“Bellicosity and Disengagement”

Following the US military’s assassination of Iranian terror master Qassem Suleimani, a lot of people have been trying to make sense of President Trump’s Iran policy and the support for it among the otherwise isolationist nationalists. The New York Times sums up the sense of confusion: “Mr. Trump has yet to resolve the two conflicting […]

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Best. Decade. Ever.

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. “The Battlefield Is Paradise” The big news of the new year is the American air strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani in Baghdad. Before we get to the implications of this, it’s worth devoting a whole item just to understanding who Suleimani is and […]

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Do You Hear the People Sing?

Top Stories of the Year: #1 I have to admit that this newsletter is biased. I have a philosophical bias toward a belief in the efficacy of the good, which means that what the good guys are doing to save the world is always more important than what the bad guys are doing to mess […]

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The Inherent Tension

Top Stories of the Year: #2 I ended the last item in my countdown of the top stories of the year by observing the irony that a non-ideological figure like Donald Trump could trigger a broad ideological transformation of the entire American conservative movement. Perhaps this is because those who are seeking to promote that […]

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Donald Trump Shoots Someone on Fifth Avenue

Top Stories of the Year: #3 During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump famously boasted that his supporters were so loyal that “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Recently, a CNN reporter talking to panel of Trump supporters had the presence of mind to […]

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The Silent Majority

Top Stories of the Year: #4 Today continues my countdown of the top stories of 2019 and my coverage of them. I just realized that I mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter the trend toward political didacticism in highbrow art, but I forgot to mention the conservatives’ answer to this: keeping Sean Spicer on “Dancing with the […]

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Racial (Politics) Supremacy

Top Stories of the Year: #5 It’s time to count down the top five stories of the year, looking back at the big events of 2019 and reviewing (and extending) my coverage of them. Every year sees a bit of a seesaw among ideological factions of the left, but this year I think we saw […]

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The Prophet of Causation

After writing a whole book of essays on Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on the new things I learned from this project. It’s a novel I’ve read many times over three decades, and I use ideas from it every day in my life and my work, but […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 16

Episode 16 of my podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Cathy Young, writer at Quillette, The Bulwark, and elsewhere,¬†about our plight stuck between illiberal strands of both the right and the left. The conversation includes:¬†Political Correctness and Soviet art and literature, how the nationalist right reminds her of the […]

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What If the World Isn’t Ending?

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. What If the World Isn’t Ending? Part 1 When I attended the debate at Catholic University between David French and the nationalist conservative Sohrab Ahmari, one of big things I discovered was how deeply committed the Christians in attendance were to the notion that we are living […]

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