Tom Piatak

Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

Latest by Tom Piatak in Chronicles

  • Go Big or Go Home
    June 2020

    Go Big or Go Home

    Before the coronavirus slammed into the United States in a way that few foresaw, it seemed Donald Trump was heading to reelection based on a record of genuine, though modest, accomplishments.

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  • Never Trumpers Call Quarantined Americans ‘Whiners’
    May 12, 2020

    Never Trumpers Call Quarantined Americans ‘Whiners’

    Never Trumper conservatives say quarantined Americans should stay home and shut up, unless their thoughts are in line with the consensus du jour of respectable opinion.

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  • Tariffs Work
    March 2020

    Tariffs Work

    For decades, American political discourse has largely operated within the spectrum of opinions voiced by the editorial pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Opinions not embraced by one of these newspapers were unlikely to advance very far, and those voicing such unapproved opinions were, sooner or later, likely to be denounced as thought criminals of one variety or another. Not coincidentally, the opinions of the Big Three newspapers tend to advance the material interests of the type of persons who write them and read them, regardless of the impact they have on the country as a whole or on the great many Americans who are far removed culturally and geographically from the opinion-forming centers of Manhattan and D.C.

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  • An Arrogance Justified by Nothing
    February 3, 2020

    An Arrogance Justified by Nothing

    It was a revealing moment. Former GOP consultant turned Never Trumper Rick Wilson began ridiculing Trump supporters on CNN as “credulous Boomer rube[s]” who believe “Donald Trump is the smart one and y’all elitists are dumb.” Muslim activist and New York Times contributor Wajahat Ali joined in, mimicking the rubes’ supposed disdain for “You elitists, with your geography and your maps and your spelling” and “your reading, y’know, your geography, knowin’ other countries, sipping your latte.”

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  • February 2020

    What the Editors Are Reading

    Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited (1945) while on a six-month leave from the British Army during World War II. It proved a hit with the public, but the critics who had praised Waugh’s earlier satirical novels were less impressed, objecting both to its religious themes and its lush prose. Waugh never apologized for the former, but by 1959, when he wrote a preface to a new edition, he had come to agree with the critics about the latter, blaming the novel’s “glaring defects” on the grim reality of the wartime circumstances in which it was written.

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