Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Chair Learns Me a Little Summin' Summin'

Yesterday, James F. Hoge, Jr., the chairman of my organization's board, popped by. We had a big office lunch together-- we all gave him little reports on the projects we're engaged in, and in return, he told us the truth about everything in the world.

He's a career journalist, personal friend of several senators, and currently serves as the editor in chief of the political journal Foreign Affairs. Dude knows stuff about stuff.

We got campaign profile assessments of a half-dozen '08 hopefuls, the scoop on upcoming policy shifts towards Iraq, immigration, and international trade, as well as a disturbing report on the revitalization of Al Qaeda in the Middle East, Central Asia, Somalia, and the U.K.

Overall, he presented a fairly pessimistic view of world affairs; things are bad all over, and in most places, at least, they'll get worse before they get better.

On the bright side, he predicts the '08 election will demonstrate a great thirst for progressive change, and the "old war horses" will have a difficult time hanging on to power.

The education ended with a Q&A. My boss, who's from London, asked what I thought was a pretty intelligent question: why were editorial pages across America not filled with calls for gun control in the days after the V-Tech shootings?

Hoge chuckled softly, and shook his head. He said a few words about the perversely strong influence of the NRA, and asked the staff members from other countries (about 40%) whether they all thought American gun policy was crazy. Nods all around.

"It's the silliest thing," he agreed. "I really can't understand it..."

1 comment:

Nadia Chaudhury said...

honestly, i'm very jealous.