There’s Nothing Smart About Democratic Populism

The economics of nostalgia.

Sometimes it’s hard to avoid the impression that the left’s intellectual leaders resent Donald Trump for stealing their act. In the estimation of some, it was Donald Trump’s embrace of center-left economic populism that convinced enough voters to look past his unsavory comments about Gold Star families, Mexican judges, and former beauty pageant contestants. That self-congratulatory line of thought is evident in the latest column from the New York Times’s David Leonhardt. According to Leonhardt, the ideological-purity contests and divisive social issues that consume the activist left are anathema to the Democratic Party’s candidates. For Democratic politicians with skin in the game, he declares, theirs is the “smart” kind of populism.

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There’s Nothing Smart About Democratic Populism

Must-Reads from Magazine

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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PODCAST: We Speculate on the Future!

Podcast: Blood in the streets?

We decided to do our version of The Handmaid’s Tale and try to imagine the world in 2019 from two perspectives: One in which Democrats fail to win the House of Representatives in November and the other in which Democrats win handily. What will they do in each case? What will Republicans do? Give a listen.

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A Warning from 1995

Declinism never changes.

In November 1995, COMMENTARY published a symposium called “The National Prospect” in which dozens of writers offered their view of America’s possible future. I just went and looked at my entry in that symposium, which I had not thought of in years, because of Laura Ingraham’s statement on TV last night that “The America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted on the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like … this is related to both illegal and legal immigration.”

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