Friday, November 17, 2017

Topline: Looking for Leadership

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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Trumpism Must Lose at the Ballot Box 
The Atlantic — Nov. 15, 2017
Following Democratic victories in Virginia and New Jersey, many Republican leaders blamed “disloyalty” from so-called “Never Trumpers” for the loss. Kori Schake refutes this idea, reminding us that the purpose of governing is to serve the interests of the public, not a political party.


Roy Moore as Rock Bottom 
Washington Post — Nov. 13, 2017
Conservative columnist George Will reiterates the unequivocal fact that Roy Moore’s candidacy should be a source of deep shame to a Republican Party that has clearly lost its way. If it takes a Democratic victory in the Alabama Senate race to cure the GOP of the fringe movement that has taken it over, Will asserts that it will ultimately be better for all involved in the long term. Moore’s cynical embrace of the culture war stands in stark contrast to Jones’ focus on actual policy issues, which is the entire point of government.


Politics of Ideas, or Identity? 
Vox — Nov. 9, 2017
Ezra Klein reviews some recent political science literature, which concludes that voters are driven not so much by ideology as by a sense of loyalty to their political team. This would indeed explain a great deal of the past few years, as a former Democrat won the presidency after taking over the Republican Party, molding it into a populist machine geared toward the undermining of American institutions and welcoming of foreign aid in doing so. Voters often take their cues from leaders, and the dearth of leadership in the GOP has had tremendous consequences for the country.

Rights and Freedoms  

China Welcomes the Trump Dynasty 
The New Yorker — Nov. 14, 2017
Donald Trump’s disturbing fondness for foreign dictators has been frequently noted, but Nick Frisch explains just why this is significant in terms of Sino-American relations. China sees democracy as nothing but a sham, and recognizes the corrupt patronage of the Trump administration as far more similar to their own system than to previous American administrations. If we want to build a world order based on the rule of law and basic human rights, we must be willing to confront China and the authoritarian worldview its leaders espouse.

Rule of Law  

Fox News Reporting Debunks Fox News Conspiracy 
The Hill — Nov. 14, 2017
Shep Smith recently debunked the idea of a “Uranium One scandal” involving Hillary Clinton. This “scandal” has been encouraged by many of his fellow Fox News employees as a means of providing alternative talking points to a Trump base that is not particularly eager to face the reality of the myriad of actual scandals consuming the current administration. The Hill provides the video and an overview of Smith’s cogent explanation.


This is the Literal Definition of Collusion 
The New York Times — Nov. 13, 2017
Donald Trump, Jr., had contact with WikiLeaks throughout the 2016 campaign, taking advice and sharing information provided by its illicit espionage activities. As WikiLeaks has been identified as an organization directly affiliated with the Kremlin, this confirms two things: 1) WikiLeaks is definitely not the independent transparency advocate they insist themselves to be, and indeed, aligned themselves directly with Trump in 2016, and 2) The Trump campaign coordinated its messages with an organization working on behalf of Russia. This is also known as "collusion."


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