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

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