Magazine | January 23, 2017, Issue


President-elect Donald Trump speaks at the Carrier HVAC plant in Indianapolis, Ind., December 1, 2016. (Reuters photo: Chris Bergin)

Beliefs of the 99 Percent

Kevin D. Williamson attempts (“Superman Politics,” December 31) to articulate complex economic policy for the 0.4 percent “who follow these things closely.” That makes me part of the 99.6 percent who don’t and simply go on with our lives being skeptical of any economic policy.

I enjoyed Williamson’s article, as he was definitive in his analysis of Trump-Pence’s Carrier subsidy right up until he states that “there is no broader logic at work.” The 99.6 percent heard a campaign promise to “reduce the corporate tax rate” and “remove every job-robbing regulation” and “accompanying executive orders.” Those, to us, are the “broader logic” ignored by Williamson.

I also objected to his denouncement of Pence, whom the 99 percent view as a hero in the debates and a calming force for Trump. I’ll continue to believe that Pence is not a “sniffer” but is the genuine article until proven otherwise. His influence on Trump makes Trump appear more “presidential.”

Williamson’s treatment of the Carrier deal’s being “symbolic” is easily understood by the 99 percent, but we believe it is merely a distraction from Trump’s broader economic policy.

Frank Sardina

Unionville, Va.

Kevin D. Williamson responds: The fact that 99 percent of the people believe X, Y, or Z doesn’t make it so. Donald Trump has some good instincts on economic policy, such as reforming the corporate tax code and the onerous federal regulatory structure. He also has some terrible ideas, such as using the corporate tax code as a political weapon and adding to the onerous federal regulatory structure in ways that accord with his populist sensibilities. He also has a penchant for what amount to cheap publicity stunts, as in the Carrier matter. Given Trump’s history and his character, my own inclination is to proceed with caution — lots of it.


Deciphering Obama’s Foreign Policy

When evaluating President Obama’s record and searching for justification for various foreign-policy decisions, reductive thinking can go a long way. While Arthur Herman is fundamentally correct in his review of Jay Solomon’s book on Iran (“Dangerous Gamble,” December 31), an understanding of radical chic would tell you that the nuclear deal with Iran and the U.S. disengagement during the uprising in Tehran in 2009 were derived from a desire to apologize and make tangible amends for the seemingly inexcusable involvement of the United States in the 1953 overthrow of Mohammed Mossadegh. Remarkable perhaps, but not complicated when the core tendency, embraced by Obama, was and is to blame America first, consequences be damned.

Paul J. Hauptman

St. Louis, Mo.

NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Politics & Policy


Beliefs of the 99 Percent Kevin D. Williamson attempts (“Superman Politics,” December 31) to articulate complex economic policy for the 0.4 percent “who follow these things closely.” That makes me part ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We hope that in retirement Harry Reid keeps up his workout routine. ‐ Republicans intend to pass what they’re calling an “Obamacare-repeal bill” early. It will get rid of Obamacare’s ...
Politics & Policy


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White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More