Mona Charen | Editorial
22024
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  • Flight 93 Forever for 09/18/2020

    Danielle Pletka, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has announced that while she never considered voting for Donald Trump in 2016, she may well do so this year. She is being driven to this extremity, she says, by the "hard left ideologues" of the Democratic Party. Judging by chatter on the right, this rationalization — so redolent of the Flight 93 argument from 2016 — is somewhat popular. So, let's take a closer look.Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020 […]

  • Who Will Speak for the Uighurs? for 09/10/2020

    According to John Bolton, when Xi Jinping told Donald Trump that he was putting Uighurs in camps, Trump said he was doing "exactly the right thing." Of course, Xi's depiction was pure agitprop. China is not targeting Uighurs who have shown terrorist tendencies, it is crushing an entire ethno/religious minority in brutal fashion. Even if he only selectively scans newspapers looking for mentions of his own name, Trump must have been told this at some point during a briefing. Then again, he has a tendency to believe strong men more than American officials. This drone footage showing hundreds of blindfolded and shackled Uighur men being boarded onto trains is reminiscent of World War II. The so-called reeducation camps are, in reality, concentration camps, holding up to a million men, women and children. Last week, Chinese officials brazenly insisted that these camps are "vocational education schools," no different from those in western nations. Except for all that barbed wire, those guard towers and the massive concrete walls. The Uighurs' supposed "terrorist" activities? Praying at the mosque too often. Refusing to watch state television. Growing a beard. Simply being a minority (ethnic Kazakhs are also targeted). While imprisoned, the Economist reports, inmates are forced to "criticize Islam, shave off their beards, eat pork, speak Mandarin instead of their own Turkic tongues and praise Mr. Xi." Escapees tell of mistreatment, beatings and torture. Now comes news that in addition to all of the above, China is engaged in a policy of forced abortion and sterilization against Uighur women. A Uighur doctor who escaped to Turkey told iTV that she had performed up to 600 forced abortions and removal of wombs. In one case, she said, the baby was still moving when it was dropped in the trash. The policy is working. The Han Chinese population of Xinjiang province is growing, while the Uighur birthrate has plummeted by 60%. Updated: Thu Sep 10, 2020 […]

  • Broken Windows Presidency for 09/04/2020

    President Donald Trump is a broken windows president. Let me explain. In 1982, the Atlantic published an article that became legendary in conservative circles. Authored by George Kelling and the late James Q. Wilson, "Broken Windows" argued for better community policing. Police walking a beat, they urged, tended to reduce the quality of life crimes that degrade city life — public urination, aggressive panhandling, turnstile jumping. "Disorder and crime are usually inextricably linked," they wrote, "if a window in a building is broken and is left unrepaired, all the rest of the windows will soon be broken."Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020 […]

  • Why This Pro-Life Conservative Is Voting for Biden for 08/28/2020

    Since I announced publicly that I will be voting for Joe Biden in November, I've received a few communications from puzzled readers. "How can you, a supposedly pro-life woman, support someone who believes in killing babies?" I will try to respond for the sake of those who, like me, find themselves alienated from the Republican Party despite some policy agreements with the Trump administration.Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020 […]

  • The American Dream Is Not Dead for 08/21/2020

    The Biden campaign deserves praise for introducing, at the Democratic National Convention, something we haven't seen a lot of lately — smiles. They've showcased grins and joyful, dancing eyes on the faces of all sorts of Americans. Sure, it's corny. I don't care. I almost want to shout: "That! I'll vote for that." Enough of snarls, insults, denigration and lies. Please just lift this pall of poisonous hatred. That's 80% of what I want. Of course, we didn't arrive at this moment of bitter polarization overnight, and we won't be able to transcend it with one election. But the Biden team seems to be betting that many of us are yearning for a giant step toward decency.Updated: Fri Aug 21, 2020 […]

  • Quazy for QAnon for 08/14/2020

    "I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration ... to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids." — Air Force Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper, "Dr. Strangelove" In the 1964 black comedy "Dr. Strangelove," the above words are spoken by a general who is about to start World War III. His theory about the contamination of "precious bodily fluids" is the tipoff for poor Group Captain Lionel Mandrake that the general has gone certifiably cuckoo.Updated: Fri Aug 14, 2020 […]

  • Biden Needs a Safe Choice for VP for 08/07/2020

    Political pledges often cause headaches. On election night in 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt told reporters, "Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for or accept another nomination." He regretted it almost immediately. Later, he would say, "I would be willing to cut off my hand if I could call back that statement." In 1988, accepting the Republican nomination for the presidency, George H. W. Bush pledged "no new taxes." Bush did wind up agreeing to raise taxes. It may have been the right governing choice, but because he had pledged in such memorable terms not to do it, he stirred a profound sense of betrayal among Republicans and encouraged cynicism about politicians in general.Updated: Fri Aug 07, 2020 […]

  • Who Is Really Burning Things Down? for 07/31/2020

    My friend David French, one of the most admirable voices in America today, argues that conservatives need not vote against Republican senate candidates in order to send a message about Trumpism. I disagree. He writes, "A rage, fury, and a 'burn it all down' mentality is one of the maladies that brought us to the present moment." This assumes that the reason some plan to evict Republican senators is simply a matter of anger. But voting against a candidate or even a whole party is not nihilism. It's the legal, Constitutional way to express approval or disapproval. The current Republican Party has chosen to become the burn-it-all-down party. The most demoralizing aspect of the past four years has not been that a boob conman was elected president but that one of the two great political parties surrendered to him utterly.Updated: Fri Jul 31, 2020 […]

