The New York Times published a regrettable piece profiling a “polite” midwestern Nazi sympathizer. They received more or less the backlash one would have expected. But how did this even happen? Note that the article in question, which is now titled “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” was originally published as “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door.” The title change alone suggests an attempt at damage control–an acknowledgment that soft-pedaling the rhetoric of someone who believes that racism and genocide constitute valid and appropriate political positions is maybe not such a good idea in a country where such ideas are no longer marginalized but facing a disturbing resurgence, as embodied by President Trump.
The Clintons had slaves when Bill was governor of Arkansas. But that’s just the beginning. It recently came to light that in Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book, It Takes a Village, she wrote about how when her husband was governor of Arkansas, they had state prisoners working in and around the governor’s mansion, as was tradition–and a cost-saving measure, at that. If you want to read more about the specifics, you are welcome to do so.
It seems like a good time for an update. So, Donald Trump won the election. This was not the outcome I wanted. Indeed, it is not the outcome a majority of voters wanted. But it is the one we’ve got. Now, the next move is how to keep Trump from implementing his agenda. Massive protests swept the country. There were smaller ones for each of Obama’s victories, but nothing on the scale we’ve seen so far.
Tomorrow is Election Day in the US. If you’re American, able to vote, and haven’t done so yet… do it! And whatever you do, don’t vote for Donald Trump. Please. You’re smarter than that, aren’t you? (I can’t imagine anyone who reads this blog would vote for Trump.) I voted a couple weeks ago. I’m hoping tomorrow is an early night, with Clinton taking Florida or North Carolina quickly and dashing the GOP’s hopes for at least a few more years.
Here is a book that attempts to pick apart the fundamental contradictions of the American South, with mixed success. Tracy Thompson’s The New Mind of the South seeks to find truth in that slice of America that puzzles everyone outside it. I must admit to a particular fascination with the South, myself, both because of its continued importance to American politics and the economy, and also thanks to my personal connections to it.
We are living in a world in crisis. But it’s not too late to save it–and ourselves. It would be difficult to summarize with any accuracy the problems we currently face, as a species. Even just narrowing down to a specific culture or country, the complexities are too numerous to faithfully generalize. But there are definitely trends we can examine, and those trends tell us a lot about where we may be headed if we don’t change course.
The Donald Trump campaign is in deep trouble. Is the election over, almost a month before Election Day? Trump’s recent slide in the polls seemed to begin around the first debate. His performance in that debate was abysmal: his answers were rambling nonsense, he interrupted Hillary Clinton constantly. In the aftermath of that performance, he sought to aggrandize himself by claiming he could have done worse–he could have alluded to Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs and sexual assault accusations.
Guilty: I’m someone who loves investigating various kinds of networks and their effects. Let’s talk about Twitter, and specifically the way in which the #TrumpWon hashtag proliferated. A rumor went around that the #TrumpWon hashtag began in St. Petersburg, complete with a map image supposedly showing the hashtag’s original starting point and geographical dissemination. This turned out not to be true, but it spread far and wide very quickly and there are no doubt people who still believe it.
On the heels of the Clinton campaign putting out a primer on Pepe the Frog, the Southern Poverty Law Center has likewise designed the comic book frog as a hate symbol. It has been a strange year. As often happens when people not ensconced in a subculture attempt to talk about it, discussion of Pepe the Frog by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Hillary Clinton campaign lacks nuance. Perhaps it is also the case that nobody wants to expound at length about a crudely-drawn cartoon frog best known for expressing whether he feels good or bad.
What follows are extemporaneous thoughts on last night’s debate, the first Presidential debate of 2016. God help us all. Clinton’s ideas for the economy are fairly progressive and make sense and also completely DOA in Congress (unless Dems sweep it, somehow). Trump claims jobs are fleeing the country when we’re at full employment. Totally true! If he loves China so much, maybe he should move there. Trump’s expressions as Clinton responds to him are priceless.