Commentary of the Day

Warren, on Peter Wehner:

I agree with Murray. I believe the cultural decay combining relativism, altruistic anti-capitalist self-righteousness, a poorly educated populace (especially in economics), and pop culture has led us to a crucial point. Discipline, personal responsibility, and security have take a back seat to radical liberalism and radical egalitarianism. A new president is seeking to drastically restructure society and government’s role within it, promising the introduction of basically irreversible new entitlements (regardless of our inability to fund our current irreversible entitlements), and appealing to the rawest of human weaknesses on a regular basis (class envy, guilt, fear, and unearned entitlement, supplemented by the allure of Obama’s own pop culture glamour). Does human nature, even American nature, have the strength and discipline to resist the idolatry of Change, the allure of getting something for nothing, the class envy to punish the successful and lucky, and the bestowal of self-righteousness by pandering politicians? It has been a long time since America knew real deprivation and struggle. We are weaker in our will than we are in our current resources. Although our traditional systems of social incentives will remain in place, they will be rendered vastly less effective by government controls and regulations. The more we get the government’s direct help, the worse off we will all be. Yet a citizenry whose majority pays no income taxes will begin to expect more help from government, without making the connection between the welfare state’s influence in the economy and the overall decline of living standards. Thus, we will experience the democratic despotism Tocqueville discussed.

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Commentary of the Day

Must-Reads from Magazine

We Need to Talk About Genetic Engineering

Sleepwalking toward a revolution.

The most important news of the week was buried underneath an avalanche of dispatches involving palace intrigue in the White House and the Republican Party’s effort to deconstruct the Affordable Care Act. A team of scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University had, according to the MIT Technology Review, used a relatively new gene-editing technique to alter the DNA of a single-cell human embryo.

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A Man With a Plan?

Podcast: Is it a purge or a plan? Or both!

On the second of this week’s podcasts, I get into it with Noah Rothman on whether the president’s behavior toward his attorney general and the new White House communications director’s conduct toward the White House chief of staff constitute a “plan” of action or whether we are just living through nihilistic chaos. Where does Abe Greenwald come out? You’ll have to give a listen.

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Playing Transgender Politics

Posturing, not policy.

On Wednesday morning, at 8:55 a.m., President Trump tweeted: “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…” Many in the Pentagon wondered if he was announcing military action against North Korea, which, according to new intelligence estimates, is set to field a nuclear-tipped ICBM as early as next year. Not until nine minutes later was the suspense lifted with another presidential tweet: “…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.”

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A Secularist vs. the Progressive Faith

A double standard is, in fact, a standard. Just an immoral one.

Really it should come as no surprise that the scientist and outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins is the latest public figure to have fallen victim to a disinviting mania. After all, if a darling of the left feminist like Germaine Greer can face a campaign to silence her over her views on transgenderism or a woman of color like Ayaan Hirsi Ali can face similar attempts to have her free speech on campus canceled, why should Dawkins be spared?

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Unmasking Is Not a Distraction

Democrats will regret treating this as a partisan issue.

Whenever a former Obama administration official’s name comes up in the process of investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged links to Russian sources, Democrats take the position that the right’s penchant for “whataboutism” neutralizes the implication of wrongdoing. The Democratic objective is to shame those who are committed to crafting a full and unbiased portrait of the events of 2016 into ignoring inconvenient facts, but the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee remains unintimidated.

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