Category: Mark’s Hill Column

What Dems should do now

As Democrats continue to sort through the wreckage of 2016, to ensure we are not doomed to repeat it, we would do well to honestly confront some fundamental realities. Too many Democrats desperately cling to the politically inconsequential fact that Hillary Clinton bested President Trump by over 2 points in the national popular vote. It

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Trump’s unpopular budget

For better or worse, President Trump has displayed little interest in adopting polices that enjoy public support. Republican members of Congress ought to be uncomfortable with this approach. On the one hand, in a democracy like ours, public sentiment and public priorities ought to be felt in public policy. Moreover, Republican senators and members of

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Rating the presidents

Anti-intellectualism is one of the leitmotifs of our present circumstance. We have no use for experts, no time for careful thought, no patience for sifting evidence and no interest in nuance. While we have not yet adopted Mao’s practice of sentencing thinking people to re-education camps in the wilderness, our president has begun to emulate

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Trump proves most risky move

It has proven to be far riskier than they could have possibly anticipated. On Election Day, the vast majority of voters considered Donald Trump in the Oval Office a serious risk. While 52 percent thought Clinton was qualified for the job, only 38 percent said that about Trump, exit polls showed. Fifty-five percent believed Clinton

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Refugee redux

For just about the first time in history, a majority of Americans favor allowing meaningful numbers of refugees into the country — and we may have President Trump to thank for it. Last week, I lamented the rather depressing evidence of our hardened hearts in times past: whether it was children during the Holocaust, or

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Rising above public opinion

Let’s face it: Americans have rarely been anxious to open their “golden door” to the world’s “tired … poor … huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” But America has always been great when it has been good to immigrants and refugees. Our history of animosity to “foreigners” goes

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First things first?

Starting at the bottom. That phrase, applied to the first days of the Trump presidency, could mean so many different things. Here’s where I’m going with it: Notwithstanding the confusing and contradictory claims that characterized President Trump’s campaign, he did make a few clear-cut promises to the American people. Now Gallup has found that the

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The candidate or the circumstances

Human beings display a natural inclination to overweigh the causal role of people in producing outcomes, while underweighting the role of circumstances, of situations. Indeed, this tendency is so pervasive and so significant, psychologists call it fundamental attribution error. It’s no surprise then that political analyses also attribute less causal impact to underlying structural dynamics

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Of emails and image

We’re accustomed to the trope that this year’s presidential election featured the two most unpopular candidates in history. It’s true, but it was not foreordained, at least not for Hillary Clinton, who, not so long ago, was the most popular public official in the country. However, her image was badly damaged by the widely misinterpreted,

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The revolt of the dispossessed

How did the most unpopular presidential candidate in history (at least in the history of polling) accede to the highest office in the land? It matters that our constitutional system honors not the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won, but electoral vote, where Donald Trump prevailed. Turnout, fake news, voter suppression, emails and a hundred

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