All posts in the ‘ The Atlantic ’ Category


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What the Measles Epidemic Really Says About America

July 12, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In two essays, “Illness as Metaphor” in 1978 and “AIDS and Its Metaphors” in 1988, the critic Susan Sontag observed that you can learn a lot about a society from the metaphors it uses to describe disease. She also suggested that disease itself can serve as a metaphor—a reflection of the… Read the Rest »

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Conservatives Conjure Up Liberal Support for Antifa Violence

July 4, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On June 29, a video appeared showing masked activists wearing black clothing—the garb commonly associated with “antifa,” the self-described anti-fascist movement—assaulting the conservative journalist Andy Ngo in Portland, Oregon. As if in unison, conservative publications published articles accusing the “left,” “liberal journalists,” and “reporters” of condoning the attack. That’s a disturbing charge…. Read the Rest »

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For Democrats, Health Care Is Easy, but Immigration Is Hard

July 2, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Among the many things we’ve learned so far in the presidential campaign is this: The Democratic candidates are talking more honestly about health care than about immigration. To develop a coherent approach to immigration in an era of rising asylum claims, Democrats need to explain—among other things—whom they would and wouldn’t… Read the Rest »

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The Question the Iran Hawks Haven’t Answered

June 24, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has waged wars to unseat the rulers of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, wreaking chaos and destruction in the process. The consequences—for American power and prestige, for the American troops killed and wounded, and for the people whose countries disintegrated into civil war—have been… Read the Rest »

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AOC’s Generation Doesn’t Presume America’s Innocence

June 21, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Monday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared in an Instagram video that “the United States is running concentration camps on our southern border.” The following morning, Liz Cheney tweeted, “Please @AOC do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history. 6 million Jews were exterminated in the Holocaust…. Read the Rest »

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Unpacking the Immense Popularity of Shtisel

June 20, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last Wednesday, Gady Levy, the executive director of the Streicker Center at New York’s Temple Emanu-El, herded the Israeli actors Neta Riskin and Dov Glickman through the cavernous synagogue’s hallways. Riskin and Glickman, who play the daughter-father pair Giti and Shulem on the Israeli television show Shtisel, had just left a room jammed… Read the Rest »

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Bolton Keeps Trying to Goad Iran Into War

June 20, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The conventions of mainstream journalism make it difficult to challenge America’s self-conception as a peace-loving nation. But the unlovely truth is this: Throughout its history, America has attacked countries that did not threaten it. To carry out such wars, American leaders have contrived pretexts to justify American aggression. That’s what… Read the Rest »

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Braininess Is Now the Brand

June 14, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Among the biggest surprises of the Democratic presidential campaign so far are the rise of Pete Buttigieg and the resurgence of Elizabeth Warren, both of whom, according to a new Des Moines Register poll, have moved into a virtual tie for second place in Iowa with Bernie Sanders. In many ways, the… Read the Rest »

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Democrats Are Avoiding the China Question

June 10, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Listening to the Democratic candidates for president, you would probably not know that globalization, as it has existed for the past several decades, may soon cease to exist. Since at least the turn of the century, the close ties between the United States and China, which together constitute 40 percent… Read the Rest »

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Even Democrats Keep Thinking Iran Is Worse Than Saudi Arabia

May 21, 2019 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

With ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are challenging the ideological parameters that have defined American domestic policy since the Reagan era. If only they were doing so on foreign policy too. Consider their responses to President Donald Trump’s recent escalation… Read the Rest »