Michael Gerson

Michael Gerson: How Trump can get his groove back

The central promise of the Trump administration — the repeal and replacement of Obamacare — has failed. The central premise of the... Read more

Michael Gerson: Is Trump ready for North Korea?

When Donald Trump first strides into the Oval Office as president, his perfect day is likely to be ruined by a file... Read more

Michael Gerson: The voters’ two bad choices are not equally bad

It is extraordinary how, in the last stage of this dismal campaign, both candidates are revealed as the most exaggerated and grotesque... Read more

Michael Gerson: Drawing hope from the heart of suffering

Having sat down to produce a column about the vice presidential debate, I found that any topic, even death from cancer, was... Read more

Michael Gerson: Out of his depth, Donald Trump clings to deception

There is a story from the history of professional wrestling in which a manager named Freddie Blassie comes to the edge of... Read more

Michael Gerson: What is the meaning of 9/11?

Fifteen years after one of the most vivid and violent days in American history, there is still a debate over what the... Read more

Michael Gerson: This show, viewed as impractical and cruel, can't go on

Of the 2016 election’s lightning storm of shocks, few will have more lasting political consequence than the discrediting of the main media... Read more

Michael Gerson: Cheap populism helps no one

With defeat now the likely outcome for the Republican presidential nominee, the blame shifting has begun early and in earnest.

To some... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump looms as a generational turnoff for young voters

People always remember their first presidential vote — their first participation in the largest decision of American democracy.

In high school, I... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump's economic plan is ludicrous

Many Republicans are being driven mad by hope. In the moments between Donald Trump’s attacks on grieving parents and his joke about... Read more

Michael Gerson: Republicans are chugging toward derailment

Donald Trump began Aug. 2, no doubt, determined to follow the advice of family and advisers to avoid fueling his own controversies... Read more

Michael Gerson: It's not too late to repudiate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every nation has sacred places, where history has stopped and lingered, and visitors are hushed by memories of redemptive... Read more

Michael Gerson: Mike Pence pushes an imaginary and corrupt narrative

WASHINGTON — On a national convention stage that includes the kettledrum personalities of Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, Indiana Gov. Mike... Read more

Michael Gerson: A toxic cloud of cynicism settles over American politics

“The most amazing thing about the 2016 elections,” Roger Porter, of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, told me, “is that we are... Read more

Michael Gerson: America's indispensable paradox

In this odd political season — so shallow in rhetoric, so fundamental in consequence — Americans are not only celebrating their nation’s... Read more

Michael Gerson: Now would be a good time for Republicans to show resistance

In his resignation speech following Great Britain’s vote to divorce from the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed several achievements by... Read more

Michael Gerson: Surrendering faith for politics

Oh God — and I mean the entreaty seriously — last week’s Trump/evangelical summit in New York was just as bad as... Read more

Michael Gerson: Attention GOP: Character matters

Since Thomas Jefferson’s concubine, Warren Harding’s love nest and Bill Clinton’s innovative intern program, Americans have debated the role of character in... Read more

Michael Gerson: We must remain open to listening

One of the manifold tragedies of the Orlando mass murder is how difficult it is for us to experience it and mourn... Read more

Michael Gerson: Unified in our political acrimony

If there is any unifying theme in our degraded political discourse, it is the belief that the other ideological side is mainly... Read more

Michael Gerson: Evangelicals must not bear the mark of Trump

WASHINGTON — On June 21, Donald Trump will meet with nearly 500 prominent evangelicals who are trying to get more comfortable with... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump train fueled by conspiracy

Watching the excellent documentary “Ebola in America: Epidemic of Fear” is to relive the confusion and controversies of the summer of 2014:... Read more

Michael Gerson: Conservative leaders are making a deal with the devil

In the category of credit where credit is due, Donald Trump has been exactly right in one important respect. He attacked the... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump partisans condone 'lunacy dancing in high places'

The great Republican crackup has begun.

There is a growing group of Donald Trump partisans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh... Read more

Michael Gerson: Dalai Lama quietly continues to pursue his path to peace

DHARAMSALA, India — When posed a policy question, the Dalai Lama is surprisingly (for a religious leader) un-prone to moralism. What, I... Read more

Michael Gerson: Republican Hoosiers will be the next to pick between bad and worse

In a world where bullying is interpreted as strength, Donald Trump and Bobby Knight would be kings. One of them is testing... Read more

Michael Gerson: Playing the victim might be the most fitting role for Trump

Welcome to Donald Trump’s banana republic. “We’re going to have protests, demonstrations,” says Trump surrogate and confidante Roger Stone. “We will disclose... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump benefits from Limbaugh's uncalculated blessing

If Donald Trump becomes the Republican nominee, one of the main reasons will be that many in the conservative movement found him... Read more

Michael Gerson: The empty promises of Trump and Sanders lack answers

In a time of brushfire populism, the problem is not the populace, it is the populists who seek to lead it. The... Read more

Michael Gerson: Republican Party would bare the stain of accommodating Trump

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, his political achievement is enormous, and he deserves the credit.

With no background in elected office,... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump is the demagogue that America's founders feared

“The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please... Read more

Michael Gerson: Could Condoleezza Rice save the day for Republicans?

