Modern authoritarianism, as it's growing inside Europe and now coming to the United States, rests much more on the use of power to protect the guilty than to persecute the innocent. And its motive is not crazy totalitarian utopianism, it's motive is repressive kleptocracy. To steal and to use the powers of the state to protect theft.— David Frum
The most emotional David Frum quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
If you go on TV and say there's no other country in the world where you can be born poor and become rich, you get a huge megaphone. If you tell the truth, which is that most of the studies show actually the United States is worse than anybody except Britain in upward mobility, there is no audience for you.
Why be thrifty when your old age and health care are provided for, no matter how profligate you act in your youth? Why be prudent when the state insures your bank deposits, replaces your flooded-out house, buys all the wheat you can grow? ... Why be diligent when half of your earnings are taken from you and given to the idle?
Reagan survived the Iran-Contra scandal because the elements of it that were illegal (aiding anti-communist Nicaraguans) were popular and the things that were unpopular (arming the Iranians) were quite legal.
When we talk about authoritarianism, we conjure up out-of-date visions from the 1930s. But we are no more likely to do authoritarian government the way they did in the 1930s then we're likely to address or talk or do any of our other business in the way they did it in the 1930s.
I'm a latecomer to the environmental issue, which for years seemed to me like an excuse for more government regulation. But I can see that in rich societies, voters are paying less attention to economic issues and more to issues of the spirit, including the environment.
Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.
But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion.
Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.
The big winners under the American fiscal system are the rich, who pay some of the lowest taxes anywhere in the world; the old, who are the main beneficiaries of the American social service state; farmers, rural people. These are Republican constituencies.
We all have more at stake in the rules of the game than we do in the outcomes of the game. When that changes, that's when you begin to lose democracy.
An American-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein - and the replacement of the radical Baathist dictatorship with a new government more closely aligned with the United States would put America more wholly in charge of the region than any power since the Ottomans, or maybe even the Romans.
Nobody ever won an election by spitting at his political opponents.
If we say something often enough, we come to believe it.
We don't usually delude others until after we have first deluded ourselves.
No one is murdered in Hungary and there are no illegal arrests, but people have begun again, when they talk to you in a public place looking around to see who's listening. You see that in Slovakia, you're beginning to see that in Poland.
Trump is not just unlike a Republican, he's unlike a presidential candidate.
The whole elaborate presidential process is designed to screen out people like Donald Trump. And that process broke down in ways quite unlike anything in the recent experience of the United States.
The Canadian middle class is under less pressure than any other middle class in any developed country on the planet. So they feel good. They feel optimistic. They feel secure.
One of the things that really has gone wrong in modern politics, one of the things that made Trump possible was that many people have a view of politics as something dramatic and exciting and thrilling and emotional.
The Iraq fight itself is probably going to go very, very fast.
The shooting should be over within just a very few days from when it starts.
Donald Trump doesn't believe in much, doesn't want to do much.
People who watch a lot of Fox come away knowing a lot less about important world events.
World War II proved a hypothesis that Alexis de Tocqueville advanced a century before: the war-fighting potential of a democracy is at its greatest when war is most intense; at its weakest when war is most limited. This is a lesson with enduring relevance to our own times - and our own wars.
The system we have is one that protects my rights under a president I don`t approve. That tomorrow we`ll do the same for you. And what people have in common is their commitment to those shared rules. And if you have someone who was a challenger to the shared rules, that`s unacceptable. And we`ve never seen that before. Not in a long, long time but we see it now.
One might almost say, to adapt von Clausewitz, that modern warfare is PR by other means. And war-winning strategies mean that modern armies most stop treating their communications operations as secondary assignments or (as still too often happens) dumping grounds for officers who have failed at everything else - but as missions absolutely essential to success.
In journalism I can only tell what happened. In fiction, I can show it.
One of the things we're all going to have to discover, establishment is just an abusive term for institutions. It's institutions that keep us free.
We live in an age of de-democratization.
