One year on: Building the politics we want to see

Hi everyone: I’ve been aiming to write for larger audiences, both out of aspirations to influence broader debates and because standalone blogs have largely become anachronisms. In August, I successfully pitched a piece to WIRED.com on bringing neo-Nazis back to humanity.

I couldn’t get similar interest from a publication for a more recent piece on how American politics has evolved and where it needs to go next. So I’m experimenting with running it on Medium, a self-publishing site with a built-in audience. If you enjoyed my past writing like “Operating in a world with no truth” (one of the most popular posts I’ve written on this site), please head over to Medium for “One year on: Building the politics we want to see.” I’ve included the first few paragraphs below. – Dave


One year on: Building the politics we want to see

Trump’s tactics of division can help us create something better—but can we pull it off?

We’ve reached the one-year mark. It feels like more, not just because the past year has been so eventful—to use a polite term—but because the assault on our democratic foundations started long before. Last November was when the big one hit. The foreshocks and aftershocks have been daily.

The 2016 campaign had already brought the dawning realization that political norms were crumbling. As a candidate, Donald Trump said things that should have ended his career or, at the least, led his co-partisans to abandon him in defense of their own political futures.

Yet he gained more allies than he lost. His disregard for honesty and decency attracted a sorry bunch: the Breitbarts, 4channers, alt-right, Russian Trolls, spineless former primary opponents, and less respectable parts of Fox News. They mounted up alongside their wild-haired warlord, riding toward a post-apocalyptic politics devoid of natural resources or human relationships, screaming to one another for validation—“Witness me!!” in the Mad Max parlance—as they made their mothers ashamed. Together, they stumbled into a victory that even they didn’t expect.

Politics in America has changed. But if we only fight the changes stemming from the Trump administration, then we implicitly endorse the status quo ex ante. Barack Obama’s administration fought toxic and decaying institutions for the progress it made. We should aim to create something better. Doing so starts with leveraging the core elements of political action that continue to shape the outcome of each political fight. They’re the same core elements that Trump uses.


Hooked? Read the rest on Medium. And then help others discover the piece by giving it “claps” (Medium’s equivalent of “likes”). Thanks!

Photo: #NoBanNoWall protest, New York City, 1/29/17. Photo by Dave Algoso. (CC BY 4.0)