Donald Trump loves terrorism

There are people and institutions that benefit from terrorism. Terror tactics undermine free markets, trade, tourism, pluralism, and every institution that thrives on trust-based interactions. An atmosphere soaked in indiscriminate violence is fantastic for authoritarians. Unlike the British government in the 90’s, Donald Trump fosters terrorism because it furthers his political goals.

The power of an image

That picture is a gift. For the narratives it reinforces and the narratives it erodes, it might be the most politically toxic image of a President that we have ever seen. Democrats will waste it, because they still don’t know how to win campaigns in a post-patronage climate.

Celebrity power could transform our politics

This week, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joined the collection of celebrity heavyweights threatening to run for President. As I’ve mentioned in several pieces, I think that Trump has broken down the barrier between celebrity and politics in way that has dangerous implications. In a piece at Forbes today I digest several of these ideas down into a single theme.

Fox News faces the future

Roger Ailes will soon be laid to rest. He will be remembered as one of the most consequential figures of his time. Consequential, in this case, being a funeral euphemism, like Joseph Conrad’s description of Mister Kurtz as a “remarkable man.” In a ceremony likely to be a Sahara of tears, he will be eulogized for his impact on American political culture, without much comment devoted to the public merits of those achievements.