The Atlantic »

The Projection President

July 14, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In Paris on Thursday, Donald Trump said, “A lot of people don’t know” that “France is America’s first and oldest ally.” That may be true. But commentators noted that when Trump uses the “a lot of people don’t know” formulation, it’s usually a sign that he didn’t know himself. Read more…

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How Trump Has Driven Jewish Conservative Thinkers To Brink Of Extinction

July 13, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the coming years, environmental scientists will probably chronicle the many species that Donald Trump’s presidency has brought to extinction. Political scientists may add another: the conservative Jewish intellectual. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Tucker Carlson Is Doing Something Extraordinary

July 13, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Over the last two nights, something fascinating has broken out on the Tucker Carlson show: A genuine, and exceedingly bitter, debate between conservatives on foreign policy. On Tuesday, Carlson told retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters he thought the U.S. should team up with Russia to defeat ISIS. Peters responded that, “You sound like Charles Lindbergh in 1938.” Carlson called that comment “grotesque” and “insane.” Read more…

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How to Know Who Will Let Trump Get Away With Anything

July 12, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

We now know, in part, how the Trump-Russia scandal ends. As McKay Coppins and Rosie Gray pointed out on Tuesday, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr. enthusiastically requested dirt on Hillary Clinton despite knowing it was coming from the Russian government has radically changed the argument being deployed by Trump’s defenders. Until this week, it was: “There is no collusion with the Russian government.” Now it is: “Collusion with a foreign government is fine. Everyone does it. Let’s talk about the Clinton campaign’s collusion with the government of Ukraine?” Read more…

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Will Trump Start a Trade War?

July 11, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On Monday, The New York Times uncovered the first clear evidence that top Trump campaign officials knowingly colluded with an agent of the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. The Times reported that Donald Trump Jr., aware of the Russian effort to aid his father’s campaign, arranged a meeting in which Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya promised to dish dirt on Clinton. Donald Trump’s presidency has never been so imperiled. How will he react?

Watch his decision on steel. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Defending Liberal Democracy Is Not the Same as Defending ‘the West’

July 11, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

The most telling feature of Daniel Foster’s response to my article on Donald Trump’s Warsaw speech is that, while he dislikes my definition of “the West,” he never offers one of his own. I argued that, in the United States today, the best predictor of whether a country is considered “Western” is whether it is primarily white and primarily Christian. (With Protestant and Catholic countries considered more Western than Orthodox ones, and Israel tossed in to buttress the “Judeo” part of “Judeo-Christian.”) I noted that non-white or non-Christian countries aren’t generally considered Western even when they are further west geographically than Christian, white ones (Morocco v. Poland, Haiti v. France, Egypt v. Australia). And that non-white, non-Christian countries aren’t generally considered Western even when they are economically developed (Japan) or robustly democratic (India). Read more…

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Why Jews Should Worry About Trump’s Stoking Fears Of Muslims — Especially In Poland

July 9, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

Last week in Poland, President Trump uttered this remarkable statement: “Americans, Poles and nations of Europe value freedom and sovereignty. We must work together to confront forces, whether they come inside or out, from the south or the east, that threaten over time to undermine these values and to erase the bonds of culture, faith and tradition that make us who we are.” Read more…

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The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech

July 6, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to “the West” and five times to “our civilization.” His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too. Read more…

The Atlantic »

Why Won’t the Democrats Challenge Trump on North Korea?

July 6, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

On domestic policy, the Democratic Party is moving left. On foreign policy, the Democratic Party barely exists. Yes, Democrats like climate change agreements and oppose banning refugees. But those are extensions of the party’s domestic commitments. Yes, Democrats support a hard line against Vladimir Putin. But that’s mostly because he helped elect Donald Trump. What is the Democratic position on Syria’s civil war? Or Chinese imperialism in the South China sea? Or Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and bullying of Qatar? There isn’t one. President Obama stood for the proposition that America should resist costly military interventions and seek diplomatic agreements with longtime foes. When it comes to war and peace, the post-Obama Democratic Party doesn’t really stand for much at all. Read more…

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What ‘If Not Now’ Got Wrong About The Dyke March

July 5, 2017 | post a comment | Philip Johnson

When people ask what gives me hope that the American Jewish community will one day defend freedom and justice for Israelis and Palestinians, rather than defending Benjamin Netanyahu, I answer: “If Not Now.” A Millennial-powered movement, speaking in an authentically Jewish idiom, which challenges American Jewish leaders to meet the moral responsibilities of power, is exactly what American Jewry needs. Read more…