Monthly Archives: November 2016

being young and evaluating democracy in 2016

The claim that support for democracy is falling in most countries–and falling quickest among the young–has caused much consternation this week. One datapoint that supports this argument: “In 2011, 24 percent of U.S. millennials (then in their late teens or early twenties) considered democracy … 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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Clinton’s support in historical context

Hillary Clinton is winning the popular vote, and I am seeing commentary to the effect that she has one of the largest vote counts ever received, at nearly 64 million. It’s true that only Obama beat that number (twice, with … Continue reading

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CIRCLE’s full post-election analysis of the youth vote

(By the CIRCLE staff, cross-posted from civicyouth.org.) Since Election Day, CIRCLE’s analysis has focused on whom young people voted for, how many voted, and which segments of the youth population cast their ballots—placing each in historical context by examining trends from recent elections. Today’s … 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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politics and the problem of evil

The appointment of Stephen Bannon poses the question of evil–certainly not for the first time in recent memory, but forcefully. This is a tricky topic because calling any idea or person “evil” implies a refusal to compromise, to consider agreeing, or to … 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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how to respond?

I offer this flowchart in case it can help anyone to think about how to respond to the devastating results of the election. I am sure it is incomplete. Also, it doesn’t present stark alternatives: options can be combined. In … Continue reading

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