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Series | Trump Nation, Part 2: How the Vote Broke, in Historical Perspective

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James Fallows, the Atlantic

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/2016/11/ElectoralCollege2016.svg/e96bbf380.pngNovember 21, 2016 | From the inbox, an engineer who is directly involved in the technology for tabulating votes in a number of states sends this report on the historically unusual gap between Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote lead and Donald Trump’s electoral college margin. (Andrew McGill has been covering this issue for us since the election.) The engineer wrote over the weekend with this summary:

It looks as if Hillary Clinton will top the popular-vote margin in percentage points of President Carter in 1976, also JFK in 1960, three elections in the 1880s and James Knox Polk in 1844. And I should include the 2000 election as well.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne.

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Part 1: How to Deal With the Lies of Donald Trump: Guidelines for the Media

 

Series | Trump Nation, Part 1: How to Deal With the Lies of Donald Trump: Guidelines for the Media

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James Fallows, The Atlantic

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The Washington Post on November 27. Headlines like this are a step toward recognizing the plain reality of today’s politics.

November 28, 2016 | A man who will literally have life and death power over much of humanity seems not to understand or care about the difference between truth and lies. Is there any way for democratic institutions to cope? This is our topic in the post-Thanksgiving week.

***

Being back in China in the U.S.-election aftermath naturally leads to thoughts about how societies function when there is no agreed-on version of “reality,” public knowledge, or news.

We take for granted that this was a challenge for Soviet citizens back in the Cold War days, when they relied on samizdat for non-government-authorized reports and criticisms. Obviously it’s a big issue for China’s public now. But its most consequential effects could be those the United States is undergoing, which have led to the elevation of the least prepared, most temperamentally unfit, least public-spirited person ever to assume the powers of the U.S. presidency.

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne.

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A Media Unmoored from Facts- Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • http://www.globalresearch.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/propaganda-lies.pngPart 1: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

Exclusive: The “fake news” theme has captivated The Washington Post and the mainstream U.S. media so much that it is stooping to McCarthyistic smears against news outlets that don’t toe the State Department’s propaganda line, says Robert Parry.

  • Part 2: A Media Unmoored from Facts

Exclusive: Mainstream U.S. journalism has completely lost its way, especially in dealing with foreign policy issues where bias now overwhelms any commitment to facts, a dangerous development.

 

A Media Unmoored from Facts- Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

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Part 1: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

Exclusive: The “fake news” theme has captivated The Washington Post and the mainstream U.S. media so much that it is stooping to McCarthyistic smears against news outlets that don’t toe the State Department’s propaganda line.

Part 2: A Media Unmoored from Facts

Exclusive: Mainstream U.S. journalism has completely lost its way, especially in dealing with foreign policy issues where bias now overwhelms any commitment to facts, a dangerous development.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

Exclusive: The “fake news” theme has captivated the Washington Post and the mainstream U.S. media so much that it is stooping to McCarthyistic smears against news outlets that don’t toe the State Department’s propaganda line.

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Lawyer%20Roy%20Cohn%20%28right%29%20with%20Sen.%20McCarthy.jpgLawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

November 27, 2016 | The mainstream U.S. media’s hysteria over “fake news” has reached its logical (or illogical) zenith, a McCarthyistic black-listing of honest journalism that simply shows professional skepticism toward Officialdom, including what’s said by U.S. government officials and what’s written in The Washington Post and New York Times.

Apparently, to show skepticism now opens you to accusations of disseminating “Russian propaganda” or being a “useful idiot” or some similar ugly smear reminiscent of the old Cold War. Now that we have entered a New Cold War, I suppose it makes sense that we should expect a New McCarthyism.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

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Part 2: A Media Unmoored from Facts

Exclusive: Mainstream U.S. journalism has completely lost its way, especially in dealing with foreign policy issues where bias now overwhelms any commitment to facts, a dangerous development.

Robert Parry, Consortiumnews.com

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Fake%20Media.jpg  April 7, 2016 | Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh who had seen one of my recent stories about Syria and wanted to commiserate over the state of modern journalism. Hersh’s primary question regarding reporters and editors at major news outlets these days was: “Do they care what the facts are?”

