Author Archives: Steven Hayward

The Week in Pictures: Populist Surge Edition

Featured image Populism—the phenomenon whereby the wrong candidate wins a democratic election and thereby “threatens democracy”—had a good week. A very good week. Two candidates without official hall passes from the global elites—Milei in Argentina and Wilders in The Netherlands—romped to victory without the permission of the media. Viktor Orban twisted the knife by sending congratulations to Milei and announcing that he’d travel to Argentina to attend Milei’s inauguration. If Trump were »

The Daily Chart: The Occupy Wall Street Effect?

Featured image Zach Goldberg strikes again. Goldberg, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has done the fabulous n-grams we have featured from time to time showing the rise of woke jargon in mainstream media “news” stories. His latest dive into the data shows something curious—the upswing in media wokery coincides with the end of the “Occupy Wall Street” moment about ten years back. Occupy Wall Street was not as big a nuisance »

Thinking About Rome—The Rap Version

Featured image A couple months back we reported here about how the woke media was concerned to discover that lots of young males spend a lot of time and mental energy thinking about the Roman empire, and this is obviously a gateway to racism, sexism, homophobia, and every other deplorable trait of toxic masculinity. The Washington Post dredged up Lewis Webb, a Cambridge historian of ancient Rome, to provide the necessary coda: »

The Daily Chart: Why the British Tory Party Is in Deep Trouble

Featured image While populist parties or candidates are surging nearly everywhere around the world, from Argentina to the Netherlands (and polls showing Euro-skeptic and anti-open borders parties surging in France and Germany), one wonders why the British Tory Party, which won its biggest landslide since the 1920s back in 2019 under Boris Johnson, is looking to get wiped out at the next election according to all of the current opinion polls. Maybe »

Subdued JFK?

Featured image It is just me, or did the 60th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy pass yesterday with much less commemoration than usual? You’d think an anniversary of this sorry day ending in a zero would have merited special closing segments on the evening network news (NBC Evening News chose instead to run a closing puff piece on a Napa Valley winery), covers or special commemorative editions of the »

Special TWIP: Thanksgiving Day in Pictures

Featured image Why not a special edition of TWiP for Thanksgiving? Why not indeed! It gives me an excuse to delay my day-drinking start time by a couple hours, though it will not delay or deter dinner table rants. Because of course it will (the obligatory headline): Also this predictable hed: And finally. . . »

Civic Education, at the Highest Level

Featured image Some readers may recall my earlier announcement that next semester (starting in January) I’ll be filling the very large shoes of Prof. Ted McAllister at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. (Ted sadly passed away after a long illness last winter.) I gave a talk to the incoming class of graduate students back in August, which I turned into a podcast here (in case you were living in a cave »

First Argentina, Now the Netherlands

Featured image The Netherlands went to the polls today in a national election and Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party (the PVV) won the most votes. “Polite opinion” (that is, the EU and the major media) have long considered Wilders beyond the pale, on the same plane as Nigel Farage in Britain or Marine Le Pen in France. After all, he is anti-immigration and a Euro-skeptic, and as such not clubbable. Like »

The Daily Chart: Israeli Defense Spending

Featured image The Israel-hating left—and some on the neo-isolationist right—like to attack American aid to Israel, especially military aid. It turns out American aid as a proportion of total Israeli defense spending has been in decline in recent years.  The great Zach Goldberg puts it into perspective with the receipts: Goldberg: “The reason for the decline is NOT because the US is giving less money (due to treaties, including the peace deal »

Loose Ends (238)

Featured image • When I flagged the photo of Biden’s birthday cake bonfire yesterday, I had forgotten about what is still the most bizarre Biden photo ever: • More reasons to like the president of Argentina: This is almost as good as the Trump tears in 2016: Leftists in Argentina are in TEARS tonight, sobbing as their 40 years of rule has come to an END — Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) »

Thought for the Day: Is Free Speech an End in Itself?

Featured image Short answer: No. The idea of free speech is that it is a means toward the main end of securing all of our natural rights by promoting political deliberation, and promoting the search for truth. I argued in the latest podcast that it is perfectly reasonable to shut down Students for Justice in Palestine chapters on college campuses purely on the grounds that they abuse the principle of free speech »

The Bonfire of Biden’s Vanities

Featured image By now I imagine most readers have seen the photo of Joe Biden’s birthday cake, which is the greatest moment of presidential self-immolation since Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit or George H.W. Bush threw up on the Japanese prime minister. The amazing thing is that someone in the White House thought it was a keen idea to release this photo. Which wasn’t even competently shot. What’s up with »

The Daily Chart: The Flatlining EEG for ESG

Featured image We’ve noted here before that investor enthusiasm for goo-goo “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) investing is fading fast, but it is good to see the Wall Street Journal certify the point with this headline and story: Wall Street’s ESG Craze Is Fading Wall Street rushed to embrace sustainable investing just a few years ago. Now it is quietly closing funds or scrubbing their names after disappointing returns that have investors »

Winsom Newsom’s Kamala Word Salad Recipe

Featured image It is conventional wisdom right now that Gavin Newsom is the savior of the Democrats if Biden drops out, and it is also no secret among California Democrats that Newsom and Kamala Harris hate each other, but each perceives the other as an obstacle to their political ambitions. But its seems there’s something in the water in San Francisco that made them both blithering idiots. Context: A fire underneath a »

Why There Can Never Be a Two-State Solution

Featured image One of the surprises in the weeks since October 7 is that two of the clearest voices on the matter are Bill and Hillary Clinton. To be sure, there is a personal reason behind this: Bill Clinton in particular resents Yasser Arafat for refusing to take the highly generous two-state deal Clinton helped broker at great length back in 1999 and 2000. Clinton managed to get Israel to agree to »

The Daily Chart: Argentina’s Trajectory—and Ours?

Featured image We mentioned earlier today that Argentina a century ago was one of the most prosperous nations in the world, but then it adopted populist socialism (the “good” kind of populism, according to the left), otherwise known as “bad luck.” How bad was it? Dan Mitchell has the goods: A big question going forward is whether the United States will follow Argentina’s path to long-term decline through slow-motion socialism, inflation, etc. »

Don’t Cry for Newsrooms, Argentina

Featured image Recalling from Power Line’s Lexicon of Political Terminology that “populism is when the wrong person wins an election,” the reaction this morning to Javier Milei’s victory in Argentina’s presidential election yesterday makes evident that the real threat represented by the the victory of Donald Trump (and Brexit) in 2016 is that it demonstrated that voters felt free to choose candidates not approved and certified by the established political class and »