The Attacks on ‘Against Trump’

I was one of 22 participants in National Review‘s instantly famous and controversial symposium in opposition to Donald Trump’s ascension. As soon as NR put the symposium out at the end of last week, the attacks came fast and furious. The most common lines of attack: 1) NR was being gravely disrespectful to Trump and Trump supporters and would be punished for it. 2) We just didn’t “get it.” 3) Ha, ha, this symposium would only strengthen Trump. 4) Trump is going to win and everyone who doesn’t get on the bandwagon is going to be left behind.

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The Attacks on ‘Against Trump’

Must-Reads from Magazine

Mission Creep in Syria

Dereliction.

Just over one year ago, President-elect Donald Trump stood alongside his choice for defense secretary, Gen. James Mattis and outlined his philosophy on what constitutes the appropriate use of the U.S. armed forces. Trump promised an end to the decades of “intervention and chaos” and vowed to rebuild the military “because we’re all over the place fighting in areas that we shouldn’t be fighting in.” It was the kind of boilerplate noninterventionist rhetoric to which Trump had appealed throughout the campaign, but it was never realistic. Trump inherited America’s intractable post-9/11 commitments abroad as well as the public weariness that accompanies them. The administration has found a novel way to navigate this dilemma: maintain America’s troop commitments overseas, and perhaps even expand them, but keep the public in the dark about the details.

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The End Isn’t Nigh: A Year of Trump in Review

The republic endures.

With just about a month to go before we close out the first full year of Donald Trump’s presidency, those of us who have survived can take stock of our good fortune. To take a retrospective survey of the liberal opinion landscape in the wake of Trump’s surprising victory is to inventory Democratic anxieties. Admittedly, the left did not have Trump pegged entirely wrong, but many fears about the extent of the damage a Trump presidency would do to the American civic compact should yield a national sigh of relief.

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Making Saudi Great Again

MBS delivers big reforms.

Writing in these pages last month, I described Muhammad bin Salman’s reform agenda in Saudi Arabia as “the real Arab Spring.” The 32-year-old Saudi crown prince, widely known as MBS, seeks to dramatically transform the ultra-conservative kingdom, I argued. But he is pursuing change in a top-down, authoritarian manner that is better-attuned to the character and needs of his people. His methods are less likely to yield the chaos and state failure that resulted from the popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa in 2010 through 2012.

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More Terror in NYC, and Moore Closes in Alabama

Podcast: Paradigm-shaping events, or more of the same?

On the first podcast of the week, the COMMENTARY crew takes up the failed terrorist attack in the New York City subway station and points out just how blase it appears we have gotten in response to these events 16 years after 9/11. And then we ask: What are the media’s obligations after they report falsely on highly sensitive events? Give a listen.

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No, the FBI Isn’t the KGB

Don't be crazy.

Over the course of a decade in which Republicans acquired elected office after elected office, winning more political power today than at any point since before Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, a funny thing happened to conservative partisans: They became convinced of their utter powerlessness and persecution.

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