Columns

How Trump Changed the World

Column: By defying conventional wisdom on the Middle East and China, he reshaped both political parties

President Trump Hosts Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony On White House South LawnOn Sept. 16 the editorial board of the New York Times did the impossible. It said something nice about President Trump. “The normalization of relations between Israel and two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, is on the face of it, a good and beneficial development,” the editors wrote. They even went so far as to say that “The Trump administration deserves credit for brokering it.” I had to read that sentence twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Perhaps the world really is ending.

The Dialectic of Woke

Column: Why politically correct institutions cave to Communist China

Last week a few sharp-eyed members of the audience for Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan noticed something ugly in the credits. The film’s producers thanked, among others, the publicity department of the “CPC Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Committee” as well as the “Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security.” These are the same political and disciplinary institutions that oppress China’s Uighur minority. Disney cooperated with them without batting an eye.

The Man Who Wasn’t There

Column: The risks of Joe Biden’s basement strategy

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Makes Economic Address In Wilmington, DelawareAt first glance, Joe Biden’s strategy of avoiding the spotlight is paying off. He maintains his consistent lead over Donald Trump in national polls. In June, in the aftermath of the Lafayette Park fiasco, his advantage in the Real Clear Politics average expanded to 10 points. The critical swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida are trending his way. His lead gives him the freedom to mollify the progressive wing of his party by shifting leftward on policy. The Democrats smell victory, and dream of unified control of government for the first time in a decade.

The Blessings of Baseball

Column: Professional sports and the return to normalcy

Baltimore Orioles v Washington NationalsNo sport is as over-intellectualized as baseball. It’s the favorite pastime not only of America but also of America’s writers. Perhaps it’s the wealth of data, the length of the season, the nuances of the craft that invite curiosity, inspire comment, and engender lyricism. Whatever the reason, scribblers can’t stay away. Red Smith, Tom Verducci, Roger Angell, Thomas Boswell, George Will, David Halberstam, Michael Lewis, Charles Krauthammer—the pantheon of baseball laureates is grand. And imposing. Lesser pundits are wise to avoid the subject.

The Winds of Woke

Column: Can Joe Biden withstand the storm of political correctness?

Joe BidenBefore this morning I had not heard of Thomas Bosco, and I am willing to bet you haven’t heard of him either. He runs a café in Upper Manhattan. From the picture in the New York Times, the Indian Road Café is one of those Bobo-friendly brick-lined coffee shops with chalkboard menus affixed to the wall behind the counter and a small stage for down-on-their-luck musicians to warble a few bars of “Fast Car” as you sip on a no-foam latte while editing a diversity training manual. It looks pleasant enough. “Local writers, artists, musicians, and political activists are regulars,” writes metro columnist Azi Paybarah. “And for years, two drag queens have hosted a monthly charity bingo tournament there.” Drag queens! You can’t get more progressive than that. Bosco seems like a noble small businessman making his way in a turbulent world.

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.