After Playing With Fire, Republicans Get Burned

(Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

It feels a little played out to write on the repercussions of an event that occurred just hours ago, should we echo liberal media which is perpetually aghast that our polarized, radicalized, and violence loving populace took things too far? Or should we posture for increasingly desperate right-wing clicks by downplaying the events of crazed ideologues storming the U.S. legislature in probably the stupidest attempt at a governmental coup in recent memory?

There are no good answers.

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The Post Election Narrative

The 2020 election feels very similar to the 2016 election, each gave the sense of a changing wind for the United States. While 2016 was an unambiguous ‘red tide’ purging the supposed taint of long held tradition, bureaucratic reform, and presumptions about statehood; 2020 is shaping up to be a restoration movement in the opposite direction. As I’ve said many times before, the United States is a lost country. Internally divided, easily perturbed, void of purpose, and lacking any ideological vision. But this post isn’t to discuss the issues with America’s parties (see prior posts for that), but instead to talk about the self serving nature of the election narrative as it’s broken through partisan lines. Maybe as a nation we can see through this charade and move past this turmoil with open eyes.

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Likely Outcomes: America’s Ideological Future, 2021

The 2020 election remains uncertain. By all accounts, Joe Biden is a clear favorite to win against Donald Trump, maintain house control, and coin flip against controlling the senate. While enough ink has been spilled on the improbable (Trump wins Florida and the remaining rust-belt coin flips), it’s important to prepare for the storm clouds which rest on America’s horizon; a repeat of 2008-2016.

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Team Trump and COVID-19: Dumbest Kids in the Room

As far as election narratives go, Trumps approach can be considered erratic at best and inept at worst. The time honored tradition of controlling the media cycle by inventing a new ‘story’ doesn’t work so great when the story you are trying to distract from (poor debate) was actually better than the new story (Trump and something like 30% of his inner circle catch COVID). Back during the 2016 campaign there was a view that Tump was a shrewd manipulator, his public persona was not reflective of his interior views or behaviors. Beneath the barely cognizant policy proposals was the presumed brilliance that built a multi-million dollar empire. With one month until election the timing couldn’t be worse for a nearly irrefutable (and maybe a bit absurd) revelation; Team Trump may just be this inept and the people he decided to surround himself are the dumbest kids in the room.

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Dismantling Credibility: Conspiracy and populism

People claim you can’t convince anyone of anything on Facebook. After thinking about it, Facebook seems to do an excellent job at convincing a whole host of people on a great number of topics. From friends to family there is no end to the uncomfortable reality that, when left to our own devices we end up with some pretty wild conclusions about the way the world works. (more…)

Splitting Hairs: Conspiracy, ideology, and fact

The conspiracy theory makes for an amazing blog post because it hits all the check boxes; provocative title, fascinating information, a revelation about how the world works. This is the type of content that gets readers engaged and angry, even better if you can condense it in a .gif so your friends and family can share on Facebook. They will say, wow, here is a writer who has uncovered some dark secret, some perverse revelation about how our society really works. Next we stop to ask a very basic question, “If all this is true, why isn’t anyone talking about this?” And we get an unashamed ideological response every time. Without missing a beat we will be told that yes, the governing mechanism for a worldwide network of scientists claiming the earth is round is the same as that for why airlines are supposedly dumping chemicals into our air. Rational self-interest my friends. “It’s all about money.”

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Ideology Post Trump: Where do we go from here?

Ideological turmoil in America has reached unprecedented heights. With conservatives falling into the unfalsifiable throws of populism and Liberals fetishizing 1960 solutions to 2020 problems, both appear lost in moving through the 21st century. What comes after Trump for the populist? What comes after liberals fail yet again to implement a child’s imitation of the Great Society? (more…)