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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - February 4, 2020

How bad it really gets: Inequality and climate disaster wreck an Illinois town. Trump's divine right, and more.

Trump Can Do Whatever He Wants

By Fintan O'Toole
January 30, 2020
New York Review of Books

At the heart of Trump’s defense is the justification that underlies all authoritarian rule. The leader is special. The job of everyone else in government is to accept what the leader does first and find the reasons for it later.

Is Joe Rogan a Deal Breaker?

By Dylan Matthews
January 27, 2020

Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders — and the subsequent outrage in gay, trans, and other communities over Sanders’s embrace of the endorsement — is one of the most intricate and multifaceted political controversies of recent months.

American Bottom

By Walter Johnson
January 23, 2020
Boston Review

The nearly all-black town of Centreville IL now floods with raw sewage every time it rains. “Bring us back some help,” residents say, living through an environmental horror that evokes centuries of official disinterest in black suffering, as well as a future in which the poor are left to suffer in areas made uninhabitable by climate change.

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The Christian Right is Legislating

By Amy Littlefield
January 16, 2020

Seemingly disparate anti-LGBTQ, anti-choice bills can all be traced to Project Blitz, an elaborate legal strategy devised by a coalition of Christian Right groups.

Black Music Soundtracks White Spaces

By Tre Johnson
January 27, 2020

Now that hip-hop is no longer seen as a threat, it’s become the default ambiance in the kinds of high-end spaces that include few Black people.


By Ewan Palmer
January 27, 2020 

Thousands of people have taken to Twitter to explain why they stopped supporting the Republican Party using the hashtag #ILeftTheGOP.

Police Violence is a Public Health Problem

By Vaidya Gullapalli 
January 29, 2020
The Appeal

Safety does not come through the infliction of violence. Rather, violent policing, criminalization, and incarceration are threats to health.

Will NC Teachers Strike?

By Nick Martin
January 31, 2020
The New Republic

The organizing happening in North Carolina right now is in line with a national turn toward community-focused union militancy among teachers, but it carries risks.