How Republicans Became the Party of Trump

I don’t think I will ever get used to hearing once-sensible Republicans singing Donald Trump’s praises.

Four years ago, the likes of Nikki Haley, Rand Paul, Tim Scott and Scott Walker knew that Trump was a bully without ideas; a would-be strongman with an unhealthy admiration for Vladimir Putin; a failed tycoon who didn’t grasp the basic principles of economics; and a thrice-married philanderer who had clearly never read a Bible.

Four years later, with the economy in free fall, America’s reputation in tatters, multiple former Trump campaign officials in prison and 180,000 Americans dead as a result of coronavirus, they’re telling the Republican National Convention that Trump is the only thing standing between them and the abyss.

How did this happen? Read more “How Republicans Became the Party of Trump”

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 at night (iStock/Tomas Sereda)

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”

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”

The European Union at Sixty Reading List

Europe celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on Saturday, which created the European Economic Community that has since morphed into the EU.

It’s a day to appreciate what has been achieved: sixty years of peace and comity between the peoples of Europe.

But it’s also a day to look to the future. Europe, after all, is not done. Nor can European unification be taken for granted. Britain is leaving. For the first time in its history, the EU has a president in Washington who doesn’t support it. And it must cope with a president in Moscow who actively seeks to undermine the European project.

The Atlantic Sentinel has selected several stories from its archive to help readers understand where the EU is at — and where it is going. Read more “The European Union at Sixty Reading List”

Our Best Stories of 2016

2016 was an unsettling year. From Britain’s decision to leave the European Union to the election of Donald Trump in America, it sometimes felt as though the world was balancing on the precipice of something new and possibly quite dangerous.

There was good news. Barack Obama normalized American relations with Cuba. Colombia made peace with the FARC. Spain got a government after managing without one for almost all of 2016.

At the Atlantic Sentinel, we welcomed new writers, including Matt Finucane from the United Kingdom, András Tóth-Czifra, who specializes in post-Soviet Europe, and Ryan Bohl, whose weekly Geopolitics Made Super column we republish.

We did more live blogs, including for the Brexit referendum and its political aftermath as well as the coup attempt in Turkey in July.

We sharpened our focus on the Atlantic area and transatlantic relations, which is our specialty. Our mission from the start has been to help American readers make sense of European politics and vice versa. It looks like we’ll have our work cut out for us in that regard next year.

Before we welcome 2017, here is a look back at our top stories from 2016. Read more “Our Best Stories of 2016”