Mona Charen | Editorial
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  • Unwarranted: Elizabeth Warren's Flawed Idea for 02/21/2019

    Elizabeth Warren, one of the — what is it now, 211? — candidates for president, seems intent on proving that having been a Harvard law professor is no bar to fatuous policy prescriptions. She has endorsed the farrago of foolishness called the Green New Deal, promises to tax the rich to "make the economy work for us" and recently proposed a shiny new policy idea fresh from 1971 — government-funded universal preschool. Decade after decade, this old chestnut is trotted out as a pro-family, pro-middle class reform, and every time, assumptions about government's competence to perform this task are blithely assumed.Updated: Thu Feb 21, 2019 […]

  • You Can't Say That on Twitter for 02/15/2019

    She tweeted that "men are not women," and for that, Meghan Murphy, feminist journalist, was banned from Twitter. An anodyne statement of biological reality qualifies as "hate speech" for some of the gnomes at Twitter HQ. Murphy received a rote notification that "you may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease." Excuse me, but that sound you heard was me spitting my coffee across my desk. I cannot count the number of times I've been harassed on Twitter on some of the above grounds. Twitter has benefits, but let's face it, threats, vile abuse and harassment have become a key part of Twitter's brand. Louis Farrakhan has an account. Terrorists romp through its pixels with ease, and the Russians deploy bots like biological agents. Only a select few offenders are punished or banned. When founder Jack Dorsey was asked on Sam Harris's podcast why suspensions and other disciplinary actions always seem to go in a PC direction, Dorsey was phlegmatic, "I don't believe we should optimize for neutrality." That was Silicon Valley-speak for, "We are not fair." Updated: Fri Feb 15, 2019 […]

  • An Opening for a Party of Reality for 01/25/2019

    Here they come, the newly resurgent Democrats, ready to take on "the man" (Rep. Rashida Tlaib); protect America's middle class from "attack" by big corporations and billionaires (Sen. Elizabeth Warren); provide "Medicare-for-all" (Sen. Kamala Harris); offer universal pre-K (Julian Castro); and fight capitalism in general without any idea of how it works (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez). The Democratic Party is lurching to the left like a confused American driver on a British highway. As The New York Times' Thomas Edsall notes, it isn't just leaders who are stampeding to the port side. Democratic voters are becoming more liberal, too. In the past 17 years, Pew Research has found, the percentage of Democrats who described themselves as liberal jumped from 30 to 50 percent. This is reflected in issue positions. In 2008, the percentage of Democrats who agreed that immigrants here illegally should be permitted to become citizens was 29 percent. That increased to 51 percent in 2018. Between 2010 and 2017, the portion who said "racial discrimination is the main reason many blacks can't get ahead these days" rose from 28 percent to 64 percent. (Notably, among white liberals, 79.2 percent agreed that discrimination was the main thing holding blacks back, whereas among black respondents, the percentage was lower — 59.9 percent identified discrimination as the obstacle to progress. Hmm.) Updated: Fri Jan 25, 2019 […]

  • Gillette Is Not Wrong for 01/16/2019

    Is the new Gillette razor ad a radical feminist attack on masculinity — the commercial embodiment of a woke sensibility? I was prepared to think so. But having watched it twice, I find a lot to like. The ad has been panned by some conservative commentators. With all due respect, I think they are falling into a trap. They seem to have accepted the feminist framing. Feminists see culture as a Manichean struggle. It's women versus men. Women are benign and men are malign. For society to progress, men must change. We must extirpate "toxic masculinity." Understandably, this rubs conservatives the wrong way. I've risen to the defense of masculinity many times myself. But is the Gillette ad really "the product of mainstream radicalized feminism — and emblematic of cultural Marxism," as Turning Point USA's Candace Owen put it? Is it part of "a war on masculinity in America," as Todd Starnes argued on Fox News?Updated: Wed Jan 16, 2019 […]

  • Don't Ask Government for Love, Tucker for 01/11/2019

    Tucker Carlson is completely right about one thing: The decline of marriage is a great challenge of our times. I've written a whole book about it. So, you'd think I would rejoice that Carlson's rant-heard-round-the-right focused on it. Sorry, no. I've rarely seen such a cynical and misleading use of television.Updated: Fri Jan 11, 2019 […]

  • On Being Too Nice in Politics for 01/04/2019

    Mitt Romney's declaration of independence from Donald Trump as he takes his seat in the U.S. Senate has been illuminating — more for the responses than the op-ed itself. Professional speculators are asking whether it's the opening gambit of a 2020 primary challenge (his denials notwithstanding) or mere virtue signaling. The unappeasable left has drummed its fingers on the table, demanding to know whether Romney will oppose absolutely everything Trump does. If you are truly appalled at Trump, they insist, you must obstruct every judge, deregulation and foreign policy move. Anything less taints you as insincere or useless. If Romney doesn't vote like a liberal Democrat, he could pace up and down Pennsylvania Avenue with an "Impeach Trump" sandwich board and still be dismissed as a wuss. Updated: Fri Jan 04, 2019 […]

