Rotting-Flesh Reaganism

Ted Cruz failed to endorse Donald Trump for president. Snore. It’s a sign of how out-of-touch our political class has become that they speak of Cruz as a possible presidential candidate. In him, see the rotting flesh of Reaganism, a noble political project that no longer speaks to our time. Continue Reading »

Donald Trump and Plain English

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 Passé Passes Again

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 »

An Abandoned White Middle Class

Is First Things promoting its own form of identity politics? A friend wrote recently, wondering exactly that. In my writing about our populist moment, I’ve emphasized the role of middle class whites. The relative success of Trump and Sanders shows that they’re rebelling against both left-leaning . . . . Continue Reading »

The Stuntmen and the Lost Voters

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 »