What America’s Vaccination Campaign Proves to the World

Mass Vaccination Is a Show of American Might

Every so often, an emerging technology changes the global balance of power, alters alliances, and shifts the relationships among nations. After World War II, nuclear weapons overthrew all of the existing geopolitical paradigms. The countries that got the bomb were considered global powers; countries that did not have it sought it, so that they could …

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The Science of Making Americans Hurt Their Own Country

How Russia Got Americans to Do Its Dirty Work

The National Intelligence Council has released an unclassified report assessing, retrospectively, foreign threats to the 2020 election. It has a few twists and turns: The Iranian government attempted to run some kind of online influence campaign; the Chinese government considered doing the same but then dropped the idea. But most of the report is about …

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How to Put Out Democracy’s Dumpster Fire

The Internet Doesn’t Have to Be Awful

Illustrations by Yoshi Sodeoka This article was published online on March 8, 2021. To read the diary of Gustave de Beaumont, the traveling companion of Alexis de Tocqueville, is to understand just how primitive the American wilderness once seemed to visiting Frenchmen. In a single month, December 1831, Tocqueville and Beaumont were on a steamship …

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A Real Place Deserves Real Rights

D.C. Statehood Is a Matter of Justice

A couple of years ago, in the halcyon days before the pandemic, I went with a small group of friends to visit Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass’s house in the southeastern corner of Washington, D.C. On the way there, we drove past the rowhouses of what used to be called Uniontown, the city’s first suburb, constructed …

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Frustration Is Spreading Faster Than the Vaccine Is

America’s Soviet-Style Vaccine Rollout

If you are the child of elderly parents in parts of the United States right now, and if you are trying to get them a COVID-19 vaccine, you are living in a shortage economy, a world of queues and rumors, a shadowy land of favoritism and incompetence—a world not unlike the world of the very …

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Coexistence Is the Only Option

The Rebels Are Still Among Us

They could be realtors or police officers, bakers or firefighters, veterans of American wars or CEOs of American companies. They might live in Boise or Dallas, College Park or College Station, Sacramento or Delray Beach. Some are wealthy. Some are not. Relatively few of them were at the United States Capitol on January 6, determined …

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Europeans Recognize Trumpism for What It Is

Luxembourg Has Had Enough of Trump

Lucky are the foreign ministers of very small, very consensus-driven countries, for those who play their cards right sometimes get to hold office for many years. One of the luckiest card players out there is Jean Asselborn, the amusing polyglot who has been the foreign minister of Luxembourg since 2004. Although his country is tiny …

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What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About America

What Trump and His Mob Taught the World About America

We have promoted democracy in our movies and books. We speak of democracy in our speeches and lectures. We even sing about democracy, from sea to shining sea, in our national songs. We have entire government bureaus devoted to thinking about how we can help other countries become and remain democratic. We fund institutions that …

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Trump and His Heirs Dream of Endless Victory

Trump’s Fantasies Are the GOP’s Future

If you can spare an hour, do listen to the full tape of the conversation between the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger. Whichever adjective you use to describe Trump—delusional, demented, narcissistic—this recording shows that he is unwell. His grip on reality is loose. He is by …

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Why Won’t Emily Murphy Just Do Her Job?

Why Won’t Emily Murphy Just Do Her Job?

I don’t know for certain that Emily Murphy gets up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says to herself, “You are a good person.” But I am willing to bet that she does. Most people in her position—most people who are undermining the rules of their group, destroying their institution, harming their society—are …

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The World Is Never Going Back to Normal

The World Is Never Going Back to Normal

In the hours and days after American news networks declared him the victor on November 7, President-elect Joe Biden received congratulatory tweets and statements from American allies around the world. Even Fox News sounded excited by the list of well-wishers, who, the channel noted, included “British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian …

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Trump Won’t Accept Defeat. Ever.

Trump’s Forever Campaign Is Just Getting Started

While you watch Donald Trump’s presidency stagger to what appears to be its ugly end, always keep in mind how it began: Trump entered the political world on the back of the birther conspiracy theory, a movement whose importance was massively underestimated at the time. Aside from its racist undertones, think about what a belief …

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