All posts by Mark Caleb Smith

Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Political Studies at Cedarville University.

The Gaping Maw of Politics

Nothing is beyond the gaping maw that is politics. Not fast food. Not movies. Not church. Not sports. Not the family. Not the backyard barbecue pit. There is no respite, no place to exhale, and no shade for cover from the sun. Gone Fishing? PETA will have something to say about that. Take in a round of golf? Don’t you know only the racist patriarchy willingly dons plaid pants? NASCAR? They are so fiercely anti-anti-Trump they’ve colored their helmets a… Continue Reading ››

A Mild Defense of Congress

I could wax eloquent on behalf of used car salesmen, or guard the virtue of attorneys, and even preach on the positivity of out-sourced corporate customer service. All those efforts would pale, it seems, in comparison to a defense of the United States Congress. With approval ratings that read like a Fairbanks weather report, Congress struggles to stave off perceptions of either feckless imbecility or craven self-interestedness. Ideologues and partisans pressure members for purity, sometimes at cross-purposes. RINOs and DINOs… Continue Reading ››

Dunkirk: A Breathtaking Portrayal of a Beautiful Disaster

Turning the battle of Dunkirk into a film presents obvious challenges, for it was less a battle and more a retreat. Filming a strategic withdrawal that occurs at the beginning of a protracted war harbors no obvious moments of glory and only a muted climax. Christopher Nolan, the director and obvious driving force behind the entire production of Dunkirk, is more than up to the task. Dunkirk weaves three separate strands of narrative. The Mole (the soldiers on the beach… Continue Reading ››

Spectre: Russia Investigation Hovers Over Trump

Baby Driver, written and directed by Edgar Wright, is a cinematic marvel. Though ostensibly a heist film from the wheel man’s perspective, it is really a soundtrack with a movie layered on top. Gunshots punctuate the percussion. Disembarkations are done in musical time as precisely as a ballerina’s twirl. Music is not a background element, but an organic component that both propels and reflects the action on screen. If I were sitting in an editing room, trying to splice together… Continue Reading ››

SCOTUS Gets Religious Liberty Right–For Now

The issue seems paltry at first glance. A preschool/daycare affiliated with a church applies for state funding to help with some playground improvements. The goal of the Missouri program is to put recycled tires to good use. Trinity Lutheran Church Child Learning Center’s application for the funding was judged to be fifth out of forty-four applicants, but was ultimately denied on religious grounds. According to the Missouri Constitution, “…That no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly… Continue Reading ››