Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica (Chicago): Coming Apart? Cultural Distances in the United States Over Time. America’s founders vs. Trump: In the early years of the American republic, James Madison warned his fellow countrymen that their chosen system of governance would only survive if they adhered to the principles of representation and kept factionalism in check. Left economy, Right economy: Republicans and Democrats are looking at the same set of facts and suddenly seeing very different things. From Democracy, why is Trump driving liberals berserk? John T. Jost on mass psychology in the age of Trump. Martin Longman on how “owning the libs” has always been with us (and more).

Kristin N. Garrett (Wheaton) and Alexa Bankert (Georgia): The Moral Roots of Partisan Division: How Moral Conviction Heightens Affective Polarization. Both side­–ism: Isaac Chotiner interviews Amy Chua, author of Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. America has local political institutions but nationalized politics — this is a problem. Never Trumpers will want to read this history lesson: In the 1850s, disaffected Democrats made the wrenching choice to leave their party to save American democracy — here’s what happened. Scaachi Koul: “I went to a conference full of conservatives who hated my guts — and told me so”.

Christopher Bail, Lisa Argyle, Taylor Brown, John Bumpus, Haohan Chen, M.B. Hunzaker, Jaemin Lee, Marcus Mann, Friedolin Merhout, and Alexander Volfovsky (Duke): Exposure to Opposing Views can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media. Far-right voices are frothing about a looming civil war. John Holbo on epistemic sunk costs and the extraordinary, populist delusions of crowds: “As a result, there is no way to conceptualize the red-blue divide except as a red pill-blue pill divide, so to speak”. Democrats and Republicans belong to increasingly homogeneous parties — can we survive the loss of local politics?

Why Americans can’t get along: Nine experts explain our deafening divide. One country, two radically different narratives: A new poll finds that Democrats and Republicans have wildly divergent views on core democratic issues, including Russian election interference. 34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America. Stop making second American Civil War clickbait: Dylan Matthews on the rise of apocalypse punditry. Thread: “This interactive map is terrific. It really helps to visualize what I call the partisan density divide”. How the right wing convinces itself that liberals are evil. We are no longer capable of forgiving our enemies.

America’s polarization has nothing to do with ideology: We feel less strongly about policy and ideas than you think — so why the divide? Forget a new civil war — we need a new American revolution. Beware the friend/enemy binary of politics. Bold versus old: How the new political fights transcend the old left-right paradigm. What we buy can be used to predict our politics, race or education — sometimes with more than 90 percent accuracy. Don’t let them win: Politics is never-ending war and silence will not protect you. You can download Who Wants to Run? How the Devaluing of Political Office Drives Polarization by Andrew Hall.

United we fall: The more homogenous the parties become, the uglier the divide between them. Yascha Mounk on the conversations we need to have: A new forum for cross-partisan dialogue sparks a tiny bit of hope for the Trump era. Sorry, Mr. Obama — unity is not coming, and one side has to win.


David P. Weber (Creighton): The Laws of the First Men and Those That Followed: Legal Structures in a Game of Thrones. Steven Perlberg on Sean McElwee and how “abolish ICE” went from a Twitter slogan to a litmus test. Can Imran Khan really reform Pakistan? (and more) “If you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine”: Rebekah Entralgo goes inside the abusive immigrant youth shelters (and more). Slavoj Zizek on three variations on Trump: Chaos, Europe, and fake news. Killing democracy to save it: John Ganz reviews Democracy in Exile: Hans Speier and the Rise of the Defense Intellectual by Daniel Bessner. “Dead to each other”: Team Trump prepares to “bury” Michael Cohen, “weakling” and “traitor”.

Was the 2016 election legitimate? It’s now definitely worth asking the question. Trump admin has no central strategy for election security, and no one’s in charge. Russian interference 2.0: American democracy is perhaps more vulnerable than ever to election meddling, but Trump and the Republican Party are in denial about it.


Reza Zia-Ebrahimi (King’s College): When the Elders of Zion Relocated to Eurabia: Conspiratorial Racialization in Antisemitism and Islamophobia. Michael Schulson on Kevin MacDonald and the elevation of anti-Semitic pseudoscience. “They spit when I walked in the street”: Adam Nossiter on the “new anti-Semitism” in France. The dilemma of Jewish privilege: Anti-Semitism both on the Left and Right is getting in the way of Jews coming to terms with their own racism. Darkness in daylight: David Breithaupt interviews Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps. Marilyn Macron interviews Kerry Wallach, author of Passing Illusions: Jewish Visibility in Weimar Germany.

How should antisemitism be defined? A panel of Jewish writers considers the IHRA definition of antisemitism, which has generated so much recent debate. David Bennun on Contemporary Anti-Semitism 101: A basic (as possible) ten-point explainer.

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