It’s time to embrace division in American politics

Modern political ideology has devolved into a form of sectarianism. Party identification now serves as nothing short of an intellectual brand. If an individual claims to be a Democrat or a Republican, or to have a deep ideological connection to a sect of either party, all sorts of assumptions are encouraged. To some degrees this is logical; the point of political parties, after all, is to provide structure and organization to a complicated electoral system…

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Defining equality in the American political system

The aftermath of the 2016 election is a tale of two separate and competing definitions of equality. To those lobbying for the abolition of the electoral college, egalitarianism is expressed directly through the popular vote, which embodies the will of the simple majority—the only gauge necessary for determining what is “fair.” To those who remain staunchly behind the electoral college, egalitarianism is slightly more nuanced. There is no moral mandate behind a majority by numbers.…

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The Fake Controversy Over Fake News

Like so many other things in today’s culture, the controversy over “fake news” is a didactic battle between two camps whose polar-opposite positions are largely driven by outrage over the opposing camp’s position. And, again, like so many other things in today’s culture, this venial division completely misses the point. The left, which is all for democratic expressions of will until it gets a result it does not like, is suddenly once again concerned with…

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Intraparty GOP Opposition Should Be Touted in New Administration

The 2016 election represented a fundamental shift in American politics. Donald Trump’s ability to successfully position himself as a Republican who publicly repudiated traditional right-wing ideas such as free trade and limited government reconfigured the traditional two-party divide. America now has two parties that embrace a strong, managerial federal government. This is not a phenomenon solely dependent on Trump; he simply spearheaded the movement. An observation of Congressional Republican opposition to Obamacare—which slowly morphed from…

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The Electoral College Is Not Democratic. And That’s Just Fine.

America is not a democracy. To be precise, it is a nationally-federated constitutional republic. This distinction, however, has sadly been largely erased from the national lexicons, pointed out only by those who are immediately dismissed and scornfully labelled a pedant. Yet, that this is not an issue of semantics is all too evident in the reaction to the presidential election. Anti-Trump protestors, justifying their histrionics by babbling about “democracy!”, claim the election was stolen by…

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2016 and the New Populism

Election night confirmed a long-held suspicion. This whole electoral cycle has been a lesson in humility for pundits overconfident in the reliability of data forecasting, broadcast from the Twilight Zone. That said, the profundity of it is staggering, even for skeptics like myself. This was not a runaway victory for Trump. Yet, because the forecasts were so very wrong, it certainly feels like a mandate. In the coming days, shattered political scientists are sure to…

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National Elections Don’t Occur in a Vacuum

Today, all eyes are on the presidential race, and understandably so. But national elections don’t occur in a vacuum. Understanding the results at the top of the ticket requires interpreting the result in the context of state and local races which occur simultaneously. Elections with huge margins of victory at the top of the ticket are immediately branded as “mandates” or interpreted as a “referendum” on a particularly exigent national issue. However, all elections are…

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