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  • Commentary posted July 22, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Want to Solve the Border Crisis? Stop What's Causing it

    Want to solve the border crisis? Stop what’s causing it. Simply throwing money at programs to absorb illegal immigrants will not end the humanitarian crisis on our border. In fact, without tackling the root causes, more children will be brought by human traffickers to the U.S. What are the causes? An uptick in violence in Central America is partly to blame, but first and…

  • Commentary posted July 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Intolerance as Illiberalism

    We live in intolerant times. A former Secretary of State is disinvited from speaking on campus. Corporate leaders are forced to resign because of their views on marriage. People are forced by the courts to violate their consciences. A prominent Senate leader calls Tea Party activists “anarchists” and, in a speech reminiscent of McCarthyism, brands the…

  • Commentary posted July 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. How the United States Government Lost Its Liberalism

    In yesterday's essay, I argued that American liberalism is becoming increasingly illiberal. By that, I mean that American liberals are becoming more inclined to use coercion to deny some citizens their freedom of expression and conscience and to treat them as unequal before the law. Yesterday, I focused on illiberalism’s cultural aspects. Today, I describe its politics,…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. What Obama's Power Grab Says About Liberalism

    Last week’s Supreme Court ruling limiting President Obama’s authority to make recess appointments is a victory for constitutional government. But before Americans celebrate too much, they should take heed of the White House spin the next day. After saying how deeply disappointed the president was, Press Secretary Josh Earnest added: “The president is in no way…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. When war-weariness leads to more war

    President Obama is fond of saying he was elected to “end” wars, not start them. He clearly is tapping into Americans’ well-known weariness of wars and sees himself as merely carrying out their will. But there’s a problem. Americans may indeed be war-weary (although how much may be exaggerated), but that only means they assume Mr. Obama’s policies will actually end the…

  • Commentary posted June 2, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama’s not-so-indispensable America

    Many people think President Obama’s speech last week at West Point was all about politics. Setting up straw men and knocking them down, the president defined himself mainly by what he wasn’t. He was not an isolationist. He was not a warmonger. Of course, no one seriously claimed he was either one. Nor are these extremes real-world strategic options. Yes, the president’s…

  • Commentary posted May 19, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Christian persecution — an injustice for all

    We are asked every day to show solidarity with women and with racial and ethnic minorities around the world. Yet some of us too easily dismiss discrimination against and even persecution and murder of Christians as merely a “religious” problem that concerns only Christians. But it’s bigger than that. It’s a human rights crisis that should concern us all. Consider the…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Putin's Asymmetrical War on the West

    By any reasonable measure, Russia is getting the best of the West in the showdown over Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin's destabilization of that country continues apace while the United States and the Europeans are powerless to stop him, and all of this is happening despite the fact that by any reasonable measure Russia is weaker than the West. Its economy is much less…

  • Commentary posted May 5, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Zero tolerance writ large

    America no longer openly tolerates racism. We should be proud of the swift condemnation of Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling for his racist remarks. It took years of struggle, but racism has been greatly diminished. (Yes, it still exists, but not as much as before.) And the struggle was won only because people drew a line in the sand. The cause was noble. So…

  • Commentary posted April 14, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Liberalism's illiberal intolerance

    Forget the Hunger Games. Welcome to the Intolerance Wars. Every day, it seems, someone tries to silence someone else in the name of some higher cause. The forced resignation of Brendan Eich as CEO of the popular Web browser Mozilla Firefox is only the tip of the iceberg. This goes beyond the familiar tit for tat of the culture wars. We are witnessing nothing less than a…

  • Commentary posted March 31, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Obama fails the Crimea Rorschach test

    Think of the Ukraine crisis as a Rorschach test. Russia has shown President Obama an inkblot that looks like a bear, and all he sees is a frightened rabbit. Vladimir Putin’s designs on Ukraine could not be clearer. Yet Mr. Obama clings to the notion that Moscow is motivated by weakness and fear. Russia is acting, he says, “not out of strength, but out of weakness,”…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Cold War Lesson For Ukraine

    There's been a lot of talk about how Russia's invasion of Crimea means a return to the Cold War. History never repeats itself exactly (it merely echoes). But there are actually some lessons from the Cold War which could be applicable to the crisis in Ukraine. The first is that facts on the ground matter. The Soviet Union occupied half of Europe after World War II more or…

  • Commentary posted March 17, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Gambling with national security

    President Obama is shrinking America’s armed forces, and his admirers say: “Why not?” The U.S. always draws down its military forces at the end of wars. Just look at what happened after World War II, Vietnam and the end of the Cold War. Mr. Obama, they say, is merely adjusting America’s defense posture to the “strategic realities” of postwar peace.   There’s just one…

  • Commentary posted March 7, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Will Obama, Kerry cave on Ukraine just like they caved on Syria?

    The Obama administration would like nothing more than to find an off ramp from the Ukrainian crisis. An unwelcome distraction from its domestic agenda, Ukraine is also dangerous territory for an administration that is unsure of its footing in foreign policy.  The last thing President Obama wants is an ongoing international crisis that could focus attention on the need…

  • Lecture posted March 6, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. Is Ukraine a Watershed?

    I’d like to offer some preliminary observations on the implications of the Ukrainian crisis for American foreign policy—specifically on perceptions of President Obama’s national strategy and his handling of foreign policy. We may have reached a watershed in the post–Iraq War era. For years now, we’ve been traumatized by the aftermath of the Iraq War. Barack Obama’s…