Dispatches From the Culture Wars – Hell Week Edition

Victors’ spoils; Broken hearts, sticky notes; The peculiar Electoral College; Misogyny and militancy; Winning
November 15, 2016

Day 1 In Trump's America

By Insanul Ahmed
November 9, 2016
Twitter
A collection of tweets about racist episodes POC are facing now that Trump is our President Elect.

Thousands Of NYers Share Their Post-Election Grief With Sticky Notes & Subway Therapy

by Gaby Del Valle
November 10, 2016
Gothamist

During her concession speech yesterday, Hillary Clinton uttered a simple, terrifying sentence: "Donald Trump is going to be our president." For many Americans—New Yorkers especially—the sickening reality of a Trump presidency is impossible to fathom. A few hours later, a rogue therapist set up shop in the 14th Street tunnel between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Armed with a few pens and hundreds of blank sticky notes, he encouraged people to share their thoughts about the presidential election and stick them on the wall for others to see.
The messages affixed to the wall expressed everything from hope, despair, confusion, shock, and fear for the future. "What do we do now?" one person wrote. Another sticky note had an answer: "Don't mourn... Organize!" Another: "Racism, bigotry, ignorance won't win.”

The Secret Racist History of the Electoral College

By Andrew Joyce
November 10, 2016
Fusion

The Electoral College is an embarrassment to our nation, and not just because it subverts the will of the voting majority. The Electoral College was designed to protect an evil American institution, slavery.
As Yale constitutional law professor Akhil Reed Amar writes in his latest book. The Constitution Today, “The Electoral College was designed at Philadelphia and was revised in the wake of the Jefferson-Adams-Burr election of 1800-1801 to advantage the slaveholding South.”
Many history books will tell you that the Electoral College was devised by the founders because they feared that the electorate was too ill-informed to make the decision themselves. But there’s plenty of evidence to show that protecting the institution of slavery—and not a fear of low-information voters—motivated the decision.
 

Hillary, Donald, and Womanhood (video)

By Daniel Lombroso and Leah Varjacques
November 3, 2016
The Atlantic

Conversation around gender has been at the forefront of the 2016 election. In the midst of the sometimes hostile dialogue, two separate views of a woman’s role in society have emerged. The Atlantic traveled to women’s rallies for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to poll supporters about their views on feminism and womanhood, in their own words.

How to Win in Populist Times

By Jonathan Matthew Smucker
November 11, 2016
Waging Nonviolence

To be living in populist times is to be living in an era when political authority is no longer seen as legitimate by most people; it’s what’s often referred to as a crisis of legitimacy. During such a crisis, populist movements and leaders emerge, from both the right and the left, in order to forge a new popular alignment of social forces. Populists explain the causes of the crisis, they name “the establishment” as the problem, and they articulate a new vision forward  —  an aspirational horizon  —  for “the people.” Left-wing populism and right-wing populism thus share certain rhetorical features (i.e., “the people” aligned against “the establishment”), but their contents and consequences could hardly be further apart. The retrograde “aspirational horizon” of right-wing populism tends to be in the rearview mirror: a nostalgic longing for a simpler time that never actually existed. More importantly, despite its ostensible anti-elitism, right-wing populism always punches down, unifying “the people” (some of them) by scapegoating a dehumanized other: blacks, Jews, homosexuals, immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims  —  take your pick  —  depending on the opportunities available to the particular demagogue in the given context.
 

November 15, 2016