Originally published 07/18/2013
John Avlon is political director for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. A CNN contributor, he won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012.It’s been a quarter-century since George H.W. Bush was elected president, but the wheels of history are finally turning his way. In a triumph of civility and character over hyperbolic hyper-partisanship, Bush 41 was honored Monday by President Obama at the White House for the success of his Point of Light award for civic volunteerism.We begin to see clearly in the rearview mirror of history, and George H.W. Bush has lived long enough to be appreciated as the Lone Star Yankee, perhaps the last unapologetically centrist Republican to enter the White House, winning California on the way to an electoral landslide.
Originally published 04/02/2013
John Avlon is senior columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and the anchor of Beast TV. A CNN contributor, he won the National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ award for best online column in 2012.I thought it was an April Fools’ joke.There in my inbox on the morning of April 1 was an email from something called Ray McBerry Enterprises announcing the official start of “Confederate Heritage and History Month” in Georgia.Apparently, former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue signed the annual celebration into law in 2009, joining six other Southern states in official monthlong “celebrations.” My folks live next door in South Carolina, and I’m a bit of a Civil War nerd, so there’s no inherent shock in the impulse to recognize local history, however painful the legacy.But what did shock me was this quote from the press release: “So much is portrayed by Hollywood today that Georgia and the South were evil; when, in reality, the South was the most peaceful, rural, and Christian part of America before war and Reconstruction destroyed the pastoral way of life here.”