Why do overbearing, obnoxious people so often come out on top? What the story of a local celebrity in the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea reveals about the rise of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency. Reagan manipulated television; Trump is controlled by it. Donald Trump’s big problem is he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The real madman: Trump has become the real version of the man Putin plays on television — an unpredictable, temperamental, impetuous man who will push reality past the limits of the imagination. An open letter to world leaders: Please, for the love of God, ignore Donald Trump’s tweets. Trump’s old tweets are becoming a minefield of hypocrisy.


What’s left of communism: A hundred years after the Russian Revolution, can a phoenix rise from the ash heap of history? For Isaac Deutscher, exile helped him discover his real community — the internationalist left: Bruce Robbins reviews The Non-Jewish Jew by Isaac Deutscher. Notes toward a new Left internationalism: Michael Walzer, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian and Jedediah Purdy consider the major foreign-policy questions facing the Left today. Nick Pearce on how the Left should respond to the steady march of nationalism. The global Left will fail unless it understands the feminisation of the workforce. Luke Martell on the future for cosmopolitan social democracy.


Is it okay to enjoy the warm winters of climate change? The weather is nice, but it reminds us of the problems to come. Tom Toles on his and Michael Mann’s book The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy. “A sense of despair”: The mental health cost of unchecked climate change. Thread: “How am I supposed to do my job — literally to chronicle planetary suicide — w/o experiencing deep existential despair myself?” A brain-invading parasite is believed to be spreading because of climate change. Our brains love new stuff, and it’s killing the planet.


U.S. foreign policy and the Trump administration’s Axis of Adults: Can the foreign policy apparatus of the Trump administration excel at its job? As Trump plays the global strongman, what happened to “America First”? The president may have swapped isolationism for interventionism, but it is still unclear whether he’s acting on instinct or shaping a cohesive policy. Does Trump still believe in Trumpism? Donald Trump’s keep-them-guessing foreign policy, explained by the NSC’s Michael Anton (and a thread: “Quick Machiavelli thread. M is often read as exhorting leaders ‘not to be good’, but there are some crucial caveats”; and an unexpected side effect of studying political theory is that it allows one to understand that Trump’s “intellectuals” are 100% full of shit).

“Literally all it takes is bombing some stuff”. Tough talk and indiscriminate bombing are not a successful foreign policy.


Trump is already using his 2020 reelection bid to line his own pockets: In the first three months of 2017, the Trump campaign spent nearly $500,000 at Trump-branded properties. It’s not just the golf: Trump’s Mar-a-Lago ethics mess gets worse. All the presidents’s taxes: As you file your taxes this week — and as the president talks up tax reform — get riled up all over again about Donald Trump’s refusal to release his returns with a brief history of this now-discarded presidential tradition. Trump’s ethical transgressions are multiplying — what happens if there are too many to track? Maxine Waters has called for Trump’s impeachment 22 times — and she’s just getting started. Carlos Lozada reviews The Case for Impeachment by Allan J. Lichtman.


Joshua R. Hendrickson (Mississippi): Military Technology and Economic Growth. Tomasz Kaminski (Lodz): Political Significance of Sovereign Wealth Funds. Rory J. Conces (Nebraska): The Hyperintellectual in the Balkans. Protests sweeping South America show rising antigovernment anger. It’s time we finally offer over-the-counter birth control pills. The silent revolution: Jose Ragas on how ID cards are changing the world. Why is it only the libertarians who fantasize about space these days? Brianna Rennix on the regrettable decline of space utopias. The story behind Atlantic owner David Bradley’s “biggest business failure”. Here be dragons: Lois Parshley on finding the blank spaces in a well-mapped world.


What the hell is going on with North Korea, explained: It’s been a scary few days on the Korean Peninsula. Pence talks tough on North Korea, but adds a sweetener — he raised the possibility that the Trump administration could pursue talks with the North. A “Cuban missile crisis in slow motion” in North Korea. Max Fisher on the North Korea paradox: Why there are no good options. A “preemptive strike” really just means starting a war, which we couldn’t necessarily control in scope or duration once we started it — so what are we supposed to do? Russian state TV declares Trump “more impulsive” than Kim Jong-un. “Not a joke. S Koreans are MUCH more concerned about Trump doing something stupid than Kim Jong-Un doing something stupid”.


R. Steigmann-Gall (Kent State): Star-spangled Fascism: American Interwar Political Extremism in Comparative Perspective. “I thought I understood the American Right. Trump proved me wrong”: Rick Perlstein looks back at how he and his peers failed to anticipate the rise of the president. Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism. Fear of diversity made people more likely to vote Trump: The 2016 election was really a battle about having an open society. What can we do about the politics of resentment? Fusion politics is the answer to the politics of resentment. Trump voters in a swing district wonder when the “winning” will start. This brutal new poll shows that fewer and fewer people believe Trump’s lies. Trump is making the GOP heinously unpopular again.


S. Erdem Aytac (Koc), Luis Schiumerini (Oxford), and Susan Stokes (Yale): Protests and Repression in New Democracies. From the Congressional Research Service, a report on “Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations in Brief”. Inside Turkey’s purge: As the ruling party expands the ranks of its enemies, life in a fragile democracy becomes stranger and stranger. The referendum that just brought Turkey closer to one-man rule, explained: Turkish voters just gave their president frightening amounts of new powers. Andrew Bernard on what Erdogan’s win means. Turkey’s constitutional referendum: Experts express fear for a divided country. The introduction to Longing for the Lost Caliphate: A Transregional History by Mona Hassan.


From the Niskanen Center, Christopher Robichaud on how facts aren’t enough to save liberal democracy; diversity and disagreement are the solution, not the problem; and on the future of liberalism and the politicization of everything. Steve Horwitz on liberalism in the balance. Are liberals on the wrong side of history? Adam Gopnik on new books that interrogate the premises of the Enlightenment. “You are famous for the ‘End of History’ quote. Are liberal democracies and free market capitalism in such a secure position now?” Steve Inskeep interviews Francis Fukuyama on why liberal democracy is in trouble. The last hollow laugh: Since Francis Fukuyama proclaimed “The End of History” 25 years ago, he has been much maligned — his work now seems prophetic.

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