Tag Archives: politics

The Highest Form of Flattery

Fox News founder Roger Ailes passed away last Thursday. Among his more surprising mourners: MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow. Take a look:

Think about this for a second. Maddow is as liberal as cable news commentators go, but she still considered Roger Ailes a friend, going so far as to credit him with essentially inventing the way we process politics through polarized cable television. She admits to asking him technical questions about colors and angles, but I’d expect that wasn’t the only thing that liberals’ version of Fox News learned directly from Ailes.

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Kasich’s Two Paths, Reviewed

John Kasich is back in the media spotlight this week, touting his campaign reflection, Two Paths: America Divided or United. He was in Cambridge on Wednesday, giving a talk at the Harvard Kennedy School and signing books at the Harvard COOP. Grace and I went early enough to get a picture and briefly chat with him.

The event organizers explicitly told us all that we weren’t supposed to talk or take pictures (“only from the line”), but as I suspected and saw for those ahead of us, Kasich wouldn’t have had it any other way.

When I first found out about this book about a month ago, I immediately pre-ordered it on Amazon. It finally arrived on Tuesday; I read the first three chapters before the book signing on Wednesday, and I just finished reading it last night. This eagerness probably doesn’t surprise many of you since my pro-Kasich blog post back during the primary season, but I was really curious to hear his perspective on the campaign from the inside. I also thought it’d be helpful to others to review it this early, hence why I made sure to finish it in time for my post this week. Read more of this post

Reflections on a Week Away From Politics

I was at my wit’s end.

Politics had taken over my life. The endless barrage of news out of the Trump Presidency had ratcheted up my hyper-vigilance to 11. It was at this point that I came across this Atlantic article, which felt like it was describing my own struggles, translated to a work environment:

Duggan says that managers should help their employees focus on work, and that while support groups or other interventions sound good, it might be a further distraction. “The problem with that is you do a debrief about the election, then you have to do a debrief at the inauguration, then you have to do a debrief about the first week, the second week, and it doesn’t stop.”

Many of us were hoping that the constant campaign ruckus would die down after the election. Heck, people were already sick of the general election back in July! And the same political climate has continued, with no end in sight. Even some of the same features are back: On FiveThirtyEight, instead of tracking the current election polling average, you can now track Trump’s approval ratings average!

Different colors, same feels.

Different colors, same feels.

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The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin: Summary and Review

In the midst of a very unusual presidential campaign, it can be difficult to think past the election in November. To try to grasp a wider perspective and see around the corner to the most useful politics of the future, I decided to read The Fractured Republic by Yuval Levin, hearing about it from this review. Levin is a conservative intellectual, but the book comes highly recommended by thinkers on both the left and the right, and deservedly so, as I would soon discover.

Not everyone has the time to read hundreds of pages, so I thought it would be useful to summarize it here. If you’re at all intrigued, I would highly recommend reading the full book, of course. Levin builds his theses very thoroughly and convincingly, and seems to describe quite accurately a wide variety of perspectives on recent history, not just his own. His writing is appropriately nuanced and footnoted in a way that this condensed version inevitably will fail to be.

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