Author Archives: politicaloptic

How Bad is Corruption under Trump?

How bad is corruption under Trump? To help us answer the question, it’s useful to consider first what the major types of corruption are and secondly what the extent of corruption was in past American administrations before we get to … Continue reading

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Red States Face Political Rumblings in Wake of Teacher Strikes

This spring, Republican governors and legislatures across the country faced major backlash from teachers protesting the neglect and defunding of public education. Work stoppages, teacher marches, and other demonstrations of populist anger appeared in the reddest of red states, notably … Continue reading

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How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die (2018), a book by two Harvard political scientists, is a sober view of liberal democracy’s vulnerability in today’s world. The book has achieved attention for focusing on the troubling political forces now at work in the United … Continue reading

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Plutocrats Climb onto the Trump Train

The Koch brothers and their network of donors, gathering at Charles Koch’s exclusive California retreat this January, declared 2017 to be their “most productive year yet.” The event came several weeks after the passing of Trump’s tax-cut legislation, viewed by … Continue reading

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Addressing the Confusion (and Lies) About Sanctuary Cities

On January 25, 2017, days after stepping into office, President Trump issued an executive order entitled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” which threatened to withhold federal grants from any “sanctuary jurisdictions” in the U.S. The … Continue reading

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The Trump-Republican Tax Cut: What Were They Thinking?

As a mental exercise, let’s ask the following question: what if Trump and the Republicans, instead of tilting their tax-cut legislation heavily towards corporations and the rich, had come up with a bill that truly favored white middle class voters, … Continue reading

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The Worldviews of Donald Trump and Roy Moore

Recently, commentators have been making suggestive comparisons between Donald Trump and Roy Moore in the wake of the sex scandals uncovered in Moore’s Alabama senate campaign. The similarity between the two men in their personal misbehavior is apt and well … Continue reading

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Creative Destruction, or Just Destruction?

The Trump administration’s efforts to disrupt the political world in recent months should be no surprise to anyone. After all, Trump promised to be disrupter-in-chief if elected and to “shake things up.” His supporters on the right were happy to … Continue reading

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Putin-philia on the American Right

Trump’s adoration for Putin is not an anomaly in today’s American politics. Such at least is the gist of Jeremy Peters’ recent article in the New York Times , which shows that figures on the American right have been lauding … Continue reading

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Why the Left Excels at Political Humor and the Right Not So Much

It is almost a cliché that political humor is owned by the left. One can’t help but be bowled over by the number of liberal-leaning comedians sucking up oxygen on the airwaves. For a long while it was people like … Continue reading

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