All posts in the ‘ Articles ’ Category


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The Electoral College Is Also a Climate Problem

September 15, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In a speech yesterday, Joe Biden condemned Donald Trump’s handling of the wildfires devastating the American West and pledged to “put our nation on the road to net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.” That’s good news. But it was Biden’s first speech on the subject, even though California, Oregon, and Washington State declared states of… Read the Rest »

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Trump Has a Different Definition of Corruption

August 28, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Wednesday, in response to criticism that Donald Trump and other administration officials violated federal law by using government resources at the Republican National Convention, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows declared, “Nobody outside of the Beltway really cares. They expect that Donald Trump is going to promote Republican values.”… Read the Rest »

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Biden’s Holiday From History

August 19, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

This year’s Democratic convention is heavy on biography, light on history. Speaker after speaker has told the story of Joe Biden’s personal life: his working-class roots, his family tragedies, his resilience. The message is that Biden cares about ordinary Americans because he sees their struggles as an echo of his… Read the Rest »

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Kamala Harris Did What She Had To

August 10, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The racial-justice movement sparked by the murder of George Floyd had two quite different effects on Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. It intensified the pressure on Biden to choose a Black woman as his running mate. And it also intensified the pressure on him to choose a running mate with a… Read the Rest »

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Biden Goes Big Without Sounding Like It

August 3, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Almost halfway through Chris Wallace’s July 19 interview with Donald Trump, an exchange occurred that encapsulates the current state of the presidential race. The president claimed that his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, “wants to defund the police.” Wallace contradicted him, which led a furious Trump to instruct his press secretary,… Read the Rest »

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Democrats Are Allowing Trump to Frame the Debate on China

July 26, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

“Have you ever met anyone who’s read the party platform? I haven’t,” the former Republican House Speaker John Boehner said during a 2012 interview about his party’s manifesto. Last week, the Democratic National Committee released a draft of its new platform. But in this case, when it comes to China,… Read the Rest »

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What Kasich Gives Biden

July 21, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that former Ohio governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich would speak at the Democratic National Convention in August. For one party to dragoon a notable from the other side into endorsing its presidential candidate is hardly unprecedented. And most of the time, it… Read the Rest »

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Trumpism Is the New McCarthyism

July 16, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When some presidents leave office, politicians and political thinkers jockey to be their intellectual heirs. Even Ronald Reagan, a Republican, claimed the legacy of John F. Kennedy. Even Barack Obama, a Democrat, claimed the legacy of Reagan. If Donald Trump loses this fall, few will be in a hurry to… Read the Rest »

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The Protesters Are Upholding America’s Moral Authority Abroad

June 12, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In December 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. interrupted himself during a speech on desegregation to discuss an event on the other side of the world: the prodemocracy uprising then being quashed in Hungary. “Our minds leap the mighty Atlantic,” he told the National Committee for Rural Schools, because we are… Read the Rest »

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Cities May Have No Choice But to Defund the Police

June 10, 2020 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On a modest scale, police defunding is happening. For years, powerful police unions have made law-enforcement funding all but untouchable. As The New York Times noted in 2018, the number of police per capita has risen over the past three decades even as crime rates have plunged. Last week, however,… Read the Rest »