Jan 11 2024 Watch
Questions Matter

Bret Stephens' Most Recent Column

The Case for Trump, by Someone Who Wants Him to Lose

“You can’t defeat an opponent if you refuse to understand what makes him formidable. Too many people, especially progressives, fail to think deeply about the enduring sources of his appeal — and to do so without calling him names, or disparaging his supporters, or attributing his resurgence to nefarious foreign actors or the unfairness of the Electoral College. Since I will spend the coming year strenuously opposing his candidacy, let me here make the best case for Trump that I can.

Bret Stephens, NYT, Jan 11, 2024

It shouldn’t seem strange to Trump’s opponents that a man whom we regard as an agent of chaos should be seen by his supporters as precisely the man who can sweep the decks clean. I happen to think that’s exactly wrong — you don’t mend damaged systems by breaking them even further. Repair and restoration is almost always better than reaction or revolution. But I don’t see Trump’s opponents making headway against him until they at least acknowledge the legitimacy and power of the fundamental complaint. If you’re saying it’s “Morning in America” when 77 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track, you’re preaching to the wrong choir — and the wrong country.

Trump’s opponents say this is the most important election of our lifetime. Isn’t it time, then, to take our heads out of the sand?"

Guest Profile

Bret Stephens

Bret Stephens is a New York Times columnist and co-author of the very popular column “The Conversation,” which began in 2014 as a dialogue between him and Gail Collins, also a New York Times columnist. He has been with the New York Times since 2017. He was formerly editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post (2002-2004) and is now editor-in-chief of Sapir: A Journal of Jewish Conversations.

Also in his career were two stints at the Wall Street Journal: in 1998 he was an op-ed editor; in 2004 he rejoined the publication. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2013. In 2014, Bret Stephens published “America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.”

In April 2017, Stephens moved to the New York Times as a columnist, the position he occupies today. As a Times columnist, Stephens has characterized himself as center right (maybe neoconservative) and has argued for Israel, for Ukraine, against Donald Trump, and against cancel culture.

Bret Stephens is a graduate of the University of Chicago and attended the London School of Economics. Beyond the Pulitzer Prize, Bret Stephens has received numerous journalistic honors and is often a judge for choosing the best journalism in America.


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Bret Stephens’ picture of what World War III looks like.


The New York Times

Bret Stephens on writing “The Conversation” with fellow New York Times columnist Gail Collins.




Thomas Friedman

On December 26th, I spoke with Thomas Friedman on what you should know about the Israel-Hamas war, and the biggest lessons he learned in 45 years of journalism.


Niall Ferguson

The author and historian reflects on Henry Kissinger’s life.


Thomas Kaplan

Philanthropist and businessman Thomas Kaplan discusses the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7th, and what may happen next in the region.


Ehud Barak

The former Prime Minister of Israel discusses the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas, and next steps in the region.