The Atlantic Daily: ‘The Casualties of Principle’

Stormy Daniels’s interview, the March for Our Lives, Martin Luther King Jr.’s anti-war speech, and more

Participants in the March for Our Lives, in Washington, D.C., hold up signs in support of gun control on March 24, 2018. (Aaron Bernstein / Reuters)

What We’re Following

Stormy Story: In an interview on 60 Minutes, the adult-film actor Stormy Daniels descirbed an alleged sexual encounter she had with Donald Trump in 2006, stating, “I thought of it as a business deal.” She also alleged that she was threatened in 2011 by someone who told her to “leave Trump alone [and] forget the story” that she had promised to a tabloid. (A lawyer for Trump’s personal attorney demanded that she retract the claim of the threat, and the White House issued a statement denying the claims Daniels made in her interview.) But David Frum writes that attempts at legal intimidation are likely to backfire on Trump. What’s more, such strategies may be reason for Congress to investigate the president.

About John Bolton: The president’s choice for the new national-security adviser has drawn criticism, not only because of Bolton’s hawkish views on North Korea and Iran, but also for his role in legitimizing anti-Muslim voices on the right. Yet his record suggests that he may not be prone to rash military action, but to what Reihan Salam calls “pragmatic nationalism.” Here’s what Bolton’s 2007 memoir reveals about his worldview.

The March for Our Lives: On Saturday, demonstrators gathered in Washington, D.C., across the U.S., and around the world to call for legislative action on gun control. While last month’s school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Florida, was the catalyst for the protests, students also spoke out against the less publicized gun violence that disproportionately affects communities of color. Strikingly, Robinson Meyer writes, “it was a day when adults paid attention to the everyday lives and traumas of young people”—who commanded respect not only with their words, but also through their silence.


Evan Todd, photographed by Kirsten Leah Bitzer, was a 15-year-old sophomore at Columbine High School when on April 20, 1999, one of his classmates put a gun to his head. Read Olga Khazan’s report on the political legacy of the Columbine shooting, and see interviews with others affected by gun violence below.

Who We’re Talking To … About Mass Shootings

Pardeep Singh Kaleka, whose father was killed in 2012 in a shooting at the Sikh temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin: “Every time something like this happens … you get triggered, and your mind goes completely numb, back to that situation that happened that day.

Alissa Parket, whose daughter was killed in 2012 in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary: “The way I parented changed, and the way I saw the world—it was like the innocence was gone. It’s taken some time to see the balance again.

Melvin Graham, whose sister was killed in 2015 in a shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina: “I hope that politicians see that there are going to be real consequences for their inaction and they’re now going to have to do what they’re supposed to do.

The Atlantic spoke with 10 survivors or family members affected by shootings about how those traumas changed their lives, and how they’re reacting to the surge of activism since the shooting in Parkland, Florida. Here are their stories.

Evening Read

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the Vietnam War on February 25, 1967:

Some one million Vietnamese children have been casualties of this brutal war. A war in which children are incinerated by napalm, in which American soldiers die in mounting numbers while other American soldiers, according to press accounts, in unrestrained hatred shoot the wounded enemy as they lie on the ground, is a war that mutilates the conscience. These casualties are enough to cause all men to rise up with righteous indignation and oppose the very nature of this war.

But the physical casualties of the war in Viet Nam are not alone the catastrophes. The casualties of principles and values are equally disastrous and injurious. Indeed, they are ultimately more harmful because they are self-perpetuating. If the casualties of principle are not healed, the physical casualties will continue to mount.

Read more from King’s address in our special issue commemorating his life on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

What Do You Know … About Education?

In the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, some policy makers are recommending harsher disciplinary practices as a solution for violence in schools—but evidence suggests that stricter punishments don’t prevent mass shootings. In fact, such policies can exacerbate racial disparities in student success that persist across the country, even though schools were technically desegregated decades ago.

Can you remember the other key facts from this week’s education coverage? Test your knowledge below:

1. In 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote that in his hometown of Atlanta, “of 14,159 Negroes enrolled in high schools, only ___________ are presently attending classes with whites.”

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. In a recent poll of roughly 500 teachers, ___________ percent of respondents mentioned “more discipline/accountability for students” as the one change that could prevent school shootings.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. In 1910, ___________ percent of American teens had a high-school diploma.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Answers: 153 / 2 / 9

Look Back

From our August 1952 issue, Arthur E. Sutherland reflects on the strengths and shortcomings of the media:

The American news business, press and radio, certainly deserves some eulogies; it is the most copious in the world, and I think its average quality is at least as good as any other’s. But it is not yet good enough. Too often we tell the customers not what is really going on, but what seems to be going on. And I am not referring to the small minority of newspapers, and the smaller minority of newspapermen, who don’t want to tell the truth; but to the great majority who do want to tell the truth, but often fall short.

Too much of our news is one-dimensional, when truth has three dimensions (or maybe more); we still have inadequate defenses against men who try to load the news with propaganda; and in some fields the vast and increasing complexity of the news makes it continually more difficult—especially for us Washington reporters—to tell the public what really happened.

Read more, share this story, and find more articles from our archives.

Reader Response

A reader adds to James Fallows’s ongoing discussion about gun rights:

I think every single time the Second Amendment comes up for debate, it needs to be pointed out that the Second Amendment was introduced and ratified in order to appease the southern states that their slave patrols would not be subsumed by the new national army. The so-called originalists should recognize that the Constitution never guaranteed the right for individual citizens to bear arms, other than to put down slave rebellions.

Here’s more about that history, and more reader responses.


Election relitigated, patriots promoted, memories tasted, goose bumps controlled.

Time of Your Life

Happy birthday to Judy’s wife, who share’s a birthday with Trisha’s friend Nan (both are twice the age of the 24-hour news cycle); to Mary’s daughter Alice (13 years older than Buffy the Vampire Slayer); to Anya’s partner (a year younger than the World Wide Web); to Jewel (twice the age of the International Space Station); to Rita’s daughter Mary (a year younger than the euro); to Michele (twice the age of The Simpsons); and to Scott’s partner, Girish (a year younger than the computer mouse).

From yesterday, happy birthday to Dan (the same age as the Treaty of Rome); to Charlotte (a year younger than LP records); to Susan (twice the age of MTV); to Hugo (a year younger than the FIFA World Cup); to Patricia’s husband (twice the age of websites); to Terencia (20 years older than the moon landing); and to Bob (a year younger than The Cat in the Hat).

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