Notes on Trump’s Usurper

The 2020 race has begun.

It’s no secret that President Donald Trump is no fan of Arizona Senator Jeff Flake. He’s gone so far as to encourage Flake’s prospective primary challengers and to attack Flake at a rally in the senator’s home state. Turnabout is fair play. Asked whether the president’s habit of engaging in internecine feuds with his fellow Republicans made a primary challenge to Trump more likely, Flake did not give a political answer. “I think he’s inviting one,” he said. Flake is right, but don’t take his word for it. Donald Trump’s own pollster confirms it.

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Notes on Trump’s Usurper

Must-Reads from Magazine

How Not to Win Media Trust

Preening doesn't work.

Donald Trump’s demagogic rhetoric on the media is dangerous and un-American. When he describes reporters and editors as “enemies of the people,” or when he chuckles at Rodrigo Duterte’s remark that the media are “spies,” the president wounds the dignity of his office and America’s already-infirm civic health. The question is what the media should do to check the president’s rhetorical excesses.

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Why America Is Great

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, told a stunned crowd on Wednesday that the United States of America “was never that great.” He followed that flat-footed line with a series of bromides about how America will “reach greatness” when mankind ceases to stereotype, discriminate, and degrade one another, but the damage was done. Cuomo’s primary opponent, the progressive insurgent and former actress Cynthia Nixon, mocked the governor for failing in the attempt to mimic “what a progressive sounds like.” That is a telling admission. Presumably, Nixon’s idealized “progressive” would more adroitly explain why American greatness is overstated.

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Leave Jack Phillips Alone!

The limits of religious liberty.

Jack Phillips once more finds himself on the sharp end of liberal “tolerance.” He was the Colorado baker at the center of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the one who in 2012 refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. A state civil-rights commission censured Phillips and ordered him to undergo ideological retraining. But a 7-2 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court found that the commission had exhibited such overt hostility to Phillips’s religious views as to have violated the state’s “obligation of religious neutrality” under the First Amendment.

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The Lies Republicans Tell Themselves

Whatever Donald wants, he's gonna get it.

What do Republicans believe? Whatever Donald Trump tells them they should believe, it seems.

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PODCAST: A Dog’s Dinner for the Dog Days

Podcast: Snap back or new normal?

“Dog’s dinner” is a term for something that is a lot of things smushed together, and that’s what defines this podcast—we talk about commercials and elections and Thanksgiving Day balloons and Trump and other stuff. Give a listen.

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