How do we get it back?

Political battles have had a nasty edge since the founding of the nation. Anyone who thinks our current campaigns are heated affairs should take a look at just how low political rivals used to go. One of the silliest myths in the entire canon of American lore is that earlier political eras were harmonious, agreeable, and warm. I’m sure tranquility oozed from Andrew Jackson as he lovingly expressed his two regrets: that he was not able to shoot Henry Clay, nor hang John C. Calhoun.

But there is something different about our current era. It’s not so much that elected…


These are national-level politicians chasing the country’s highest office. They should make use of these platforms.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez announced in March that Fox News will not host any of the debates between Democratic primary opponents vying for the 2020 presidential nomination. That’s a big mistake.

The idea of media boycotts by parties and by individual candidates certainly appeals to a small segment of the voter base, and in this case the degree of loathing for Fox News probably exceeds the contempt any party has had for any network in recent history, but what a media boycott also does is reduce the visibility of candidates to a broader audience.

Granted, that an average Fox News…


Our era of meaningless politics. Where personality trumps policy.

Politics used to be boring for the right reasons. Over the last decade, it’s become boring for the wrong ones.

On January 14, 1980, presidential hopeful Ronald Reagan appeared on Firing Line with William F. Buckley. The hour-long show went in-depth on issues relating to foreign policy, the economy, energy independence, and more. It was a policy rich discussion one would be hard pressed to find anywhere today.

What happened? Politics began a descent into celebrity culture, focusing more on the cult of personality than policies and ideas. Over the years, this phenomenon has intensified. …


Too many “Constitutional conservatives” abandoned their supposed principles instead of standing up for separation of powers

Republican Senators, save for a dozen, brought shame to the Constitution by voting against terminating President Trump’s absurd emergency declaration over the southern border.

This is not about Democrats and their newfound embrace of Congressional authority. After all, they sat on their hands for eight years as President Obama ran roughshod over separation of powers, openly expanding executive authority when he couldn’t get his way in Congress on immigration and other issues.

No, this is about Republicans — who for those same eight years railed against President Obama and even filed lawsuits to curb his use of executive power —…


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It is fascinating how conservatives critical of Donald Trump — always labeled by the president’s supporters as Never Trump (and there are no degrees unless you support the president at every turn, you are Never Trump, and any denial to the contrary is a lie) — manage to be “irrelevant” and a constant threat at…


The failed shutdown is just the latest example

Throughout several decades, Donald Trump managed to create the persona of a brilliant businessman and negotiator, utilizing a reality show to burnish a national profile that helped launch a presidential bid.

When Trump officially announced his candidacy in 2015, he hitched his political wagon to immigration as the topic he knew fueled a lot of anger among GOP primary voters. But Trump also made the strategic move of selling himself as the consummate dealmaker. While he often tweeted or bellowed that he “alone” could fix all sorts of issues, he relied heavily on his business background to further his candidacy.


In the era of reality show politics, it’s not going away

In any high-profile political race featuring a female candidate, there’s a discussion whether the female candidate faces some standard not applicable to men.

In some cases, it’s fair to say women face harsher criticisms and greater demands than men. But in the case of likability, the notion that it is a “gendered criticism” doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. It is a standard that has roots going back to the Kennedy/Nixon election and is just as applicable to men as it is to women.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s announcement of a 2020 exploratory committee and subsequent visit to Iowa laid the…


Even when Trump has valid ideas, his execution is so bad it renders them pointless

President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria this past week met with howls of protest from people on all sides of the political spectrum. But Trump’s move also generated the kind of support that might have received more play in the media had he chosen to roll out his plan with a degree of professionalism. Unfortunately, the bull in a china shop model is how Trump governs and it’s not likely to get better.

It started two years ago, way back in January 2017, with the terrible roll-out of the travel ban executive order. Hastily put together in large…


Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve unanimously raised interest rates for the fourth straight quarter this week, and the stock market did not react well, dropping 350 points, bringing the DJIA to its lowest level in 15 months.

There is a multitude of reasons for people to disagree with the Fed’s move from political perspectives on the left and the right. At the same time, there exists a segment of Trump supporters who convinced themselves the Fed raised rates as part of some nefarious plot to slow down the economy and harm Trump politically.

This kind of tinfoil hat nonsense is nothing new…


It will take a long time to clean up after Donald Trump, but the GOP is still best suited to lead the country

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

I wasn’t born a Republican — I became one. My parents were ’60s hippies whom I vaguely remember celebrating the election of Jimmy Carter; I was enamored with Bill Clinton in 1992; to me, George H. W. Bush was one of those “old people” who didn’t understand what was going on in the world. But I came to disagree with Democrats on matters of taxation and spending, and I rejected the idea that the government is best at solving problems. …

Jay Caruso

Deputy Editor at the WashIngton Examiner Mag. Formerly Dallas Morning News. Found at National Review, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast. Yankees fan.

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