Why, then, does anyone consider him a “populist”? It’s basically all about affect, about coming across as someone who’ll stand up to snooty liberal elitists (and of course validate salt-of-the-earth, working-class racism.) Maybe some protectionism; but there’s no hint that his economic program will look anything like populism abroad. The Macroeconomics of Reality-TV Populism by …

Orwell was prescient in other ways: a paper called “Crisis? Whose Crisis? George Orwell and Liberal Guilt” points out that Orwell was fixated on what he deemed “one of the more embarrassing moments in twentieth-century liberalism: the failure of middle-class liberals to connect with the working class.” According to scholar Rob Breton, Orwell sought to “expose the …

Read the Political Divide

Lisa Lucas, head of the National Book Foundation, recommends two books to read to understand the current US – and help each ‘side’ understand the other: This year’s National Book Award finalist Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild about tea party supporters in Louisiana, and last year’s winner Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Between the …

100 Days of Bad Ideas

The smart people at NPR Politics went through Trump’s “Contract with the America Voter,” i.e. his first 100 days plan, to see how feasible is. For example, here is their analysis of Trump’s plan to gut the Affordable Care Act:The GOP Congress has already demonstrated its willingness to repeal the insurance tax subsidies and Medicaid …

My pals at 7Days2Vote have been putting out a really interesting, insightful series of interviews with US voters over the last week. The last one is coming out this evening (CET) and around noon (EST) You can find all (English language) interviews on youtube, facebook, and on their blog, which also includes more info on …

“The Handmaid’s Tale is more relevant today, we’re further down the track.”

Margaret Atwood sat down for a great interview with Literary Hub’s Grant Munroe. They talked about the Hulu series based on The Handmaid’s Tale, Donald Trump, Salem witch trials, paper books and vinyl coming back, birds and housecats, and her numerous projects, including an upcoming novel based on Shakespear’s The Tempest. Here is just one of …

It’s like ‘Isn’t it great if we invest in these community college students and they use our housing to get their degree and then they’ll never need our housing again?‘ From a ThinkProgress article about how unnecessary paperwork leaves homeless college students behind, e.g. by creating extra barriers when having to verify their homelessness every …