The Development of the Trump Electorate and the Great Irony of the 2016 Election

by Lawrence Rosenthal Added 06.12.2016
In a well-known exchange in their first debate , Donald Trump castigated Hillary Clinton for retreating from the campaign trail in anticipation of the debate. Clinton responded that she had been busy preparing for the debate. And she added that she had as well been preparing for the presidency, a remark that elicited one of the illicit applauses from the audience. The implication was that Donald Trump, whose style of campaigning seemed to...

Five reasons why we (eventually) become happier as we get older

by Jolanta Burke Added 02.12.2016
Happiness has become a modern obsession. Searching for it, holding on to it, and wishing it on our loved ones have all become motivating forces for how we live our lives. We also use happiness as a measuring stick for life decisions. If a job doesn’t make us happy, we quit it. If a relationship stops making us happy, we leave it. Happiness has lodged itself at the centre of our lives and we make some drastic choices desperately trying to...

Conspiracy Theorist in Chief: Trump’s falsehood about 2 mn. illegal votes only tip of Melting Iceberg

by Juan Cole Added 29.11.2016
Americans have given the nuclear codes to that crazy uncle you have to sit through Thanksgiving with who watches nut cases like Alex Jones and red-facedly proclaims that FEMA is keeping Americans in concentration camps. Donald Trump still has his Twitter account and obsessed over the weekend about Jill Stein’s request for a recount in Minnesota and some other states. Then the last of the series came, saying that he would have won the popular...

How paedophiles speak to children online

by Cristina Izura and Nuria Lorenzo-Dus Added 29.11.2016
The internet has transformed our lives. As of July 2016, around 40% of the world’s population was online – that’s nearly 3.5 billion internet users. Since it was created, the web has gone from being a simple tool used to share and distribute information to a complex virtual place which pervades nearly every aspect of society. Though the creators’ intentions for the internet were surely good, today it is also used for heinous crimes such as...

Is Lt.-Gen. Flynn Right that Islam is not a Religion?

by Juan Cole Added 23.11.2016
The new National Security Adviser to incoming President Donald J. Trump, Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn, has called Islam a “cancer” and maintained that it is a “political ideology” masquerading as a religion. He made this generalization about the religion of 1.6 billion people out of the 7.4 billion humans on the planet, i.e. 21.6% of everyone alive. Moreover, because of high birth rates in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, the proportion of...

Fake news is just the beginning

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 23.11.2016
Facebook is on the defensive after the elections, with accusations that it helped spread misinformation.  For days, Mark Zuckerberg was adamant that his network had not affected the election results, calling that “a pretty crazy idea”.  But after a torrent of criticism from his employees and the media—and evidence to back it up—he relented and took responsibility.  He promised to improve Facebook’s detection, reporting, and verification of...

Assisted Suicide: a musical that asks us to think critically about the portrayal of euthanasia

by Morven Cook Added 22.11.2016
Earlier this month, Colorado voters approved a ballot that made it the fifth state to legalise physician-assisted suicide (excluding Montana, which allows it via court ruling). Discussions around this issue are understandably fraught. At a time when legalisation is becoming more common, it’s now even more important that we consider how the debate around assisted dying is framed. Not only the news – but also documentaries and fictional...

These six new technology rules will govern our future

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 22.11.2016
Technology is advancing so rapidly that we will experience radical changes in society not only in our lifetimes but in the coming years. We have already begun to see ways in which computing, sensors, artificial intelligence and genomics are reshaping entire industries and our daily lives. As we undergo this rapid change, many of the old assumptions that we have relied will no longer apply. Technology is creating a new set of rules that will...

No, this isn’t the 1930s – but yes, this is fascism

by James McDougall Added 19.11.2016
The spread of fascism in the 1920s was significantly aided by the fact that liberals and mainstream conservatives failed to take it seriously. Instead, they accommodated and normalised it. The centre right is doing the same today. Brexit, Trump and the far right ascendant across Europe indicate that talk of a right-wing revolutionary moment is not exaggerated. And the French presidential election could be next on the calendar. The shock felt...

Dylan, Warhol, and the Conceptual Revolution of the ‘60s

by David Galenson Added 16.11.2016
If any more evidence were needed, the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature appears to provide definitive official recognition that the early 1960s witnessed a conceptual revolution in the arts. The opening shot was Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless, which exploded on the film world in 1960 and immediately affected young directors. In 1962, Andy Warhol’s silkscreened portraits of Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe jolted the world of advanced art....

