Michael Gerson writes a twice-weekly column for The Post on issues that include politics, global health, development, religion and foreign policy.
Michael Gerson is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Michael Gerson served as a policy adviser and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush from 2000 to 2006. Before he joined Bush's presidential campaign in 1999, Michael Gerson was a senior editor covering politics at U.S. News & World Report. Michael Gerson is the author of the forthcoming book "Heroic Conservatism" and a contributor to Newsweek magazine.
'Tis the season for creche display controversies and public school decoration debates and First Amendment argumentation, when all the ideologues get a little extra outrage or victimization in their stockings.
AIDS, it turns out, is very different from its viral relatives. Polio, for example, infects quickly, then clears the body. AIDS survives and replicates for years.
While chemical weapons disarmament proceeds in Syria, so do mass attacks on civilians. In the eastern suburbs of Damascus, where the regime used sarin, it now conducts a siege, blocking the entrance of food and the exit of refugees.
For liberals, it is a cruel twist of history that Harry Truman's dream of universal health coverage, carried forward by generations of committed Democrats, should fall to the Obama administration for its fulfillment.
Sen. Ted Cruz's straw poll victory at the Values Voter Summit, just as his strategy to block Obamacare was collapsing in recrimination and desperation on Capitol Hill, indicates that some voters don't place much value on political realism.
The CDC's polio eradication effort has been largely exempted from the shutdown. It is part of one of the most ambitious medical enterprises in history.
Since the Eisenhower administration, the United States generally has done food aid in a certain way: grow and pack it in America, ship it across the world on American-flagged ships, then deliver it through American charities, which sell a portion of the food to fund their other programs.
The school choice movement -- which germinated 50 years ago in free-market economist Milton Friedman's fertile mind -- recently counted its largest victory. The Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the constitutionality of the state's school voucher program. Under it, more than half a million low- and middle-income Hoosier students -- and about 62 percent of all families -- are eligible for state aid to help pay for a private or religious school.
Declining national influence is a choice, and America seems to be making it.
This is a Christmas season shadowed by sorrow. We know, of course, that human beings, even small ones, sometimes die in horrible, unfair ways.
The endorsement of a continental nation being a powerful stimulant, all victorious presidents face the temptation of overreach.
It is Steven Spielberg's singular achievement to have made a heroic movie about compromise and petty corruption. In "Lincoln," he pans away from a field of corpses 130 miles down the road in Petersburg and puts a tight frame on the Cabinet meetings, legislative debates and backroom confrontations where the final, decisive battles of the Civil War were fought. Combat determined the outcome of the War Between the States. Politics determined its meaning, culminating in passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
On the eve of the election, Nate Silver -- baseball forecaster, online poker wiz, political handicapper -- placed President Obama's chances of returning to office at 86.3 percent. Not 86.1 percent. Not 87.8 percent. At 86.3 percent.
It is now being reported that Donald Trump is likely to play a "surprise" part on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa -- perhaps, some speculate, in a comedy bit involving the firing of a Barack Obama impersonator.
Concerning Mormons and Republicans, history offers a large helping of irony.
A memory from the AIDS crisis. It was 2005, the year that global AIDS deaths peaked at 2.3 million. At the end of a dirt road in Kericho, Kenya, I visited Sister Placida, an energetic nun caring for a few dozen equally energetic AIDS orphans.
The problem is real enough. Extreme political polarization is the product of democracy that undermines democracy.
One would think, given so much practice, that the Obama White House would have been better prepared for last week's wretched jobs report.
Dwight Eisenhower came to regret the liberal activism of his choice for the Supreme Court, calling it the "biggest damned-fool mistake I ever made."
Fights between Congress and the executive branch over access to information are a staple of American politics. Every president will prefer less disclosure about the messy internal processes of his administration. Congressional investigators suspecting scandal prefer more.
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