Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: 2016 Election

The Decline of the 20th Century Political Campaign

Political campaigns started getting expensive in the 1960s, when television advertising became the next big thing in campaigning. Even before TV, reaching people was hard work. You needed to knock on doors, phone bank, and send out mailings. All of this required a lot of dedicated activists and dedicated dollars. And so politicians depended very heavily on the activists and donors who could provide these things. All of this is in the process of changing. Activists and dollars are becoming less important than they used to be. They still matter, but not as much. And as time goes on, they grow weaker.

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What the Single Payer Movement Can Learn From “Repeal and Replace”

Single payer healthcare seems to be getting more popular. More people are becoming aware of the advantages of single payer. A majority of Americans now say that the government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, and more than half of that majority now think the best way to do it is single payer:

The current push for single payer does however have a lot in common with another political movement–the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare.

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Hillary Clinton Still Doesn’t Get It

A few excerpts have leaked from Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book,¬†What Happened. They contain a series of attacks on Bernie Sanders and his supporters. You can find lots of people criticizing Clinton for re-litigating the primaries, but today I want to draw attention to just how bad Clinton’s arguments are.

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We Must Normalize Trump to Beat Him

Since President Trump’s inauguration, it’s become popular to demand that we not normalize Trump’s presidency. Politically, this means constantly drawing attention to all the things that Donald Trump does that separate him from past presidents. To that end, the left has focused on a suite of character and corruption-oriented issues:

  • Trump’s tax returns
  • Trump’s possible ties to Russia
  • Trump’s tweets and style of communication (rude, bigoted, or post-fact)
  • Trump’s conflicts of interest (nepotism, lack of blind trust, Ivanka involvement)
  • Trump’s history of screwing people over (Trump University, bankruptcies, cost of Trump Tower security & Mar-a-Lago trips)
  • Trump’s untruthful or corrupt henchmen (Spicer, Kushner, Conway, Bannon, Flynn, Sessions, etc.)

This is all a mistake. To beat Trump we need precisely the opposite approach–we must treat Trump as just another establishment Republican president and attack his administration for failing to help the people it promised to protect.¬†Here’s why.

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Fake News is a Symptom of a Larger Problem–We are Destroying Our Own Media

Many people now believe that fake news contributed to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. I’ve seen this issue debated a number of times around the web, and whenever it’s discussed there tends to be a great deal of conceptual imprecision. Different people have widely divergent understandings of what constitutes “fake” news. This has led many people to misunderstand what fake news is, why it exists, and what its significance is.

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