Are we more “polarized” and “partisan” than we were in the past? Political commentators think so. In a recentAtlantic profile, conservative pollster Frank Luntz attributed his cynicism about American politics to the unprecedented polarization of the American people he has seen in his recent work with focus groups. They are “contentious and argumentative,” don’t “listen to each other as they once had,” and are not “interested in hearing other points of view.” The fault lies in Washington, where the people are “picking up their leads.” Continue reading “Class Warfare, An American Tradition”→
Desperate for a diversion from the disasters of Obamacare, the president has conjured up the old leftist “income inequality” cliché. His court-pundits complain that “the richest nation on earth is starting to resemble a banana republic,” according toThe New Republic, while Berkeley Professor Robert Reich has thundered against “casino capitalism,” blaming it for “the greatest concentration of the nation’s income and wealth at the very top since the Gilded Age of the nineteenth century, with the richest 400 Americans owning as much as the bottom 150 million put together.” Continue reading “The Inequality Smokescreen”→
The gangster state of North Korea became a nuclear power in 2006–07, despite lots of foreign aid aimed at precluding just such proliferation — help usually not otherwise accorded such a loony dictatorship. Apparently the civilized world rightly suspected that, if nuclear, Pyongyang would either export nuclear material and expertise to other unstable countries, or bully its successful but non-nuclear neighbors — or both.
The United States has given billions of dollars in foreign aid to Pakistan, whose Islamist gangs have spearheaded radical anti-American terrorism. Ever since a corrupt Pakistan went nuclear in 1998, it has been able to extort such foreign-aid payouts — on fears that one of its nukes might end up in the hands of terrorists.
By any measure of economic success or political stability, without nuclear weapons Pakistan would not warrant either the cash or the attention it wins.
An observant Iran appreciates three laws of current nuclear gangbanging:
1. Nuclear weapons earn a reputation.
2. The more loco a nuclear nation sounds, the more likely it is that civilized states will fear that it is not subject to nuclear deterrence, and so the more likely that they will pay bribes for it to behave. Gangbangers always claim they have nothing to lose; their more responsible intended targets have everything to lose.
3. As of yet there are no 100 percent effective nuclear-defense systems that can guarantee non-nuclear powers absolute safety from a sudden attack. The nuclear gangbanger, not the global police, currently has Continue reading “Nuclear Gangbangers”→
In what seems to be a pattern in many Muslim nations of finding new pretexts to justify anti-Christian—and “anti-Other”—behavior, Egypt’s Christians and their churches are under attack, ostensibly because Christians joined the June 30 Revolution, which led to the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood.
We all want democracy to thrive and flourish, but can it?
The Obama administration was quite pleased that the anti-democratic Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood had come to power through a single plebiscite. That confidence required a great deal of moral blindness, both of the present and past. Continue reading “Democracy’s Dog Days”→
The hope that democracy would bloom in Egypt following our collusion in removing Hosni Mubarak looks more and more delusional every day. Even our foreign policy wishful thinkers are no longer peddling the canard that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood is “secular” and “moderate,” thus proving that Muslims devoted to the global expansion of Islam and illiberal Sharia law can be liberal democrats friendly to our interests. But despite being mugged by the Islamist reality, too many democracy promoters in the West still refuse to acknowledge that the Iranian Revolution, not the American Revolution, is the likely model for the so-called “Arab Spring.” Continue reading “Democracy Promotion or Islamist Promotion?”→
The election postmortem has identified all manner of causes for the Republicans’ defeat, from the “woman problem” and the “Hispanic problem,” as Peggy Noonan put it, to Romney’s fatcat persona and his inept campaign. But there’s a simpler reason, one consistent with the critics of democracy starting in ancient Athens — Obama and the Democrats promised voters more free stuff. Continue reading “Explaining the Democrats’ Success”→