What happened to our anger over police violence?

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” the legal maxim holds, but what about justice dragged out and administered piecemeal, bureaucratized and monetized and extended well past the public’s capacity to maintain its righteous anger? What about justice delayed so long that it is no longer demanded? This summer will mark five years since Eric Garner died after a New York City police officer, Daniel Pantaleo, put him in a chokehold while attempting to arrest him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. The strangling move was prohibited under NYPD rules. Garner was unarmed and begging for his life with a plea — “I can’t breathe!” — that would become a rallying cry for… Read More

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The dangerous myth of American hegemony

The Trump administration unveiled plans recently to send as many as 120,000 troops to Iran if American forces are attacked or if work on a nuclear weapons program is resumed. This stunning revelation, in the absence of any real provocation from Tehran, has justifiably caused great alarm for anyone who doesn’t want to see the United States stumble into another ruinous war in the Middle East. It also should worry us about the overall trajectory of American foreign policy, as the U.S. looks increasingly like it is in dangerous decline — drunk on vanishing power, fearful of a reshuffling of hierarchies, and driven by emotional decision-making and irrational fears. The… Read More

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Joe Biden’s climate denial

Joe Biden is leading the Democratic primary by a wide margin — nearly 27 points, according to the latest polling average. So what would he do on the most important problem facing America and humanity writ large? On climate change, Reuters reports that Biden wants a “middle ground approach” to appeal to both liberals and blue-collar Trump voters, whose “backbone … will likely include the United States re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency,” plus support for nuclear, natural gas, and carbon capture. It hardly needs to be said that this “approach” is pathetically inadequate for dealing with climate change. And if… Read More

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What I got wrong about Trump and the culture war

Pundits get things wrong. I certainly do. In February 2014, sixteen months before Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign, I declared Jeb Bush the likely GOP nominee for 2016. In the weeks leading up to the November vote that year, I repeatedly predicted a Hillary Clinton victory. On the positive side of the ledger, I was bullish on Trump’s prospects for winning the Republican nomination long before most mainstream pundits were willing to entertain the possibility. But even in the context of Trump’s successful bid to become the GOP standard-bearer, I badly misinterpreted something that’s turned out to be extraordinarily important: I assumed that Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican… Read More

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Trump’s disturbingly warm welcome for Hungary’s Viktor Orban

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will visit President Trump at the White House on Monday. The meeting seems a bit more portentous than the usual summit between world leaders, like a victory lap for the forces of nationalism and illiberalism embodied by both men. It doesn’t seem like a happy day for advocates of the old, disappearing liberal order. But there may be reasons for hope. Trump loves authoritarian strongmen, so this meeting has been a long time coming: Orban, who advocates “illiberal democracy,” visits Washington, D.C., not as the leader of an American client state, but as a fellow traveler and even inspiration to the president — playing the… Read More

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