Politics & Current Events

Globalism and the Upending of American Politics

May 20th, 2017 | By
iipi052017

Republicans responded to the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama with a visceral disdain and hatred for these two presidents. American evangelicals joined enthusiastically in such responses. Now Democrats are responding in almost identical ways to Donald Trump. As hardened as American conservatives were toward Clinton and Obama, now the American left is equally as hardened toward Trump.



What the War in Syria Has Exposed

May 6th, 2017 | By
iipi20170506

The Syrian Civil War is now in its 7th year and shows no signs of ending soon. In my opinion, this war has exposed the depths of human depravity like no other recent conflict. Allow me to defend this proposition.



The Entitlement Behemoth: Medicaid—The Other Medical Crisis

Apr 29th, 2017 | By
iipi20170428

During the recent failure of Congress to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) with a scaled down medical entitlement, few noticed one of the key elements of both the ACA and the revision proposed by the Republican Congress. That key element is Medicaid. Let me explain. Medicaid was created more than 50 years ago as a part of the Medicare program advocated by Lyndon B. Johnson and passed by the Congress in 1965. Medicaid was designed as a small program to cover poor people’s medical bills. But over these past five decades, Medicaid has surpassed Medicare in the number of Americans it covers, for it provides for the medical needs of one in five Americans (74 million people) from the womb to the grave. How has it grown into this bureaucratic behemoth?



Israel and the New Troika of Evil: Iran, Hezbollah and Russia

Apr 15th, 2017 | By
Jerusalem

As 2017 unfolds, Israel, the only functioning democracy in the Middle East, is doing well. Its economy is growing at 3.2% per year. The main opposition party to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is in disarray. In terms of its foreign affairs, Israel enjoys a positive relationship with Russia and its ties to both Africa and Asia are the best ever. Although absolutely no progress has been made in resolving the issues with the Palestinians (a major sticking point during the Obama years), Israel now enjoys a better relationship with the United States under Donald Trump. . . But Israel is increasingly anxious about two major developments in the Middle East. Each poses an existential threat to the state of Israel.



American Exceptionalism, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Feb 25th, 2017 | By
iipi20170225

America is exceptional and unique. Its exceptionalism has a moral, an ethical, a spiritual and a political dimension to it. There really is no other nation quite like the US—and that is at the heart of its exceptionalism. Let me highlight a few of these distinctive aspects. The United States was birthed as a nation when two powerful forces came together in the 18th century—the desire for both political liberty and religious liberty.



Nationalism versus Globalism: Vladimir Putin as Hero?

Jan 28th, 2017 | By
iipi012817

Last week in Issues in Perspective (21 January 2017), I argued that the new ideological struggle in the world is between the forces of nationalism and the forces of globalism. This struggle explains Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump among other developments. This week I want to address the curious role that Vladimir Putin plays in this ongoing struggle between nationalism and globalism.



Globalism vs. Nationalism: The Ideological Struggle of the 21st Century

Jan 21st, 2017 | By
iipi012117

For much of the 20th century, ideological discussions and debates have centered on liberal versus conservative, left versus right. No longer. The ideological divide of the 21st century is emerging as globalism versus nationalism. Since the end of World War II, global integration and technological progress have fueled a new world order centered on free trade, open borders and interdependent economies. Goods, capital and people should be able to move freely across borders, which is actually the meaning of globalization. But Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal argues that globalism is a “mindset that globalization is natural and good, that global governance should expand as national sovereignty contracts.” The new nationalist surge has startled and shocked the advocates of globalism. This new nationalism is the vital center of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.



The Withdrawal of the United States from the Middle East: The Consequences

Jan 14th, 2017 | By
iipi011417

The post-World War II international order, organized by the United States, is coming apart. There is probably no more poignant example of this truth than the Middle East. The US has been the key to relative stability and order in the notoriously complex Middle East. From the creation of Israel in 1948, through the wars of 1956, 1967 and 1973, the United States brokered the peace that ultimately preserved the existence of Israel and kept the major powers (e.g., the Soviet Union and now Russia, as well as Iran) at bay. Under Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Reagan, the US brokered peace deals between Israel and its neighbors based on the premise of “land for peace.” No longer!



The Need for Educational Reform in America

Jan 7th, 2017 | By
292761884_1f13ad4d5f_b

As a reward to the teacher unions of the United States for strongly supporting his run for the presidency, Jimmy Carter created the Department of Education, a Cabinet level Department with a large bureaucracy. Today that Department funnels billions of tax dollars to elementary, secondary and college institutions throughout the United States. Especially for the public elementary and secondary schools, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that this Department and the tax dollars spent since 1979 have not produced a good return on investment. . . Arguably, most intellectually honest educators admit that the American system of public education is in need of thoroughgoing reform. But both Democrats and Republicans have blind spots when it comes to educational reform. . .



Is the Electoral College Still Necessary?

Dec 10th, 2016 | By
iipi121016

The 2016 presidential election is history and the difference between the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won by over two million votes, and the electoral vote, which Donald Trump won decisively, is disturbing to some. Because this is the second time in recent history where the candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote, many argue that we should abolish the Electoral College and simply adopt the standard that the one who wins the popular vote (presumably a majority requirement) is the president . . . Should we abolish the Electoral College as an antiquated, 18th century innovation of our Founders?