The GOP isn’t facing a debate over policy, but rather a hostile takeover by a pernicious force. Traditional Republicans are now presented... Read more

Michael Gerson: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' provides valuable moral insight

At a time when politics has veered toward division and exclusion, it is somehow fitting that Harper Lee, the apostle of empathy,... Read more

Michael Gerson: The middle finger has invaded America's political realm

At first, in the summer of 2015, it seemed like a joke. Then a novelty. Then a bubble that must surely burst.... Read more

Michael Gerson: Replacing Scalia will require an epic skirmish in Senate

A public official can fight to expand the power and prerogatives of his office with skill and cunning. Defending the prerogatives of... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump is an alpha on the rise

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As Donald Trump’s GOP opponents descend on South Carolina, they are running smack into a phenomenon. In this state,... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump's authenticity is a lie, even without obscenities

When the Watergate tapes were released, some Americans were dismayed at the many “expletives deleted” that Richard Nixon employed in private conversation.... Read more

Michael Gerson: Rubio, Cruz provide contrast in Republican leadership

The GOP front-runners who didn’t melt down into an oleaginous puddle of self-pity, delusion and poor sportsmanship — the winners of the... Read more

Michael Gerson: Trump, with his politics of pride, can't be a unifying leader

Of all Donald Trump’s political skills, perhaps the most impressive is his ability to persuade people to support him by suspending their... Read more

Michael Gerson: Best-case scenario for GOP is for both Trump and Cruz to fall

The outbreak of hostilities between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz may not be edifying, but it is clarifying.

Cruz represents the arrival... Read more

Michael Gerson: Obama receiving harsh judgment from his inner circle

In the eighth year of a presidency, who is qualified to begin delivering a historical judgment? President Obama and those who serve... Read more

Michael Gerson: Republican Party might not survive a Trump nomination

Every Republican of the type concerned with winning in November has been asking the question (at least internally), “What if the worst... Read more

Michael Gerson: Bipartisan agreement on education comes at cost to students

The nation’s capital is experiencing something of a thaw in polarization and partisanship. And the largest iceberg that has broken free is... Read more

Michael Gerson: A God on our side: We are no longer alone or homeless

The current ferment of American politics has brought comparisons to Europe in the 1930s, with echoes of leaders who stoke anger against... Read more

Michael Gerson: Unseriousness rises to the top of GOP field

The Republican field, on the evidence of its fifth presidential debate, is beginning to sort itself by seriousness.

Donald Trump alternately advocated... Read more

Michael Gerson: When patience isn't a virtue

In his address to the nation on terrorism, President Barack Obama warned against “tough talk.” On this, at least, no one can... Read more

Michael Gerson: When hope begins

Donald Trump’s offenses against taste, tolerance and truthfulness are coming so fast it is hard to pick out individual cases. But let’s... Read more

Michael Gerson: In Iowa, down the stretch they come

DES MOINES, Iowa — Political pros in this state are not foolish enough to pick a winner this far out from the... Read more

Michael Gerson: Don't feed Islamic State narrative

As careful as we should be in drawing lessons from tragedy — and there is something disgraceful in mounting a political soapbox... Read more

Michael Gerson: The end is near, or not

The end is near. Or not.

At various points in American history, popular preaching has warned that history itself was about to culminate... Read more

Michael Gerson: America's populist moment?

The most fateful question of the 2016 campaign: Is this a populist moment in America?

It sounds like one. The “establishment” is so... Read more

Michael Gerson: The wreckage of Donald Trump

The rare moments of economic analysis and political outreach in the second Republican debate — Chris Christie talking about income stagnation, Marco... Read more

Michael Gerson: Obama's failure to deal with Syria has had horrific results

One little boy in a red T-shirt, lying face down, drowned, on a Turkish beach, is a tragedy. More than 200,000 dead... Read more

Michael Gerson: Clinton campaign drained of idealism

When the Clinton campaign stirs and moves, it is the sound of a thousand focus groups buzzing, a thousand memos fluttering, a... Read more

Michael Gerson: A great deal - for Iran

The realist’s argument for the Iran nuclear agreement is that it is the least bad deal America could secure. Now, with the... Read more

Michael Gerson: GOP should unite working class and minority groups, not divide them

Attempting to analyze statements by Donald Trump is often a high dive into a shallow pool. But a number of conservative commentators... Read more

Michael Gerson: the 2016 campaign has truly started

Stealthily demonstrating one of Jeb Bush’s more controversial policy views — the need for Common Core history standards — an “anonymous ally”... Read more

Michael Gerson: Introspection time for evangelicals

Christian conservatives are often the subject of study by academics, who seem to find their culture as foreign as that of Borneo... Read more

Michael Gerson: Anti-Semitism menace continues

The monumental tapestry triptych by Marc Chagall that hangs in the State Hall of the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem hints at some... Read more

Michael Gerson: Consequences of turning our backs on atrocities

For every dissident and defector I’ve encountered, there is a moment when observation begins to feel like complicity — when remaining a... Read more

Michael Gerson: The GOP as the party of reform

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to prominence in the 1990s as an expert in political renovation, transforming the Labour Party... Read more

Michael Gerson: The divided states of Obama

The headline — “Poll: Obama Worst President Since World War II” — was provocative and misleading. The Quinnipiac survey did place President... Read more

Michael Gerson: Conservatives shouldn't choke on tea party servings

A few recent developments have revealed the tea party temperament in its most distilled, potent form.

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah... Read more

Michael Gerson: The fight for equality never ends

On July 9, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of New York they responded by decapitating an... Read more

Michael Gerson: America more vulnerable than pre-9/11 with unstable Iraq

The summary moment of Barack Obama’s foreign policy came in September 2013 during a consequential stroll.

Walking on the South Lawn of the... Read more

Michael Gerson: Difficult choices in Iraq

The summary moment of Barack Obama’s foreign policy came in September 2013 during a consequential stroll.

Walking on the South Lawn of the... Read more

Michael Gerson: The power of authenticity

When I worked as a Senate aide in the early 1990s, New York was represented by two figures who could hardly have... Read more

This Week's Circulars