The Deep State Did Not Begin with Trump

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Fears over the “deep state” have been chalked up to paranoia. And indeed the idea of a hidden counter-government has attracted the ranks of the paranoid. Conspiracies of a tentacled clique of career bureaucrats, wire diagrams of sinister assets and agents have piled up in the Trump era.

Still, to write off the mounting angst over the deep state as simply minds gone awry is far too dismissive. And to think of an abhorrence of the deep state as a Trump phenomenon is far too short-sighted. The fear of an unchecked counter-government working not for the people’s interest but for its own is not new. Fears over an encroaching, permanent bureaucracy are as old as the United States itself…[FULL ARTICLE]

The Nixon Act

PRESIDENTIAL STUDIES QUARTERLY: The often-rumpled United Press International (UPI) stringer George Reedy covered Richard Nixon as a young congressman. Reedy would become a loyal and often self-effacing press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson and would go on to serve as journalism dean at Marquette University. But decades after covering the Nixon congressional beat, he could still vividly recall the scene of one particular social gathering hosted by the promising politico from southern California. It was early 1947…[FULL ARTICLE]

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

WASHINGTON POST: President Donald Trump’s notion of “draining the swamp” suggests a centripetal force, an ever-tightening circle that feeds on itself. For RIchard Nixon, that spiraling conspiracism led him to commit crimes that cost him his base of support and, ultimately, his presidency. It is unclear whether Trump can escape the same fate…


The Irrational Rationality of Conservative Conspiracism

WASHINGTON POST: It is tempting to think of conspiracism 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 Putin Paradox

VOX: It is perhaps a distinctly American faith that authoritarians like Russian President Vladimir Putin rule purely by force, corruption, or trickery…How unctuous to agree with the Russian state media’s contention that Putin is ‘wildly popular’…” [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 the laudable and the lamented. Indeed, “mistaken” awards are routine in the prize process. A Nobel’d Trump would surprisingly find himself in some bad company…  [FULL ARTICLE]


Little Little Lies

WASHINGTON POST: The Big Lie was a product of a specific historical period, a totalizing scheme for national conformity, first imagined in Nazi Germany and then feared en masse throughout the Cold War. The Cold War was a superpower standoff formed specifically over the fear of each empire’s seductive idea. It was an era dominated by dueling ideologies, a battle between two faiths in capitalism and communism that each strove for global control through (in theory) force of thought. It was an era built for, if not by, the idea of the enemies’ Big Lie.

But the Big Lie cannot function in a global climate of mass information flow and supranational concern…


The March for Our Live Will Last a Few Hours…

WASHINGTON POST: On Oct. 15, 1969, in 10,000 high schools across the United States, students skipped classes to demand a halt to the Vietnam War. The mass demonstration, dubbed the Moratorium, was “a march against death.” Protesting a war that seemed all but lost, yet still cost more than $2 billion each month, activists called for a nationwide general strike to stop “business as usual.”

Streets filled with rallies and prayer vigils. Church bells tolled and workers struck. Municipal buildings were draped in black crepe, and American flags flew at half-staff. The best estimate was that 2 million Americans demonstrated that day. Life magazine judged the protest “the largest expression of public dissent ever seen in this country.” [FULL ARTICLE ]

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