Sarah K. Cowan and Delia Baldassarri (NYU): “It Could Turn Ugly”: Selective Disclosure of Attitudes in Political Discussion Networks. Lilliana Mason (Maryland) and Julie Wronski (Mississippi): One Tribe to Bind Them All: How Our Social Group Attachments Strengthen Partisanship. The destructive dynamics of political tribalism: Anti-elite fervor in America bears a striking resemblance to the explosive tension between haves and have-nots all over the world. Jonathan Rauch reviews Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua. Politics is more partisan now, but it’s not more divisive. Why America is stuck with only two parties. David Brooks thinks the two-party system is doomed — he’s right and wrong.

The case for “retreatism” in the Trump era: Centrist columnists David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan are in despair over today’s politics — an essay from the Great Depression suggests a cure. Eve Peyser asks centrists why they love compromise so much: Diving deep into the “radical center”. The curse of bipartisanship: American elites already get along pretty harmoniously — and that’s the problem. You were not supposed to have to think about politics — not this much, anyway.


Why didn’t Obama stop the hacking that I abetted? “There’s a defensible argument that Obama should have done more to respond to the Russian attack. But there isn’t a defensible Republican argument that Obama should have done more. Republicans are the reason Obama didn’t do more”. Paul Waldman on how President Trump is losing control. Garrett Graff goes inside the Mueller indictment: A Russian novel of intrigue. Trump’s conduct is inexplicable, unless he’s in Putin’s pocket. Stop inflating the Russia threat: The problem is not that American democracy was hacked, but that it is hackable. Why RussiaGate matters to our democracy: We are not witnessing a hysterical political game but an international corruption ring with a clear ally in the Oval Office.


Rocco Bellanova (Amsterdam) and Gloria Gonzalez Fuster (VUB): No (Big) Data, No Fiction? Thinking Surveillance with/against Netflix. Do we really need a first lady? Let’s get rid of the position once and for all. Matthew Cooper: “From expensing yachts to chasing The Onion: I watched the newsweekly die from the inside”. Why rural America controls the debates over guns and immigration. Engineering is full of authoritarians who, predictably, take all the wrong lessons from pop culture. Did “bots” force Al Franken to resign? The accuracy of stories blaming bots for duping Democrats into pressuring the former Minnesota senator to resign is being called into question. No alternative: Gavin Mueller on how culture jamming was culture-jammed. All good magazines go to heaven.

Carolyn B. Ramsey (Colorado): Firearms in the Family. Adam Gopnik on four truths about the Florida school shooting. Grief can make us wise: Grief makes sense of loss and opens us to rebuilding all that is meaningful in life — society would benefit if public grief were acknowledged more.


Can you imagine what it must be like to be Donald Trump? Michael Harriot on Donald Trump: White Jesus. Many Trump voters think we need a White History Month. Do Trump’s “approval” numbers tell us about him, or about us? Trump is no longer bothering to conceal his corruption. Whatever happened to honest graft? Alex Pareene wonders. In American politics, we aren’t witnessing an unprecedented outbreak of lying; another term is more appropriate: bullshit. Trump creep: Bad habits spread fast. The content of the G.O.P.’s character: The personal is political — a bad-faith party attracts bad people. Don’t blame “Washington” — blame the GOP.

“Much of my education has been about grasping nuance, shades of gray. Resisting the urge to oversimplify the complexity of human motivation. This year has taught me that, actually, a lot of what really matters comes down to good people and bad people. And these are bad people”.


C.D. Christensen (UC-Berkeley): The “True Man” and His Gun: On the Masculine Mystique of Second Amendment Jurisprudence. From the Congressional Research Service, a report on post-Heller Second Amendment jurisprudence. Of guns, armies, and slaves: A look at the history and context of the Second Amendment. The United States’s sacred gun problem: Mark Trecka reviews Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (and more). How the NRA resurrected the Second Amendment: Here’s the story of how America’s gun politics got so broken. Steve Scalise says mass shootings are the cost of the Second Amendment: It’s “what our Founding Fathers envisioned”. To protect the Second Amendment, conservatives are dumping on the Fourth and Fifth. Patrick Blanchfield on guns and the “price we pay for freedom”.

Don’t blame the 2nd Amendment — blame our politics.

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