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What We’re Reading | December 21, 2012

Article by Jacqueline Lowe February 1, 2013 //   3 minute read

Republicans Turn to An Unlikely Name for Inspiration: George W. Bush
An article in the National Journal by Beth Reinhard looks at future of the Republican Party in light of the 2012 election results: “As Republicans reassess their future in the presidential wilderness, seeking a message and messenger to resonate with a new generation of voters, one unlikely name has popped up as a role model: former President George W. Bush. Prominent Republicans eager to rebuild the party in the wake of the 2012 election are pointing to Bush’s successful campaigns for Hispanic votes, his efforts to pass immigration reform, and his mantra of “compassionate conservatism.” The article recounts President Bush’s remarks at the recent 4% Growth Project’s conference on Immigration and Economic Growth: “America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time,” Bush said in Dallas. “As our nation debates the proper course of action related to immigration I hope we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contributions of immigrants.”

Sandy Hook and School Reform
What happens to Education Reform efforts in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy?  Executive Vice President of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Mike Petrilli, answers this question in a very touching and appropriate piece. In this time of National mourning, Petrilli sheds light on how to continue improving student achievement as we also continue to make student safety a top priority. Petrilli also speaks to the importance of valuing teachers by highlighting the heroism of the six Sandy Hook educators who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect their students from an unspeakable evil.

Nothing Is Written
Christian Caryl looks at the five counties profiled in the documentary Whisper to a Roar (Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe) and where they are now after their transitions to democracy in this Foreign Policy piece. “It's striking is that none of the countries so optimistically profiled in the film has yet to embrace full-blown democracy.” Caryl notes that, “Democracy, it would seem, is not inevitable. Sometimes people even vote against it.” The article argues that democracy must be continually fought for and is not the inevitable outcome of a revolution that overthrows authoritarian regimes. “The obstacles facing democrats around the world are hard, but not insurmountable. We have every reason to be optimistic about their success. But I suspect we can do a much better job of supporting them if we stay realistic about the challenges they face.”