All posts in the ‘ The Atlantic ’ Category

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Reflections of an Affirmative-Action Baby

November 14, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In 1991, the African American Yale Law School professor Stephen Carter wrote a book called Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby. I remember reading part of it at the time. Little did I realize that the book’s title applied to me.

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Republican Is Not a Synonym for Racist

November 10, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Is American conservatism inherently bigoted? Many conservatives would be enraged by the question. Many liberals suspect the answer is yes.

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Trump Insults People From Afar, Then Praises Them in Person

November 9, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When Donald Trump addressed South Korea’s parliament earlier this week, The Associated Press noted his “striking shift in tone.” After Trump journeyed from Seoul to Beijing, The New York Times made a video entitled “Trump’s striking change in tone on China.” But the change isn’t all that striking. It’s predictable. Trump insults people from… Read the Rest »

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‘Thoughts and Prayers’ Could Be Exactly What America Needs

November 7, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Americans have developed a set of rituals around mass shootings. Politicians who oppose gun control pray for the victims. Politicians and journalists who support gun control savage them for praying rather than acting. After the San Bernardino murders in December 2015, the New York Daily News reprinted four Republicans’ tweets about prayer… Read the Rest »

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Lindsey Graham’s ‘Religious War’

November 2, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Tuesday night, hours after the terrorist attack in New York City, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham went on Fox News to express his gratitude that, at times like these, Donald Trump is president. “The one thing I like about President Trump, he understands that we’re in a religious war,”… Read the Rest »

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The Attack in Manhattan Poses a Test for Donald Trump

October 31, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Give credit where credit is due. President Donald Trump’s first response to Tuesday’s deadly attacks in New York City was fine. “In NYC, looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person,” Trump tweeted. “Law enforcement is following this closely. NOT IN THE U.S.A.!” Sure, it’s weird to declare… Read the Rest »

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Anti-Trump Conservatism Is Politically Dead

October 25, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In his speech on Tuesday announcing that he won’t seek reelection to the Senate, Jeff Flake denounced the “reckless, outrageous and undignified” behavior coming from “the top of our government.” Earlier the same day, Bob Corker—also retiring—said Donald Trump “debases the country.” In the days to come, George Will will likely say something… Read the Rest »

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Why Trump Can’t Handle the Cost of War

October 20, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When White House Chief of Staff—and Gold Star parent—John Kelly, on Thursday defended Donald Trump’s call to the newly widowed Myeshia Johnson, he was somber and sincere, which is refreshing. But he was wrong. Context matters. From another person, at another time, observing that Sergeant La David Johnson “knew what… Read the Rest »

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What John McCain Gets Wrong About Trump’s Nationalism

October 17, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Being a liberal in the Donald Trump era is tricky. On the one hand, you’re grateful for any conservative who denounces the president’s authoritarian lies. On the other, you can’t help but notice that many of the conservatives who condemn Trump most passionately—Bill Kristol, Bret Stephens, Michael Gerson, Jennifer Rubin—remain… Read the Rest »

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What Bob Corker Really Fears

October 10, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

It doesn’t matter all that much that Bob Corker and Donald Trump are insulting each other via Twitter. Sooner or later, Trump insults almost everyone. What matters is that Corker, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a confidant of the secretary of state, is warning publicly that… Read the Rest »