What Orwell Got Wrong About the Rewriting of History

George Orwell was wrong. A statist government using threat of force is not necessary to rewrite the recent past. Society is perfectly willing to censor itself of its own volition where partisan politics is concerned. In the fictional world of 1984, the ruthless efficiency of an omniscient state working to blot out all references to its past fallibility was necessary to convince the populace their own memories were wrong. In 2016 America, this kind of…

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The difference between voting on rationale and for party

The most pervasive interpretation of the electoral system which pervades social discourse paints politics as a binary choice in a zero-sum system. A vote for one candidate is not just a philosophical act of repudiation of their opponent’s ideas, but simultaneously an act which substantively detracts from their ability to win. Such an interpretation is only possible in some abstract world of quantum politics, where the voter exists in a dual state of simultaneous support…

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The death of the substantive election

Electoral politics is a bitter pill to swallow for many Americans, but for the policy wonks whose lives are in hammering out the minutiae on weighty issues like trade deficits, the raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and the merits of a value-added tax over the progressive income tax, accepting that such things are never going to be a part of main-stream political debate is especially trying. This election- devoid of even the…

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Elections are not about partisan unity

Elections are not about unity. They are about competing ideas of right and wrong vying for resonance with the populace. They are about individuals exerting their conscience and branding their interests on the way government functions. They are about local actors reminding the federal government that power flows from the bottom up under the American construction of federalism. Coalitions are an end-run to this system, a way of sidestepping the deep and serious issues facing…

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Being Never Trump does not make me pro-Hillary

My political science professors were fond of telling myself and my classmates that, when analyzing politics, we were not “normal.” By this they meant not only that we processed information differently, both in terms of amount and approach, but also that we were more likely to be motivated by higher degrees of cognizance in our electoral decisions. Voter rationales- the term that explains why people vote as they do- are largely non-ideologically motivated. Generally, most…

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On being a cynic in 2016

I’ve already griped about the deleterious effect rushes to consensus have on the meritocracy which is supposed to underlie American politics. But at the risk of being branded (not entirely inaccurately) a misanthropic pedant, I feel the increasing pressure for voters to fall in line with their party makes the point worth belaboring. Partisanship should not be a pejorative, so long as it is a reflection of ideological agreement between the individual and a party…

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Political endorsements demean individual sovereignty

Electoral politics has become alarmingly medieval. The end of the primary season is like nothing so much as a joust for insipid politicians vying to see who can yield to the newly crowned king of the party most obsequiously and win a paltry prize of tenuous continuing relevancy. The common people in the party, meanwhile, are expected to yield their independence and support the nominee lest they endanger success in the general election. Political parties…

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