Hersh noted that in the past – in the 1970s when he worked at The New York Times – even executive editor Abe Rosenthal, who was a hard-line cold warrior with strong ideological biases, still wanted to know what was really going on.

My experience was similar at The Associated Press. Among the older editors, there was still a pride in getting the facts right – and not getting misled by some politician or spun by some government flack.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

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Why Schools Should Teach Rational Discourse

  • It used to be that logic, one of the main components of rational debate, was taught in schools. Is it time we considered reinstating the study of logic in today’s schools in order to restore rational discourse in the nation?
  • Related: Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally

Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout 

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/angrystudents.pngNovember 14, 2016 | The day before the election, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran a revealing story on the state of rational discourse in today’s schools.

The story centered on two young men – Elijah Rockhold and Sam Buisman – from the public high school in Chanhassen, a suburb of the Twin Cities. Although Rockhold and Buisman are on different sides of the political aisle, they came together to create an after school club in which students could discuss political ideas without emotional arguments. The reason they started this club is rather telling:

“Chanhassen High lacked a forum for political discourse, Rockhold said, and teachers were hesitant to talk about politics at all.

Annie Holmquist is a senior writer with Intellectual Takeout. She assists with website content production and social media messaging.  

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Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally, Jason Brennan, Foreign Policy <>

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  • Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing?
  • Related: Thinking Dangerously In Age Of Normalized Ignorance

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Trump Won Because Voters Are Ignorant, Literally

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  • Democracy is supposed to enact the will of the people. But what if the people have no clue what they’re doing?
  • Related: Thinking Dangerously In Age Of Normalized Ignorance

Jason Brennan, Foreign Policy

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  http://cdn2.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2015/08/voting.jpgNovember 10, 2016 | OK, so that just happened. Donald Trump always enjoyed massive support from uneducated, low-information white people. As Bloomberg Politics reported back in August, Hillary Clinton was enjoying a giant 25 percentage-point lead among college-educated voters going into the election. (Whether that trend held up remains to be seen.) In contrast, in the 2012 election, college-educated voters just barely favored Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. Last night we saw something historic: the dance of the dunces. Never have educated voters so uniformly rejected a candidate. But never before have the lesser-educated so uniformly supported a candidate. Trump supporters might retort: “That’s because Trump supports the little guy and Clinton helps the already privileged college grads.” But that’s false: Trump supporters in the primaries had an average income of about $72,000 per year. They aren’t rich, but make more than the national average and more than Clinton supporters.

Trump owes his victory to the uninformed. But it’s not just Trump. Political scientists have been studying what voters know and how they think for well over 65 years. The results are frightening. Voters generally know who the president is but not much else. They don’t know which party controls Congress, what Congress has done recently, whether the economy is getting better or worse (or by how much). In the 2000 U.S. presidential election, most voters knew Al Gore was more liberal than George W.
Bush, but significantly less than half knew that Gore was more supportive of abortion rights, more supportive of welfare-state programs, favored a higher degree of aid to blacks, or was more supportive of environmental regulation.

Jason Brennan is the Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University.

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Thinking Dangerously In Age Of Normalized Ignorance, Henry Giroux, CounterPunch

  •   http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Bullshit%20%28VU%29%20Meter.jpgSalmon Rushdie is right in viewing thinking dangerously as a type of political necessity whose purpose is to “push boundaries and take risks and so, at times, to change the way we see the world.” As Hannah Arendt noted, thoughtfulness, the ability to think reflectively and critically is fundamental to radical change and a necessity in a functioning democracy. Put differently, formative cultures that make such thinking possible along with the spaces in which dialogue, debate, and dissent can flourish are essential to producing critically literate and actively engaged citizens.
  • Related: I’m with stupid: The entire 2016 election has been an insult to our intelligence

Thinking Dangerously In Age Of Normalized Ignorance

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  • Salmon Rushdie is right in viewing thinking dangerously as a type of political necessity whose purpose is to “push boundaries and take risks and so, at times, to change the way we see the world.” As Hannah Arendt noted, thoughtfulness, the ability to think reflectively and critically is fundamental to radical change and a necessity in a functioning democracy. Put differently, formative cultures that make such thinking possible along with the spaces in which dialogue, debate, and dissent can flourish are essential to producing critically literate and actively engaged citizens.
  • Related: I’m with stupid: The entire 2016 election has been an insult to our intelligence.

