Instant Opinion: ‘Trump’s attacks show fascism is coming to the US’

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Friday 19 July


The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. Paul Mason in the New Statesman

on America

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Donald Trump’s attacks on Ilhan Omar show fascism is coming to the US

“An elite prepared to deploy racism is not new. But an elite prepared to comply with the politicisation of the judiciary, overt nepotism and the racialisation of politics is a step change. An elite prepared to deal out doses of hatred by teleprompter, against politicians who in all other eras would be vaunted as role models and success stories. This is the beginning of fascism.”

2. Philip Collins in The Times

on Theresa May

May didn’t have the skill set to succeed as PM

“Mrs May never defined a cause that could have diverted our attention from Brexit, even for a short time. Hers could have been the administration that fixed social care or made a dramatic change to the housing market. She could have singled out a cohort for special attention, such as getting more young women into science or improving child mental health. The fact she never got close to any such thing suggests a poverty of ambition. It is not altogether obvious, beyond being prime minister, what Mrs May was really for.”

3. Gary Young in The Guardian

on Boris Johnson manipulation of metaphors

Farewell, Theresa May. Your best was far from good enough

“The kipper, intended as a symbol of EU overregulation, actually showcased Johnson’s legendary lack of attention to detail. The Isle of Man is not in the EU. Were he right, the story would really illustrate what life will be like when we leave and have to conform to EU regulations but have no say in making them. But he wasn’t. The new packaging rule is actually a UK one.”

4. Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph

on Brexit

There may well be an economic cost to no-deal – but plenty of people want it anyway

“It’s not that voters don’t trust experts – it’s just that they don’t trust politicians who quote experts. Brexit is so complex, with so many variables, that no one can guess with any accuracy where we’ll end up. The £350 million on the side of the Brexit bus was one of many nonsensical figures thrown around at the time of the referendum. In the next few months we can expect other blood‑curdling no-deal warnings, but a great many of them will be the result of this statistical conjury. Of course, the end result might be worse than any of these scenarios. It might be a lot better. We just don’t know. It depends on the tariffs Britain would slap on imports, on whether businesses would panic – or see this as a great investment opportunity – whether the government would cut taxes and how successful its stimulus would be. It’s a giant leap in the dark, but one Leave voters are still willing to take. They’re no more daunted now than three years ago.”

5. The Editorial Board of the New York Times

on Trump’s toxic legacy

The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

“The president is looking to divide Americans along color lines, to conjure a zero-sum vision of America in which whites must contend against nonwhites for jobs, wealth, safety and citizenship. He thinks this approach will win him another four years in the White House. At this point, does it much matter if he is acting purely out of political cynicism, with no element of personal prejudice? The rage he is nurturing and the pain he is causing are all too real. The damage he is doing will take years to undo.”

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