Of all the problems I've had with Donald Trump (and there have been many), his recent comments about going after "carried interest" probably bother me the least. In fact, I think he has a point. Why should a teacher or police officer pay a higher tax rate than someone whose primary income is derived from betting on the stock market?
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Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter @mattklewis.
Does the rise of Donald Trump signal the end of conservatism as we know it? It's premature to write the obituary, but one has to wonder if the patient isn't terminally ill.
I work in an industry that covers politics the way TMZ covers celebrities and ESPN covers sports. So I probably shouldn't be surprised we've arrived at a point where excitement isn't merely the icing on the cake of a good candidate -- it's the whole damn cake.
The other day, Dave Weigel talked to people gathered around a Flint Assembly Plant about why they like Donald Trump. It's pretty much what you'd expect -- lots of comments like: “Immigration and jobs going to China — this area’s really suffered from that. I just like somebody that stands up for what he speaks about.”
Sen. Ted Cruz was overshadowed during much of the first GOP debate, but he finished strong. And this might turn out to be a microcosm of his larger campaign plan.
It's time we accept the fact that Ann Coulter and her ilk are solely animated by, and utterly obsessed with, the issue of illegal immigration. This is not merely a facet of their larger conservative worldview, but, instead, the defining issue. You can be for single-payer healthcare -- or taxpayer-funding of Planned Parenthood -- so long as you say mean things about Mexicans. You can flip-flop on all sorts of litmus test issues, and do things that would get any other conservative voted off the island. Screaming about "amnesty" covers a multitude of sins.
A recent Newsweek piece asked "Is Donald Trump a Fascist?" Another column at The Week (where I'm a contributing editor) is titled: "How Nietzsche explains the rise of Donald Trump." These are just two examples of the many "think" pieces examining the dangerous roots behind Trump's style and ideology (to the degree he has an ideology). To put it mildly, the criticism transcends concerns about populism that might have been found in William Jennings Bryan, or even Ross Perot.
Sometimes my "Spidey sense" is pretty good. Way back in September of 2011, I warned that then-Texas Gov. "Rick Perry should take his immigration problem very seriously." I similarly warned that "Bridge-gate" looked like a very serious problem for Chris Christie, during the early part of that scandal. I think I was ahead of the curve in realizing how dangerous these situations were.
A while back, I urged Rush Limbaugh to use his incredible influence on the right and call out Donald Trump for his irresponsible comments. In the intervening weeks, Trump's rhetoric only intensified. Yet, even after Thursday night's GOP debate -- when it became painfully obvious that Donald Trump is a liberal -- Limbaugh continued to prop up The Donald. I don't want to be accused of misrepresenting what he said, so I'll simply provide the headline and link from his own website: "The Orders to Take Out Trump Must Have Gone to Fox, Not the Other Candidates."
It should have been a layup, but I found myself disappointed at the flippant way the Republican candidates talked about faith during Thursday night's GOP primary debate. And, arguably the worst was Ohio Gov. John Kasich -- a man who frequently talks about his faith.
A few weeks ago, I journeyed out to Baltimore's Camden Yards to watch the Orioles play the Nationals. The one thing that struck me more than anything was Bryce Harper's body language. At the risk of sounding like one of those old scouts in Moneyball, he, more than anyone -- and there are great hitters on both ball clubs -- stood at the plate like a man on a mission -- as if he had something against the ball.
"Criminal justice reform is the right thing to do from a moral perspective, a constitutional perspective, and a fiscal perspective," says Mark V. Holden, General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Koch Industries, Inc.
As the Donald Trump boomlet turns into the Donald Trump movement, I'm closing in on the "acceptance" stage of the grieving process.
As I noted the other day, the release of those Planned Parenthood videos constitutes huge win for the pro-life cause. The reason is simple: When the topic is late-term abortion, the harvesting and selling of organs, or -- frankly, anything that unmasks the unseemly "process" of abortion -- it's good for the pro-life cause. And that's precisely what these videos force us to grapple with.
Sen. Pat Toomey's endorsement in an August 4 special election for the Pennsylvania state house is raising some eyebrows. That's because the candidate he's backing,Paul Mullen, is also the head of the Delaware County AFL-CIO -- and business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Erick Erickson recently stumbled across the term "cuckservative." It's a word that has been popping up on Twitter a lot lately, but this was the first time I'd seen someone of any consequence reference it. But the definition Erickson tweeted doesn't really do it justice -- as it elides the truly sleazy implications of the term. The goal is to obviously combine the words cuckolded with conservative.
The story of states' rights began with abolitionists, according to Adam Freedman's "A Less Perfect Union: The Case For States' Rights." Although the term has become tarnished by being associated with segregation, during a recent conversation, Freedman argued that abolitionists were the original guardians of state sovereignty in the antebellum era.
Imagine a world where Rush Limbaugh channels Bill Buckley -- and embraces his leadership responsibility on the right. That's the thrust of my latest column at the Daily Beast. I'm picking on Limbaugh only because he's the one guy who has the moral authority on the right to play the role of pope and excommunicate apostates and phonies the way Buckley did so many years ago.
As John McCain might say, there seem to be a lot of "crazies" in Phoenix of late. It must be the heat. But, to be fair, most of the bad actors I'm about to tell you about probably aren't from Arizona. (And it's a dry heat.) Whatever the case may be, their radicalism was on full display during Netroots nation this week, when former Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders were both shouted down.
One of the explanations for Donald Trump's surging poll numbers goes like this: The base doesn't trust Republican leaders on immigration. The manifestation of this has been support for a man who tells it like it is.