The Hamilton Hustle

Why liberals have embraced our most dangerously reactionary founder.  (The Baffler)

As Donald Trump settles into the White House, elites in the political class are beginning to recognize that democracy is not necessarily a permanent state of political organization. “Donald Trump’s candidacy is the first time American politics has left me truly afraid,” wrote Vox cofounder Ezra Klein just before the election. Andrew Sullivan argued in New York magazine that American democracy is susceptible, “in stressful times, to the appeal of a shameless demagogue.” Paul Krugman wrote an entire column on why republics end, citing Trump’s violations of political norms. But if you want to understand the politics of authoritarianism in America, the place to start is not with Trump, but with the cool-kid Founding Father of the Obama era, Alexander Hamilton.

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After the Fumble

Having dominated the Democratic Party for years, the meritocrats now find themselves in a state of crisis. (The Nation)

Donald Trump is hated by large swaths of the country. Yet despite this fact, he is now president, and in the process of undoing the work of Barack Obama, a man whose elegance and intelligence rival that of any American president in the last 50 years. The results of the election have left liberals and Democrats scrounging for explanations—often those that don’t require accepting their share of the blame for one of the greatest electoral upsets in American history. According to some, it was Putin’s meddling in the election. Others point to a press that has been hostile to Hillary Clinton for decades; or to the various strains of racism and sexism in America that Trump exploited; or to the Republicans’ scorched-earth strategy against Obama, obstructing his policies and political appointments; or to the Electoral College, since Clinton won the popular vote by several million.
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