A Political Science Primer for Understanding Bad Types of Government

In these unprecedented times a variety of weighty and scary political science terms are swirling around the internet: totalitarianism, authoritarianism, autocracy, despotism, tyranny, and fascism. Only recently has it become important for everyone to know what they mean. What exactly is an autocracy? And what is the difference between totalitarianism and authoritarianism? Or between despotism… Continue reading A Political Science Primer for Understanding Bad Types of Government

Why it is Important to Realize that There was Only One Morally Acceptable Option in this Election

In the immediate wake of the election, a lively blame game broke out, most visibly among progressives. Whose fault is Trump? Our next president’s base is white people, so let’s blame the white people. People of color didn’t support Clinton like they did Obama. So let’s blame people of color. There were the third-party voters… Continue reading Why it is Important to Realize that There was Only One Morally Acceptable Option in this Election

Fake News: Why Mainstream Journalism Is Often Part of the Problem

The term “fake news” has entered the modern parlance so quickly that it is worth beginning a discussion about fake news by trying to determine what, if anything, the term means. One way of investigating it is to try to identify a particularly clear case, rather than to propose a definition. Let me give what… Continue reading Fake News: Why Mainstream Journalism Is Often Part of the Problem

It is Wrong to Think Republicans Will Pay a Political Price for Undermining Obamacare

It is tempting to think that repealing or undermining Obamacare will result in a massive backlash against Republican legislators. When people start dying from lack of medical care, Republican legislators will start losing elections. Right? The assumption is rooted in progressives’ inner sense of justice or democratic karma. Even Biden dared Republicans to repeal, illustrating… Continue reading It is Wrong to Think Republicans Will Pay a Political Price for Undermining Obamacare

“What Can I Do To Stop Trump?” 13 Ways to Act

In the wake of Trump many people are left feeling an odd combination of powerlessness and inspiration. There are a number of lists intended to answer the question “What can I do now?” (see John Oliver, the Guardian, Elle, Daily Kos, this invaluable piece from a Yale history professor, the lengthy and invaluable Indivisible, and… Continue reading “What Can I Do To Stop Trump?” 13 Ways to Act