Best columns: The U.S.
Will Trumpism last after the election?
Jonathan Tobin CommentaryMagazine.com
Is the Trump movement here to stay? asked Jonathan Tobin. If the Republican presidential nominee triumphs in November, his unique brand of populist, white-identity nativism could well develop into a formidable force for years to come. But if, as many expect, he comes up short, there’s little to suggest Trumpism has any staying power. In recent weeks, “Trump wannabes” have been badly beaten in primary races by establishment Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, Arizona Sen. John McCain, and House Speaker Paul Ryan in Wisconsin. In each race, Trump failed to endorse or work for the candidates who claimed him as an inspiration, because he’s only concerned with his own success. His supporters, in turn, only care about electing Trump. The former reality-TV star isn’t running on any coherent, workable platform other Republicans can adopt; instead, he embodies an attitude—“a primal urge” to “stick it to the powers that be,” including the Republican establishment, liberals, and the media. Do his supporters believe he’ll do everything he says? No. They just like how he says it. But if the celebrity leader fails in his bid for the White House, his movement will fall apart. “Trumpism without Trump is an illusion.”
The immorality of animal research
John Gluck The New York Times
As a scientist who spent decades conducting research on monkeys, said John Gluck, I once believed that “intentionally harming animals” was justified by what we learned. But after witnessing the terrible suffering we inflicted, I now believe animal research is immoral. In fact, we need to examine whether we should stop the research that scientists are still conducting on 70,000 laboratory primates in the U.S. In my own work, we separated young monkeys from their families and others of their kind, putting them in isolated, soundproof cages that were lit 24 hours a day. We then measured “how their potential complex and intellectual lives unraveled” under these awful conditions—in effect, driving them insane. As we observed these intelligent primates suffer, I began to see them as individuals with personalities and feelings, not just objects yielding data, and “it became harder and harder for me to argue that the importance of my work always outweighed the pain I caused.” Besides, what we learned about animals in cages had limited relevance to mental illness in people. In recent decades, we have banned research that causes harm to humans—even if it produces useful information. “There is no ethical argument that justifies not doing the same for animals.”
Cutting off aid to Israel
Jeff Jacoby The Boston Globe
“I support Israel, which is why I don’t support U.S. aid to Israel,” said Jeff Jacoby. How is that possible? For decades, the prevailing Zionist view has been that military aid from Washington, which now amounts to $3.1 billion a year, is “the most tangible manifestation of American support” and a cornerstone of the U.S.-Israel alliance. In reality, the Jewish state boasts a booming economy and doesn’t need our charity. Plus, all that American largesse “comes with strings attached”—and might actually be making Israel weaker. The U.S. stipulates that Jerusalem must spend 75 percent of each year’s assistance in the U.S., essentially subsidizing American defense contractors instead of bolstering its own thriving arms industry. What’s more, numerous Israeli military experts argue that an overreliance on U.S.-made jets and missile systems may be skewing their country’s defense focus toward air power at the expense of ground strategies crucial to fighting terrorists. The aid also enables the U.S. to exert pressure on Israeli decision making, thus complicating our alliance. “Israel is healthy enough to stand on its own two feet, and it should be a matter of pride for it to do so.”