Articles by Henry Olsen

An Artful Immigration Deal Would Trade ‘Amnesty’ for the Wall

Ann Coulter’s tweets blasting President Trump’s immigration speech Saturday surely heartened many Trump enthusiasts. But they are going to have to get used to a hard truth: it’s either a deal with “amnesty” attached or nothing. I can already hear the shouting: “But Trump won!” Yes, he did. But he won with the support of […]

Market Fundamentalism or Love of Country?

Tucker Carlson’s much-discussed monologue last week leaves much to be desired. But factual errors or rhetorical excesses are not why it attracted vociferous criticism on the American Right. What really set the critics off is Tucker’s underlying moral premise: American republicanism sometimes requires public restraint of private vice, even in the sphere of economics. The […]

Can Ohio’s Sherrod Brown Return the Dems to Blue-Collar Roots?

Senator Sherrod Brown is one of many Democrats considering a run for the White House. His name likely does not ring a bell, as he has not garnered the national attention that other potential rivals have. Many observers think he could be a formidable opponent for President Trump should he gain the Democratic nomination. The […]

A Bad Beat for Republicans—But Not Fraud

Plenty of Republicans and Trump fans are crying foul at the number of congressional seats that have moved towards the Democrats since Election Day. Insinuations or outright accusations of orchestrated voter fraud fill my Twitter feed. I understand why people are upset—but there’s no hanky panky afoot. Our election system is broken, but it is […]

Arizona Illustrates the RINO Revenge

Arizona’s Senate race was perhaps the most surprising, and disturbing, midterm result for Republicans and Trump fans. Many struggle to understand how Barry Goldwater’s home state will send a former pink tutu-wearing antiwar activist to Washington. The answer is instructive regarding what Trump Republicanism must do to build a majority. The biggest reason Martha McSally […]

Four ‘What Ifs’ for the Midterms

With a few days to go to the midterms, the election’s direction is pretty clear. Democrats will do well everywhere except the Senate, where the map strongly favors Republicans despite the country’s general mood. But there’s a big difference between a 25 and a 45-seat gain in the House, and there are still things that […]

Blue Wave, Red Tide, or Something in Between?

Everyone recognizes the normally sleepy interlude between presidential races that we call the midterms has energized partisans on all sides, but the wide variation in national polls don’t give us clear guidance on the likely results. Fortunately, we do have a unique data set to examine that can give us a clear read on where […]

How Trump Might Persuade Immigrants to MAGA

President Trump’s focus on reducing immigration and controlling our borders is central to his agenda and appeal. That’s why Trump backers should read conservative writer Reihan Salam’s new book, Melting Pot or Civil War? As the son of immigrants from Bangladesh, Salam’s endorsement of an immigration policy very similar to that of Trump’s is both […]

Trump Must Revive the Greatness Agenda Before It’s Too Late

President Trump cannot change America unless he assembles a strong, majority coalition behind him and his policies. So advocates of a Greatness Agenda should worry that his job approval ratings have dropped significantly in the past month. It’s a warning sign. Despite a roaring economy, Americans remain wary of the president and are as yet […]

Take Salena Zito Seriously and Literally

Intramural food fights about journalistic practices normally don’t attract my attention. The journalists I know, right and left, have their biases but are mostly honest and good at what they do. But the recent assault on Salena Zito’s integrity is different. That’s because Zito’s reporting chops aren’t what’s really at issue. What’s really at stake […]

Trump’s Rise Was Written in Fort Madison, Iowa

If you want to understand Donald Trump, you need to understand pens. The modern luxury pen market was created by an Iowa entrepreneur, Walter Sheaffer, in 1913. His invention, a lever-filling fountain pen that easily could be filled from an ink container, made the rich and wannabe rich swoon with delight. Sales grew, new product […]

Ohio Squeaker Shows GOP Has A Lot To Learn About Winning

Republicans and Trump supporters needed some good political news, and they got it Tuesday night in the special election for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. Republican Troy Balderson’s narrow, one-point win doesn’t mean a “red wave” is swelling. Instead, the results contain both good and troubling news for President Trump and his party. Rather than setting […]

The Blue-Collar Elephant in the Room

There’s an elephant in the Republican Party’s  midterm room. Discussion about how to close the yawning generic ballot gap has focused on building the wall, selling the tax cuts, and emphasizing how President Trump has delivered on judicial nominees and deregulation. All of these issues are of particular import to Republicans and the base. But […]

What Is America’s Role in the World Now?

President Trump’s Helsinki press conference set off a global firestorm. The president quickly backtracked on some of his comments and now the Kremlin is demurring about attending a fall summit in Washington. The current controversy seems to be over, but as usual, the hullaballoo is overlooking the most important question: What should America’s role in […]

NeverTrump Bait and Switch: They Hate the Ideas, Not the Man

Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush’s head speechwriter, paid me the ultimate writer’s compliment last week: he attacked me in print. I count Michael as a friend, as I hope he does me, but in this matter I must follow Aristotle who said of his teacher, Plato, that Plato was dear to him but truth […]

The NeverTrump Dilemma

After “CBS Evening News” anchor Walter Cronkite said he no longer trusted America’s leaders regarding the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson supposedly remarked, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost Middle America.” A month later, on March 31, 1968, Johnson stunned the nation by dropping his re-election bid. So should President Trump and the Republican Party […]

Unforced Errors Drag Down the Greatness Agenda

President Trump’s job approval ratings had been rising for more than six months until last week. His rapid decline from 44.6 percent to 42.2 percent in the Real Clear Politics average cannot be explained by bad economic news or a foreign policy reverse. Quite the contrary: unemployment hit an 18-year low in figures released on […]

Gaslighting Themselves: Why Trump Critics Miss the Obvious

Unlike many American Greatness readers, I both know and respect Bill Kristol. But a tweet of his on Monday crystallized for me why Trump opponents often seem oblivious to the president’s appeal. It’s not just that they find him odious at best and dangerous at worst: it’s that they have little to no sense of […]

The Trump Coalition and the Electoral College

The Electoral College has been in the news recently despite the fact that the presidential election is still over two years off. President Trump kicked this discussion off by saying that he supports eliminating the College and replacing it with a nationwide popular vote. This was quickly followed up by the Connecticut state legislature’s passage […]