Category Archives: Stuff

A Root Cause of Illiberalism | American Interest

In the sweep of American history, Donald Trump appears to be an anomaly, a freak of political nature, who ascended to the American presidency in a perfect storm of contingent events: a splintered Republican field, a subpar Democratic nominee, a dollop of Russian assistance, and a mass media feasting on Trump’s celebrity ratings.

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A Blinkered Case for Nationalism | American Interest

If we are fortunate, one way or another, through impeachment or the ballot box, the Trump era will soon draw to an end. What will fill the enormous void left by the departure of the mega-miscreant Donald Trump? Unsurprisingly, a sick body politic is vulnerable to yet more disease.

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The Conservative Case for Globalism | American Interest

Globalism and globalists are major bugbears of the nationalists and populists now ascendant in political life around the world. Thanks to them, and in response to globalism’s supposed depredations, we have such phenomena as Brexit in the United Kingdom and the tariffs and trade wars of Donald Trump. Indeed, in the United States, in every direction one turns, one finds international agreements and institutions under assault.

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Of Killers and Conspiracies | American Interest

Two mass shootings have occurred within 24 hours, setting a macabre new record. The first, in El Paso, Texas, took the lives of 22 people and injured 26. The second, in Dayton, Ohio, took nine lives and also injured 26. The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online moments before he began his rampage. Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” it declared that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners. The motives of the shooter in Dayton have, as of this writing, not yet been ascertained. 

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The Neo-Nationalist Danger | American Interest

There is such a thing as a benign—even a salutary—nationalism. Within the framework of a liberal democracy, cultivation and celebration of a common history, traditions, folkways, language, and religion can foster ties of pride and patriotism and bind a people together for common purposes.

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The Illiberal Temptation | American Interest

Liberal democracies are once again under assault from without and within. During the Cold War, the internal challenge came from the totalitarian Left. Powerful Communist parties, all of them loyal to the Soviet Union, could be found in the leading European liberal democracies. But the existence of such parties presented a puzzle. By 1973, when Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume Gulag Archipelago was first published, so much was already known about the purges, the terror, the camps, the artificial famines, one would have thought it indisputable among all thinking people that the god of Communism had failed. But the Stalinist model, despite its glaring defects, continued to appeal to millions. In his 1976 The Totalitarian Temptation, Jean-François Revel attempted to unravel the mystery. “Why are democratic societies, inside and outside their area, vilified much more than totalitarian states?” was one of the questions he asked.

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The Illiberal Temptation | The American Interest

Liberal democracies are once again under assault from without and within. During the Cold War, the internal challenge came from the totalitarian Left. Powerful Communist parties, all of them loyal to the Soviet Union, could be found in the leading European liberal democracies. But the existence of such parties presented a puzzle. By 1973, when Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s three-volume Gulag Archipelago was first published, so much was already known about the purges, the terror, the camps, the artificial famines, one would have thought it indisputable among all thinking people that the god of Communism had failed. But the Stalinist model, despite its glaring defects, continued to appeal to millions. In his 1976 The Totalitarian Temptation, Jean-François Revel attempted to unravel the mystery. “Why are democratic societies, inside and outside their area, vilified much more than totalitarian states?” was one of the questions he asked.

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Sophistry in the Service of Evil: A review of Victor Davis Hanson’s The Case for Trump | The Bulwark

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Aday rarely passes without Donald Trump perpetrating a fresh outrage. As I sat down to review Victor Davis Hanson’s new book, The Case for Trump, the hero of his volume had just returned from a summit in Vietnam with Kim Jong-un. The meeting ended abruptly with no agreement but not without Trump absolving the North Korean dictator of any role in—or even knowledge of—the murder of Otto Warmbier, the American college student who had been taken captive in Pyongyang in 2015, tortured, and returned in a coma on his deathbed to his parents. “He tells me,” said Trump of Kim, “that he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word,” adding that in fact Kim “felt badly about it. He felt very badly.”

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Michael Anton Is Back to Remind Us That There’s Such a Thing as a ‘Trump Intellectual’ | The Bulwark

One of the more curious features of the current political landscape is the existence of a small class of people who can be called Trump intellectuals. It’s curious not because Trump himself is anti-intellectual in the way that, say, Spiro Agnew was when he expressed disdain for intellectuals as “an effete corps of impudent snobs.” Rather, Trump—ignorant to the marrow of his cranium—lacks even the faintest understanding of what it means to be an intellectual, let alone the wit of an Agnew or a George Wallace, who put down intellectuals as “pointy-head college professors who can’t even park a bicycle straight.”

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Trump Tower presser proved our president is far worse than a racist | USA Today

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The most tumultuous week of Donald Trump’s presidency began with his threats to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea and ended with mayhem and murder in Charlottesville, Va. After more than half a year, our national crisis appears to be building toward some sort of climax, a swelling crescendo that was topped off by Trump’s flabbergasting news conference Tuesday afternoon in Trump Tower. Continue reading

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