Best columns: The U.S.
Democrats’ immigration blindness
Democrats are in danger of handing the next election to Republicans on a plate, said Andrew Sullivan. Why? Because of their increasingly radical stance on immigration. From Brexit to President Trump to Marine Le Pen in France to Germany’s swelling far right, Western politics is being completely reshaped by a populist revolt against mass immigration. Yet rather than “listening to the electorate” on this tinderbox issue, Democrats “have moved ever further to the left.” Led by far-left activists, the party now rejects the idea that illegal immigration is a problem at all, and contends that “any kind of distinction between citizens and noncitizens is somehow racist.” The logical next step of this thinking is that open borders may not be such a bad idea—and some liberals are already voicing that nutty notion. “This is, to be blunt, political suicide.” It is not bigoted for citizens to want their country to focus on their own best interests, not those of people from other countries; in fact, it’s “the core foundation for any viable democracy.” The most effective thing Trump said during the campaign was actually true: “If you don’t have borders, you don’t have a country.” Until Democrats accept that, they’re going to keep losing elections.
The twilight of political parties
David Von Drehle
The Washington Post
Both of America’s major political parties “are in crisis,” said David Von Drehle. Despite controlling Congress, the White House, and most state governments, Republicans have become so fractured, they may not even be able to rally around tax cuts, “the golden calf of the GOP.” Their president feels he “owes zilch to the party” after defeating a host of primary candidates representing every Republican faction, and he often attacks other Republicans. “The internal bloodletting is at least as fierce” on the Democratic side. The party nearly lost control of its own presidential nomination last year to Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist independent who “continues to galvanize the left wing against leading Democrats.” In the modern era, “voters no longer need—nor, in many cases, want—a political party to screen their candidates and vet their ideas.” Just as it has disrupted the retail industry, the digital revolution has allowed outsider and extremist candidates to bypass traditional gatekeepers to connect directly with voters and donors. It’s true that both parties have been “arrogant, unresponsive, and borderline corrupt.” But the parties also vetted and trained candidates, and helped enable the compromises needed to govern. “We may miss them when they are gone.”
Yes, women are hunting predators
The New York Times
Woody Allen, of all people, last week worried aloud that the Harvey Weinstein revelations would lead to “a witch hunt” of men, said Lindy West. If male predators want to put it that way, fine. “I’m a witch, and I’m hunting you”—and so are legions of other women. In recent weeks, tens of thousands of women have used the social media hashtag #MeToo to share their own stories and “demonstrate the staggering breadth and ubiquity of sexual predation.” In the worlds of Hollywood, business, media, and Silicon Valley, women are coming forward to name the men who harassed or assaulted them—leaving some men “feeling hunted after millennia of treating women like prey.” Too bad. In a just world, rich, powerful men with a long history of forcing themselves on women would have faced consequences long ago. Until recently, men like Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, and Donald Trump, “our predator in chief,” got away with it. But we have found our voice and our strength in numbers. “The witches are coming.” We may not have institutional power or wealth, “but we have our stories, and we’re going to keep telling them.”