How Paranoia about the ‘Deep State’ Brought down a President

WASHINGTON POST: With the Mueller report deposited (if not yet released), the right has set its sights on rooting out the “deep state” agents behind the alleged conspiracy to take down President Trump. They look for collusion behind the investigation of collusion. They dig for an illicit report buried even deeper than the report we cannot yet see…

The Irrational Rationality of Conservative Conspiracism

WASHINGTON POST: It is tempting to think of these conspiracies as a rejection of reason, part of the faith- or instinct-based anti-intellectualism of Trump and the right more broadly. And yet such a characterization misses the very nature of political conspiracy. For conspiracism does not reject rational thought, but actually metastasizes reason itself. Conspiracies are based on vast trails of evidence…

Speaking President

WASHINGTON POST: Republican leaders’ focus on Trump’s rhetoric is a striking deviation from how we are used to thinking of the power of the bully pulpit. The key–whether taboo or embraced–has been an unflagging view, a through-line in American history that maintains just how powerful the act of presidential speech is…[FULL ARTICLE]

The Case for Trump’s Nobel

WASHINGTON POST: Despite the popular association of the Nobel with great thinkers, diplomats and statesmen, the prize has also routinely rewarded the undeserving, the frauds and the criminals. By its very nature, the dogged determination to reward “great men” of their time has led to a list of recipients that is a mixture of theContinue reading “The Case for Trump’s Nobel”

The Class of ‘Black Panther’…

Most of the now-18 Marvel superhero movies can be described as comic confections. Perhaps overdone desserts. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther serves far richer fare. Perhaps a Marvel meal. Some have hailed it a “masterpiece”, others have called the now-much-laud-laden work a “triumph”, a crowning piece in a “21-st century Black Renaissance”. And with such aContinue reading “The Class of ‘Black Panther’…”

The Decline of Ideas

In the second half of the 20th century, the United States underwent a fundamental political shift. Traditional party loyalties weakened. Ideological identification gained preeminence. The Grand Old Party became the party of the Right just as the party of FDR and JFK turned to the Left.yet today that great historical pivot toward ideological stratification betweenContinue reading “The Decline of Ideas”

Trump is the New __________

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION: Every historian worries over presentism — the tendency for contemporary sentiment to distort the study of the past. Some call it projection. In graduate school, it’s teleology, or what the French historian Marc Bloch dubbed “the most unpardonable of sins: anachronism.” And so, lightly we tread, tippy-toed, when formulating aContinue reading “Trump is the New __________”