Days of Reflection and Rededication

Sundown tonight marks the start of the Jewish New Year that begins with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. The ten days from the start of this holiday until the end of Yom Kippur next week are known in Judaism as the Days of Awe. During this time, Jews are asked to reflect on their deeds in the past year and seek to account for them to their Creator as well as their fellow human beings. This period of introspection should cause all of us to think about what we have done or not done and to contemplate what can be done to do better. Indeed, as Americans contemplate the final weeks of the presidential campaign it is an apt moment for all of us to look at the issues facing the nation in a sober and honest manner.

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Days of Reflection and Rededication

Must-Reads from Magazine

North Korea’s Chemical Terrorism

North Korea Deploys WMD on Malaysian soil.

Hope always springs eternal that newly appointed dictators will be kinder and gentler than their predecessors. But whether it’s Bashar Assad in Syria or Kim Jong-un in North Korea, it turns out that the scions of dictatorial dynasties are even more deadly than their parents and never the “reformers” they were once touted to be. Assad, of course, is responsible for the vast majority of deaths in a Syrian civil war that has claimed as many as half a million victims. Kim, meanwhile, is becoming famous for killing his relatives—first his uncle, Jang Sung-taek, was eliminated in 2013 and now he has assassinated his half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.

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Social Conservatism’s Resurrection

Social conservatism isn't dead. Far from it.

The Trump administration has a peculiar view of federalism. The Trump White House believes the Obama-era guidelines designed to expand restroom access to transgender students are an offense against the 10th Amendment. Yet at the same time, the administration also warned the public to expect a crackdown on those states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Presumably, unlike public restrooms, that’s an issue the White House believes should not devolve to the states, but the logic here appears arbitrary and contradictory. From a strictly constitutionalist perspective, it is. Only through the lens of social conservatism can this conflict be reconciled.

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Zionism is Not Racism

41 years later, Columbia University students are still equating Zionism with racism.

As part of their annual “Israel Apartheid Week,” the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, in conjunction with Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace, are hosting an event Monday, February 27th entitled “Zionists are Racists.”

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Democrats in Denial

The Democratic Party refuses to come to terms with Obama's failures.

Democrats are struggling to reconcile an existential contradiction. They know that something has gone terribly wrong with their party and that it must adapt to new political realities. But they also know Hillary Clinton won 3 million more votes than Donald Trump, and that grassroots Democrats are energized—spontaneously crowding Republican town halls, marching in the streets, and paralyzing airports. Which means that some Democrats are now certain it’s not their party but the country that must change. This confused line of thought was on display at Wednesday night’s debate among candidates vying to chair the Democratic National Committee. This paralyzing cognitive dissonance has put the Democratic Party on a path toward an eerily familiar sort of internecine turmoil.

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Is Trumpism Starting to Take Shape?

Commentary podcast: Deportations, the DNC, and conservatism's devolution.

On the last of this week’s podcast, the COMMENTARY crew discusses the problems with the new deportation policies, ventilates on the Democratic National Committee’s race for chair, and wonders whether Trump is wooing the conservative movement or whether the conservative movement has already surrendered its purity to his seductions. Give a listen.

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