Monthly Archives: January 2020

The New Rotten Normal | American Interest

Whatever happens with impeachment, if the Democrats do not make a hash of the elections, in less than a year Donald Trump will depart from the White House for good. Can things snap back to normal? Will Trump’s presidency be seen as an unfortunate aberration, or will the chaos, the lying, and the depravity continue? No question is more important for the future of American democracy. One place to look for answers is in the nature of the presidency itself. Has Trump’s unique brand of politics altered the institution in irreversible ways?

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Stuff

The Demagogic Personality | American Interest

What is the nature of the hold that demagogues and destructive charismatic personalities have on the masses? The question is of perennial interest and has been examined by historians, political scientists, social psychologists, and students of cults. No one answer can ever explain any complex social phenomenon, but in thinking about this question today it is perhaps fruitful to look at demagogic leaders from the past and take note of some of their distinguishing qualities.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Stuff

A Root Cause of Illiberalism | American Interest

In the sweep of American history, Donald Trump appears to be an anomaly, a freak of political nature, who ascended to the American presidency in a perfect storm of contingent events: a splintered Republican field, a subpar Democratic nominee, a dollop of Russian assistance, and a mass media feasting on Trump’s celebrity ratings.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Stuff