David Harsanyi from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 15 Jan 2021 09:49:50 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss David Harsanyi from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/david-harsanyi-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi cb05c1df49f61c4f8d228f8a42759c01 Free Speech Is a Value Not Just a Right for 01/15/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/01/21/free-speech-is-a-value-not-just-a-right Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In recent days, some of the nation's most powerful corporations have engaged in a concerted effort, at the behest of a major political party, to limit the speech of millions of Americans who engaged in wrongthink. First, Twitter permanently banned the sitting president. As is its right. And when millions of his fans left and bolstered Parler, a different platform, Apple, Google and Amazon went ahead and shut it down as well.</p> <p>But if you say that targeted deplatforming, though not Stalinist, is troubling, the same people who want to compel everyone to buy state-mandated health insurance, who want to dictate how corporations compensate their employees, who want to force nuns to buy abortifacients and who want to destroy the lives of bakers and florists who run businesses according to long-held religious beliefs will vigorously defend the value of free-association rights that allow corporations to act this way. So I'm pretty skeptical that most of these people are genuine champions of individual market choices, and aren't just super excited about silencing people.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> 524c74a5a002e24e926556d3c1fa9c3b Washington Deserves Its 'Brutalism' for 01/01/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/12/20/washington-deserves-its-brutalism Fri, 01 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>In his 1981 diatribe against contemporary American architecture, "From Bauhaus to Our House," Tom Wolfe notes that seemingly every American child "goes to a school in a building that looks like a duplicating-machine replacement-parts wholesale distribution center warehouse." Anecdotally speaking, this still seems to be the case in East Coast metro areas like Washington and New York City, where suburban teens shuffle in and out of buildings that could double as minimum-security prisons.</p> <p>Wolfe traces the problem to the Lost Generation, which internalized the notion that "they do things better in Europe." In architecture, this outlook was made manifest in the insipid giant glass boxes erected up and down Sixth Avenue in Manhattan and in other major cities from the 1950s to the 1970s. On Wolfe's mind was the demolition of the original Beaux Arts Penn Station &#8212; "the Roman Temple of transportation," one paper called it &#8212; and the construction of the modern Madison Square Garden. Across the country, American towns were being blighted by unsightly and cheerless concrete structures masquerading as utilitarian art much in the same way that the walls of dentists' offices were being hung with third-rate Jackson Pollock knockoffs posing as abstract expressionism.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 01, 2021</p> 2adb015fb8d58eaf74afc5806e50e77a Wanted: An Honest Debate about the Death Penalty for 12/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/12/20/wanted-an-honest-debate-about-the-death-penalty Fri, 18 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Mike Dukakis was asked by CNN's Bernard Shaw during the 1988 presidential debates whether he would support the death penalty if his wife, Kitty, had been raped and murdered. The Massachusetts governor famously responded: "No, I don't, Bernard, and I think you know that I've opposed the death penalty during all of my life. I don't see any evidence that it's a deterrent, and I think there are better and more effective ways to deal with violent crime."</p> <p>Given the coddling Democrats receive from the press today, Shaw's question sounds especially jarring. But Dukakis's automaton-like response to a query about the theoretical slaying of his dear wife did not go over well with the American public. Dukakis did not seem to genuinely grapple with the complex moral implications of murder and punishment.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 18, 2020</p> f32aa15a22b08735d70c88452f4f82f6 The True Meaning of Hanukkah for 12/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/12/20/the-true-meaning-of-hanukkah Fri, 11 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>In a recent Parents magazine piece headlined, "How to Explain the Hanukkah Story to Kids," we are informed that, "this year more than any other is a great opportunity to take extra time to teach your family about the Jewish holiday that celebrates the power of light and miracles." Hanukkah, Parents goes on to explain, "means dedication in Hebrew, and the Jewish holiday, also known as The Festival of Lights, represents joy."