Comments Are Back

I closed comments a few years ago, when we received a lot of spam as well as comments I didn’t want to publish. There are better spam protections now and I enjoy debate. Those of you who follow the Atlantic Sentinel know I am concerned about the future of liberal democracy, which I believe is under attack from the left, by social-justice fanatics, and the right, by authoritarians and reactionaries. The remedy isn’t cancel culture or ostracism, but engaging in a free and frank exchange of views, in good faith, and being willing to listen.

If I believe that, I ought to practice what I preach. Read more “Comments Are Back”

Our Best Stories of 2019

As we close out 2019, the Atlantic Sentinel celebrates ten years online. For the new year, I have sharpened the site’s look, taking advantage of coding that is now supported by all major and recent browsers to create an even more fluid layout.

If I overlooked any formatting errors, please let me know!

Looking back on the year, it’s hard to escape the feeling that the center cannot hold — from a worsening separatist crisis in Catalonia to stagnation in Italy to political stalemate in Israel to political polarization in the United States.

Let’s hope 2020 gives us better news. Certainly the elections in America will keep us busy. Expect plenty of analysis and opinion from us about the Democratic primaries in the first half of the year and of the general election in the autumn.

But first, our best stories of 2019. Read more “Our Best Stories of 2019”

Our Best Stories of 2018

As this year draws to a close, so does Britain’s membership of the EU. A “hard” Brexit looks likely, unless politicians belatedly recognize that the deal Theresa May has negotiated is the best on offer.

In continental Europe, Emmanuel Macron is weakened at home and struggling to win support for ambitious EU reforms in Brussels. The migration crisis has gone, but the political center still needs to come up with better policies.

On both sides of the Atlantic, center-left parties must decide whether to woo working-class voters or side with the socially progressive middle class. The lesson from Europe is that either strategy can work — but social democrats need to pick a side.

Brazil has elected its own version of Donald Trump. The fear is that Jair Bolsonaro will face even less resistance from institutions than the American caudillo. Read more “Our Best Stories of 2018”

Our Best Stories of 2017

2017 was marked by the aftermath of the political upsets of 2016: Brexit got started, Donald Trump was sworn in as president and “globalists” were left wondering where it had all gone wrong.

The intellectual and political debate that ensued clarified things. My own conclusion: we are living through the latest battle in the war between Enlightenment universalism and Romantic nationalism. The politics and the policies have changed, but the underlying tension — between liberty and community, between opportunity and equality, between city and country — is the same it has been for centuries.

Most of our top stories from 2017, from Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party to the political realignment in France, have to do with this tension in one way or another.

Here is an overview. Read more “Our Best Stories of 2017”

Our Catalan Election Day Live Blog and Reading List

Palau de la Generalitat Barcelona Spain
The palace of the Catalan regional government in Barcelona, Spain, September 26, 2012 (Wikimedia Commons/Andriy Sadivskyy)

On Thursday, the Atlantic Sentinel will be providing live analysis and commentary of the election in Catalonia.

In addition to updating you on the results, our focus will be on analysis and opinion. We’ll be reading the local, European and international coverage of the election and share (and where necessary translate) interesting takes for you.

I hope you’ll join us! We’ll kick off around noon Central European Time. Read more “Our Catalan Election Day Live Blog and Reading List”

New Author Bylines and Country Menu

You’ll notice there have been a few design changes. Most are small: the formatting of the meta data and widget titles is a little different; the author bio has been replaced with a simpler — and what I think is a more elegant — byline.

The biggest change is in the sidebar, where you can now find links to the latest articles about France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. I hope that will let you more easily find the stories you are looking for.

As always, I welcome your feedback! If you have any criticisms or suggestions, please leave them in the comments.

Our German Election Day Live Blog and Reading List

View of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, September 12, 2009
View of the Reichstag building in Berlin, Germany, September 12, 2009 (Javan Makhmali)

On Sunday, the Atlantic Sentinel will be providing live analysis and commentary of the election in Germany.

Our focus will be on opinion. We won’t be competing with big-name outlets to bring you the latest news, although we will of course report the most important results.

We’ll be reading German, European and international coverage of the election and share (and where necessary translate) interesting takes. And we’ll have our own team of contributors to give you their perspective.

I hope you’ll join us! We’ll kick off around 3 in the afternoon Central European Time. Read more “Our German Election Day Live Blog and Reading List”