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ICE and the bitter fruit of dehumanization

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The attitude of President Trump toward federal law enforcement is, to put it mildly, mixed. The FBI refused to bend to his will. So it is comprised of "hardened Democrats" engaged in a "WITCH HUNT." The FBI was, according to Trump, too preoccupied with the Russia investigation to prevent the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Its ...Read more

Evangelicals can't advance human dignity by dehumanizing others

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- If the stages of a social movement are emergence, coalescence, bureaucratization and decline, the reaction against the Trump evangelicals among other evangelicals is still in the emergence stage. But one significant act of coalescence took place recently at Wheaton College, where a group of 50 ethnically and denominationally ...Read more

High explosives do not constitute a Syria policy

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- "Mission Accomplished" may be the most famous presidential words never actually uttered by a president. I know because, as head of presidential speechwriting at the time, I didn't write them. They were found on a banner, but never in a single draft of President George W. Bush's 2003 remarks aboard the USS Lincoln.

But now that ...Read more

Ryan will be remembered for his submission to Trump

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Some politicians fit their era perfectly; others are born out of their time.

Donald Trump -- embodying the spirit of Richard Nixon by way of Pat Buchanan -- is the master of his low, cruel, dishonest moment. Retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan -- inspired by Ronald Reagan by way of Jack Kemp -- has been lost and disoriented. His ...Read more

Can moderation get up off the mat?

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In the world of progressive politics, all eyes are turned to Great Britain. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, represents progressivism in its most uncompromising form. He and his party are proposing massive increases in social spending, tax hikes on businesses and the wealthy, rent control in major cities, a ban on ...Read more

Creative cruelty is essential to Trump's management style

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- From a presidential administration's appointments we learn how it views itself. From an administration's departures we learn how it conducts itself. Honesty comes easier to those with little left to lose.

In this regard, the Trump administration offers much to analyze. The pace of disillusioned exits is rapid. And what the ...Read more

Would you put your trust in America?

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- As an exercise in both empathy and grand strategy, try to imagine being a pro-American Syrian.

Perhaps you saw two of your children killed when a tank attacked your home. Perhaps your street was leveled by barrel bombs. Perhaps your neighborhood was surrounded and slowly starved into submission. Perhaps you watched your daughter ...Read more

Trumpism can't be treated as a normal political moment

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Is it time for anti-Trump conservatives to recognize that they have lost the political and policy battle within the GOP and to accommodate themselves as best they can to an uncomfortable reality?

This is the argument of the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Henry Olsen, one of the most thoughtful political analysts on the right. ...Read more

Trump leaves a vacuum of integrity at the heart of our government

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Some who watched the Stormy Daniels interview on "60 Minutes" claimed it contained nothing new. On national television, an adult performer alleged that Donald Trump engaged in an extramarital fling, that his minions legally and physically threatened her to discourage public disclosure of the affair, and that Trump's fixer paid her ...Read more

Is Trump's coziness with Putin causing the White House to panic?

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- As a former presidential staffer, I have little patience for leaks. Any president deserves and requires the ability to conduct policy discussions in private. Leaks are an abuse of power and position, generally by people who are unelected and self-serving.

But motivations matter, and the taxonomy of White House leakage is a worthy ...Read more

We are not 'globalists,' we are Americans

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- At one haunted moment in American history -- early in 1939, not long after Kristallnacht -- Senator Robert Wagner, D-N.Y., and Rep. Edith Nourse Rogers, R-Mass., introduced a bill that would have allowed 20,000 unaccompanied Jewish refugee children into the United States. Opponents argued that Congress should focus on the welfare ...Read more

Trump unbound amid a cloud of chaos

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is a natural tendency to examine presidential decisions for what ideological content or policy direction they indicate. What does the removal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signal about President Trump's view of U.S./Russia relations? What does the sudden acceptance of a summit with Kim Jong Un reveal about Trump's approach...Read more

Trump evangelicals have sold their souls

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- With their reactions to the Roy Moore candidacy and the Stormy Daniels scandal, the Trump evangelicals have scaled the heights of hypocrisy to the summit. Family-values conservatives who dismiss credible accusations of sexual abuse and wink at hush money for a porn star have ceased to represent family values in any meaningful sense...Read more

A mother who showed how lavish love could be

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- One of the worst parts of grief is thinking, at a random moment, "I should give Mom a call," before reality crashes back in. A great loss is many losses, as the mind adjusts to living in a different universe.

These are the aftershocks that still come five months after my mother Betty's sudden death. The experience of an adult ...Read more

Trump's tabloid talents are unsuited to the office

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Here is a question at the crossroads of psychology and political philosophy: How can a leader so enamored by authoritarianism be so allergic to order?

Donald Trump rose to prominence on the promise of a firm hand. "When the students poured into Tiananmen Square," he once said, "the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were...Read more

The end of two-wing parties

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- On the evidence of an October 2017 vote -- concerning legislation that would have restricted abortions after 20 weeks' gestation -- there are three pro-life Democrats in the House. On the evidence of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's decision not to endorse one of those representatives -- Dan Lipinski of Illinois --...Read more

Apocalyptic thinking paralyzes politics of gun violence

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is one of the dirty habits of our political discourse that so many people use thermonuclear rhetorical weapons as a first resort. It is not enough for defenders of gun rights to be wrong; they must be complicit in murder. It is not enough for gun-control advocates to be mistaken; they must be jack-booted thugs laying the ...Read more

Billy Graham was consumed by grace

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Billy Graham was easily the most influential evangelical Christian of the 20th century -- a man at home in the historical company of George Whitefield and John Wesley.

But this would be hard to tell from reading his sermons, which even close associates described as ordinary. His books are hardly more memorable. So what was it that...Read more

Ending the Chicago massacre will require miracles of mercy

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

CHICAGO -- On the same day as the Parkland school shooting, I found myself on the south side of Chicago, talking with the victims and perpetrators of a different, continuing massacre.

At the optimistically named Youth Peace Center of Roseland, M. told me of being shot six times in the back and head. "Until you lay in your own blood," he said, "...Read more

The Oval Office deserves better than its current occupant

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Among the more revealing moments in the ongoing White House nervous breakdown came in chief of staff John Kelly's initial defense of staff secretary Rob Porter. As accusations of domestic abuse against Porter became public, Kelly pronounced him a man of "true integrity and honor."

I have never been in the military, and have great ...Read more

 
 

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