  • Fake News for 12/28/2018

    Remarkable, isn't it, that Donald Trump has made decrying "fake news" his calling card? Is the press hostile to him? Sure. Do they lie about him? For the most part, no. Then again, the truth is not everyone's friend. As William Randolph Hearst once quipped: "If Mr. Hughes will stop telling lies about me, I'll stop telling the truth about him." Or, even better, William F. Buckley said of Gore Vidal: "Anyone who lies about him is doing him a favor." On his visit to Iraq, the president lied to the troops. How can you claim to honor people you are lying to? Lying signals contempt. "We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, 'cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you've ever received. ... You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one."Updated: Fri Dec 28, 2018 […]

  • Kicking Allies for 12/21/2018

    President Donald Trump's behavior is unprecedented, but his decision to withdraw our troops from Syria, while unprecedentedly abrupt, is actually part of a tradition of unforced errors in American foreign policy. Out of spite, or sometimes as a smokescreen to evade responsibility, Congress and past presidents have managed to lose wars that could have gone the other way. Seeking to make partisan points, we have cost ourselves dearly.Updated: Fri Dec 21, 2018 […]

  • Collusion Is Possible for 12/14/2018

    It has become an article of faith in some quarters on the right — well, most — that Robert Mueller's investigation has found no evidence of collusion with Russia and has accordingly shifted gears to process crimes like lying to the FBI or obstruction of justice. Having decided that this must be true, many have called for Mueller to wrap it up. But this requires a lot of wishful thinking. Updated: Fri Dec 14, 2018 […]

  • Katy Tur, France's Riots and Panic Mode for 12/07/2018

    NBC's Katy Tur, responding to an article in the New Yorker about climate, looked into the camera and asked, "How pointless is my life? And how pointless are the decisions that I make on a day-to-day basis when we are not focused on climate change every day, when it's not leading every one of our newscasts?" It's a safe bet that not only will climate change not lead all newscasts, it will not even lead Tur's very often. And the reason is not any of those often proffered for failure to act in ways activists prefer. It won't be that she is a climate change denier. It won't be that she was bought off by the fossil fuel industry. And it won't be that she doesn't care. Updated: Fri Dec 07, 2018 […]

  • Why Are We So Sad? for 11/30/2018

    The Centers for Disease Control has delivered sober news — average life expectancy at birth in the United States has declined for a third straight year due to extremely high rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide. As The Washington Post reports, this is the longest sustained decline in life expectancy since the early 20th century. Between 1915 and 1918, a period that included the First World War and the worldwide flu pandemic that killed 675,000 Americans, life expectancy showed a similar decline. Today, we are at peace (with the exception of the occasional death in Afghanistan); we are experiencing an economic boom; and we face no epidemics of communicable diseases. Some might say that our problems are those of overabundance. For millennia, our species was haunted by plagues, famines and droughts. Our minds and bodies evolved to grab what nourishment we could when we could. Those years in the caves and on the savannah didn't equip us very well to cope with a world of constantly available Frappuccinos and cupcakes — to say nothing of fentanyl. Updated: Fri Nov 30, 2018 […]

  • Giving Thanks for 11/22/2018

    Our Thanksgiving family tradition is to go around the table and express gratitude for our blessings. It's such a simple exercise, and yet almost as satisfying as the feasting. Maybe we shouldn't confine it to Thanksgiving? We have observant Jewish friends who've done something like this every week at Shabbat dinners. Each person cites a "highlight of the week." It sets a tone. For me there is a spiritual dimension to giving thanks. But even from a purely instrumental perspective, there is good evidence that gratitude increases happiness. As the Harvard Healthbeat newsletter reports, a number of studies have tested this. Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami designed a study in which participants were divided into three groups. The first was encouraged to record things that had gone well for them. The second took notes on things that irritated them. And the third just wrote down matters that had affected them for good or ill. At the end of 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. As a group they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than the other study participants.Updated: Thu Nov 22, 2018 […]

  • Truth and Its Enemies: Making Acosta a Federal Case for 11/16/2018

    Question: What does CNN's Jim Acosta crave more than anything? If you said "attention," go to the head of the class. It's a mystery why the White House has given Acosta way more than that. Acosta had his "hard pass" yanked after last week's press conference. (Don't ask who was obnoxious, because they ALL were.) Acosta has literally become a federal case. CNN filed suit claiming that their reporter's First and Fifth amendment rights were violated. More than a dozen news organizations, including Fox, have filed amicus briefs supporting CNN. Even the Trump-friendly Fox News judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano has opined that Acosta has a strong case. Mr. Showboat is just where he wants to be — the center of attention — but thanks to President Donald Trump's gratuitous swipe, he is also a free-press martyr.Updated: Fri Nov 16, 2018 […]

  • Who Votes Republican? for 11/09/2018

    Exit polls aren't always 100 percent reliable. For example, in 2016, the exit interviews suggested that Donald Trump would lose Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina by small margins. He won all of them. Let's take it as given that 2018's exit polls are likely flawed in the same way. Still, they are among the most interesting polls because they reflect the views of actual voters — not "registered" or "likely," but the real McCoy. Margins of error we shall always have with us, but they shouldn't stifle all punditry.Updated: Fri Nov 09, 2018 […]

  • Thinking About Anti-Semitism for 11/02/2018

    In the days following the murder rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue, I received several expressions of grief from friends who are committed Christians. One included in her note a verse from John Donne: "No man is an island entire of itself ...Updated: Mon Nov 05, 2018 […]