Archive for November, 2016


The Atlantic »

Trump Excuses the White Working Class From the Politics of Personal Responsibility

November 28, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week, Donald Trump advisor Stephen Moore, who has built his career advocating tax cuts for the rich and the privatization of America’s welfare state, said something startling to congressional Republicans. He said Republicans are no longer the party of Ronald Reagan. “Just as Reagan converted the GOP into a… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

Why Steve Bannon Likes Nationalist Israel but Dislikes Internationalist American Jews

November 24, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I don’t know if Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s chief strategist, is anti-Semitic. I can’t see inside his soul. What I do know is this: Citing his support for Israel doesn’t exonerate him of the charge. You can believe that Jews are a malevolent force in the United States and still… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

The Electoral College Was Meant to Stop Men Like Trump From Being President

November 21, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Americans talk about democracy like it’s sacred. In public discourse, the more democratic American government is, the better. The people are supposed to rule. But that’s not the premise that underlies America’s political system. Most of the men who founded the United States feared unfettered majority rule. James Madison wrote… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

America’s Most Influential Jewish Groups Have Prioritized Netanyahu Over U.S. Jews’ Safety

November 17, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Future historians will puzzle over this question: When Donald Trump ran the most bigoted presidential campaign in modern American history, why did America’s most powerful Jewish organizations remain silent? When even Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Donald Trump’s attacks on Mexican-American Judge Gonzalo Curiel as racist, why did The… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Does Trump Even Know What He Believes on Abortion?

November 15, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

“I saw quite a change,” said CBS’s Lesley Stahl after interviewing Donald Trump for 60 Minutes on Sunday. “He was much more subdued, much more serious.” Really? Consider Trump’s comments on abortion. “Are you looking to appoint a Justice who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade?” Stahl asked. Trump’s response:… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

After Trump, a Call for Political Correctness From the Right

November 9, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

At 2 AM on Wednesday morning, once it became clear Donald Trump would be America’s next president, the conservative, anti-Trump, commentator Erick Erickson posted “An Open Letter to the Democrats.” He asked them not to rebuke Trump’s supporters. “Instead of condemning them and labeling them all bigots and racists and… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Democracy Is More Than Just Winning Elections

November 9, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I don’t respect this election result. I must abide by it, of course. But I don’t respect it. I respect the people who voted for Donald Trump. As private individuals, they’re no better or worse than anyone else. But I don’t respect their decision to elect a man who blames… Read the Rest »

Haaretz »

I Still Love America. But, After Trump’s Victory, I Don’t Trust It

November 9, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

I’ve never felt less American and more Jewish. As an American, a white one, I’ve always felt safe. I’ve always assumed my country would be stable. I’ve always assumed the Constitution would restrain power’s tendency to corrupt. I’ve never feared my government or the people with whom I share my… Read the Rest »

The Atlantic »

Why Won’t More Republicans Privately Voting for Clinton Say So in Public?

November 3, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

This column isn’t directed at those Republicans who believe Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are equally bad. I think they’re insane: as insane as they’d think I was if I argued that Louis Farrakhan was no worse than Mitt Romney. But I can’t convince them because we don’t share basic… Read the Rest »

Uncategorized »

Quandary for American Jews, Caught in Bitter U.S. Class War

November 2, 2016 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The conversation took place more than twenty years ago, but I still remember it. I was walking with another American through Oxford University, where we had both recently arrived as graduate students. In the middle of our conversation, she said something along the lines of: “You probably feel pretty comfortable… Read the Rest »