The Atlantic

Trump’s Katrina Moment

The emotive images of families being separated at the border hit close to home for Americans—and don’t bode well for Trump.
Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Some years ago, I met via fellowship a group of journalists from countries where the fates of citizens hinge on choices out of Washington: Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan. The idea was to get to know one another and our worlds, and so one afternoon we heard from an expert on federalism. “Americans,” he told us, looking mostly at the foreigners, “don’t care about foreign policy. They care about domestic policy.” This idea seemed to jolt my peers, one of whom, from Kabul, asked me to explain. I found myself talking about the link between distance and imagination—how when you are far from something, a person, place, feeling, drone in the sky, bloodied body or crying child—you can feel okay about failing to do the basic

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic4 min read
A Documentary That Shows Another Side of Toni Morrison
One of my white teachers in high school insisted that Toni Morrison would be confusing to me as a reader. So I approached the author’s work with that notion in mind, and quickly realized how wrong my teacher’s assessment was. Morrison’s prose is lush
The Atlantic4 min readPolitics
Christie’s Scathing Indictment of Trump
He declared his intention to vote Trump in 2020—even though he thinks Trump surrounded himself with awful people.
The Atlantic2 min readSociety
What the U.S. Medical System Can Learn From Estonia
Americans waste time and money filling out paperwork and repeating tests in the doctor’s office. A small Baltic nation has found a better way.