5 Top Reads
Our Top Weekend Reads
An opportunity for Biden, populism’s online fires, and the need for transitional justice.
President-elect Joe Biden has appeared to sense his opportunity amid outgoing President Donald Trump’s collapse. On Thursday, the day after violence engulfed the the U.S. Capitol, Biden delivered a double whammy to Republicans by announcing Merrick Garland as his nominee for attorney general and dispensing veiled hits at Trump in his post-mob speech.
Meanwhile, as the failed insurrection shows, the global ambitions of foreign-policy elites are divorced from reality, which is that the United States has become what its leaders so often decry: a weak democracy unable to prevent violence from marring the transition of power from one leader to the next.
And a dissent cable signed by dozens of U.S. State Department officials reflects mounting anger within the department over the Trump administration’s response to this week’s events.
Here are Foreign Policy’s top weekend reads.
As Republicans desert Trump in droves in the wake of the siege on the U.S. Capitol and talk of impeachment grows louder in Washington, Biden has seized the moment to pledge a restoration of American values, Foreign Policy’s Michael Hirsh writes.
Political actors like Trump who benefit from manufacturing hate on social media for political benefit are unlikely to disappear. The only solution may lie in regulating the medium—not the messenger, Nikhil Pahwa writes.
The assault on the Capitol shows that it is well past time for the United States to confront its troubling past and present of anti-democratic behavior and racism. Transitional justice can help the country address these two pressing issues, Kelebogile Zvobgo writes.
It’s a sign of how broken U.S. foreign-policy debates are that the primary reaction from many commentators after the Capitol insurrection was to worry about America’s moral authority and global leadership, Emma Ashford writes.
Dozens of State Department officials are filing a formal dissent cable directed at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the department’s gag order on public messaging about the violent pro-Trump mob this week, Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch report.