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Commentary by Michael Barone

Most Recent Releases

December 8, 2023

For True Evil, Look Not to Israel or America but to Communism By Michael Barone

For those dismayed at how many college and university students and faculty, even, or especially, at selective and prestigious institutions, have been cheering Hamas' Oct. 7 atrocities and calling, in only slightly veiled language, for the destruction of

Israel and genocide of Jews, the question is how this vicious line of thought gained hold in American secondary and higher education.

December 1, 2023

Orwell and Monroe Got It Right By Michael Barone

George Orwell, call your office. That's my initial and slightly out-of-date response to news stories about the Biden administration's efforts to stamp out "misinformation." It's an interesting irony that covert censorship should be

undertaken enthusiastically by those who call themselves "liberal" or "progressive" and who claim the opposition would threaten the survival of liberal democracy.

November 17, 2023

Memo to Hamas: Settler Societies Aren't Evil By Michael Barone

In the nauseating demonstrations celebrating Hamas' slaughter of Israelis, one hears repeated, again and again, the refrain that Israelis are "settlers" and "colonists" -- and therefore, in the catechism inculcated in universities in recent decades,

oppressors not deserving of mercy or sympathy when tortured and murdered by those who deemed themselves the oppressed.

November 10, 2023

Young Voters Spring (Contradictory) Political Surprises By Michael Barone

What's with young voters? It's a question prompted by two surprising and perhaps contradictory developments that are out of line with conventional wisdom and prevailing expectations among political observers.

November 3, 2023

Is a Trump Renomination Really Inevitable? By Michael Barone

Is it inevitable that Donald Trump will be the second person in history -- Richard Nixon was the first -- to win the Republican Party's nomination for president three times? Many thoughtful observers, and others as well, think so.

October 27, 2023

Can a New Speaker Reinstate an Old Norm? By Michael Barone

After a little more than three weeks, House Republicans have finally elected a speaker. He's Mike Johnson, first elected to the House in 2016 from a district in northwest Louisiana. He's almost unknown to the public, has a right-wing voting record, and has been a supporter of Donald Trump. He grills witnesses effectively but calmly, with no visible anger.

October 20, 2023

Time to Stop Appeasing Terrorist Iran By Michael Barone

 The 2020s are starting to look like the 1930s, as I wrote last week in the wake of Hamas' unprecedentedly vicious attack on Israel.

October 13, 2023

The Gathering Storm By Michael Barone

Russia has been attacking Ukraine for 20 months now. Iran, through its terrorism partner Hamas, attacked Israel this weekend. China has been threatening to attack Taiwan.

October 6, 2023

New Deal Politics Turned Upside Down By Michael Barone

"The World Turned Upside Down." That's the song, or so longstanding legend would have it, that the British army band played after surrendering to American and French forces at Yorktown, 242 years ago. You can understand, even while not sympathizing, with the choice of ditty.

September 27, 2023

The Problems With Net Zero By Michael Barone

 Net zero is in trouble. In utterly predictable trouble, in the king's-wearing-no-clothes trouble.

September 22, 2023

The Surge of Populism -- and Nationalism By Michael Barone

"Populist politicians and parties," writes the Ethics and Public Policy Center's Henry Olsen in The Spectator, are "rapidly gaining strength and power across the developed world."

September 15, 2023

People of Color Trending Republican By Michael Barone

Are non-white voters really  moving away from the Democratic Party? To partisan Democrats confronting this question on Twitter (sorry, X), it seems preposterous that the party of former President Donald Trump, whom they routinely call a racist, could be gaining support from blacks, Hispanics and Asians.

September 8, 2023

Legalized Shoplifting Becomes a Racket, and Minorities Hardest Hit By Michael Barone

You could blame Victor Hugo. In 1846, the French novelist observed a young man being arrested for holding a loaf of bread he stole.

September 1, 2023

The Tom and Daisy Buchanans North of Richmond By Michael Barone

"These rich men north of Richmond, Lord knows they just wanna have total control." So goes the refrain of singer and songwriter Oliver Anthony's suddenly famous song. "Wanna know what you think, wanna know what you do, and they don't think you know, but I know that you do."

August 25, 2023

Republican Debate: Whatever Happened in the Debate, Fundamentals Could Still Matter By Michael Barone

Having completed the first presidential debate of the 2024 campaign cycle, it's tempting to focus on minor but perhaps momentarily decisive details, such as whether Ron DeSantis was wise to outsource strategy to a committee that he's legally barred from communicating with or whether it was wise for Trump campaign spokesmen to not be allowed in the Fox News spin room.

August 18, 2023

Single Women Are the Odd Men Out, Politically By Michael Barone

America's political parties are the oldest and third-oldest in the world, and they have competed for votes among a population that has been diverse since colonial times. 

August 11, 2023

Which States Attract Outsiders and Which Don't -- 21st Century Version By Michael Barone

Let's take a time out from reports of indictments and threats of impeachment, from nostalgia for the 1940s days of American scientific creativity and ability to get big things done fast ("Oppenheimer") and the 1950s days of American popular culture appealing to every cultural subgroup without the trigger warnings and apologies for past national misdeeds.

July 28, 2023

The Proximal Origin of a Scientific Fraud By Michael Barone

"We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible."

July 21, 2023

The Press's War Against Free Speech By Micahel Barone

Have we gotten to the point that it's politically necessary to defend the principle of free speech? Apparently so.

July 14, 2023

Different Groups That 'Don't Look Like America' Together Produce Success in America By Michael Barone

News stories have reported that despite the Supreme Court's decision in cases brought against Harvard and the University of North Carolina, those and other selective schools still want to employ racial quotas and preferences in admissions.