  • Trump Is Right for 07/24/2020

    President Donald Trump has a point. People are being injured. The property damage runs into the millions. Things are out of control. Local governments are not able to handle this on their own. It demands a federal response. When sacred things are desecrated, it takes a toll on the national spirit. Trump thinks this applies to rioters and protesters in Portland and other cities. He thinks the sacred things are confederate monuments. In truth, it's the coronavirus that demands a response — and when it comes to that, the president is AWOL. Updated: Fri Jul 24, 2020 […]

  • Bari Weiss Was Too Honest for The New York Times for 07/17/2020

    Bari Weiss brought keen intelligence and broadminded liberalism to the editorial pages of The New York Times. So, naturally, she had to go. The right will cackle that this proves how dangerous the left is. They're not totally wrong, but they need to look in the mirror. Many Twitter denizens first became aware of former New York Times writer and editor Weiss, who resigned on July 14, when she was dragged for tweeting about an ice skater. It was during the Olympics, in February of 2018. An American skater named Mirai Nagasu became the first female American to land a triple axel at the Olympics. Weiss tweeted an image of her whirling body and jauntily retweeted an NBC Sports tweet: "'HOLY COW!' You just witnessed a historic triple axel from Mirai Nagasu. #WinterOlympics." Weiss added a line from "Hamilton," the musical, "Immigrants: They get the job done."Updated: Fri Jul 17, 2020 […]

  • Was Trump's Mount Rushmore Speech Divisive? for 07/10/2020

    A number of conservative commentators have rushed to defend President Donald Trump's Mount Rushmore speech. Incensed by press depictions of the speech as "divisive and dark," figures such as Mollie Hemingway and Tom Fitton rode to the president's side, assailing The New York Times as a "leftist propaganda outfit" (Hemingway) and a "leftist advocacy group" (Fitton). "Talking about American greatness is only divisive if you hate America," tweeted the Daily Caller. Rich Lowry penned a column noting that the president mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. and other African American heroes; that he affirmed America's dedication to "equal opportunity" and that he condemned slavery. "So where's the hate?" Lowry demanded. "Where's the white supremacy?"Updated: Fri Jul 10, 2020 […]

  • So Much for Trump's Love of the Military for 07/03/2020

    Christopher Slutman, 43, had always wanted to be a firefighter. He was that kind of kid, the kind who wants to save people. He was also a Marine Reserves Staff Sergeant who had served in Iraq. Last year, he was assigned to duty in Afghanistan. On April 8, 2019, just two weeks before he was scheduled to return home, he and two other Marines were killed when a roadside bomb exploded near Bagram Air Base. This may be one of the attacks Russia was sponsoring. Also murdered that day were Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley, New York, and Sgt. Benjamin Hines, 31, of York, Pennsylvania. Updated: Fri Jul 03, 2020 […]

  • Contra Fox News, Trump Is the Threat to Civilization for 06/26/2020

    This election "is no longer about Donald Trump's tweeting," conservative historian Victor Davis Hanson told Fox News host Tucker Carlson the other night. Nor is it about "a lockdown, the virus, the economy (or) foreign policy. It's an existential question ... and I'm going to vote for civilization." Updated: Fri Jun 26, 2020 […]

  • George Floyd Changed My Mind for 06/19/2020

    For many years, I was skeptical about accusations of racism in the criminal justice system. Yes, I knew that blacks comprised only about 12% of the population yet represented 33% of the prison population. But those data alone did not prove that police are racists or that courts are tougher on blacks than others. The relevant criterion is not the percentage of the population, but the percentage of the criminal population, and when you consider the higher rates of offending among African Americans, the seemingly disproportionate rates of incarceration make sense. Well, some countered, if you look at who winds up on death row, you can see the racism at work. Less than half of murder victims in the U.S. are white, yet a 2003 study found that 80% of inmates on death row had killed white people. I wasn't convinced. It might be evidence of racism, or it could be that when people kill others of their same race, they are more likely to know them. These could be crimes of passion and therefore less likely to draw the death penalty. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 2001 and 2005, nearly 78% of blacks were murdered by other blacks, and nearly 70% of whites were killed by other whites. Updated: Fri Jun 19, 2020 […]

  • LOL: Some Things Do Matter After All for 06/12/2020

    We thought it was a fixed feature of our new era. We thought that objective reality didn't matter anymore, if it even existed at all. We thought we were so entrapped by our information silos that nothing could penetrate. "LOL. Nothing matters" ran the Twitter meme. What we've learned in the past two weeks is that we were wrong. Reality reasserts itself. Minds can change. Just weeks ago, Black Lives Matter was regarded as a fringe movement, a response to a real problem perhaps, but a vastly exaggerated one. Today, the slogan emblazons 16th Street in front of the White House. As Politico's Tim Alberta reports, in 2014, after Eric Garner was choked by police, only 33% of Americans believed that blacks were more likely to be mistreated by police than others. Only 26% of whites thought so. Today, 57% of Americans, including 49% of whites, believe police are more likely to use force against African Americans. This week, the 2012 Republican nominee for president marched in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in Washington, D.C. The last two-term Republican president released a statement using the term "systemic racism," which curled the toes of some right-wing commentators but comports with the views of more than 80% of Americans. An eyebrow-raising 29% of Republicans say President Donald Trump has "mostly increased" racial tensions, along with 92% of Democrats and 73% of independents. The conservative Drudge Report website, once a redoubt of Trump enthusiasm, hawked "Justice for George Floyd" T-shirts. Updated: Fri Jun 12, 2020 […]