Category: Mark’s Hill Column

Will Trump lose the GOP nomination?

Reporters love writing about the persistence of the Trump coalition. I sense it’s partly out of surprise and wonder. Like most college educated Americans, reporters have trouble believing there are people who still stand by this president, despite all the lies, all the chaos, all the broken promises, all the racism, all the stupidity. Okay,

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Evangelicals meet partisanship

Twenty years ago, evangelical leaders could hardly have been more appalled. Arguing that character counts, Rev. Franklin Graham asserted that if a president “will lie to, or mislead, his wife … what will prevent him from doing the same to the American public?” The late Billy Graham’s son was referring to President Bill Clinton. Evangelical leader

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The next war

It’s natural for people to fight the last war. And sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. Understanding how to limit the penetration and impact of fake news is critical. Preventing hacking into American political assets by Russia or other nefarious actors is vital. But we can’t let the last war blind us to the new and different

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Forms of polarization

We regularly hear that American politics is polarized. Those doing the talking mean very different things by the term. Some look at any 50/50 division as “polarized,” though such a definition does not comport particularly well with the history of the term. For others, polarization refers to deep differences. That is, the spread of increasingly

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Of waves and walls

A blue wave is building, but it will crash into a relatively stable political system surrounded by high walls. The damage that wave will do to the GOP depends on the height of the wave relative to the walls — and no one can confidently assess that yet. While Democrats understandably cheer every poll highlighting

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Did Russia impact the election?

“I think it [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram] helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent.” President Donald Trump, on “60 Minutes,” Nov. 13, 2016 “Facebook and Twitter were the reason we won this thing.” Brad Parscale, Digital Director, Trump for President, Wired, Nov. 15, 2016 “…the results of

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‘All politics is local’ isn’t true anymore

Consider some facts, and contemplate their implication: •    The number of congressional districts producing split decisions — supporting one party for president and the other for Congress — was lower in 2016 than at any point since 1920. •      For the first time since 1916, 2016 produced a perfect correlation between Senate

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Immigrant hate during US history

There’s not an ounce of original thought in Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant bigotry. It treads an ugly, but well-worn path in American politics. In famously asserting, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems … They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime.

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The state of Trump and the Union

President Trump and Co. are hoping to “reset” his beleaguered presidency with this week’s State of the Union address. History suggests it won’t happen. Rarely have State of the Union speeches had significant or lasting impact on presidents’ approval rating. Moreover, President Trump faces obstacles other presidents have not. First and foremost, he has created a

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On Political Authenticity (Part 2)

Last week, we explored the complexity of authenticity and noted that scholars had identified three categories relevant to politics: Type authenticity — something true to its genre. Idiosyncratic authenticity — a commonly recognized quirky uniqueness. Moral authenticity — the sincerity of the moral and values-driven choices a person makes. We also saw that a singular

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