Mona Charen | Editorial
22024
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  • The Real Steal Is Coming for 05/11/2021

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Updated: Tue May 11, 2021 […]

  • Who Could Possibly Oppose Universal Pre-K? for 05/06/2021

    Subsidized day care and universal pre-K are goals that sound so wholesome only a ghoul could oppose them. Especially in an era when Democrats and Republicans have achieved consensus that money grows on trees, who could possibly object to spending a few hundred billion or so, as Biden has proposed with his American Families Plan, to ensure that kids get the best start in life? My hand is up. Here is a partial list of reasons: 1. It's not what parents prefer.Updated: Thu May 06, 2021 […]

  • Biden Could Do More to Unify the Country for 04/30/2021

    Among right-wingers, there has been some delight about polls showing that Joe Biden's popularity at the 100-day mark is the lowest of any president since World War II. Oh, if you exclude Donald Trump. Undaunted by this detail, they note with satisfaction that Biden's approval rating, according to multiple polls, is somewhere between 52 and 57%. At this point in his presidency, Trump's approval was 40%. Americans were far less partisan in the era of Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush and even Clinton than they are now. Large numbers of Democrats were willing to give high marks to Eisenhower when the economy was thriving, or to George H.W. Bush when we had just won a quick war, and a not insignificant number of Republicans approved of Clinton when we enjoyed balanced budgets and booming markets. But in recent years, negative partisanship has curdled our perceptions. One symptom of negative partisanship is the sharp decline in ticket-splitting. As the Cook Political Report's Amy Walter noted: "After the 1992 election, for example, there were 103 split-ticket House seats; 53 that voted for George HW Bush and a Democratic member of Congress, and 50 that voted for Bill Clinton and a Republican member of the House ... Post-2020, there are only 17, or just four percent of the House."Updated: Fri Apr 30, 2021 […]

  • COVID-19's Silver Linings for 04/23/2021

    As of this week, more than 40% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 26% are fully vaccinated. Though it wasn't planned this way, more normal human life is returning just as the redbuds, azaleas, magnolias and tulips are performing their gorgeous annual affirmation of renewal. Fears of catastrophic depression, widespread shortages and massive civil unrest are receding. Hundreds of thousands of American families and millions worldwide are bereaved, and nearly everyone has experienced some form of disruption, pain or trauma during the past year. But not everything changed for the worse. Updated: Fri Apr 23, 2021 […]

  • Not Every Tragedy Is a Racial Lesson for 04/16/2021

    Reliving the awful details of George Floyd's slow suffocation is brutal and emotionally draining. As always in matters touching on race, the thrum of ethnic hostilities is the background noise. Some have been eager, since the trial began, to cite George Floyd's drug use or heart trouble as the true cause of death (arguments the prosecution has effectively debunked). Others have argued that if Floyd had simply agreed to enter the squad car, he would be alive today — as if that exonerates the officers. But it seems that the shadow of Derek Chauvin is obscuring our ability to make distinctions and respond rationally to other, similar cases. Similar is the operative word. In the space of a few days, we've seen a police officer shoot and kill Daunte Wright in Minnesota and learned of a December case in which two police officers pointed guns at and pepper-sprayed Army Lt. Caron Nazario. They may be similar on the surface, but they are quite different in the details.Updated: Fri Apr 16, 2021 […]

  • Are We Doing Our Best for Trans Kids? for 04/08/2021

    Seventeen legislatures are considering laws that would dictate how medical personnel can treat transgender youth — the latest flash point in the culture war. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson surprised observers this week when he vetoed one of those bills. It would have outlawed puberty blockers, cross-sex hormone treatment and "gender affirming" surgeries for children. The Arkansas legislature and 16 others are attempting to big foot a complex issue. With rare exceptions (such as limitations on assisted suicide and abortion), legislatures are not the best place for decision-making about medical issues. But in our hyper-hysterical culture, it's becoming less and less possible to engage in these debates where they belong — in the realm of science and journalism. Questions about how best to treat children with gender dysphoria surely belong in the evidence-based world of medical science, psychology and psychiatry, and in the journals, newspapers, books and websites that test ideas for reliability and truth. Jonathan Rauch's new book, "The Constitution of Knowledge," is a brilliant meditation on how the mechanisms of truth-testing have evolved over the centuries. Conservatives are attempting to use government power to shut down an argument; progressives are attempting to use intimidation and shaming. Amazon recently stopped selling Ryan T. Anderson's 2018 book "When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment."Updated: Thu Apr 08, 2021 […]

  • What We Can Learn from Asian Americans for 04/02/2021

    This much can be said without fear of contradiction: There has been a spike in disgusting crimes against Asian Americans during the past year. One analysis of 16 of the country's largest cities found that acts of anti-Asian bias, not just crimes, increased by 145% between 2019 and 2020, even as other hate crimes declined. They range from vile insults hurled at subway riders in New York ("Get the f—- out of NYC"), to violent assaults. Is the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes a symptom of white supremacy? Most left-of-center outlets interpret it that way. It's certainly possible that many of the crimes were expressions of white supremacy. But how do we categorize the anti-Asian attacks committed by African Americans and Hispanics? Voice of America looked at some of the data:Updated: Fri Apr 02, 2021 […]

  • Sidney Powell Admits It Was All a Lie for 03/25/2021

    The Big Lie is starting to unravel. One of Donald Trump's disinformation stars, Sidney Powell, is backing down. But while we're considering the matter of truth and lies, let's recall when conservatives cared about truth (or seemed to). In the 1990s, Guatemalan activist Rigoberta Menchu was a phenomenon. Of Mayan descent, she offered harrowing testimony about the conduct of the Guatemalan military during that country's civil war. Her 1983 as-told-to memoir, "I Rigoberta Menchu," was a sensation. In 1992, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Updated: Thu Mar 25, 2021 […]

