Image for post
Image for post
Image courtesy of VoxEU

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic strains, some protectionists and anti-immigration ideologues are trying to take advantage of this opportunity to advance their nationalist agenda. They argue that if the United States had restricted international trade and immigration more thoroughly in the past, as President Trump had fought to achieve, the public health crisis could have been curtailed. Some are also arguing that imposing further restrictions will strengthen the economy and protect Americans from the coronavirus.

Both of these assertions are demonstrably incorrect.

Should the US Ban Immigration?

On April 20, Trump announced via Twitter…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo courtesy of the US Department of Transportation

It’s no exaggeration to say that most of the blame for the world’s poor response to the coronavirus pandemic can be laid squarely at the feet of politicians and bureaucrats.

Even as it became clear that the virus was becoming increasingly dangerous, politicians around the world were quick to downplay its severity. The Communist Chinese attempted to silence those trying to broadcast warnings, while American leaders actually encouraged folks to go out and party in crowded public areas. …


Image for post
Image for post
Carolyn Kaster/AP

Is re-electing Donald Trump the only way to stem the tide of socialism in America? With self-described “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders once a strong contender to win the Democratic nomination, many on the Right, including the President himself, argue that only by voting for Trump can socialism be abated. “America will never be a socialist country,” Trump confidently declared in his most recent State of the Union address.

Fighting Socialism?

The problem is that the United States is, in some respects, already a socialist country, at least if we define socialism broadly enough to encompass federal welfare programs. Though the…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by: Steven Senne/AP

“She’s got a plan for that.” So goes presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren’s new and highly effective campaign slogan. On its face, it’s a fairly socialist-sounding catch-phrase. It promises that no matter what issue our society is facing, our wise and benevolent ruler will have a plan to fix it — a plan imposed by the government. Yet, astonishing as it may first appear, when it comes to economic issues, Warren also has a lot in common with populist conservatives.

We tend to think of conservatism as the antithesis of economic interventionism, but this is not quite correct. While it is…


Image for post
Image for post

When I think about British soldiers during the First World War, I often imagine the conversations that must have taken place as they were being called upon to defend their traditional enemy, the French. “Well, you see,” an erstwhile army recruiter may have explained, “a Serbian revolutionary assassinated the heir to the Austrian throne, so Austria has attacked Serbia.

“What has that to do with me?” a confused young Englishman would reply.

The recruiter would then go on to teach him about the entangling European alliances — of Russia’s promise to defend Serbia against Austria, of Germany’s promise to defend…


Image for post
Image for post

Following the Trump administration’s decision to assassinate General Soleimani earlier this month, many Americans began to fear that war between the United States and Iran was imminent. Tensions rose as the president and the Iranians rattled their sabers and taunted each other on social media.

Google searches for “Is there going to be a draft?” shot up 900 percent in just one day. The official website of the Selective Service — the federal agency tasked with carrying out the draft — received so much traffic that it eventually crashed.

Thankfully, the risk of impending war seems to have largely abated…


Review: That All Shall Be Saved by David Bentley Hart

Image for post
Image for post
Mosaic in the Florence Baptistry | Credit: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images (Getty)

Universal salvation, argues David Bentley Hart, is more than wishful thinking. It is the conviction, expounded in his latest work, That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, and Universal Salvation, that no human being will be confined to hell forever, and that all persons will be finally reconciled with God.

Always a minority among the Christian faithful, universalists from the beginning have been accused of trading intellectual rigor for the whims of emotion. Augustine dismissed the idea of universal salvation as mere sentimentalism. …


Political idolatry is a bipartisan affair

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Joe Raedle (Getty)

Americans are obsessed with the president. The news cycle revolves around him. And even when there’s an event that clearly falls outside the president’s constitutional purview, we still expect him to intervene. When individuals run for president, we expect — and some voters actively implore — them to make grandiose promises they cannot possibly keep. Whether health care, climate change, immigration, policing, education, employment growth, or cultural issues, the country looks to the president for solutions to nearly every conceivable problem.

Inevitably, this outsized confidence in the president’s power has led many to endow the person in office (and sometimes…


Image for post
Image for post

Every December, my family and I watch Frank Capra’s cinematic masterpiece, It’s a Wonderful Life. It has only recently become a Christmas tradition in my family, largely because of my silly youthful disdain for black-and-white movies made me reluctant to watch it. The film still moves me no matter how many times I see it.

Perhaps, then, it is naïve nostalgia that makes me rush to the defense of the movie’s protagonist George Bailey, after I came upon an article which takes a contrarian look at the film’s central message.

In his piece, the usually perspicacious author Tom Mullen zealously…


Image for post
Image for post
Al Drago/Getty Images

Kamala Harris wants you to join her cult. But don’t worry: membership is voluntary — that is, unless a plurality of your fellow voters wants to join, in which case you’ll be automatically enrolled.

You see, Harris’ cult is the Cult of the Presidency. Coined by the Cato Institute’s Gene Healy, the Presidential Cultists worship that grand, magisterial office from which all good things flow and all evil seeks to corrupt. In their peculiar astronomy, the Oval Office occupies the center of the universe. Everything revolves around it.

Congress Who?

The Presidency is a jealous god. It tolerates no competitors…

Tyler Curtis

Freelance writer. Contributed to FEE, the Mises Wire, Arc Digital, and the American Conservative. Follow on Twitter @tylercurtis42.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store