How California Can Survive the U.S.-China War

The Golden State Should Be the Voice of Reason in the Conflict Between Autocrats in D.C. and Beijing

California is trapped—caught in the dangerous space between two menacingly authoritarian regimes that want to fight each other.

One regime is headquartered in Beijing, and the other is about to take power in Washington D.C. But when viewed from the Golden State, it’s striking how much they have in common.

Both are fervently nationalist, full of military men, and so bellicose they are spooking neighbors and allies. Both, while nodding to public opinion, express open contempt for human rights and undermine faith in elections and the free press. Both promote hatred …

More In: Washington D.C.

Don’t Blame The Candidates—Blame Yourself

Americans Are Finally Getting Political Contenders as Extreme as Our Rhetoric

We may finally be getting the presidential candidates we deserve.

Forget all that talk about the wisdom of voters, and the great American people. We are the problem, with our shrill, …

Think Tanks! What Are They Good For?

In a Democracy Desperate For New Ideas and Nonpartisanship, They Might Plan Our Future

In The Comedian, Jerry Seinfeld’s movie about his craft, Seinfeld reveals he always wanted to do a skit about think tanks. The comedian, keen to deconstruct meaning, defines think tanks …

Why Are D.C. Politicians Sweet on California?

Lefties and Righties Are Calling the Golden State a National Model. It’s Flattering—and Misguided.

Dear Washington, D.C.,

I know that your politicians will say anything to get elected and your wonks are perpetually grasping at straws. But I find it hard to believe how many …

A New America Should Not Just Be About Winning

Competition Has Its Place. But There’s Also Room For Caring.

When I left the State Department almost three years ago, I was deeply grateful to be able to return to a tenured position at an idyllic university. I imagined possibly …

The March Against the March

We've Forgotten Just How Risky the March on Washington Felt in 1963

In the days and weeks following the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, the nation’s newspaper editorial pages breathed a collective sigh of relief. The papers …