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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – August 29, 2023

What to make of the GOP debate, human rights for Juggalos, and more culture clash

Photo-Illustration: Intelligencer; Photo: Getty Images/Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
  1. A Tale of Two Election Workers
  2. Dog Whistles at the GOP Debate
  3. A Bubbling Brew in Tacoma
  4. Democracy is Feminist
  5. Texas MAGAts Out to Lasso Cities
  6. Juggalos — An Oppressed Cultural Minority
  7. Longtermism
  8. Keeping Lake Michigan at Bay
  9. Why They Think Climate Crisis is Unbelievable
  10. Hip Hop at 50


A Tale of Two Election Workers

By James Risen
The Intercept

Ruby Freeman and Misty Hampton had a few things in common. They were both from Georgia, and both were election workers in their hometowns. But their paths sharply diverged when Donald Trump began to push his fraudulent claims that he had won the 2020 presidential election and pressured officials in key swing states, including Georgia, to illegally change the outcome.

Dog Whistles at the GOP Debate

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By Jordan Tama, Brian Kalt and Calvin Schermerhorn
The Conversation

After weeks of speculation over who was going to participate, eight Republican candidates seeking their party’s presidential nomination appeared on stage together in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, 2023, for the first debate of the 2024 election season. Without Trump, they were able to spend their time talking about issues and not simply fighting off attacks by the indicted ex-President.

A Bubbling Brew in Tacoma

By Hannah Krieg
The Stranger

Something is in the air in Tacoma. Lifelong community organizer and democratic socialist Jamika Scott soared through her August primary for Tacoma City Council. On top of that, the young Tacoma chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America collected almost double the number of signatures required to get their Tenants’ Bill of Rights on the ballot.

Democracy is Feminist

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Women’s Equality Day was initially a way to express the belief that a democracy in which “half the population is subordinated—politically, socially, economically—is not a true democracy at all.” 50 years later, we must be clear that women’s autonomy, well-being, and rights are inextricably tied to the integrity and durability of our democratic systems.

Texas MAGAts Out to Lasso Cities

By John Pfaff

The deeply conservative Texas Legislature wants to effectively deny cities—the state’s large Democratic-leaning cities, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin in particular—the ability to pass local laws and regulations in eight major policy areas. And it does all this in a bill that is 10 single-spaced pages long, nearly one page of which is legislative findings, not actual law.

Juggalos — An Oppressed Cultural Minority

By Joe Wilkins

Juggalos, the intense Insane Clown Posse fanbase, have long been targeted by police, including in a dubious federal investigation under the legacy of a Red Scare law. The group’s crime, it seems, is its very existence as a visible working-class counterculture.


France 24

Silicon Valley’s favourite philosophy, longtermism, has helped to frame the debate on artificial intelligence around the idea of human extinction. But increasingly vocal critics are warning that the philosophy is dangerous, and the obsession with extinction distracts from real problems associated with AI like data theft and biased algorithms.

Keeping Lake Michigan at Bay

By Siri Chilukuri

In the wake of Lake Michigan’s encroaching water, South Shore residents have organized their neighbors and prompted solutions by creating a voice so loud that politicians, engineers, and bureaucrats took heed. After years of tireless work, folks in this community have convinced the city to study the problem to see how bad this damage from climate change will be — and how fast they can fix it.

Why They Think Climate Crisis is Unbelievable

By Giancarlo Pasquini, Alison Spencer, Alec Tyson and Cary Funk
Pew Research Center

To better understand the perspectives of those who see less urgency to address climate change, Pew Research Center conducted in-depth interviews with 32 U.S. adults who hold this view, including some who do not believe there’s evidence that the Earth is warming. Language describing climate change as a crisis and an urgent threat was met with suspicion by many participants.

Hip Hop at 50

By Jason England

I’ve been with it almost every step of the way, and have witnessed hip hop less as conqueror than conquered. At best, it was absorbed into the world—and here the “world” means mainstream America. Hip hop assimilated. And that always comes at a cost.