I’ve written about politics a lot lately. Most of it is hyper-local politics, because I feel like anything else is just noise, but locally I can make an impact. But I’ve been reluctant to write about national politics. It’s just so divisive and I feel like I’m only adding noise.
But I’ll do it now because this is one of those moments.
Before I get into it though, I want to refer back to a post I wrote on Inauguration Day. I talked about how this did not feel like “normal” political division. Trump ushered in something new. I have disagreed with the “other side” before, but I have never felt so alienated in my own country. (That’s certainly a statement of privilege, and I own that.)
So while I talk about current political issues, I urge you not to dismiss me as partisan hack whining that his side is losing. This is something much bigger than that.
What Would You Do?
Recently during a family vacation my family went to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. This is a fantastic, gut-wrenching new museum on the National Mall that everyone needs to go to.
Part of the exhibit included a lunch counter where you could sit down and work through a survey about the civil rights movement on a touch screen.
The questions often felt unfair. We know the historical outcome, so of course we know the “right” answer. Continue reading Asking the Right Question About This Moment in History
The current political climate, in the third week of the Trump presidency, is a little, um, overwhelming. I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the constant political discussion on social media, and retreating from the conversation.
I get that.
But at the same time, well, this is not a normal time. I’m trying to figure out how to navigate this new not normal. I think we all are.
The Era of Fake News & Alternative Facts
It’s frustrating because as much as Donald Trump complains about the media and “fake news,” hasn’t he been one of the main perpetrators and benefactors of fake news?
He stoked the birther movement against Barack Obama. He questioned the legitimacy of a sitting president, refusing to believe that the son of a black, Muslim immigrant could rightfully be president.
It was the epitome of fake news.
And where did it get Trump? The oval office. Continue reading How Does Our Democracy Move Forward in the Trump Era?
We’re two weeks into the Trump era, and I need to apologize.
In just two weeks we’ve entered brand new territory. I say that in the most non-partisan way possible. Some folks say this is just the polar opposite of eight years ago when Obama took office, but I think this is something different (and when I talk to conservatives, most [though not all] agree with that sentiment).
I need to apologize because I never took this election seriously.
In general I’m not a big fan of debating politics publicly (which may come as a shock, given my flurry of political tweets in the past few weeks). I’ve talked before about how I did too much of that in 2008, and didn’t like it. Throughout the 2016 campaign I didn’t say a lot. I said things here and there, but in general I didn’t engage.
I kept thinking there’s no way Trump will get the nomination.
Then I thought there’s no way he’d win the presidency. Continue reading I’m Sorry
I often wonder if there’s a more productive way for politics to move forward. It’s especially bleak right now after the election of Donald Trump, an election that was very short on actual policy positions and very high on the spread of fake news.
Everybody has a take on the 2016 election, and I’m sure we’ll be reading about it forever, but one story I read compared Trump to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and suggested the way to beat Trump is to ignore his antics and focus on policy.
I wonder if that would work. That seemed like one of the most telling moments of the presidential debates (and I commented on it my election post), though I don’t know if that moment changed anyone’s mind (it was easily overshadowed by other moments).
Maybe it’s idealistic and wouldn’t actually work, but I think a better, saner grasp of the facts and issues would go a long way to helping democracy, for all sides.
So what might that look like? Continue reading A Better Way to Internet Politics