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 Atlantic5 min read
The Fraught Effort To Return To The Moon
NASA wants to put people back on the lunar surface in 2024, but it doesn’t have the budget.
The Atlantic8 min readPolitics
The Nationalists Take Washington
Prominent figures from Tucker Carlson to John Bolton gathered at the Ritz-Carlton to declare war on the conservative establishment and lay the groundwork for a new intellectual movement on the right.
The Atlantic5 min read
The Financial Calamity That Is the Teaching Profession
Teachers are suing the government over debt relief that never came—but their financial problems go much deeper than student loans.