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


AMONG THE STATIONS A frozen steeple cock announced the place – A town like any other on that coast: The rusty docks, inert, insoluble, Real estate booming, tech at full sail, And a hitching post ...

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The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More

Jay-Z Joins the Ranks of the Insufficiently Woke

Rapper and mogul Jay-Z announced his company’s new partnership with the National Football League and has made much of the social-justice Left furious: I think that we forget that Colin [Kaepernick]’s whole thing was to bring attention to social injustice, correct? So, in that case, this is a success; this is ... Read More

‘Good Verse, Bad Verse, and Chaos’

I love reading Sarah Ruden, and I’ve enjoyed the attention given to Walt Whitman in these pages over the last few days. Ruden gives the poet the back of her hand for being championed by — angels and ministers of grace, defend us! — intellectuals and professors, a poet “whom ordinary Americans most ... Read More