  • J.D. Vance Joins the Jackals for 03/19/2021

    The question of what will become of the Republican Party in the post-Trump era seems to be on everyone's lips. A New York Times survey found that Republicans themselves have five distinct views of Donald Trump, including 35% who are either "Never Trump" or "Post Trump." But 65% fall into the "Die-hard" camp (27%), the "Trump Booster" faction (28%), or the "InfoWars" segment (10%). Whatever the future of the Republican Party will be, the shape-shifting J.D. Vance sheds light on the dynamics of how we got here and where the Republican Party is headed. This week, billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel announced that he is donating $10 million to a super PAC supporting Vance's potential run for the United States Senate seat from Ohio. Updated: Fri Mar 19, 2021 […]

  • COVID-19's Big Fat Non-Surprise for 03/12/2021

    "A Covid Mystery" proclaimed a New York Times newsletter. "Why has the death toll been relatively low across much of Africa and Asia?" Like a know-it-all kid in 7th grade, I thought: "Call on me! I know this!" and clicked on the item. But to my surprise, the account that followed completely failed to mention what I thought was the obvious answer. David Leonhardt's piece notes the fact that, against all expectations dating from the early stages of this pandemic, poorer countries of Africa and Asia have suffered only a small fraction of the death rates from the coronavirus that wealthier nations have experienced. In the U.S., we've had 1,580 deaths per million inhabitants. Italy has had 1,651, whereas Egypt has had 109, and Nigeria 10. Updated: Fri Mar 12, 2021 […]

  • How Mike Lee Ditched Constitutional Conservatism for Trump for 03/05/2021

    I didn't watch much of this year's CPAC. My digestion is sound, but there's no point in taking unnecessary risks. Still, I did note the presence of Sen. Mike Lee, a legislator who styles himself a "constitutional conservative." Lee is the son of a distinguished former solicitor general of the United States, a graduate of Brigham Young University and its law school, and the author of three books on the Founding era: "Our Lost Constitution," "Our Lost Declaration" and "Written Out of History: The Forgotten Founders Who Fought Big Government." That's a lot of losing and forgetting. But it seems that Lee is the one who has forgotten what the founding was about.Updated: Fri Mar 05, 2021 […]

  • Cancel Cancel Culture for 02/25/2021

    The term "cancel culture" is rapidly losing its meaning. Just as Donald Trump adopted the term "fake news," which originally referred to the misinformation flow that was a crucial part of his 2016 campaign, and was used to disparage his opponents and critics (or even just factual reporters) in the news media, so, too, "cancel culture" is beginning to mean both itself and its opposite, depending who's using the term. "Cancel culture" was first conceived to describe a leftwing phenomenon of imposing Draconian penalties on those who transgress woke sensibilities, even unintentionally. Reason's Robby Soave offered a good summary of what it usually includes: "(A) relatively obscure victim; an offense that is either trivial, or misunderstood, or so long ago that it ought to have been forgotten; and an unjust and disproportionate social sanction." David Shor, a progressive who labors to get Democrats elected, lost his job at a data analytics firm because he tweeted an academic study showing that riots tend to help Republicans in election years. The study had been published in a leading journal and authored by a Black academic. No matter. Because it debuted in the midst of the first protests against George Floyd's murder, it was deemed by some progressives to be "concern trolling."Updated: Thu Feb 25, 2021 […]

  • Will Trump Face the Music, Finally? for 02/18/2021

    There has been some cheering about the 10 House and seven Senate Republicans who voted for impeachment. All honor to those who took the difficult path. But, good God! The president attempted to steal the election. He launched an insurrection against Congress. That only a handful of Republicans could vote to convict him is a sign of deep rot. It also leaves millions of Americans who thirst for justice unsatisfied. Chances of a criminal indictment for incitement to riot are slim. What else?Updated: Thu Feb 18, 2021 […]

  • Mitt Romney Tries to Save Policymaking for 02/11/2021

    It may be coincidence that the best policy idea to come out of the 117th Congress was offered by the one guy who has demonstrated the integrity to brave harassment and death threats to do what's right vis a vis former President Donald Trump. Mitt Romney has an excellent plan to reduce child poverty. This country has a serious child problem. Our birth rates are low and heading lower, which endangers the prospects for Social Security and Medicare for our large elderly population. Also, old countries tend to lack dynamism, which has always been an American specialty. Some couples are happy with their small family sizes, but most Americans want more children (2.7) than they are likely to have (1.8). About 20% of American kids live in poverty compared with 13% among all OECD countries. Part of the reason our kids are struggling is due to changes in family structure. Though the marriage norm has declined nearly everywhere, the U.S. holds the dubious distinction of leading the developed world in unstable adult relationships. Child Trends reports that the 2017 poverty rate for children in married couple families was 8.4%. For kids in single mother homes, the poverty rate was 40.7%.Updated: Thu Feb 11, 2021 […]

  • McConnell Condemns QAnon, Except When He Doesn't for 02/04/2021

    So, now Mitch McConnell tells us that Marjorie Taylor Greene's views are a "cancer" on the Republican Party and on the country. Odd that he neglected to make that point when one of his preferred candidates in the Georgia runoff, Kelly Loeffler, campaigned with Greene. McConnell is now leaning heavily on the other body to clean up its act, denouncing "looney lies and conspiracy theories." McConnell's deputy in Senate leadership, John Thune, chimed in, too, asking his colleagues: "Do they want to be the party of limited government ... free markets, peace through strength and pro-life, or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon?"Updated: Thu Feb 04, 2021 […]