Apart from Charles Sumner and a handful of ugly protests and labor incidents over the years, America has largely avoided political violence that has been commonplace in other parts of the world.
Matt K. Lewis | All Articles
Thank goodness he never attended Trump University, but my dad did once drag me to a “timeshare” pitch. The mailer we received promised, “No strings attached.” We had won some sort of prize. Just sit through their spiel, we were told, and walk away with either a car or a boat. Upon leaving, we were handed an inflatable boat in a cardboard box.
"Leap and the net will appear." John Burroughs supposedly said that --- but it also describes Bill Kristol's model of punditry. His track record of making predictions is checkered. On the other hand, he gets a lot of press for teasing us. And there is rarely a price to be paid if things don't pan out exactly as he predicted. There's always a safety net (or a short fall); never a splat.
More of my criticism this year has been directed at Donald Trump than at Democrats, and this is because a) I'm more concerned about preserving conservatism, and b) I take it as a given that liberals are mostly wrong. But I think it's worth noting that President Obama has more in common with Donald Trump than most people realize, and that they both deserve to be criticized for their inappropriate behavior.
As has been noted many times, the general electorate is vastly different from a Republican primary universe. That is the most obvious reason why Donald Trump's success might not be replicable in November. Negative information about Trump that GOP primary voters merely laughed off might actually hurt him among other voters.
I've been attacking "tribalism" a lot lately---and I stand by that. But you can take any point too far. It would be a mistake to conflate the intrinsic desire we all have for loyalty, community, and a band of brothers---our "little platoons," as it were---with the worst kinds of toxic identity politics that are currently infecting our political process.
People keep looking for a silver bullet will stop Donald Trump, and they keep shooting blanks. They think that exposing examples of flip-flopping---or of some other scandalous behavior (say, the way he treats women)---will help. What they don't get is that you can't lose something you never had, or never pretended to have.
My theme this week has been the similarities between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders---and what their success says about us.
Rich Lowry has a piece up at Politico on how Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have moved the political center of gravity Leftward. It's true that Trump and Sanders are both trade protectionists and anti-interventionists, but it's hard to call these policies "liberal," inasmuch as they were once typical of the Old Right.
One of the things we tell ourselves to make us feel better about the more negative aspects behind the rise of Donald Trump goes like this: At least people are now giving voice to their darker thoughts, rather than suppress them.
Back when John Boehner was Speaker, he was the unpopular establishment figure fighting against a passionate Republican base that adhered strictly to conservative orthodoxy. Today, in a surprising turn of events, Boehner---who supports Donald Trump---finds himself in a more enviable position.
Every once in a while, someone out there says something that a fellow writer has been mulling on for months, but couldn't find a way to express. This is both frustrating (it was my idea!) and reassuring (it confirms what you've been thinking).
It has been suggested that Donald Trump's electoral success is a sign America is just a few years behind Europe (with Trump being akin to Le Pen). If that's the case, then the rise of anti-Semitism might also make sense. After all, in an era where the Right is increasingly reverting to its Paleoconservative tradition on a wide range of issues like isolationism and protectionism, isn't there a danger of other strains creeping back in?
The big news today is the meeting between presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan. I don't have much to add to this, except to say that it looks like Ryan really wants to find a way to make this relationship work out---and the person who wants it more usually loses.
Much ink has been spilled trying to figure out the rank and file Republican primary voters (working class Americans, white nationalists, anyone sick of political correctness, etc.) who helped propel Donald Trump to presumptive nominee status. Less time has been spent thinking about the more prominent backers---the politicians, operatives, and commentators---who have supported him along the way.
Yesterday, on CNN's Reliable Sources, I said this was "a time for choosing"---that where you stand on Trump today may define you for decades.
I ran afoul of some of the conservative Twitter police the other day when I suggested that most Americans (even so-called conservatives) weren't interested in "esoteric" things like the Constitution.
Ed Morrissey's new book Going Red makes the case that, in order for Republicans to win national elections again, they'll have to quit running top-down campaigns, roll up their sleeves, and become part of local communities.
I keep getting asked who Donald Trump should select, and --- because Trump is so unique --- the options are almost limitless (Joni Ernst, Marco Rubio, Scott Brown, Jan Brewer --- I could go on and on).