United States
Winning the News

Winning the News

What makes Donald Trump special? This is a question the man himself would presumably have little trouble answering. But for those of us interested in projecting his political future, trying to determine whether he represents an outlier or something far more significant, it is proving considerably more tricky. More»

Parties Weren't Meant to Last

Parties Weren’t Meant to Last

Many believe that Donald Trump’s apparent victory in the Republican primaries will ultimately lead to the party’s downfall. Others have countered that Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity with independent voters and the young people who support Bernie Sanders means the GOP might yet have the last laugh in November. More»

Savior for the Classless

Savior for the Classless

It was easily the most beaten-up car in the parking lot. And that alone says a lot about how the United States is trending, since insurance companies and government regulations have made it harder and harder to keep older vehicles on the road. But what made it disturbingly poignant were the words scrawled on its windows, like the messages people write on newlyweds’ rides. More»

The Professor's Lament

The Professor’s Lament

If you have a lot of friends who teach university courses, as I do, your social media feed at this time of year is probably filled with complaints. Instructors keep being asked to do more for less pay. The higher-ups who shape their conditions of employment treat them with blatant disrespect. Most of their students show little interest in working hard. And they’re getting worse, too. More»

Death of the Republican Brand

Death of the Republican Brand

It is bad form for commenters on politics to devote column inches to the dissection of the work of other commenters on politics. This is particularly true when one has already done so fairly recently. But the falling away of the last of the Republican challengers to Donald Trump has occasioned such paroxysms of despair among the right-wing commentariat that one simply cannot resist the opportunity to troll. More»

Like a Boss

Like a Boss

“I can’t believe he’s our president!” It was the sort of declaration that millions of people understandably made after Obama’s inauguration back in January, 2009. But that my daughter still felt the need to make it last night, May 4th 2016, speaks volumes about the strangeness of his two terms in the White House. Even now, many of his enemies on the Right still refuse to acknowledge his legitimacy. More»

An American Abroad

An American Abroad

One of the most persistent domestic critiques of Donald Trump is that his proposals are not truly American. From the White House to the protests at his rallies, he has been savaged for promoting the sort of extremism the United States has long ascribed to its enemies, thereby calling into question the self-righteous presumptions that undergird the nation’s foreign policy. More»

Playing for Fun

Playing for Fun

The last day of the NBA regular season made for remarkable television. While Kobe Bryant, the first superstar to make his mark in the wake of basketball’s massive global expansion, was playing the final game of his illustrious twenty-year career in Los Angeles, the Golden State Warriors, the league’s best team and defending champions, were winning their record-breaking 73rd game. More»

Remains of the Day

Remains of the Day

It has been over a year since my friend and I visited the haunted compound of the abandoned Forest Haven mental asylum and since I began chronicling what we discovered there: a horrific testament to bureaucracy at its worst and the ragged remains of so many lives that wasted away on the outskirts of Washington D.C. More»

A Public for Privacy

A Public for Privacy

It felt like a rock concert. Security was tight. Fans were so desperate to attend that the ones who had failed to get tickets before they sold out were streaming into one of the biggest rooms at the University of Arizona to watch a live feed of the event with each other, even though it was being simulcast over the Internet. More»

The Politics of Rage

The Politics of Rage

It’s hard to tell who is more alarmed by the prospect of Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee: Democrats or Republicans. Democrats are upset by Trump’s overt racism. Republicans worry that these things might make it hard to get him elected. More»

Something There Is That Loves a Wall

Something There Is That Loves a Wall

Even now, long after Donald Trump has ascended to Republican frontrunner for the presidency, people are still talking about him the way they did a year ago, when his candidacy seemed more of a sideshow than a serious threat to politics-as-usual. It’s a state of affairs the man himself seems eager to perpetuate, promoting his brand at the expense of traditional propriety. More»