Is the Establishment Cavalry Coming?

Conspiracy theorists of wildly differing ideological inclinations share some rather fundamental and unifying traits. The average paranoid anti-Western crank, who is apt to pin virtually every unfortunate event that occurs a half a world away on the CIA, eagerly disregards America’s obvious and cascading foreign policy setbacks in places like Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, the South China Sea, and elsewhere. Even outcomes that are objectively disastrous for American interests are rationalized by the conspiracist as just another multi-dimensional chess move in a grand scheme concocted by ill-defined yet utterly pervasive powerbrokers. That same diagnosis could be applied to those on the insurgent right for whom the nebulous yet omnipresent Republican “establishment” is forever pulling the strings. These suspicious souls need only conduct a dispassionate survey of the political environment to conclude that their all-purpose villain is on his heels.

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Is the Establishment Cavalry Coming?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Incitement to Violence Is Not Limited to Trump

Mirror images of one another.

On August 16, the Boston Globe will publish an editorial denouncing Donald Trump’s “dirty war on the free press.” They will not be alone. According to the Globe’s deputy editorial page editor, over 100 American newspapers ranging from major city dailies to local outlets will join with the paper in a united assault on this White House’s attacks on political media as the “enemy of the people.” The tension between media consumers and producers—regularly exacerbated by the president—has even been condemned in the United Nations. The institution’s outgoing high commissioner for human rights said that the president’s agitation verges on “incitement to violence”—a legitimate concern that justifiably haunts many of Trump’s domestic critics.

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Podcast: Delusions in the Streets

Podcast: Street Violence and Turkey

The COMMENTARY podcast discusses the weekend of unrest that followed the one-year anniversary of white nationalist-instigated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Despite vastly outnumbering the white nationalists who showed up to commemorate the heinous anniversary, many of the anti-racist demonstrators were not content to be peaceful. The podcast explores what animates these violent movements. Also, the podcast unpacks the increasingly serious friction between the U.S. and Turkey.

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Sacrificing Sisterhood at Harvard

Ruining things in the name of progress.

Much has been written here at COMMENTARY about Harvard’s ill-conceived war on “unrecognized single-gender organizations.” At issue are fraternities, sororities, and Harvard’s famously exclusive “finals clubs.” All of these groups already lack official status at Harvard, but starting with the class of 2021, Harvard promises to punish anyone who dares to join one. Such heretics “will not be permitted to hold leadership positions in recognized student organizations or on athletic teams.” They will also “not be eligible for letters of recommendation” from the Dean’s office for scholarships, including the prestigious Rhodes and Marshall, that require such a recommendation. In the name of inclusion, they must be excluded.

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Trump Is Right: We Need a Space Force

An idea whose time will come.

When President Donald Trump first floated the idea of creating an entirely new branch of the United States armed forces dedicated to space-based operations in March, the response from lay political observers was limited to bemused snickering. That mockery and amusement have not abated in the intervening months. Thursday’s announcement by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, that the administration plans to establish a sixth armed forces branch by 2020, occasioned only more displays of cynicism, but it shouldn’t have. This is deadly serious stuff. The expansion and consolidation of America’s capacities to defend its interests outside the atmosphere is inevitable and desirable.

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News Bulletin: The Sky Is Not Falling

Victim of success.

Chicken Little has always been the press secretary of the environmental movement.

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