Phillip Lopate is justifiably renowned for his essays — graceful, searching probes of life and culture — but I've never turned to him for political insight, until recently. Lopate's writing about the presidential election show him to be more subtle, honest, and discerning than most any pundit, including some I look to regularly.
It's to Lopate's advantage, I think, and his readers, that he's likely to turn to literature and not just to the ordinary stuff of punditry — polls pols and more polls — for his views.
He's always been a contrarian, sometimes a bit too doggedly so, as if he was going to rub history hard enough against the grain to light a fire, but in not hewing to the tried and true norms of political commentary his contrarianism pays off.
I'm pleased to have happened on Lopate's entries in The American Scholar and look forward to father installments.
Here are two pieces I found refreshing: