber)… Read full post »

APRIL 1, 2014 12:01PM

The Politics of Disorder

It's taken an economic calamity of a magnitude not seen since the Great Depression; the collapse of America's two-party system as the nation's conservative governing partner deteriorates into nihilism and neo-fascism; and the disintegration of the national government into gridlock and dysfunction, bu… Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2014 8:48AM

"The Saddest Place I Know"

You'll find Charles Kuralt's short, 600-word essay, "Place of Sorrows," included in many of the anthologies of great writing handed out to young students who want to be great writers themselves.

"Place of Sorrows" was also featured prominently among the hundreds of segments Kuralt produced for… Read full post »

MARCH 17, 2014 10:24AM

The Wages of Political Power

Most people know that today's CEO's earn 300 times what the average worker does -- compared to the modest 40 to 1 ratio between C-suite and shop floor wages that prevailed not so many years ago -- because industry's top executives now sit on one another's boards and… Read full post »

Of all the injustices of the Obama Age, none has been more infuriating than the ability of Republicans to impose the known failures of "austerity" economics in place of the proven successes of Keynesian-style government stimulus -- and then to saddle Democrats with the blame for the… Read full post »

MARCH 6, 2014 6:33AM

"Envy" Or "Justice?"

Does the fact your job was outsourced to China got you down? Do you have trouble sleeping at night now that your company's been liquidated in a hostile takeover? Does being replaced by a robot make you feel unloved? If so, then Arthur Brooks has the answer for… Read full post »

What are the odds I would be lucky enough to see, firsthand, the same ugly sense of entitlement -- the same "get to the back of the bus" disrespect that left the struggle for equal rights an unfinished task even 100 years after the slaves were first set free… Read full post »

I was minding my own business channel surfing when I stumbled upon a disturbing scene carried on (where else?) Fox News. More than 1,500 students from all over the world were gathered in Washington to attend what was billed as the Students for Liberty Conference, whose advertised… Read full post »

I'm not the only one who's noticed that George F. Will is a changed man whose trajectory from Tory to Tea Party conservatism is emblematic of the Republican Party's own descent into what even Will's conservative Washington Post colleague, Michael Gerson, calls the GOP's "fierce anti-government fer… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 13, 2014 6:12AM

The Politics of Fear

The bigger they are the harder they fall. The higher they climb the greater their fear of falling.

That was the takeaway of a much talked-about piece by Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo, called "the Brittle Grip," about America's rich and how they've twisted American politics because… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 9, 2014 10:32AM

Compassionate Conservatism: Part Two

More than a decade after Michael Gerson helped to promote it, "compassionate conservatism" has become a bad joke that regularly invites hoots of derision after it was used to elect a president who undermined just about everything "compassionate" conservatism once promised.

Today, 14 years later a… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2014 8:59AM

Right Wing Huddles Under "Big Tent"

A colleague who is the host of a PBS radio program in Boston gave me an uncorrected proof he'd been sent from the publisher of a forthcoming anthology about the conservative movement called The Big Tent: The Story of the Conservative Revolution - As Told by the Thinkers and Doers WhoRead full post »

The Facebook post was angrily defiant: "Do not be afraid to read this and do not be afraid to agree. If any one wants to call me a racist for sharing the author's sentiments, I'll laugh in your face."

The linked article was a very revealing post on… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 2, 2014 12:49PM

Henry Ford's $5-a-Day Revolution

One hundred years ago last month, Henry Ford launched a revolution in American manufacturing with his now legendary decision to pay Ford workers the heretofore unheard of wage of $5 a day.

Ford's decision, announced in January, 1914, to effectively double the wages of his workers… Read full post »

JANUARY 30, 2014 1:49PM

Hail Emperor Obama!

I guess I once worked for a tyrant, too.

Fourteen years ago, I found myself in exactly the same predicament President Obama's speechwriters were in this week when the President was compelled to give a State of the Union Address utterly devoid of the customary calls… Read full post »

It was probably inevitable that once ill-mannered Republicans like Joe Wilson began misbehaving at ceremonial events such as tonight's annual State of the Union Address (shouting "you lie!" at the President, and all that), even ritual-loving conservatives like George F. Will would feel duty-boun… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2014 8:20AM

Introverts of the World Unite!

I'm an INFJ and proud of it!

For those who may be unfamiliar with the Myer's-Briggs personality indicator, that means I am an Introvert, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging kind of guy based on the personality typography first mapped out by Carl Jung in 1921 in his path-breaking work,… Read full post »