In Depth

Instant Opinion: Pete Buttigieg ‘undone’ by homophobia

Your guide to the best columns and commentary on Monday 2 March

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

1. Matthew Walther on The Week US

on Pete Buttigieg pulling out of the Democratic race

The undoing of Mayor Pete

“Mayor Pete’s undoing was his utterly predictable failure to connect with white working-class, Hispanic, and, especially, black voters. There are a number of reasons for this — his thin resume, his vague platform, his record with South Bend’s African-American population — but the most obvious one has been the subject of comparatively little public discussion: namely, the fact that many millions of poor and minority voters still disapprove of same-sex marriage. When footage emerged last month of an Iowa caucus participant asking to retract her vote upon learning that Buttigieg is married to a person of the same sex, the woman was discussed as if she were a curiosity as opposed to a fairly typical representative of the Democratic electorate outside of the party establishment and activist circles.”

2. Maureen Dowd in The New York Times

on how to mishandle a health crisis

Trump makes us ill

“Trump is already doing his orange clown pufferfish routine, acting as though he knows more about viruses than anyone, just as he has bragged that he knows more about the military, taxes, trade, infrastructure, ISIS, renewables, visas, banking, debt and ‘the horror of nuclear’... Trump’s history in business — he makes people feel good for a while and then it ends badly — could presage a stock market crash before he exits. And it’s conceivable that a crash — along with hospitals being overwhelmed by the uninsured — could lead to the election of a real populist promising Medicare for All. And that would be a very Trumpian arc indeed.”

3. The editorial board in The Telegraph

on the rise of a new evil

Africa’s Sahel must not replace Afghanistan as a haven for international terrorists

“The absolute condition on the Taliban is that they do not allow Afghanistan to become once again the headquarters of Islamist terrorists intent upon striking against the West. If that were to happen, said President Trump, ‘we’ll go back with a force like no one’s ever seen’. But for Washington, this marks the point where the American heavy lifting ends and other countries are expected to step into the breach. As we report today, this is precisely what is going on in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Islamist fanatics kicked out of Afghanistan and the Middle East have been regrouping.”

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4. Marwan Bishara on Al Jazeera

on redefining modern Judaism in America

US and Israel vote: Two ‘racist’ incumbents and two proud Jews

“Even if Sanders falls behind in the primaries, he has already let the genie out of the bottle. Young Americans, including American Jewish youth from all walks of life, are determined to take a fresh and daring stance on religious fanaticism, racism and inequality in both the United States and Israel. No Democratic nominee will be able to win without them, as Hillary Clinton learned the hard way in 2016. Today, they stand evermore united against Trump’s white supremacist and fanatical evangelical supporters who love Israel, because of a biblical prophecy, but hate Jews. This is a hugely important milestone in the fight against both racism and anti-Semitism.”

5. Dorothy Byrne in The Guardian

on a forgotten demographic

Older women are needlessly going blind. Why isn’t it a national scandal?

“If hundreds of children were losing their sight for no good medical reason, it would be on the front page of every paper. Somehow, old women losing their sight doesn’t seem to be a scandal. Hey, we’re getting on; we should expect horrible things to happen to us medically. It’s not like most of us are economically active, so who cares? Of course, the extra scandal about all of this is that elderly people who lose sight become a burden on health and care services. A study showed that saving the sight of people with GCA actually saves the health service money.”

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