In Defense of the Deep State’s Revolt Against Trump

The United States Capitol in Washington DC at night, September 18, 2014
The United States Capitol in Washington DC at night, September 18, 2014 (Thomas Hawk)

Conservatives worry that bureaucrats and spies are taking it on themselves to thwart the presidency of Donald Trump, but what are they supposed to do? Read more

Stop Reading Masterplans into Donald Trump’s Mistakes

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau speaks with American president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, February 13
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau speaks with American president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC, February 13 (Flickr/Justin Trudeau)

Donald Trump’s first weeks as president have been so shambolic, it’s almost hard to believe he can really be so incompetent.

Indeed, some refuse to. From his misguided attacks on the judiciary to his botched diplomacy with China, these are observers who read masterplans into Trump’s puerile behavior.

Please don’t.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Trump, it’s that he is self-absorbed and ill-tempered. He had no political experience before seeing the presidency and now surrounds himself in the White House with sycophants and zealots, as opposed to critical thinkers and professionals.

The more likely explanation for his mistakes is that they’re just that: mistakes. Read more

Watching from Across the Border as Romania Awakens

Romanians protest against corruption in Bucharest, February 4
Romanians protest against corruption in Bucharest, February 4 (Albert Dobrin)

As an active political journalist in the Republic of Moldova, I have been closely following the street protests in neighboring Romania, which are the largest of its kind since the fall of communism.

I was born after the Revolution of 1989, so I can’t know what that movement must have felt like. What I do know is that Romanians united then to bring down the totalitarian regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu and they are rallying now to rid themselves of another “red plague”, namely the Social Democratic Party.

The largest in the country, the party currently rules in coalition with the center-right liberals. One of the first acts of this new government when it came to power in January was to pardon non-violent offenders and decriminalize low-level abuses of office in cases where the damages were less than 200,000 leu, or €44,000.

The measures would have made a mockery of anti-corruption efforts in the EU member state. Read more

Conservatives Need to Rethink Whose Side They’re On

People sit on the steps on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC, April 17, 2009
People sit on the steps on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC, April 17, 2009 (Chris Kelly)

Now that Donald Trump is president, right-of-center commentators who opposed him during the Republican primaries are falling back into the habit of criticizing the left. Read more

Not Usually a Sign Guy, But Geez

A young man participates in a demonstration against President Donald Trump in Washington DC, January 27
A young man participates in a demonstration against President Donald Trump in Washington DC, January 27 (Lorie Shaull)

I don’t like protests. The crowds, the shouting, the marching — it reminds me of what Friedrich Nietzsche said about madness being rare in individuals but the rule in groups.

When people take to the streets, it’s often a loud minority that is trying to overturn what the majority has democratically and quietly willed in the voting booth.

Not always, though. This time it’s different. Read more

Europe Can Resist Trump in These Four Ways

French president François Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council president Donald Tusk march with other world leaders in Paris, January 11, 2015
French president François Hollande, German chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council president Donald Tusk march with other world leaders in Paris, January 11, 2015 (Bundesregierung)

If there was still any hope in Europe that Donald Trump might turn out to be less disruptive than he promised, the first weeks of his presidency must have put such hopes to rest.

It’s been less than two weeks and Trump has already disheartened America’s allies in Asia by withdrawing from the Trans Pacific Partnership, giving China a golden opportunity to take charge of regional economic integration; offended Australia and Mexico but hinted at improved relations with Russia, and banned Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries — including those who were previously approved for a visa — making a mockery of the rule of law and betraying a complete lack of compassion.

Imagine the damage he can — and will — do in four years. Read more

Trump Blunders by Withdrawing from Trans Pacific Partnership

Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in front of the United States Capitol in Washington DC, September 9, 2015
Businessman Donald Trump gives a speech in front of the United States Capitol in Washington DC, September 9, 2015 (Joshua M. Hoover)

Donald Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Monday.

It was one of his first acts as president — and a terrible mistake.

Not only is Trump robbing American companies of business opportunities in the Far East; he disappoints American allies in the region and cedes the initiative to China. Read more