A few years before he became president, Ronald Reagan appeared on Firing Line. The topic of the January 13, 1978, episode of William F. Buckley Jr.’s long-running debate show were the treaties by which the United States relinquished the Panama Canal to its host country.
Reagan had been against the treaties for years, using them to catch up with President Ford during the 1976 GOP primary. And Buckley had been against them, too, until a visit to Panama changed his mind. What might first appear as a trivial issue at a time of economic stagflation and diminishing American power was in fact incredibly meaningful to large numbers of voters, especially conservative ones. “Certainly it was of major consequence in my own career as a conservative,” Buckley wrote later.
Unprecedented. Incredible. Never seen anything like it.
These words have been uttered often about the 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump, it is said, is a unique figure. He’s leading a populist movement unlike any America has experienced. His scorched earth, apocalyptic campaign is one of a kind.
The land of Syria is a hellscape. A desert ruin, a blasted place where fundamentalists clash with fascists as major powers—America, Russia, Turkey, Israel—drop bombs.
What’s a “globalist”? They are the busybody winners of the knowledge economy. And they are feeling glum.
Moments before the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton began, people remarked how surreal the experience would be. Who would have thought, a year ago, that the first presidential debate would feature Hillary Clinton versus, of all people, Donald J. Trump? It is a feeling that Republicans and conservatives have experienced since Trump descended from an escalator in one of his skyscrapers more than a year ago. The dream-like quality of having a piece of the popular culture embed itself in politics is disorienting, disrupting. Tonight the world knows what it’s like.
“He has been a creature of light at a time when the world has been darkening,” says David Ignatius.
“This shouldn’t be close, but it’s close,” President Obama told the audience at a fundraiser this week in New York. “The presidential race, we should win. But Donald Trump got the nomination, so weird stuff happens.”
How conservative is Donald Trump? It’s a question that’s been asked frequently since he entered the presidential race last June, but no one seems to have agreed on an answer. Many of Trump’s primary opponents criticized him for not being a “true conservative.” Even today, his critics note, positively or negatively, his departures from American …
Get a Star Trek fan talking—and believe me, we love to talk—and inevitably you will hear about the television and movie franchise’s optimistic portrayal of the future. The twenty-third century depicted in the series is a liberal utopia. There is no racism, no poverty, no war, no pollution, and no money. Instead there is world government.
Senator Rob Portman of Ohio is not exactly Mr. Personality. He’s not a culture warrior or a populist firebrand. He’s a soft-spoken wonky Baby Boomer interested in budgets, finance, and taxes. He won’t be seen with Donald Trump but welcomed former boss George W. Bush to a private fundraiser last month. Also, he enjoys a significant lead over challenger Ted Strickland.