There have been many, many offenses of this election cycle. But despite all the “locker room talk,” the most toxic and lasting harm comes from the growing hostility and dehumanization of the people we disagree with. It’s hard for things not to get this way, when coverage tends to focus on Whites Without a College Degree saying awful things about Latino Immigrants, or Millennials calling for the fall of Elites, or what Suburban Moms think of the whole thing.
I know we once all hoped that “there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America. …There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America” But I think it’s time to look hard at where we are. And hopefully, recognizing that we are in fact all those things will help us realize that we are in fact all those things.
That is what Bloomberg Businessweek* has attempted with “America Divided,” an entire issue dedicated to the election. As usual, their electronic presentation is stunning. It’s worth checking out for the design alone. Starting with numbers, “America Divided” dives headfirst into the human stories behind our microtargeted voter profiles.
It is a special issue in every sense of the word Continue reading
“What makes white people tick?” It’s a hell of a question. And one that FiveThirtyEight tackled this week, in its FiveThirtyEight way, with a statistical analysis of census data and voting preferences. The full breakdown is worth a read, but the main points are these: Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is no clear evidence that economic anxiety points to voter preferences: “Despite the myth that Trump’s base is poor whites, income is the least predictive of white voter support among the seven demographic variables tracked by the poll.”
The most predictive variable, it turns out, was whether a white voter had a high rate of “Religious attendance.” Those who said they never went to church were 71 percent for Clinton, while only 31 percent of people who went weekly supported her. These results are not surprising. But shouldn’t they be?
“…politics can distort and invert Christianity, turning a faith that at its core is about grace, reconciliation and redemption into one that is characterized by bitterness, recriminations and lack of charity.”
The nexus of faith and politics is a God damned mess. Probably literally. Continue reading
Trade. Immigration. Jobs. Guns. We’re talking about these things a lot in 2016, and that’s good because they are important. But if we really want to talk about an issue that would drastically affect the day-to-day life of families, we should talk about day care:
Every parent knows that child care is expensive, and getting more so. According to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, annual infant care in 33 states now costs more than a year’s tuition at a public university. For minimum-wage workers nationally, child care costs can easily eat up over half of their paychecks.
This is from Brittany Bronson’s op-ed “Clinton’s Day Care Plan: A Good Start, but Not Enough” in the New York Times. As a parent who has already signed checks for my 2-year-old to attend day care/school in September, I can assure you that this rings true. Parents, especially working and low-income parents, really could use some help on this, and relieving some of the pressure around finding and affording quality day care could have a real impact on economic opportunity, education, public safety and a whole host of “big” issues. In the hopes that there may be bi-partisan interest in such a screaming need, Bronson takes both Clinton and Trump to task for confronting the issue — and doing so in adequate ways.
America this is quite serious, and “Clinton’s Day Care Plan: A Good Start, but Not Enough” deserves a read.
Read more in our election year series “America This is Quite Serious.”
I know I’m not the only one who had been wishing Andrew Sullivan would say something about this insane election. I will remember to be careful what I wish for.
I wanted to hear from Sullivan because I knew he would be devastating on the rise of Donald Trump. Personally, I suspected I would enjoy what he has to say about Bernie Sanders. And the real treat — the opportunity to actually learn something — would be to watch him square his historical distaste for the Clintons with his support for what she know stands for, which is essentially a third Obama term. That is why I was JON-SNOW-IS-ALIVE! excited when Sullivan re-emerged earlier this year in New York Magazine. And while some of my expectations were met, his real point was much deeper, and more terrifying: “Democracies end when they are too democratic.”
The title alone is bracing, given our fealty to full representation in our democra– er, republic. But like most things with Sullivan, the argument is more complicated than its clickbait headline. Continue reading
This is the most casually stated and deeply tragic declaration of our time. It is, ironically, the one thing we all agree on, aside from the charms of Chewbacca Mom.
I realize that “politics sucks” is a strange thing to say less than 48 hours after politics brought us our first female candidate for the presidency. Regardless of your thoughts about who should win this thing, that’s history and it’s inspiring. But by now it’s a dying ember in the cold and dark. Look at how quickly politics started to suck again: Donald Trump apparently made a pee-pee joke the night Clinton declared victory. Thomas Frank is already snarling about the cynicism of anyone who’s happy Hillary won. Bernie’s deeply passionate supporters barely had time — seriously, like half an hour — to deal with the finality of a heartbreaking loss before Politico started rubbing salt in the wounds. The Facebook flame wars are all back up and running on my timeline. How about yours? Continue reading