Pete Spiliakos is a columnist for First Things.
What is Donald Trump for? What is Ted Cruz for? The answer depends on who you are. For a person who pays close attention to politics, Trump’s positions can look like a tangle of contradictions, bluffs, and outright nonsense, while it is easy to check off Cruz's positions on abortion, gay marriage, . . . . Continue Reading »
The cliché is that Donald Trump says what people think. On foreign policy, that cliché is actually true. Trump’s phone interview with the New York Times has been roundly mocked by political observers. In the transcript, he comes across more like a belligerent drunk than a potential president, . . . . Continue Reading »
The Republicans are reliving the Democratic Party's nightmares. The cancelled Donald Trump event of Friday March 11 seemed to presage 1968-style disruptions at political events, but 1968 might not be the right analogy. As the party of tired myth and exhausted agenda, the Republicans of 2016 most . . . . Continue Reading »
Conservative populism can't catch a break. The party's elites have a stranglehold on policy. As Reihan Salam has pointed out, most Republicans are opposed to increasing immigration, but most Republican office holders favor vastly increasing immigration when they think the voters aren't looking. Only . . . . Continue Reading »
The sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia forces us to reconsider the role that the Constitution plays in our rhetoric and in our imagination. Our constitutional system is more fraught than most of us had dared admit, even as our politics has leaned ever-more-strongly on the Constitution to unify . . . . Continue Reading »
The last two presidential elections have seen joke candidacies and the joke is on us. In 2012, Herman Cain jumped into the lead for the Republican nomination on the basis of being able to serenely intone 9-9-9 (shorthand for a tax plan that even he did not always seem to understand). In our current . . . . Continue Reading »
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been both praised and criticized for her condemnation of the “angriest voices” in our politics. Most observers recognized that Haley was referring to Donald Trump, and it was noteworthy that the most notable section of her response to Obama's state of the . . . . Continue Reading »
Donald Trump's fiercest critics have hoped that his outlandish statements will eventually undo him. Their mistake is that Trump is a creation of America's (and the Republican Party's) political elites. The Trump phenomenon exists because Republican elites scorned large segments of their own . . . . Continue Reading »
Is the US obligated to do what is best for its people regardless of justice, or is the United States obligated to be a force for freedom in the world? Donald Trump seems to take (in his own bombastic way) the Machiavellian position, while Rubio takes an idealistic point of view. One asks too little . . . . Continue Reading »
The recent victory of the right-populist National Front in France and Donald Trumps' continued lead in the polls for the Republican nomination are exposing a hole in Western politics. A significant fraction of our population feels left out of our discussion and feels like its interests are being ignored.