Jeff Mason is a White House Correspondent for Reuters and the 2016-2017 president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. He was the lead Reuters correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and interviewed the president at the White House in 2015. Jeff has been based in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Jeff started his career in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry before moving to Brussels, Belgium, where he covered the European Union. He is a Colorado native, proud graduate of Northwestern University and former Fulbright scholar.
Twitter handle: @jeffmason1
The British political crisis deepens. This is not a Brexit matter, though that is critical enough. Rather it concerns Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party – which is now, according to a poll last month, four points ahead of the ruling Conservative Party. Though Corbyn isn’t personally popular, he could become – on this showing will become – the next British prime minister.
Two men of influence – the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and the politician Boris Johnson – now face media bans and/or ridicule for what they saw as speaking their minds. Both, though quite different in background, manner and actions, are pioneers in the new politics.
The various movements gathered under the name of Europe’s “far right” have not risen like a straight line on a graph. There have been – still are – lows as well as highs. Yet there is a new sense of purpose, thanks to a new movement – called “The Movement,” and launched by former Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon – and to Hungarian premier Viktor Orban’s call to the right to “concentrate our strength” on the May 2019 elections to the European Parliament.
Liberal democratic institutions and states are under sustained pressure, from outside and from within. The question now is how well liberal and democratic defenses can withstand the onslaught.
Donald Trump cannot be, and perhaps never wished to be, the leader of the free world, the burden which has fallen on the shoulders of Oval Office occupants since World War Two. America First means America Withdrawn.
Compromise is the loveliest word in democratic politics and beyond – in lasting relationships, labor disputes, international relations. British Prime Minister Theresa May has never more needed the deployment of this lovely and necessary word than now.
The demonstrators are out on Polish city streets, singing the national anthem and chanting “konstytucja” (constitution). They believe that their country’s constitution is being violated, and that the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party is degrading the law and dispensing with justice by sealing off the institutions which can hold a ruling party to account.
Would fans lay down their lives for football? Bill Shankly, the legendary football player and Liverpool manager, once famously said he was “disappointed” with the idea that the sport was a matter of life and death. “I can assure you,” he said, “it is much, much more important than that.”
It’s an increasingly hard world for those seeking a better life in richer countries. Immigrants aren’t welcome in most states, even where demographic trends reflect the need to expand the labor force to levels able to sustain and support aging populations.
Closing a major university is a big deal. Created, staffed and maintained at large, usually public, expense, universities serve both a utilitarian and an idealistic purpose: to provide the highly-educated workforce modern economies require, and to uphold and further civilized values through the understanding of the world the various academic disciplines claim to provide.
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