Henry Giroux, CounterPunch

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September 30, 2016 | What happens to a society when thinking is eviscerated and is disdained in favor of raw emotion? [1] What happens when political discourse functions as a bunker rather than a bridge? What happens when the spheres of morality and spirituality give way to the naked instrumentalism of a savage market rationality? What happens when time becomes a burden for most people and surviving becomes more crucial than trying to lead a life with dignity? What happens when domestic terrorism, disposability, and social death become the new signposts and defining features of a society? What happens to a social order ruled by an “economics of contempt” that blames the poor for their condition and wallows in a culture of shaming?[2] What happens when loneliness and isolation become the preferred modes of sociality? What happens to a polity when it retreats into private silos and is no longer able to connect personal suffering with larger social issues? What happens to thinking when a society is addicted to speed and over-stimulation? What happens to a country when the presiding principles of a society are violence and ignorance? What happens is that democracy withers not just as an ideal but also as a reality, and individual and social agency become weaponized as part of the larger spectacle and matrix of violence?[3]

The forces normalizing and contributing to such violence are too expansive to cite, but surely they would include: the absurdity of celebrity culture; the blight of rampant consumerism; state-legitimated pedagogies of repression that kill the imagination of students; a culture of immediacy in which accelerated time leaves no room for reflection; the reduction of education to training; the transformation of mainstream media into a mix of advertisements, propaganda, and entertainment; the emergence of an economic system which argues that only the market can provide remedies for the endless problems it produces, extending from massive poverty and unemployment to decaying schools and a war on poor minority youth; the expanding use of state secrecy and the fear-producing surveillance state; and a Hollywood fluff machine that rarely relies on anything but an endless spectacle of mind-numbing violence. Historical memory has been reduced to the likes of a Disney theme park and a culture of instant gratification has a lock on producing new levels of social amnesia.

Henry Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. His most recent books are America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth (Monthly Review Press, 2013) and Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education (Haymarket Press, 2014).

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 I’m with stupid: The entire 2016 election has been an insult to our intelligence, Sophia A. McClennen, Salon 

  • We are going to have to start asking ourselves if we want a nation of extremist thinkers incapable of critical reflection or we want to start recovering our collective brainpower. As Monbiot put it, “Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people.” Democracies are only as smart as the people in them. So the real question we have to face is: Are we with stupid or not?
  • Related: The Arrogance of Ignorance

I’m with stupid: The entire 2016 election has been an insult to our intelligence.

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  • We are going to have to start asking ourselves if we want a nation of extremist thinkers incapable of critical reflection or we want to start recovering our collective brainpower. As Monbiot put it, “Ignorant politicians are elected by ignorant people.” Democracies are only as smart as the people in them. So the real question we have to face is: Are we with stupid or not?
  • Related: The Arrogance of Ignorance

Sophia A. McClennen, Salon

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Classical%20Statue%20Head%20in%20Hand.jpgSaturday, Oct 29, 2016 | Back in 2008 only weeks away from the election of Barack Obama as president, British journalist George Monbiot wondered how U.S. politics had come to be “dominated by people who make a virtue out of ignorance.” Riffing on the rise of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and reflecting on the acceptance of morons like former vice president Dan Quayle, Monbiot wondered how it was that we had allowed our political scene to be dominated by “screaming ignoramuses.”

Eight years later it seems clear that we were only just getting started.

If there has been one constant this election it is that our collective political decision-making process suffers from profound ignorance. And while the award for stupidity goes directly to the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters, it’s important to note that there is plenty of stupid to go around.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics.

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The Arrogance of Ignorance, Sylvain Lamoureux, OpEdNews 

  • The year is 2016 and we are at war with everything, including ourselves; have we really "advanced" as a "civilization" or "society"? How can we when as a whole we are neither civil nor social.
  • Related: It’s Time to Stand Up for Truth and Intelligence

 

 

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