Columns

The Virus Rules

Column: How a microbe will decide the 2020 election

President Trump Meets Polish President Andrzej Duda In The Oval OfficeOn March 18, at a press conference flanked by high-ranking officials, President Trump described himself as a “wartime president” fighting an “invisible enemy” known as the coronavirus. The president, it seemed, was beginning to reckon with the extent of the economic, epidemiological, social, and psychological damage the pandemic would cause, and to act appropriately. “We must sacrifice together,” Trump said, “because we are all in this together, and we will come through together.”

The Seattle Soviet

Column: The tragicomedy of Free Capitol Hill, CHAZ, and CHOP

Protests Continue Across The Country In Reaction To Death Of George Floyd"What," Marx asked, "is the Commune, that sphinx so tantalizing to the bourgeois mind?"

Flight of the Superpower

Column: America accelerates its withdrawal from the world

Protesters Demonstrate In D.C. Against Death Of George Floyd By Police Officer In MinneapolisAmerica is contracting. It pulls back from the world, its people pull away from each other. Last week’s Wall Street Journal report that President Trump ordered the withdrawal of slightly more than a quarter of our troops in Germany went unnoticed amid the domestic unrest following the police killing of George Floyd. The truth is that the two stories, foreign and domestic, are related. They are dual aspects of a loss of national self-confidence, an outbreak of intellectual and moral uncertainty, and an unpredictable, erratic, and easily piqued chief executive. Violence—here, there, and everywhere—is the result.

American Civilization and Its Discontents

Column: Civil unrest and the birth of a new progressive morality

protestsIn 1969, Irving Kristol was appointed Henry R. Luce professor of urban values at New York University's Stern School of Business. He delivered his inaugural lecture the following spring. Its title, "Urban Civilization and Its Discontents," a play off of Sigmund Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents, guaranteed the audience a typically wide-ranging presentation from a New York intellectual in the middle of a journey from anti-Communist liberal to neoconservative godfather.

Trump in Trouble

Column: Why Republicans are worried about November

President Trump Delivers Remarks On Protecting Seniors With DiabetesPresident Trump was disappointed. Bad weather on Wednesday forced a delay in SpaceX’s planned launch of the Dragon spacecraft, robbing the president of a prized photo opportunity. He plans to attend the next launch window, scheduled for May 30 at 3:22 p.m. EDT, but the spoiled visit to Florida punctuated another week of foreboding news from the campaign trail.

Biden’s Progressive Gamble

Column: Will Americans sign up for fundamental transformation?

Joe BidenA few hours after this column appears on the internet, more than 30 liberal activists will meet online to plan your future. The gathering is called the "Friday Morning Group." It comprises, according to The New York Times, "influential figures at labor unions, think tanks, and other progressive institutions." These influential figures, the Times goes on, believe that when Democrats last had full control of the federal government, between 2009 and 2010, they did not "take the initiative in specifying plans for achieving large-scale change." They hope to correct this mistake. What happens on November 3 might give them the chance.

The Teflon Campaign

Column: Why nothing sticks to Donald Trump or Joe Biden

It was congresswoman Pat Schroeder, Democrat from Colorado, who labeled Ronald Reagan the "Teflon" president in a fit of exasperation in August 1983. What frustrated Schroeder was that nothing "stuck" to Reagan—not the recession, not his misadventures in Lebanon, not his seeming detachment from his own administration. Reagan's job approval had plunged to a low of 35 percent in the beginning of that year, but his numbers were rising and his personal favorability remained high. "He is just the master of ceremonies at someone else's dinner," she said.

How America Arrived at the Cruel New Normal

Column: Here comes the 'dumb reopening'

Newsom Hogan Northam DeSantisVery soon, you and I will have to figure out how to navigate a semi-open America where coronavirus is a terrible fact of life. The lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that state and city governments announced in March are breaking down. This is not red-versus-blue. This is reality. Two weeks ago, Georgia's Republican governor Brian Kemp faced widespread criticism for his easing of restrictions on business and outdoor activities, even as Colorado's Democratic governor Jared Polis did the same thing. Now most states are joining in.

The End of History And ‘The Last Dance’

Column: Michael Jordan and the end of the unipolar moment

I and about six million other people have been enjoying The Last Dance, the Michael Jordan documentary currently on ESPN. It tells the story of the Chicago Bulls' 1997-1998 season and contains many pleasures. There is incredible imagery, new interviews with Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson, and Dennis Rodman, gossip and intrigue, and, above all, the presence on television, albeit commemorative, of professional sports.