Cory Leonard

Fruits of American Populism

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2017 at 2:10 am

In an intriguing piece today Damon Linker sees America’s flavor of Republican populism as a strain of “anti-statist liberalism” that, unlike in Europe, could lead to an entirely different resolution, we revolution. 

He compares France’s election as the equivalent of Michael Bloomberg (independent) versus Trump. 

And yet, for a complicated set of reasons, America’s populist energies managed to gain political power in 2016 not by challenging the country’s two-party establishment from the outside or by taking over the Democratic Party but rather by rising up through the institutional structure of the Republican Party. If this had been a genuine political coup, overthrowing the GOP’s libertarian convictions from the inside of the party and replacing them with a commitment to helping the voters who elected Donald Trump to the presidency, the result might have been a coherent populism. But what we got instead was a blatant, self-destructive contradiction: Populist anger propelled Republicans to victory at all levels of government, but once in office they immediately began enacting a libertarian agenda that is bound to stoke even greater anger, and provoke an even greater populist revolt in the not-too-distant future.

Via The Week


The Comprehensive Case v. Trump

In politics on September 16, 2016 at 9:58 pm


No need to rehash all my Tweets and posts from the past. Enjoy this marvelous summation from Peter Weher, a smart, thoughtful Republican:

The strongest case to make for conservatives supporting Donald Trump is a modest one. It goes like this: He is a deeply flawed man who is running against someone who is even more deeply flawed. Hillary Clinton is a person with liberal instincts who has been pulled further to the left in this campaign. She is also an ethical wreck whose career is laced with ineptitude, from HillaryCare to her handling of the Libyan fiasco, the Russian “re-set,” the Syrian civil war and spreading disorder in the world. So while Trump may be imperfect, the odds of him doing some good, on some issues, are better than in the case of Clinton. He is problematic; she is worse. And so, given the choice between two massively imperfect candidates for president, we are obligated to support the one who will do the least amount of damage and perhaps, if we’re lucky, a bit of good here and there.

This is a point of view held by some intelligent and well-intentioned people. It deserves a serious response from those of us who will not vote


And if you are still a discouraged Republican aiming for #NeverTrump, try this: strategic vote-swapping via  App. (How very 2016.)

Shall I Unfriend Thee, Political Foe?

In politics on August 26, 2016 at 8:10 pm


From Leticia Bode, new research on that issue of the century–talking politics on social media.

Social media allow users some degree of control over the content to which they are exposed, through blocking, unfriending, or hiding feeds from other users. This article considers the extent to which they do so for political reasons. Survey data from Pew Research suggests that political unfriending is relatively rare, with fewer than 10% of respondents engaging in the practice. Analysis finds support for the idea that political unfriending is most common among those who talk about politics, those strongest in ideology, those that see the most politics in social media, and those that perceive the greatest political disagreement in their social networks. This suggests that social media are not exacerbating the political information gap as political information on social media is likely still reaching the least politically engaged, whereas the most politically engaged may opt out of political information within social media but still receive it elsewhere.

via Sage Journals | Pruning the news feed: Unfriending and unfollowing political content on social media