How biblical double standards killed Hillary Clinton's presidential run

by Jo Henderson-Merrygold Added 14.11.2016
Since the news broke of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency of the United States, there has been much incredulity and analysis. How was it that someone as aberrant as Trump could emphatically beat Clinton and gain so much support from Christian voters? But perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise; the reasoning of these voters can be found in the words of Arlene, New Jersey: “The first woman president should have integrity and that...

Trump is an avowed sinner – so why did American evangelicals vote for him?

by Randall Stephens Added 12.11.2016
Evangelicals, or born-again Christians, account for approximately 25.4% of the US population – and Donald Trump should thank them for their support. Exit polls show that roughly 80% of white evangelicals voted for Trump. That percentage is even higher than what George W. Bush received from the faithful in 2000 and 2004. Clearly, Baptists, pentecostals, charismatics, and others were willing to overlook Trump’s myriad sins: the misogyny, the...

Why technology may prevent Trump from delivering on his jobs promise

by Vivek Wadhwa Added 11.11.2016
the election results rolled in last night, it became increasingly clear that America — and the world — would never be the same. The American people overlooked all of Republican nominee Donald Trump’s faults and elected him to office in the belief that he will fix the nation’s deep-seated problems of inequity and injustice. And they rebelled against the business interests and corruption that they believed Hillary Clinton represented. Trump’s...

I weep for my country

by Jeff Schweitzer Added 11.11.2016
The last eulogy I gave was at my father’s funeral. The time has come to give another, this one my last, paying homage to an America I thought I knew but did not. Those who have lost a loved one know the persistent low-grade nausea that comes with grief. I suffer that today. I feel physically ill. Whether by suggestion or as a consequence of some underlying biology, we all seem to suffer from the same sequence of emotions following trauma:...

Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)

by Juan Cole Added 10.11.2016
The Democratic Party has been the Establishment for eight years, and the Clintons have arguably been the Establishment for 24 years. Since the late 1990s, members of the white working class with high school or less have seen their life-chances radically decline, even to the point where they are dying at much higher rates than they have a right to expect. A year ago Anne Case and Angus Deaton, Princeton University economists, published a...

Why Trump Won

by Daniel Wagner Added 09.11.2016
This election was a ridiculously long and sad spectacle, as well as being a total media circus, and said something rather unfortunate about what we appear to have become as a nation. America has officially made the transition from personifying the era of Lincoln and Fireside Chats to that of reality television, soap operas and sound bites. That the entire presidential electoral process has been turned into a multi-billion-dollar enterprise...

After poisoning and dividing America, Donald Trump has won an ugly victory

by Liam Kennedy Added 09.11.2016
It’s over: Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States. The election that elevated him to this office has been brutal, ugly and bizarre. It has poisoned the well of American democracy, and the toxins it has introduced are unlikely to disperse anytime soon. Trump has eagerly led a mass abandonment of civility and reason, breached social proprieties and political protocols, and normalised prejudice and brazen dishonesty. The...

Barry Goldwater's 'paranoid style' may yet win Trump the presidency

by Kevern Verney Added 04.11.2016
The historian Richard Hofstadter wrote a still widely read 1964 essay for Harper’s Magazine outlining what he called the “paranoid style” in American politics. Marked by “a sense of heated exaggeration”, suspicion, and wild fears of political conspiracy, it was, he argued, a common part of American political life. It dated back to the rise of the antislavery movement before the Civil War, and every so often, it resurfaced at times of...

Is Trump a dictator in the making?

by Natasha Ezrow Added 04.11.2016
After using his presidential campaign to denigrate women, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, war veterans and the disabled – among others – Donald Trump is rounding off the election by attacking some of the fundamental institutions of American democracy. After his final TV debate with Hillary Clinton, when asked if he would accept the election result, he responded: “I will keep you in suspense.” Standing next to him on the debate stage,...

Trump's race problem could hand the Democrats a generation of voters

by Rakib Ehsan Added 03.11.2016
Throughout the US’s 2016 presidential election, the polls have consistently shown that Republican candidate Donald Trump lags well behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among the country’s ethnic minorities. The 2016 electorate is the most diverse in American history and, if Clinton wins, this demographic change may be the deciding factor. Mid-October polling showed that Clinton enjoyed a 79-point advantage over Trump among...
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