Category Archives: Trump

a plea to conservatives

The new president derides almost everything you claim to defend. You say you are for limited government and the rule of law over men; he denies all limitations. You say you are patriots; he praises a foreign kleptocrat while abusing his domestic … Continue reading

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the hollowing out of US democracy

How could a celebrity with no governing experience and no grassroots infrastructure alienate and offend an outright majority of Americans, adopt positions far from the mainstream, and yet become our president?* I argue that the underlying reason is a hollowed-out democracy … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Trump | 1 Comment

why the global turn to authoritarian ethnonationalism?

It seems impossible to explain why Donald Trump won the 2016 election. For one thing, he lost the popular vote. Besides, a single election is an “n” of one with numerous contingent circumstances, in this case including the FBI’s last-minute intervention, Hillary Clinton’s gender, … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, democratic reform overseas, Trump | 2 Comments

the bright side of one-party government: accountability

Here’s an excerpt of Sarah Kliff’s interview with Debbie Mills, a Trump voter: Are you surprised how much Republicans are talking about repeal [of Obamacare]? No. Did you expect — do you think they’ll do it, or do you think … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 election, Trump, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

separating populism from anti-intellectualism

I’m a populist, yet I advocate the life of the mind. I’d like to see less elitism (of certain kinds) along with more intense and widespread intellectual inquiry. Unfortunately, the most prominent varieties of populism today are anti-intellectual. This is … Continue reading

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what activist movements will look like in the Trump era

Dave Karpf has a great piece entitled, “Cyclical patterns in activist politics: what do we know about the politics of opposition”? Karpf argues that opposing a government looks very different from the “politics of articulation” (trying to develop and promote an … Continue reading

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pluralist populism

The leaders of China, India, Russia, Turkey, Venezuela, and Hungary–plus the President Elect of the USA and major political actors in Britain, France, and Austria (among other countries)–are called “populists.” A populist in this sense is one who views The People as homogeneous … Continue reading

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Trump’s rhetorical style and deliberation

Donald Trump’s speaking style is extraordinarily paratactic. That is, he utters declarative sentences without any of the explicit transitional words that can explain why sentences fit together. No “therefore’s,” “on the other hand’s,” or even “well, I think’s.” He just … Continue reading

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we need SPUD (scale, pluralism, unity, depth)

Whether you’re building a social movement, organization, network, or media platform, you should strive for SPUD: Scale: You need a lot of people. For instance, if your social movement is anti-Trump, it must include 55% of all voting Americans in … Continue reading

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to beat Trump, invest in organizing

To respond to Trump’s election, we must address who is organized, and how. Members of organizations are more likely to vote and to take the more costly actions that will be vital during the Trump years, such as protest and resistance. As a quick-and-dirty illustration, consider the … Continue reading

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