Not long ago, they were the pulse of the American political campaign: Mom and Dad, sitting in front of the nightly news broadcast on TV, armed with a dog-eared copy of the daily newspaper. The ads, the daily coverage and editorials, televised debates, polls and TV ratings—over dinner-table discourse, it all mattered.
Richard Nixon had always been more of a rat-catcher than a heartthrob. All jowls and forehead, and sporting that rictus of a smile, he was a perennial runner-up. Willy Loman by way of Yorba Linda.
White America seems to be in a funk these days. The economy may be growing, the unemployment rate may be down, the Bureau of Labor Statistics may assure us—no, really, disbelieve your lyin’ eyes—that the recession is long over, but according to the 2015 American Values Survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, less than half of white Americans believe that the country’s best days lie ahead. Most blacks and Hispanics, noting a marked improvement in the nation’s culture since the 1950s, do not share this pessimism. The despondency is race specific.
In the Internet age, saying “I don’t know” about a political issue is considered socially unacceptable. After all, if we have all this information at our fingertips, the least we can do is a quick Google search. Like, really. It’s the least we can do. And the least is what most people do.
It’s hard to take a long look in the mirror and see blatant indecision staring back at you. So to avoid this self-reflection, there are ways to fake political knowledge. You know you don’t know anything about politics, but nobody else has to know that.
The public, the press and many politicians (at least on the right) can’t stop fulminating over Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server to conduct government business when she was Secretary of State. Little attention has been paid, however, to the IT systems that are supposed to guide, support and monitor functionaries with security clearances.
Posted on September 8, 2016 - 3:12pm
The link between Russian hackers and last week’s WikiLeaks release of 20,000 Democratic National Committee’s internal emails may never be proven conclusively. However, a federal investigation has reported that the leak was probably conducted by Russian hackers and orchestrated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU)—two of Russia’s major intelligence agencies.
Posted on July 28, 2016 - 4:22pm
Posted on July 26, 2016 - 4:33pm
Last week Hillary Clinton was tied with Donald Trump for broad discontent among voters in a New York Times tracking poll.
Posted on July 21, 2016 - 10:44am
Posted on July 13, 2016 - 12:58pm
I voted for Bernie in the California primaries just to tell my friends I did, hung my head in what I hoped was convincing dismay when he lost, and quietly buzzed with excitement over the idea of giving my vote to Hillary in November, what I hoped from the start. I’m playing the long game here.
Posted on July 11, 2016 - 3:35pm
With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump unprecedentedly unpopular—55 percent of voters view her unfavorably, and 70 percent hold a negative opinion of him—third parties see a chance to make a real dent in this presidential election.
Posted on June 16, 2016 - 12:56pm
Some political analysts are showing laudable restraint by deeming the current election year anomalous, or unprecedented, but many are just saying the hell with it, and calling it as they see it—crazy. Or deeply, savagely weird, as Hunter S. Thompson might have characterized it. (And if ever there were an election cycle that needed the late gonzo journalist’s deft touch, it’s the current one.) That weirdness is all-pervading, of course, but its clearest manifestation is the insurgent candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
Posted on April 11, 2016 - 2:42pm
Technically, the jury is still out on whether Bernie Sanders’s identification as a socialist will hurt the Vermont senator in the Democratic presidential primaries. Slate’s Jordan Weissmann says it was the best thing Sanders ever did, because it conveys the notion that he will implement “fundamental changes in politics” at a time where people desperately want them.
Posted on January 29, 2016 - 1:03pm