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.
“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.”
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.
“I think I unraveled her.” That is Trump adviser Michael Cohen describing his encounter Wednesday with CNN anchor Brianna Keilar.
I spent some time this summer with high school and college students, teaching courses in the foundations of liberalism and in the intellectual history of postwar American conservatism. It was great fun. The classes were lively, welcoming, and intellectually curious, and taking a break from the 2016 election was nothing less than a joy. I used to think that when I got drummed out of Washington I’d drive a taxi. Not anymore.
The weakest part of the 2016 Democratic National Convention was the speech delivered by the party’s nominee for president. Four nights of impressive stagecraft and at times moving rhetoric preceded Hillary Clinton’s paint-by-numbers, plodding address.