From the Left



Trump's problem is not communication. It's leadership.

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Scaramucci's rollout as Donald Trump's new communications director received mainly good reviews. He is, as any White House job in the current administration requires, a skilled sycophant. His on-air abjection -- including a Sunday talk show apology for past disloyalty made directly into the camera -- smacks of self-...Read more

An American president's subservience toward Russia

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In the normal course of events, the revelation of attempted collusion with Russia to determine the outcome of a presidential election might cause an administration to overcorrect in the other direction. A president might find ways to confront the range of Russian aggression, including cyber-aggression, if only to avoid the ...Read more

The unfolding nightmare in Somalia

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

BAIDOA, Somalia -- This town was liberated from the control of al-Shabab (an Islamist insurgent group) five years ago. But "liberated" is a relative term. The security bubble created by the presence of United Nations and Ethiopian military forces reaches less than 10 miles outside of town, leaving just a short hike to terroristland. Women I met ...Read more

An administration without conscience

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Given what we know about the collusion -- and there is no other word for it -- between then-candidate Donald Trump's most senior advisers and what they thought was a Kremlin-tied lawyer offering dirt on Hillary Clinton, the most shocking thing is that no one on the Trump side was shocked. The most offensive thing is that no one ...Read more

Compassion extends America's global reach

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

HABASWEIN, Kenya -- Who is Medina, and why should we be mindful of her?

She tells me she is 40, but she looks more like 30. She smiles beautifully and vulnerably through a cleft lip. She has, she explains, "lost everything" in the drought. And it is nearly true.

Medina's household once boasted 600 goats. Now most of their carcasses lie exposed...Read more

Trump takes us to unexplored territory

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is sometimes argued that the media should spend less time on President Trump's transgressive tweets in order to devote more attention to real issues such as North Korea. In fact, it is necessary to focus on Trump's tweets precisely because they shed light on the mind that is doing the deciding on North Korea. It is a distasteful...Read more

We must not let our founding ideals be forgotten

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- At moments of institutional conflict and uncertainty, Americans naturally turn to the Constitution. But at times of anger, division and national self-doubt, the best American leaders have helped us turn to a different document: the Declaration of Independence. That few seem to be doing so now -- in our season of division and doubt ...Read more

A gerrymandering of virtues

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- If we have learned anything from the last few years in our politics, it is that civility is for suckers, that compromise is a sign of weakness, and that moderation of temperament is boring and unmarketable.

It is time to level with our sons and daughters. Winners -- real winners, of the kind blessed by religious authorities and ...Read more

A brave new world none of us can see

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Much analysis of Yuval Harari's brilliant new book "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow" focuses on the harrowing dystopia he anticipates. In this vision, a small, geeky elite gains the ability to use biological and cyborg engineering to become something beyond human. It may "upgrade itself step by step, merging with robots and ...Read more

Trump's embrace of strongmen betrays an American ideal

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered his "Evil Empire" speech, which immediately offended Soviet leaders and the foreign policy establishment. (Reagan must have been equally pleased by both.) "I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written," he said. "I ...Read more

The endgame of accommodation with Trump

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Nearly 150 days into the Trump era, no non-delusional conservative can be happy with the direction of events or pleased with the options going forward.

President Trump is remarkably unpopular, particularly with the young (among whom his approval is underwater by a remarkable 48 percentage points in one poll). And the reasons have ...Read more

When will we get off this carousel of hate?

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Tragedies such as the attack on a congressional baseball team cry out for interpretation, and resist it.

By intention or not, the shooter was strategic in his malice, going after one of Washington's few remaining symbols of openness and normality. Members of Congress -- who are some of the best, most interesting people I know -- ...Read more

Does it matter what Bernie Sanders thinks of your view on salvation?

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is apparently not enough for some of the liberal minded to help those on Medicare and Social Security; now people must be guaranteed eligibility for heaven as well. Or at least be protected from those who believe in the other place.

At a contentious confirmation hearing last week for Russell Vought as deputy director of the ...Read more

The titanic clash of Trump vs. Comey

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It was not an 18-minute gap, but it will be remembered as the most awkward conversation pause of recent presidential history.

The setting, according to former FBI Director James Comey's detailed testimony, was a private dinner in the Green Room of the Executive Mansion. President Trump, who had been hinting at (in Comey's account)...Read more

Disclose or resign

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In the churning, murky pond water of Kremlin-gate, a few things are increasingly clear:

First, the Russian-influence scandal is consuming Donald Trump, and this is likely to get worse as the special counsel's investigation moves forward. Associates describe the president as obsessed by coverage of the scandal -- an impression ...Read more

The diseased conservative mind

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- To many observers on the left, the initial embrace of Seth Rich conspiracy theories by conservative media figures was merely a confirmation of the right's deformed soul. But for those of us who remember that Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were once relatively mainstream Reaganites, their extended vacation in the fever swamps is ...Read more

Trump's house of betrayal

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is another stomach-turning development in the vast, unfolding scandal that is the Trump administration: President Trump's denigration of former FBI Director James Comey to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office. In a New York Times story, Trump is quoted as saying, "I just fired the head of the FBI. He was ...Read more

A commander in chief without command of self

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump offered America a deal: He may cut ethical corners and trash democratic norms, but he would fix the country. After all, the argument went, things could hardly get worse.

They could. They did.

There are serious arguments to be made about the moral bankruptcy of Trumpism, with particular attention to its divisiveness, ...Read more

On Afghanistan, Trump could learn from Bush

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Between the solutionless horror of North Korean nukes and the self-inflicted damage of Twitter diplomacy lies a decision that, while important in itself, will indicate a great deal about the foreign policy philosophy and geopolitical strategy of the Trump administration. What will the president do about the war in Afghanistan?

The...Read more

Feeling aggrieved, evangelicals see Trump as a defender

From the Left / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Even in an era of marriage diversity, it remains the most unlikely match: Donald Trump and his loyal evangelical base. In the compulsively transgressive, foul-mouthed, loser-disdaining, mammon-worshiping billionaire, conservative Christians "have found their dream president," according to Jerry Falwell Jr.

It is a miracle, of ...Read more


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