Trump’s crisis of legitimacy

… Politicians can and do change their minds. The view from Air Force One differs from the panorama visible on the campaign plane. But democracy requires some important correlation between words uttered on the campaign trail and actions taken in the Oval Office. Without such linkage, elections are a farce. […] Read more »

21st-century propaganda: A guide to interpreting and confronting the dark arts of persuasion

… The belief, or rather hope, that humankind is ultimately rational has gripped Western politics at least since Descartes, and inspired such 19th-century optimists as Thomas Jefferson and John Stuart Mill. “Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe,” Jefferson famously wrote. But in […] Read more »

A lot of Republican rhetoric on health care this weekend may haunt the party in 2018

It’s important to remember, when considering the Republican plan to overhaul Obamacare, that the only constituency that fervently supports throwing out the Affordable Care Act is Republicans. In the most recent Post-ABC News poll, three-quarters of Republicans supported repealing Obamacare, sure — but 9 in 10 Democrats and two-thirds of […] Read more »

How conspiracy theories helped power Trump’s disruptive politics

We watched over the past year as a wave of conspiracy theories infected our national discourse. … Trump’s use of conspiracy theory politics proved to be a particularly ingenious form of populism. By focusing his populist appeals on conspiracy rhetoric — rather than substantive policy — Trump galvanized the broad […] Read more »

A scholar asks, ‘Can democracy survive the Internet?’

… Nathaniel Persily, a law professor at Stanford University, is among the many — academics, political practitioners, journalists, law enforcement officials and others — who are attempting to understand better the consequences of conducting campaigns and governance here and around the world in the Internet age. He has written about […] Read more »