Kevin D. Williamson urges America’s Republicans not to abandon the coasts.
It’s all good and fine to point to the troubles of Democratic-controled cities and states, he writes in National Review, but in their rhetorical frenzy to abominate the blue parts of the country Republicans have put themselves at odds with many of its most successful communities, industries and institutions.
Republicans sneer at Silicon Valley and at the elite universities that educate the people who work there. In favor of what? A resentment-driven cultural milieu that insists that the “real America” is to be found elsewhere and that the “real America” looks like Hee-Haw without the music or self-deprecating humor. They insist that San Francisco is Hell on Earth but never ask why it is that so many people want to live there — or they just write off those who do as degenerates and hopelessly un-American.
Because Russia promotes an agenda that is native to Europe, few seem to realize this Second Cold War is just as ideological as the first.
If anything, the fact that Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine can tap into a homegrown Western reactionary movement that shares its beliefs makes the ideological challenge he poses more insidious. Read more
Italy’s Right Makes Pact, Democrats Open Door to Grand Coalition
Italy’s two other right-wing parties have given into a demand from the leader of the anti-immigrant Northern League, Matteo Salvini, for a “pact” against “shady deals” with the center-left.
A joint manifesto unveiled this weekend promises lower taxes, lower immigration and the reversal of a long-overdue raise in the pension age.
Salvini has ruled out deals with centrists, saying the “three legs” of the conservative movement — counting his own party, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the smaller Brothers of Italy — are enough to win the election in March.
The three are polling at close to 40 percent support, which may be enough to form a government. Read more
Politico reports that Britain’s exit from the European Union is already taking a toll on its international clout:
EU allies, including France, Germany and the Netherlands, abstained in June from a United Nations vote on the Chagos Islands, a British territory in the Indian Ocean that houses the Diego Garcia military base and is also claimed by Mauritius. The question of sovereignty has been referred to the International Court of Justice.
In November, Britain was forced to withdraw its candidate to fill a vacancy on the same court when it became clear it would lose a UN vote.
British diplomats are increasingly ignored in international forums. Read more