</p> <p>Joy? This kind of insufferably vacuous, anesthetized, consumerist celebration that American Jews have concocted to compete with Christmas is stripped of any genuine theological or cultural meaning. It's a shame because, from a historical and cultural perspective, <span class="column--highlighted-text">Hanukkah might be Judaism's most fascinating holiday. It's a story about roiling political upheavals of the ancient world, nationalism, assimilation, civil war, religious zealotry, martyrdom and corruption.</span></p> <p>In short, the first two books of the Maccabees detail a revolt led by the patriarch Mattathias and his five sons against the Hellenistic king Antiochus, who had barred Jewish religious practice, desecrated the Holy Temple, levied high taxes and forced the population to adopt Greek rituals and norms.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 11, 2020</p> 2a23544569f0cf47ae71fe2427eb83c0 Mandatory Voting Is Authoritarian for 12/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/12/20/mandatory-voting-is-authoritarian Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>After the 2016 presidential election, I wrote an exceptionally unpopular op-ed for The Washington Post headlined, "We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate." In it, I noted that "never have so many people with so little knowledge made so many consequential decisions for the rest of us."</p> <p>My assumption has always been that the Post only accepted the piece because its editors believed I was aiming my criticism exclusively at the right-wing populists who had just voted for Donald Trump. If so, they were wrong. My skepticism extends to all sides.</p> <p>And to all elections. Indeed, today, the problem is even more severe. More Americans voted in 2020 than ever before even though the winner, Joe Biden, was rarely impelled to answer a substantive question on policy or even to show himself in public. 2020 might have featured the most vacuous campaigns in American history. This is what "democracy" looks like when propelled by fearmongering, ignorance and the "common impulse of passion," as James Madison warned. I mean that all around.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 04, 2020</p> 57abaa202c04d90209801d076f567ea0 The Electoral College, Now More Than Ever for 11/27/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/11/20/the-electoral-college-now-more-than-ever Fri, 27 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>One must read to the end of The Washington Post's editorial, "Abolish the electoral college," before hitting on the real reason the Post's editors want to upend the long-standing constitutional institution. "Mr. Trump's election was a sad event for the nation," notes the Post, "his reelection would have been a calamity."</p> <p>Maybe, maybe not. That's a matter of partisan perspective. Those who are genuinely concerned about the future of American governance would be calling to strengthen institutions that provide political stability, not destroy them. But when your concerns about "American democracy" are really just a euphemism for partisan power grabs, you end up making lots of sloppy arguments.</p> <p>Like so:<p>Updated: Fri Nov 27, 2020</p> a6fed219b4e99486338bfbbdb1b63fd1 Convert Me If You Can for 11/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/11/20/convert-me-if-you-can Fri, 20 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>The investigative journalists over at The Daily Beast report that Madison Cawthorn, the North Carolina Republican who will soon become the youngest member of Congress in American history, "has admitted he tried to convert Jews and Muslims to Christianity."</p> <p>So what?<p>Updated: Fri Nov 20, 2020</p> 808abbb67de0cd40f81a15767d3261da Against 'Unity' for 11/13/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/11/20/against-unity Fri, 13 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Political unity is an ugly, authoritarian idea. No free place has domestic political unity, nor should it aspire to it.</p> <p>What "unity" really means, of course, is capitulation. America is once again being subjected to the inane brand of pseudo-patriotic sloganeering we saw during President Barack Obama's tenure. Now, as then, the media will pretend that the moral fabric of the nation must be mended after Republican rule. It's pretty transparent. When Democrats win the presidency, we are treated to solemn calls for national restoration and political harmony, and to the expectation that, for the good of the nation, the opposition will embrace decorum and pass legislation they oppose. When Republicans win elections, grown women put on knitted hats depicting their reproductive organs and stomp around Washington protesting, all to a hero's welcome.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 13, 2020</p> 5aec2478fac4d1ee912c794c343d036c Joe Biden, the Luckiest Politician in American History for 11/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/11/20/joe-biden-the-luckiest-politician-in-american-history Fri, 06 Nov 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Joe Biden has faced many tragedies in his personal life. But if he wins the presidency today, he will have been the luckiest politician in American history.