The Atlantic »

Will the Left Go Too Far?

November 13, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

If you gauge the climate inside the Democratic Party merely by which candidates won its 2018 primaries, you might think reports of its leftward lurch are exaggerated. Despite the hoopla about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s and Ayanna Pressley’s upset victories in congressional races in New York and Massachusetts, not a single incumbent Democratic governor or senator lost a primary to a left-leaning challenger. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump Bet Conservatives Wouldn’t Denounce His Racist Ad. He Won

November 8, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In the Trump era, when every day brings fresh insanity, looking back is hard. But it’s worth remembering what Donald Trump did in the final days before Tuesday’s midterm elections. It’s worth remembering because it’s a template for what he may do in 2020. And for how mainstream conservatives will respond. Read more…

The Atlantic »

The Harsh Truth Exposed by the Midterm Elections

November 7, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The story line coming out of Tuesday’s midterm elections will be: The two Americas drift further apart. Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate by cleaning out Democrats in states that voted for Donald Trump. Democrats won the House by cleaning out Republicans in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton. In the next Congress, Democrats will be even more liberal. Republicans will be even more conservative. Most of the members of Congress who expressed any ambivalence about Trump will be gone. Read more…

The Forward »

Blaming ‘Both Sides’ For Political Rage Is Ignorant – And Immoral

November 5, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I logged onto Twitter on Saturday night to find a message from Alan Dershowitz. “The both sides argument is always proper,” he tweeted. “Blaming only one side— the “other” side— is too easy. The shoe on the other foot test requires that you condemn your side’s bigots along with their side’s.”

“Shootings at places of worship, targeting of lawmakers playing baseball, & mailing pipe bombs all are dangerous symptoms of a deep underlying sickness in our system,” he went on. “But the root causes include a growing intolerance on both sides of the political spectrum.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

How Trumpian Nativism Leads to Anti-Semitism

November 2, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In May 2016, Ben Shapiro—arguably the most influential conservative Jewish pundit in America—did something admirable. He admitted he was wrong. “I’ve spent most of my career arguing that anti-Semitism in the United States is almost entirely a product of the political Left,” Shapiro wrote. “The anti-Semitism I’d heard about from my grandparents — the country-club anti-Semitism, the alleged white-supremacist leanings of rednecks from the backwoods—was a figment of the imagination, I figured. I figured wrong.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump Shut Programs to Counter Violent Extremism

October 29, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Set aside the question of whether President Donald Trump’s rhetorical flirtations with white nationalism enabled Saturday’s mass shooting in Pittsburgh. What’s undeniable is that his administration has hobbled the infrastructure designed to prevent such murders. Read more…

The Forward »

The Special Kind Of Hate That Drove Pittsburgh Shooter — And Trump

October 28, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It happened on Parshat Vayera. The worst anti-Semitic attack in American history occurred while Jews around the world were reading the Torah portion that tells the story of Lot, an immigrant.

Lot moves to Sodom, and prospers there. The Midrash says he becomes a judge. His daughters intermarry with the locals. Then one day, while sitting at the gates of the city, the assimilating immigrant sees two strangers approach. He asks them to “spend the night and bathe your feet”— the Midrash says he learned to welcome strangers from his uncle Abraham, the first Jew. Lot “prepares them a feast.” Read more…

The Atlantic »

Trump’s New Cold War

October 23, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Many people in Washington are angry at the Trump administration’s coddling of Saudi Arabia. They’re angry at Donald Trump’s efforts to exonerate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Outrage is spreading to America’s participation in Riyadh’s war in Yemen, where a Saudi blockade on the country’s main port has left 8 million at risk of starvation. Good. Given that the U.S. military is providing arms, intelligence, and fuel for a Saudi bombing campaign the United Nations calls a “war crime,” the indignation is overdue.

But it’s too limited. The Trump administration’s support for Saudi barbarism is a symptom. The disease is its enthusiasm for a new cold war in the Middle East. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Bernie Sanders Offers a Foreign Policy for the Common Man

October 15, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last Tuesday, Bernie Sanders delivered a speech entitled “A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism.” In so doing, he resurrected the legacy of a man mostly forgotten by the makers of American foreign policy: Henry Wallace.

Wallace is best known for his renegade 1948 presidential run, in which he argued for cooperation—not cold war—with the Soviet Union. But his most significant statement on foreign policy came six years earlier in a debate with the publisher Henry Luce. Read more…

The Forward »

Israel Has Detained An American Student For A Week. But No One Cares, Because She’s Not Jewish

October 9, 2018 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When I was detained at Ben Gurion airport in August, Benjamin Netanyahu apologized. So why isn’t he apologizing to Lara Alqasem? After all, I was only detained for an hour; she’s been detained for a week. I was allowed into the country; she’s facing deportation. Read more…