78 Quotes of Bret Stephens

” It’s important that Donald Trump and what he represents – this kind of ethnic, quote, ‘conservatism,’ or populism – be so decisively rebuked that the Republican Party, the Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape, or form. “
” The people we need to hear from most are the ones who make themselves heard least – except, of course, on Election Day. “
” The more Mr. Trump traduces the old established lines of decency, the more he affirms his supporters’ most shameless ideological instincts. “
” Humanitarianism is commendable, but not when you’re demanding that others share the burdens and expense. “
” Food insecurity is not remotely the same as hunger. “
” Voter fraud is a reality in American elections, but it is typical of the candidate to confuse anecdote with data and turn allegation into conspiracy. “
” People want leaders. Not ideologues. Not people whose life experiences have been so narrow that they’ve been able to maintain the purity of their youthful ideals. Not people whose principal contact with political life comes in the form of speeches and sound bites rather than decisions and responsibilities. “
” This is the standard line of the Trump side of the party, that us who oppose him are just a bunch of elites who live in the Acela corridor in this bubble of unimaginable wealth. I wish I had been born into an extremely wealthy New York real estate family and been given multimillion dollar loans to get my start in life. “
” Successful nations make a point of trying to learn from their neighbors. The Arab world has been taught over generations only to hate theirs. “
” The candidacy of Donald Trump is the open sewer of American conservatism. “
” We live in a world in which data convey authority. But authority has a way of descending to certitude, and certitude begets hubris. “
” I’m simply here to say guns should be owned by responsible people, and there should be high tests and a high bar to prove your responsibility. “
” Before the word ‘resignation’ became a euphemism for being fired, it connoted a sense of public integrity and personal honor. “
” It’s normal that elections make fierce partisans of many of us. It’s normal that Mr. Trump would attract the usual right-wing buffoons to his banners. Normal, also, is that many voters may not be troubled by Mr. Trump’s cruder statements when they hear him addressing their deepest economic and social anxieties. “
” I wear two hats at the ‘Wall Street Journal’: one as a columnist, the other as the editor responsible for our editorial pages in Asia and Europe. “
” I almost never listen to radio or watch political talk shows, especially if I happen to be on them. “
” My office-hour reading is fairly ad hoc: I generally read whatever seems relevant to what I’m editing, writing, or thinking about writing. “
” I don’t read ‘Vanity Fair,’ whose millionaire-fashionista-liberal shtick I find repellent. “
” I am not sorry the CIA went to the edge of the law in the aftermath of 9/11 to prevent further mass-casualty attacks on the U.S. “
” I am sorry that Mr. Cheney, and every other supporter of enhanced interrogation techniques, has to defend the practices as if they were torture. They are not. “
” Censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts. “
” Demanding abrupt and expensive changes in public policy raises fair questions about ideological intentions. “
” Perhaps if there were less certitude about our climate future, more Americans would be interested in having a reasoned conversation about it. “
” The United States can only lead a world that’s prepared to follow. “
” Did you loathe and detest the Bush administration? If so, you’d probably say its ideas were horrible and their execution worse. Did you not loathe and detest the Bush administration? In that case, you might say its ideas were pretty good – only the execution often left something to be desired. “
” Ms. Rice was a bad national security adviser and a bad secretary of state. She was on the wrong side of some of the administration’s biggest internal policy fights. She had a tendency to flip-flop when it came to the president’s core priorities, and her political misjudgment more than once cost Mr. Bush dearly. “
” ‘Character Doesn’t Count’ has become a de facto G.O.P. motto. ‘Virtue Doesn’t Matter’ might be another. But character does count, and virtue does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily. “
” In place of presidential addresses, stump speeches, or town halls, we have Trump’s demagogic mass rallies. In place of the usual jousting between the administration and the press, we have a president who fantasizes on Twitter about physically assaulting CNN. “
” The supposedly petty sexual harassment that so many women have to endure, from Hollywood studios to the factory floor at Ford, is a national outrage that needs to end. Period. “
” All societies make necessary moral distinctions between high crimes and misdemeanors, mortal and lesser sins. “
” Social movements rarely succeed if they violate our gut sense of decency and moral proportion. “
” Movements that hector and punish rather than educate and reform have a way of inviting derision and reaction. “
” If the Republican party essentially becomes the white party, it is going to be the death of it, not only for demographic reasons but for reasons of principle. The party of Lincoln is a party of opportunity for everyone. It’s a party about the right to rise, and Mr. Trump unfortunately doesn’t represent that view. “
” Please spare us the self-pity about how tough it is to look for a job while living with your parents. “
” Many of you have been reared on the cliche that the purpose of education isn’t to stuff your head with facts but to teach you how to think. Wrong. “
” I routinely interview college students, mostly from top schools, and I notice that their brains are like old maps, with lots of blank spaces for the uncharted terrain. It’s not that they lack for motivation or IQ. It’s that they can’t connect the dots when they don’t know where the dots are in the first place. “
” In every generation, there’s a strong tendency for everyone to think like everyone else. “
” What too many of Mr. Trump’s supporters want is an American strongman, a president who will make the proverbial trains run on time. “
