Patrick Allitt

America has a long tradition of voter fraud

Donald Trump was making modern political history even before he fell ill in the final stretch of his election campaign. By suggesting the result could be fraudulent — and therefore invalid — the incumbent President was menacing the fragile framework that, for more than 200 years, has eased the transition from one administration to another.

Trump’s inside man

Let’s take stock. Donald Trump, until last week, had never done a government job or held an elected office. He ran for president as a kind of anti-politician, ignoring the conventional wisdom about how to win. Amazingly, he won. It was, in its way, an impressive feat, overturning much conventional wisdom. Still, there’s no getting

How the Mormons dumped Trump

Evan McMullin is running for president of the United States. A Mormon from Utah, a former CIA undercover agent, he represents what the Republican Party ought to look like this year but does not. Convinced, like many of his co-religionists, that Donald Trump is a disgrace, he speaks with quiet confidence about restoring dignity and

Death of an anti-feminist

Phyllis Schlafly could have been America’s number one feminist. She graduated from good universities, wrote important books on serious topics, was an outspoken orator and political organiser, didn’t let her life be defined by her husband’s career, and stood up to bitter abuse from her opponents. In reality, however, she was America’s leading anti-feminist. Her

The Donald Trump phenomenon is nothing new in American politics

It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a strong opinion about Donald Trump. But it’s worth lowering the emotional temperature for a moment, taking a step back, and looking at him through the eyes of history. Has there ever been a presidential candidate like Trump? Here I’ll confine myself just to the last twenty-five

How America’s shale gas revolution makes Putin ever weaker

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Anne Applebaum and Matthew Parris debate the Ukraine-Russia situation”] Listen [/audioplayer]Once or twice every century something good happens to Russia, but then another long night of suffering closes over the great Asian wastes. In 1917, the Russians managed to overthrow their hated Czar and proclaim a democracy. It only lasted a few months

Revenge of the Clintons

Republicans turn pale with horror at the idea that Hillary Clinton might be the next president. She is the screeching harridan of their nightmares, made worse by her penchant for centre-left social policies. But they had better face up to the fact that no woman has ever been better placed to take the top job.

Right thinking

David Frum has spoken for American conservatism for a generation – now he despairs of it David Frum has been a major force in American conservatism for more than 20 years. He was a speechwriter in President George W. Bush’s first administration and is said to have coined the phrase ‘axis of evil’. In the

Elephant trap

The Republican voters of Iowa could not make up their minds. Months of flirting with different candidates preceded their decision to give Rick Santorum a moment in the sun. Hardly able to believe his own good luck, he could not help knowing, even in the euphoria of his virtual dead heat with Mitt Romney for

Travel Extra: Cruise – Breaking the ice

Alaska is best seen by ship, says Patrick Allitt – just so long as you choose the right season For two thirds of every year Alaska is a nightmare of ice and darkness. For 16 or 17 weeks, by contrast, it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth, and anyone who can find a

Preaching to the converted | 17 September 2011

Loudly and eccentrically religious candidates represent the Republicans’ best chance of losing to Obama Atlanta, Georgia The prelude to the first presidential primaries is always an entertaining phase of the American electoral cycle. Exotic blooms flower for a moment or two, but shrivel almost as quickly when the voters discover what they actually represent. Two

At war with the Greeks

America’s love of the ancient republics has had military consequences in the present If you’re 40 or older and I ask you to think back to the worst moments of your life as a schoolchild, memory will probably take you straight to Latin class. Remember how it was taught by a wizened old beak in

Get ready for Bush III

John Ellis ‘Jeb’ Bush insists he doesn’t want to run for president. Don’t believe a word of it The next presidential election is 26 months away and already the parties are fretting about it. Barring a disaster, President Obama will be the Democratic candidate, but history is not treating him well. When he took office,

The great American melting pot

Americans are panicking again about immigration and the size of their population. But they shouldn’t, says Patrick Allitt. The US remains the greatest assimilator of new peoples The American census takes place every ten years, in the zero year of each decade. I filled out my form last week and anticipate being part of a