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Trump is turning American ideology into a sham

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

EDITORS -- Effective Nov. 1, columns by Michael Gerson will be available for print publication only.

WASHINGTON -- Americans are starting to see the full, global implications of having a president who is ignorant of history, driven by impulse, immune to advice and dead to the romance of American ideals.

The betrayal of the Kurds has damaged ...Read more

O'Rourke's proposal would hand victory to Trump

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Beto O'Rourke, innovative for interpreting a failed Senate campaign as a steppingstone to the presidency, is now famous for (1) his use of profanity on the campaign trail, (2) his pledge that "hell, yes" he wants to confiscate AR-15s and (3) his proposal to tax religious institutions that don't approve of gay marriage.

This is not...Read more

The serious danger of politics as tribal conflict

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

"Civilization is hideously fragile. ... There's not much between us and the horrors underneath. Just about a coat of varnish."

-- C.P. Snow

WASHINGTON -- The most serious, practical, pressing problem with politics as tribal conflict is the inability to draw moral lines against offensive, unethical and dangerous behavior. If our public life is ...Read more

Trump's supporters are complicit in the moral decay of politics

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to Donald Trump, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish between a political strategy and a nervous breakdown. His tweeted trash talk, his meandering stream of consciousness press availabilities and his shameless embrace of sleaziness are not the signs of a healthy mind. Trump's followers may eventually look up to...Read more

What follows Trump's menacing rhetoric?

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The rhetorical intensity of Donald Trump's anti-impeachment campaign, measured on a scale of one to 10, has begun at 11.25. The whistleblower is "almost a spy" who may be guilty of "treason." House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., should be arrested for "treason." Both are part of a "COUP" which -- if ...Read more

Trump seeks to normalize American nationalism

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- One of the puzzling aspects of Donald Trump's hyper-nationalism is its consistent denigration of the nation itself.

In a 2017 Oval Office conversation between Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the president did more than boast that the firing of FBI Director James Comey had ...Read more

The process of impeachment is now inevitable

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- For the first time in American history, the president has pleaded guilty to an impeachable offense.

This is effectively what happened when the White House released the readout from Donald Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. There is now no question that Trump asked the leader of a foreign country to ...Read more

Trump has set his own interests above the nation's

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- In the Trump era, a columnist risks appearing like the boy (or girl) who cried wolf. Time and time again, we say this scandal is the big one.

But in our ill-fated version of the story, the wolf comes every time. The violations of morality and law have become progressively bolder and more dangerous to the constitutional ...Read more

American's shouldn't look at all politics through the lens of one issue

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The decision by The New York Times to remove a key exculpatory fact from its recent article on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is such an incredible editing error that it raises the prospect that it might have been an ideological intervention.

What editor, looking to cut down an article containing a new allegation of ...Read more

Historical context is no excuse for the founders' failure on slavery

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Conservative reaction to The New York Times' "1619 Project" -- an attempt to tell the story of slavery and its lasting effect on American political, economic and social structures -- has been both disappointing and instructive.

I am not referring here to thinkers (the term is employed loosely) who consciously embrace a philosophy ...Read more

Downward spirals of depression can be deadly

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- There are alarming consequences for the survival of human beings and the success of the society they inhabit when the brain suffers without treatment. And it has become frighteningly common for Americans to find their way into despair and self-murder.

More than 7% of American adults had at least one major depressive episode in ...Read more

Trump has done nothing to win back the voters who left him in the midterms

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The outcome of the 2016 presidential election reinforced a certain lesson. No, not that the universe is a cold, empty, meaningless void, and that hope and justice are pretty lies told by self-deceived fools.

I mean the other lesson: Don't underestimate Donald Trump.

All good lessons, however, are eventually overlearned, ...Read more

Evangelical leaders are tidying up the kitchen while the house burns down

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Much white evangelical support for Donald Trump is based on a bargain or transaction: political loyalty (and political cover for the president's moral flaws) in return for protection from a hostile culture. Many evangelicals are fearful that courts and government regulators will increasingly treat their moral and religious ...Read more

We should not explain away Trump's crazy ideas

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- It is grotesquely fascinating to see Donald Trump's apologists try to explain his most lunatic ideas and claims. It is a bit like watching someone choke down a sheep's eye on a bet, then declare it fine dining. (Note to animal rights activists: This is a simile, not a recommendation.)

This process has a number of steps -- the ...Read more

The Trump presidency is not just unfolding, it is unraveling

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Historians studying the Trump presidency will have a prodigious amount of digital material that demands examination but defies explanation. The president's Aug. 21, half-hour, South Lawn press availability deserves to be at the top of that list.

With the whir of a helicopter engine in the background, Donald Trump veered from topic...Read more

The slow burn of Congo's Ebola outbreak

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Meanwhile, in the semitropical vastness of eastern Congo, a killer is loose.

The second largest Ebola outbreak in history has entered its second year. It has taken more than 1,900 lives and shows no signs of abating. Compared with West Africa's outbreak in 2014-2015 that spread like wildfire, this one is more of a slow burn. ...Read more

By siding with bigots, white evangelicals risk the reputation of the gospel

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- I have a confession to make. I am one of the five remaining Americans who is uncomfortable with vulgarity, put off by profanity and offended by blasphemy. Swearing is now generally taken as a sign of authenticity; it is more often the expression of anger and aggression. I don't think political discourse is improved by language more...Read more

By spreading conspiracy theories, Trump undermines a belief in truth itself

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- President Trump will do just about anything to get his daily, hypodermic fix of attention, including the spread of racist tropes and conspiracy theories. And no, I am not starting a rumor that Trump is secretly a drug addict. It is a metaphor. But if my editors and their fact checkers were all on vacation, encouraging this lie ...Read more

The emotional resonance of 'Amazing Grace'

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- The concert film "Amazing Grace" accomplishes something I thought impossible -- capturing the Holy Ghost on celluloid.

Over two days in 1972, director Sidney Pollock filmed Aretha Franklin as she was recording the best-selling gospel album of all time. The setting was the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts section ...Read more

Promoting love and unity goes against Trump's political brand

From the Right / Michael Gerson /

WASHINGTON -- Never in my political lifetime has an American president had less moral standing to address a national threat. Nearly every phrase of Donald Trump's televised response to the El Paso and Dayton shootings could be matched with some discrediting contrast in his own voice.

Trump said: "We are a loving nation." And this love he has ...Read more

 
 

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