In Depth

Instant Opinion: What will finally defeat Donald Trump?

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Thursday 6 February


The Week’s daily round-up highlights the five best opinion pieces from across the British and international media, with excerpts from each.

1. The New York Times Editorial Board

on the 2020 US election

What Will Finally Defeat Donald Trump?

“This election is about more, of course, than restoring sanity to the Republican Party, essential as that is. Mr. Trump’s speech was a fantasy. America is not thriving under his leadership. Far from ‘stronger than ever before,’ the union is faltering under his divisive, corrupting politics. The chants of ‘four more years’ that resounded from only one side of the House chamber on Tuesday night should ring as an alarm for all Americans who want their children to live in an even greater nation.”

2. Hamid Dabashi in Al Jazeera

on show trials

From Stalin's Moscow Trials to Trump's impeachment

“Stalin was probably not as remotely pleased with his henchmen back in the 1930s as Trump must be with his Republican comrades today. He will be acquitted and sent on his way to use this very show trial to his advantage in securing a second term. Neither the Moscow Trials nor Trump's impeachment trial were after truth and justice. They were make-believe spectacles staged to suggest justice was being served when, in fact, it was being actively subverted. The show will be used by Republicans to keep their grip on the White House and the Senate, to continue appointing conservative judges to the Supreme Court, to hold the reins of power in the three branches of government and to make the US the envy of xenophobic dictatorships around the globe.”

3. David Aaronivitch in The Times

on post-liberalism

Tory fantasists want to turn back the clock

“It’s true, of course, that political liberals have been in the advance guard of achieving change that conservatives resisted. In my lifetime social conservatives have argued that women’s rights would undermine the family and the church, gay rights would turn people homosexual, easier divorce would destroy marriage and that corporal punishment was essential for keeping order. But the great changes aren’t down to Roy Jenkins and whoever it is you don’t like at the BBC. Huge technological and economic transformations have given people far more practical autonomy, and liberated them from roles into which they used to be born and futures to which they were condemned. That’s why the children of somewheres (to adopt the fashionable and misleading dichotomy) are so often ‘anywheres’.”

4. Allister Heath in The Daily Telegraph

on our national broadcaster

Even privatisation may come too late to save an increasingly irrelevant BBC

“The NHS remains unassailable in the public psyche because its monopoly means it treats more people than ever before and its share of GDP keeps on rising; the BBC, by contrast, is losing the relentless battle for time and attention to hyper-dynamic competitors. Even its huge budget, financed by a poll tax enforced by the threat of prison, is no longer enough to save it. Most people don’t actively dislike the BBC: they just don’t care as much about it and are increasingly unwilling to pay for it. It is clear that the private sector can and will provide every kind of “public service” broadcasting.”

5. Mark McCormack in The Independent

on porn

Porn is not the root of all evil – yes, even when it comes to your children watching it behind your back

“The fears that parents have about their children viewing porn are understandable. Conversations between parents and children about sex are awkward and the issue of online porn combines this difficulty with concerns about the damaging effects porn has on young people. Yet the risks of porn are exaggerated, and responding by censoring it through technology will not address the underlying issues for young people or their parents.”

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