Ross Douthat
Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times

Populism Has No Cure for Inflation

The flare of inflation reported this week, the unwelcome guest still hanging around when everyone was hoping he’d been shown the door, is a useful reminder of one way to understand the Biden era’s frustrations. The administration’s defenders often argue that it has been more successful at…

Does the US Government Want You to Believe in UFOs?

In UFO arcana, one of the figures claiming a whistle-blower’s knowledge of a secret US program to reverse-engineer recovered alien technology is a man named Bob Lazar. Here’s how Lazar has told the story: As a physicist educated at MIT and Caltech, he was hired by the US Navy in the 1980s to…

Great Britain Is Beautiful. It’s Also Decaying.

At a time when Europe as a whole looks stagnant relative to the United States, Britain has joined Italy as the continent’s sickest patient: its living standards falling well behind its neighbors, its economy stuck in a 15-year torpor, and its public services, including the vaunted National Health…

Does the US Government Want You to Believe in U.F.O.s?

In U.F.O. arcana, one of the figures claiming a whistle-blower’s knowledge of a secret US program to reverse-engineer recovered alien technology is a man named Bob Lazar. Here’s how Lazar has told the story: As a physicist educated at M.I.T. and Caltech, he was hired by the US Navy in the 1980s…

Why Journalists Have More Freedom Than Professors

In recent months, there have been several instances of elite universities or their faculty members offering some kind of institutional pushback to a censorious progressivism. Prominent examples include Cornell’s refusal to create a trigger warning requirement demanded by the undergraduate student…

The World Could Move Toward Russia and China

Last fall, eight months into the new world disorder created by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the University of Cambridge’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy produced a long report on trends in global public opinion before and after the outbreak of the war. Not surprisingly, the data…

Will Biden Face a Democratic Challenger?

Joe Biden’s path to renomination by the Democratic Party, a journey reportedly likely to begin officially sometime next week, will represent a triumph of one seeming implausibility over another. From the beginning of Biden’s presidency, every serious conversation about his re-election has…

Was Iraq a Worse Disaster for America Than Vietnam?

At the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war, we stand in the same position relative to the initial invasion as America stood in 1985 relative to the 1965 arrival of our first combat troops in Vietnam. This makes it a useful moment to compare the two conflicts and their effects, and to consider —…

Fear of an A.I. Pundit

Nick Bostrom’s 2014 book, “Superintelligence,” a crucial text for the community of worriers about the risks of artificial intelligence, begins with a fable: A tribe of sparrows, weary of a marginal existence, becomes convinced that everything would be better if they could only have an owl to help…

I’m What’s Wrong With the Humanities

In the responses to a recent death-of-the-humanities dirge, a long reported piece by Nathan Heller for The New Yorker on the decline of the English major, you could see an illustration of its thesis: The story’s most depressing anecdotes were plucked out and swapped around on social media by people…