” A Trump presidency – neutral between dictatorships and democracies, opposed to free trade, skeptical of traditional U.S. defense alliances, hostile to immigration – would mark the collapse of the entire architecture of the U.S.-led post-World War II global order. “
” The best scientific evidence suggests temperatures are rising, and the best scientific evidence suggests man-made anthropogenic carbon emissions have some substantial thing to do with that. However, does that mean the trend will continue forever? We don’t know. “
” For the anti-Semite, the problems of the world can invariably be ascribed to the Jews; for the Communist, to the capitalists. “
” Socialism may have failed as an economic theory, but global warming alarmism, with its dire warnings about the consequences of industry and consumerism, is equally a rebuke to capitalism. “
” Listen carefully to the global warming alarmists, and the main theme that emerges is that what the developed world needs is a large dose of penance. What’s remarkable is the extent to which penance sells among a mostly secular audience. What is there to be penitent about? “
” My wife is German, so I know something about German energy policy. “
” Institutionalized racism is an imaginary enemy. “
” An abusive cop does not equal a bigoted police department. “
” The more afraid we are of the shadow of racism, the more conscious we might become of our own unsuspected biases. “
” When you work at ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ the coins of the realm are truth and trust – the latter flowing exclusively from the former. “
” If a public figure tells a whopping lie once in his life, it’ll haunt him into his grave. If he lies morning, noon and night, it will become almost impossible to remember any one particular lie. “
” When Trump attacks the news media, he’s kicking a wounded animal. “
” The most interesting conversation is not about why Donald Trump lies. Many public figures lie, and he’s only a severe example of a common type. The interesting conversation concerns how we come to accept those lies. “
” Barack Obama is probably the coolest president this country will ever have. “
” Donald Trump’s more sophisticated defenders have long since mastered the art of pretending that the only thing that matters with his presidency is what it does, not what he says. “
” Of course ABC and its parent company Disney were right to cancel the sitcom ‘Roseanne’ after its eponymous star, Roseanne Barr, wrote a racist tweet. “
” There are necessary taboos and essential decencies in every morally healthy society. “
” The intelligent defense of free speech should not rest on the notion that we must tolerate every form of speech, no matter how offensive. It’s that we should lean toward greater tolerance for speech we dislike, and reserve our harshest penalties only for the worst offenders. “
” Perhaps the reason Trump voters are so frequently the subject of caricature is that they so frequently conform to type. “
” Every president inherits a mixed bag when he comes to office, and Obama’s was hardly the worst. “
” Yes, Obama took over two wars from Bush – just as President Richard Nixon inherited Vietnam from President Lyndon Johnson and President Dwight Eisenhower inherited Korea from President Harry Truman. But at least the war in Iraq was all but won by 2009, thanks largely to the very surge Obama had opposed as a senator. “
” Since the end of World War II, U.S. presidents of both parties have recognized that foreign and domestic policy do not have to be pursued at the expense of each other. “
” It may be a truism that the country cannot be strong abroad unless it is strong at home, but it’s also a fact that the country’s economic prosperity depends on its security abroad – not only in the core of the liberal democratic world but often well beyond it, too. “
” I will never vote for Donald Trump. “
” When it comes to trade, when it comes to standing up to countries like North Korea, when it comes to standing up to guys like Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump is not a conservative. “
” I think that for the United States, Hillary Clinton, as awful as I find her, is a survivable event. I’m not so sure about Donald Trump. “
” The United States survives so long as at least one of its major parties is politically and intellectually healthy. I don’t think the Republican Party, or I should say the Republican Party as the vehicle for modern American conservative ideas, survives with Donald Trump. “
” The Arab world’s problems are a problem of the Arab mind, and the name for that problem is anti-Semitism. “
” The hater always suffers more than the object of his hatred. “
” I write my columns pretty carefully. “
” I think Black Lives Matter has some really thuggish elements in it. Look – at the risk of being incredibly politically incorrect, but I guess that’s my job – I think that all lives matter. Not least black lives. “
” Do I think police chiefs, many of which are African-American or Hispanic, wake up and say, ‘Let’s systemically oppress African-American communities?’ No, I don’t. Are there instances in which that happens? I’m sure there are. “
” Everything Republicans once claimed to advocate – entitlement reform, free trade, standing up to dictators, encouraging the march of freedom around the world – turns out to be negotiable and reversible, depending on Donald Trump’s whims and the furies of his base. “
” Donald Trump is a demagogue. Period. The fervor of his crowds recalls Nasser’s Egypt. His convictions are illiberal. His manners are disgusting. His temper is frightening. “
” When those of us in the words-making world use the term ‘overregulation,’ we are mostly putting a name to a concept we rarely experience consciously. “
” I grew up with parents who liked the old line that they didn’t leave the Democratic Party – the Democratic Party left them. “
” My father’s political heroes were Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. “
” Free trade was once a Republican conviction. “
” I don’t see the point of belonging to a party on the increasingly dubious assumption that it’s slightly less bad than the opposition. “
” I think there’s always merit in getting out of our ideological silos and being exposed to points of view with which we don’t always agree. “