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Showing posts from September, 2017

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

The Battleground
In all of the controversy surrounding first Colin Kaepernick and then other athletes' taking a knee during the singing of the national anthem, I want to step back a bit to take a critical look at the anthem, the flag, and other symbols of our nation for how they are used as markers in a certain kind of cultural warfare. The GOP has seized upon these symbols to cast itself as the party of patriotism, while Democrats have had to defend themselves against charges of being the party of godless globalists, who are either ambivalent toward their country, or actively hate it. Dissent and protest have hence been cast as unpatriotic acts in this false dichotomy, and loving one's country means blind loyalty to its leader--as long as he is not a black Muslim from Kenya. Ironically, Trump made his entree into national politics in a big way when he fomented the birther movement, casting literal doubt as to whether president Obama had any claim to being American, let alone …

#BoycottBannon

"Bannon declares war on GOP," the headlines blared after the Bloated One's performance before Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes Sunday night. I do not disparage Rose the interview; after all, until recently, Bannon was a top aide in the White House. Committing his insights to record is useful and important. Bannon's assessment that the firing of Comey was the worst mistake in modern political history is revelatory on a number of levels. However, once the fallout from this interview settles, it is time for a total boycott of everything Bannon.

While it is true that Bannon received degrees from both Georgetown and Harvard, that qualifies him as a smart guy, not a genius. It is a well known phenomenon that advisers to winning candidates are often hailed as political seers, when in fact it takes a strong candidate, many talented advisers, and sheer luck to win an election. We love the idea that there must be some sort of semi-mad genius in the wings, pulling invisible levers w…