Welcome to the machine

As we look for ways to understand what happened in Election 2016 and what looms ahead, we should perhaps be thinking less about questions of policy and more about the impact of data overload on our minds. We may be bumping against biological limits in our capabilities, limits that require us to develop new social and technological adaptations to help us cope. A rationalist model of how human beings should best process information may be approaching the end of its evolutionary utility.

When Idiocrats go to war

We can debate the relative merits of a potential strategy or policy all day long, but it just doesn’t matter anymore. Whether you’re talking about health care, tax reform, Syria, or anything else, all policy questions have been rendered irrelevant by Trump’s win.

Trump’s tax records are a national security issue

We find ourselves in an unusual situation, one in which our President’s sexual assaults, perjury, housing discrimination, mafia ties, fraud, unapologetic insults to combat veterans, his seemingly endless string of business failures, and his round the clock, effortless and even pointless lying all merge into a distracting static. What would be impeachable ethical lapses in any normal administration are reduced here to distractions. It is of paramount importance that we discover who owns this horrible troll in the White House and neutralize their influence over our government.

A truly disturbing explanation for Trump’s win

Why was Donald Trump able to gain just enough votes in the just the right places to win the White House, despite the deep unpopularity of his policy proposals? Perhaps for the same reason that Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker or Marco Rubio will struggle against Kanye West in 2020. Policy no longer matters very much in our elections. Because pop-culture following is far more potent than any form of political support or activism.

Southern preachers and the Southern Strategy

The problem is that Nixon’s Southern Strategy mostly flopped. By some measures he was less successful in the South than Goldwater had been and the Republicans made few inroads there farther down the ticket. The flight of the Dixiecrats didn’t materialize in serious numbers at the local level until the late ’80’s. Something else was at work here to turn the South red.