The number of democracies in the world has been going backwards since 2005, and even many existing democracies including in Europe have been becoming less democratic.
Maybe it's true that people with less extreme views who are also interested in public affairs have been driven out by a marketplace that doesn't offer them anything of the tone they want to listen to.
So little of what makes a democracy work is written down.
So much of it is just the things you don't do. There are a lot of things that a prime minister or a president can do and they don't do them because it never occurs to them to do them.
I don't think that disasters have to be spectacular. They can be a slow corrosion.
I do think Hillary Clinton, I mean the Clintons, I`ve got a lot of critiques of the Clinton foundation. I do think they bend the law. But Hillary Clinton accepts the concept of legality, she accepts that courts are supreme, laws must be complied with and the power of the state is not to be used for persona revenge or personal enrichment. And that`s something - not something I trust Donald Trump to do.
Democracy is not about protests. Democracy is about meetings.
We've all been wrong- I certainly have- and we should thank those who set us right. Not always fun, but always best in the end.
[democrats] hated Richard Nixon, and no wonder.
It was Nixon who sent Alger Hiss to jail, and Nixon who waged the Vietnam War after the Democrats gave up.
Donald Trump, as a businessman, he's not much of a builder and he's not much of dealmaker and he certainly isn't very good at making expenses line up with income. But he is a marketing genius. He must have seen an empty market niche that no one but him filled.
The monster has escaped Elba!" "The tyrant has landed at Cannes!" "Bonaparte meets the troops." "Napoleon approaches Paris." "His Imperial Majesty has entered the capital.
I want people to understand that, look, we're in a period of democratic deficit, democratic recession. There are fewer democracies in the world today than in 2005, and in many of the countries that are still technically democracies, we're seeing a reduction in the rule of law. And that's especially true in Central Europe, but it's also true of places like South Africa, the Philippines.
The elite isn't leading anymore. It's trapped.
So if I have two pieces of cake, do I have twice as good an experience as the first piece of cake? One of the things I've found in life is that the first piece of cake is the best.
There are a lot of wonderful people in America who shouldn't be on the Supreme Court - and a lot who should be on the court who aren't such wonderful people.
We all work for media, we all make mistakes all the time.
That's inevitable. What the difference between a responsible journalistic institution is, does it care whether it makes mistakes or not? And does it correct them?
The Soviet Union was brought down by a strange global coalition of Western European conservatives, Eastern European nationalists, Russian liberals, Chinese communists, and Afghan Islamic reactionaries, to name only a few. Many of these discordant groups disliked the United States intensely. But Americans were able to mobilize them to direct their ire at the Soviet Union first.
Crown Prince Rupprecht, the heir to the throne of Bavaria who commanded the army group facing the British at the Somme, was the senior direct lineal heir of James Stuart, the Old Pretender of 1715. Had there been any Jacobites left in Britain in 1916, they would have had to regard this south German prince as their rightful king.
Donald Trump is behaving in an extremely provocative way toward China, having first cancelled the TPP and alienated America's friends in the region. Same thing that he's authorizing much riskier gambits against ISIS, having alienated many of America's allies and friends in the region.
One of the things you can learn from a figure like Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is that if you take all the resources of the state for yourself, you don't build much of a constituency and you have to rely on repression, and repression is difficult in the modern world.
And that is how we intend to destroy the enemy!" The superior shakes his head wearily. "Young man, the Soviets are our adversary. The Navy is the enemy.
Civil unrest, civil turmoil is not a challenge to President Trump.
It's a resource for him. He needs to create an image of a polarized country in which the people who are against him are somehow alien or anti-system.
America under 30 is a more non-whites place than America over 60.
And we know that non-whites and whites vote differently.
The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel).
Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox
Yet when the hour of decision arrives, it turns out that many conservatives care as little as ever about administrative skill and executive accomplishment. Our party and our movement overwhelmingly respond to symbolic cues. Sarah Palin is exciting and appealing. But what kind of executive is she? None of us have even the remotest idea.