We don’t know how the Georgia Senate runoffs will go next week, but we already know a lot about American politics in the next two years. The Democrats are easy: Joe Biden will do his earnest best but fail the test of ruthlessness, while the ideological Left will form a circular firing squad and blast any deviation from the Correct Truth of the moment. Victory!
Elected Republicans are easy, too. Mitch McConnell will break every norm to keep Biden from accomplishing anything, even if it means tanking the economy. Deficits are super bad, amiright? Meanwhile, state-level Republicans will make it harder for anyone who doesn’t look like them to vote, smirking as they redistrict themselves to long-term minority rule. It’s 2010 all over again; Hey Soul Sister, I Love The Way You Lie.
But these are still basically tactical questions, important as their outcomes will be. I think politics in the 2020s will move on deeper currents, driven by questions of truth and identity rarely heard on cable news or captured in a tweet. Meanwhile, the world won’t stop for us to figure ourselves out, and I suspect we’ll yearn for the easy days when we knew who — and where — the bad guys were. Take a look at the stories below and see if you find them as unsettling as I do.
A Shared Reality No More
- We’re Never Going Back to the 1950s. You can have your own truth, but it’s a lonely way to live.
- QAnon is more important than you think. A new American religion?
- QAnon’s Rise in Japan Shows Conspiracy Theory’s Global Spread. Who says America can’t export anything.
- Vaccine opponents outline online campaigns to sow distrust in coronavirus vaccine.
Trump & Tribalism
- The Next Tea Party Is Lurking Inside Trump’s Election Results Denial.
- The Deep Story of Trumpism. “Hochschild is telling us that Trumpism is not just a garland of public-policy proposals that any other Republican can drape around his or her neck. And it is more complex than a personality trait, or a talent for saying mean stuff on Twitter. Rather, Trumpism is an emotional planet that orbits around Trump’s star.”
- ‘Make liberals cry again’ became the battle hymn of the Republicans under Trump. “When the goal is not victory but humiliation, there is no way to tell when the game is over.”
- Hatred of liberals is all that’s left of conservatism. “The Republican Party has proved that its hatred of liberals is so foundational that it will abandon any pretense of commitment to democracy, if democracy allows for the possibility that liberals might win an election. They have come to regard Democratic voters as essentially undeserving of having their will translated into power, no matter how large their numbers.”
- Inside the Republican Plot for Permanent Minority Rule.
- The Republican Party is an authoritarian outlier. “Compared to center-right parties in developed democracies, the GOP is dangerously far from normal.”
The World We Live In
- Azerbaijan’s drones owned the battlefield in Nagorno-Karabakh — and showed the future of warfare.
- China is waging a global propaganda war to silence critics abroad, report warns.
- Pilot In A Real Aircraft Just Fought An AI-Driven Virtual Enemy Jet For The First Time.
- China Conducts Test Of Massive Suicide Drone Swarm Launched From A Box On A Truck.
Sleep tight tonight!