Modest Proposal: “Getting Bill Out of the House”
Sometimes life provides second chances. And for Bill Clinton, who came closer than anyone to achieving peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, that chance could come if his wife wins the presidency—and if she sends him to Jerusalem. In a spirited and provocative essay, Jeffrey Goldberg argues that Bill Clinton is “the only living person the antagonists would find, to their chagrin, impossible to ignore.” And so, as first gentleman, he should resume his work to solve the unsolvable conflict. Goldberg admits that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lost its urgency in a turmoil-filled region, now ranked, in his mind, as the seventh-most-critical Middle East situation for a future Clinton administration. Even so, “the issue has captured the world’s imagination for decades,” and “it would be a crime [for Bill Clinton] not to give it one more try.”
Politics: “Fear of a Female President”
Over the past few years, political scientists have suggested that, counterintuitively, Barack Obama’s election may have led to greater acceptance by whites of racist rhetoric. According to Peter Beinart, something similar is now happening with gender. As antipathy toward Hillary Clinton among white men reaches unprecedented levels, her candidacy is sparking a kind of sexist backlash that decades of research predicts. Among the evidence: studies suggesting that men see women in positions of power as less legitimate, that ambitious women provoke feelings of “moral outrage,” and that women who “deviated from traditional gender roles—by occupying a ‘man’s’ job or having a ‘masculine’ personality”—were disproportionately targeted for sexual harassment. Furthermore, this spring, 42 percent of Americans said they believed the United States has become “too soft and feminine.” The gender backlash may not defeat Clinton, but if she becomes president, this wave of misogyny could roil American politics for years to come.
Business: “America’s Monopoly Problem”
The American economy has long modeled a dynamic system, wherein companies are forced to adapt to the unpredictable currents of the free market. But lately, the U.S. economy has become stagnant, which has taken a toll on small businesses, according to Derek Thompson. Dating back to the late 19th century, the federal government has taken great pains to protect competitive markets. But lately, “America has become the land of the free and the home of the consolidated.” Thompson asks, “How big can a company get before it’s inherently bad for the economy?” Tech giants like Apple, Alphabet, and Amazon dominate their respective markets, but they’re also the most admired companies in the country. Thompson concludes, “Bigger is not always bad, but if we’ve learned anything in the past three decades, it’s that a little froth is always good.”