</p> <p>1972: Biden only wins his first Senate race in Delaware after Richard Nixon misguidedly convinces incumbent J. Caleb Boggs, who had announced he would be retiring, to run again. It is also the first Senate election in which 18-year-olds could vote. Biden's argument: Boggs, at the age of 63 &#8212; 14 years younger than Biden is today &#8212; was over the hill. The timing worked out well for the then-unknown candidate, who thereafter basically runs for a House-sized congressional seat every six years until 2009. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 06, 2020</p> 44012156f7cea4375db87abdd6f16bdf The Left Doesn't Fear Amy Coney Barrett, It Fears the Constitution for 10/30/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/10/20/the-left-doesnt-fear-amy-coney-barrett-it-fears-the-constitution Fri, 30 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Nothing threatens the progressive project more than the existence of a Supreme Court that adheres to the Constitution. It's really that simple.</p> <p>That's what the tantrum over Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation is all about. The notion that the same Democrats who shelved the judicial filibuster and now threaten to destroy the separation of powers with a revenge scheme to pack the Supreme Court &#8212; the same people, incidentally, so fond of smear-drenched confirmation hearings &#8212; are sticklers for process or decorum is simply ludicrous.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 30, 2020</p> 1793772f548e3f797774c523eddd98cb Questions Joe Biden Should Answer About Hunter's Emails for 10/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/10/20/questions-joe-biden-should-answer-about-hunters-emails Fri, 23 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>First, Joe Biden's Praetorian Guard in the media argued that the New York Post's Hunter Biden scoop was "Russian disinformation." The DOJ, FBI and DNI each publicly disagreed. No one in the Biden camp has denied the veracity of a single email thus far. Yet, as of this writing, the Post's Twitter account is still frozen, and most major news outlets won't report the story.</p> <p>The next deflection was to play on your emotions: "How dare you mock a father struggling with the addiction of his son?!" This isn't about Hunter's addictions, predilections or life choices, but about his favor-trading, and whether a presidential candidate benefited from them during his tenure as vice president of the United States. We shouldn't mock those with addiction, but a person isn't inoculated from scrutiny merely because he's an addict, either.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 23, 2020</p> 118ef17cd522046bfd1cef1b034cd6d1 Twitter's Censorship of the New York Post Is Un-American for 10/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/10/20/twitters-censorship-of-the-new-york-post-is-un-american Fri, 16 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Less than three weeks from a presidential election, perhaps the most vital platform for political news and debate, Twitter, has locked down the accounts of a presidential candidate's press secretary, and of his official campaign, among others, at the behest of activists pretending to be journalists.</p> <p>This is unsurprising to anyone who has been paying attention. The press has spent four years pressuring social media outlets to censor speech and limit access with scaremongering over the alleged nefarious influence of foreign accounts, "fake news" and hate speech &#8212; all of which are preferable to authoritarian technocrats shutting down open discourse. Well, at least until such time that people lose their agency and free will.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 16, 2020</p> 765b005a3a30002e31997b2b07f27c83 Joe Biden Is Flirting with the Destruction of the Judiciary for 10/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/10/20/joe-biden-is-flirting-with-the-destruction-of-the-judiciary Fri, 09 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Joe Biden says, "You'll know my opinion on court-packing when the election is over." To this point, Biden hasn't offered any position on court-packing, one of the gravest threats to the constitutional order in modern American history. Whether he is too scared of offending a significant faction of his party or he believes it's an idea worth considering, his silence is a reflection of a dangerous shift on the left.</p> <p>Progressives, of course, have a point. If the Supreme Court adheres to even the most rudimentary constitutional limits on state power, rather than surrendering to the impulses of majoritarian politics, it's going to be a huge impediment to their agenda. Indeed, they have the same motivation as President Franklin Roosevelt had when he attempted to expand the Court in 1937: One-party rule.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 09, 2020</p> 7378773e445b8f615a3ab7a8c6dc1f0c Joe Biden Is Just an Idea for 10/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/10/20/joe-biden-is-just-an-idea Fri, 02 Oct 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Lost in the blinding gaslighting over Donald Trump's remarks about white supremacists during the first presidential debate was the fact that Joe Biden proved again that he's little more than a stand-in propped up by a compliant political press.