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

AUGUST 29, 2014 11:37AM

The Neo-Conservative Moment

Having re-learned the hard way from bitter experience in Iraq and Afghanistan that nation-building at the point of a gun is a fool’s errand, the question for American policy-makers today is how far is it prudent for America to go in using force to prevent atrocities in the short-run knowing&nbs… Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2014 2:54PM

Taking On Snobs

Throughout most of the country (but especially in the all-created-equal Midwest) when someone asks you where you went to school it's most likely to ascertain your football allegiance, whether it's "Roll Tide!" Alabama, "War Eagle!" Auburn, "Go Blue!" Michigan or those crazed Ohio State Buckeyes w… Read full post »

When Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination for re-election in 2012, the 44th president leaned on the 16th, quoting Abraham Lincoln when he said: "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go."

This would not be the… Read full post »

AUGUST 18, 2014 11:54AM

Bi-partisanship in the Bay State

Anyone who is anyone in Massachusetts politics subscribes to CommonWealth magazine, the quarterly public policy publication of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth.

"MassINC" and CommonWealth magazine are the sort of good government, do-gooder institutions you'd expect to f… Read full post »

AUGUST 1, 2014 10:11AM

The Mindful Society

Fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson summoned Americans to build one, a "Great Society" remains beyond our reach at a time when parties and even nations are fracturing. But Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, thinks we can at least be a "mindful" one.

Sou… Read full post »

JULY 28, 2014 11:11AM

Conservatives Facing Mid-life Crisis

Some American males, it seems, are facing a mid-life crisis that does not involve faster cars or younger women.  Older Baby Boomers who have been for most of their adult lives political independents, or centrists or even moderate conservatives are now entering their twilight years as pissed… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2014 12:22PM

A Plague On Both Your Houses?

In 1992, shortly after helping William Weld become the first Republican in a generation to be elected Governor of Massachusetts, I co-wrote a book about the GOP revival in the Bay State titled Time for a Change.

My co-author and I had our 15 minutes of fame. There was… Read full post »

JULY 18, 2014 4:17PM

Republicans Heal Thyselves

American politics may be the only game in town where someone can make a living consistently pitching to the middle of the plate.

What Aristotle said about political communities applies equally to political parties: Success lies with the middle-class. Vote with the 1% and you're forever labeled a Wal… Read full post »

The Catholic priest who married us 26 years ago next month got a big shout out this week in the Boston Globe for speaking truth to power back when a corrupt oligarch ruled Boston's Catholic community.

"Bob Bullock was a great priest and better person," writes columnist Kevin Cullen, w… Read full post »

I am not a sportswriter. Politics is my thing. And so when I read NBA superstar Lebron James' much talked about statement in Sports Illustrated announcing his decision to leave Miami and come back home to Cleveland I was struck by what a political document the declaration was.

More on… Read full post »

JULY 10, 2014 1:01PM

What's It All For?

I have a relative who is not a board-certified psychologist but may be the next best thing: a financial planner.

Time and again amid his many discussions of insurance, investments and the like he's had to take clients aside and ask a basic question: "What's it all for?"

Is the… Read full post »

JULY 6, 2014 9:24AM

Hobby Lobby Part Two

And so it begins. Less than one week after a sharply divided Supreme Court ruled that owners of "closely held" corporations did not have to provide contraception coverage to their employees like all other employers if the provision of this basic health benefit violated their religious scruples, le… Read full post »

JULY 3, 2014 6:40AM

Hobby Lobby

What a ludicrous name for such an important case - Hobby Lobby!  

On Monday, the Supreme Court's all-male, all-Catholic, absolutist, right wing majority allowed the owners of a for-profit company employing thousands of workers in dozens of states to deny their employees the same legal… Read full post »

Forget the separation of church and state.  Somewhere above the edifice of the State Department, or the Pentagon, or the White House there ought to be etched in stone the cautionary words of the Serenity Prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to… Read full post »

Say what you will about "trickle-down economics," there was at least an implied concession among its most ardent acolytes that conservative economic theories had to justify themselves by the real value they produced for everyone.

Back when the promises of supply-side doctrines were more speculative… Read full post »

JUNE 6, 2014 10:30AM

June 6, 1944

Fifty years ago today I was standing on an expansive stretch of the French coastline now known as Omaha Beach.

The day, June 6, 1964, was the 20th anniversary of the largest seaborne invasion in military history -- D-Day. Twelve allied divisions stormed ashore along a 50-mile front of the… Read full post »

MAY 27, 2014 11:28AM

The Morals of the Marketplace

What if the going rate for snow shovels is $15.  Would the owner of the corner hardware store be within his rights to raise the price to $20 on the morning after a crippling snowstorm? Would it be right for him to do so?

And what about a zero sum… Read full post »

MAY 24, 2014 5:19PM

Speed Demons

You'd be hard-pressed to find a better symbol for the corruption that has overtaken the US economy over the past century and a half than the very different stories behind the construction of America's infrastructure.

When the Golden Spike was hammered into that final… Read full post »

MAY 19, 2014 11:58AM

Divide and Conquer

Here is a counterintuitive thought: American politics is so polarized because there is such broad agreement about what we need to do on so many economic issues facing average Americans today.

As Jeffrey Sachs reports in The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity, surveys… Read full post »

MAY 15, 2014 8:03AM

Americans Ignorant of Own History

The Washington Post's mild-mannered columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. is frequently at his best when he loses it, as he did when he threw up his arms in disgust and despair a few years ago over the insanity that has overtaken American politics, finally calling Americans "incorrigibl/… Read full post »

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 »