The most insidious tactic of COVID-19 is to get a person’s body to attack itself. In the worst cases, the body’s autoimmune system essentially goes haywire as it tries to fight off infection. This “cytokine storm” can lead to serious inflammation in the lungs and ultimately to major organ failure. COVID-19 seems to have had a similar… Continue reading Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?
The far right thrives on fear. It’s no surprise, then, that it would use the latest pandemic, which has generated widespread panic, to bolster its own agenda. All of the hallmarks of the far right are in play during the current crisis. It has pushed to close borders. It has demonized foreigners and particularly border-crossers.… Continue reading The Politics of the Coronavirus
Shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday, Donald Trump decided to ignore the advice of his own top brass and personally dismiss charges in three military court cases dealing with war crimes. That decision has already cost Navy Secretary Richard Spencer his job, outraged a wide range of U.S. veterans, and raised concerns abroad of a weakened… Continue reading Trump’s Attack on the Law Is Global
The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. It was one of the few unambiguously joyous moments in modern history. This popular, nonviolent explosion of dissent effectively toppled East Germany’s despotic regime. And it signaled, if only symbolically, the end of the Cold War that had divided Europe for nearly half a century. Thirty years later,… Continue reading Did the Fall of the Berlin Wall Produce Trump?
In fantasy sports, participants draft their own dream teams out of the rosters of existing players. That’s what Donald Trump has done with Ukraine. He and his advisors have created a fantasy team involving a number of key players, including the Ukrainian president, the former U.S. ambassador, and the former vice president’s son. Then they’ve… Continue reading Trump’s Fantasy Ukraine
The far right is on a roll. Just a few years ago, liberals and conservatives would have considered its recent political victories a nightmare scenario. Right-wing extremists have won elections in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, India, and Poland. They pushed through the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. In the most recent European Parliament… Continue reading The Far Right’s War on Culture
If you’re a supporter of Donald Trump — or Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil or Matteo Salvini in Italy — you probably think that democracy has never been in better health. Recent elections in these countries didn’t just serve to rotate the elite from the conventional parties. Voters went to the polls and elected outsiders who… Continue reading Democracy Desperately Need a Reboot
Europe is gearing up for much-anticipated elections this week to the European parliament. Austria, however, now has to deal with a very unexpected snap election — thanks to a drunk politician, a Russian honeypot, and a leaked video. This scandal currently rocking Austria may ultimately play a decisive role in the European elections as well.… Continue reading Russia and the Future of Europe
If Donald Trump goes to church regularly, he’s kept it a pretty good secret. He and his wife have made sure to alert the press on the few times he does attend services, for instance on Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day. Otherwise, the president seems to worship regularly only at the Church of the Hole… Continue reading Ayatollah Trump
After 1989, Eastern Europe became the poster child for liberal democracy. One after another, the countries in the region replaced their Communist systems with new market economies, alongside democratic structures. After many years of difficult “transition”—high unemployment, industrial collapse, rural dislocation—the countries in the region all began to stabilize as they approached the close of… Continue reading Eastern Europe Marches Right