</p> <p>Biden was unable to answer even the most rudimentary queries about his beliefs, never mind specifics about policy. Apologies to the Twitter expert class, but opposing Donald Trump is neither a moral doctrine nor a policy agenda.<p>Updated: Fri Oct 02, 2020</p> fbfbb9ad97d72657f0d91b5aae7bea87 The Democrats' Bogus Concern for SCOTUS 'Norms' for 09/25/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/09/20/the-democrats-bogus-concern-for-scotus-norms Fri, 25 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For those keeping track, here's a list of Democratic Party "norms" for placing new justices on the Supreme Court of the United States, as they stand today:</p> <p>Norm No. 1: When Democrats are in charge of both the Senate and the White House, they are free to nominate and confirm any justice they please, as quickly as they please, as they did in the cases of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 25, 2020</p> 8b2bd207dfc90bba3ac8ca30a267cf23 Why Trump's Mideast Peace Deals Matter for 09/18/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/09/20/why-trumps-mideast-peace-deals-matter Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>After Israel's resounding victory over the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian armies in 1967, the Jewish state again offered the Arab world peace in exchange for recognition. And it was again rebuffed. Instead, the Arab League convened in Khartoum to formulate a consensus response that became known as "The 3 Noes" &#8212; no recognition, no negotiations and no peace with Israel.</p> <p>Needless to say, this posture left little room for positive dialogue.<p>Updated: Fri Sep 18, 2020</p> 8ff252968538b08ee8e98488a9f90607 Questions the Media Should Ask Joe Biden for 09/11/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/09/20/questions-the-media-should-ask-joe-biden Fri, 11 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden finally held what was billed as a press conference with journalists recently &#8212; something of a rarity in a campaign that's relied on staged question-and-answer sessions. It was a truly embarrassing display of hackery from the media.</p> <p>Here's a quick sampling of some of the queries Biden faced from supposedly dispassionate journalists:</p> <p>A reporter asked Biden about anonymously sourced claims (published last week in The Atlantic) that Trump had made belittled remarks about veterans: "When you hear these remarks ... what does it tell you about Trump's soul and the life he leads?" <p>Updated: Fri Sep 11, 2020</p> 1463ee642a52fecf0a50be6dbaa2b532 The Democrats' Dangerous Delegitimization of the Election for 09/04/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/09/20/the-democrats-dangerous-delegitimization-of-the-election Fri, 04 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In a recent deep dive in The Washington Post's Outlook section, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?" exploring various potential outcomes of the 2020 presidential election, found that in "every scenario except a Biden landslide, our simulation ended catastrophically." According to the Post, any other outcome is destined to spark "violence" and a "constitutional crisis."</p> <p>Or, in other words, nice country you got there...<p>Updated: Fri Sep 04, 2020</p> 3bccbfc805ed21ac7468c2aad622dfa5 Biden Is Underperforming Hillary in Battleground States for 08/28/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/08/20/biden-is-underperforming-hillary-in-battleground-states Fri, 28 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It remains something of a mystery why there's so little apprehension among liberal pundits and Democrats about the similarities between battleground state polling for the 2020 presidential election and 2016 contest &#8212; which as you might recall did not turn out as expected.</p> <p>Consider the case of Wisconsin:<p>Updated: Fri Aug 28, 2020</p> 9bb67d3764650b69a1da2f82639faa3b History Keeps Proving John Kerry Wrong for 08/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/david-harsanyi/08/20/history-keeps-proving-john-kerry-wrong Fri, 21 Aug 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It took approximately 20 seconds for former Secretary of State John Kerry to drop the first flagrant lie in his Democratic National Convention speech on Tuesday, when he claimed that the Obama administration's so-called Iran deal had "eliminated the threat of an Iran with a nuclear weapon." It didn't get any better from there.</p> <p>Kerry knows well that sunset provisions in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action provided Iran's government with a pathway to building nuclear weapons in a few years. He knows well that Israel uncovered a giant cache of documents with instructions on how to jumpstart a program to build a nuclear arsenal, which undermined both the spirit and the rationale of the nonproliferation agreement Iran signed. He knows that Iran was developing ballistic-missile programs meant to deliver nuclear weapons.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 21, 2020</p>