The Trump-Bannon Executive Order ‘Strategy’ And Its Rhetorical Value

The flurry of executive orders signed by Donald Trump since January 20th was designed to accomplish several objectives. First, on attaining office, establish continuity between the ‘campaigning candidate Trump’ and ‘President Trump’ by acting to ‘implement’ the most visible campaign trail promises–the ones packing the most rhetorical punch. This should be done without regard toContinue reading “The Trump-Bannon Executive Order ‘Strategy’ And Its Rhetorical Value”

The Tethered Eagle And The Refugee Refused Entry

A little over fourteen years ago, in the fall of 2002, shortly after I returned to the US after finishing my post-doctoral fellowship in Australia, I went to see the Yankees play at the old Yankees Stadium. I had arrived in New York City just a couple of weeks earlier; the Yankees were in contentionContinue reading “The Tethered Eagle And The Refugee Refused Entry”

Fascism And The Problems With A ‘Glorious Past’

I grew up in India, a land of considerable antiquity with a long and rich history. All around me, there were monuments to this past; sometimes they were physical, tangible ones, like buildings built many years ago, or books that recounted tales of magnificent civilizations and fantastically accomplished cultures with their philosophy, art, music, sculpture.Continue reading “Fascism And The Problems With A ‘Glorious Past’”

Stopping The ‘Muslim Registry’: A Serious Approach

A symbolic act of resistance is being proposed to the Trump administration’s proposed registry for Muslim immigrants to the US: right-minded folks should register as Muslims too. This is an essentially well-meaning gesture of solidarity but it is useless. It will accomplish nothing; it will not prevent the registration of Muslims; and worse, it willContinue reading “Stopping The ‘Muslim Registry’: A Serious Approach”

Thanks Joan Williams, But I ‘Get The US Working Class’ Just Fine

You know the refrain by now: cease and desist from calling Trump ‘fans’ or ‘voters’ ‘stupid racists.’ We must not think of them as ‘ignorant’ They are, instead, ‘economically disempowered’; they constitute a distinct cultural class, one which must now be listened to and studied with all due care and respect; we must understand andContinue reading “Thanks Joan Williams, But I ‘Get The US Working Class’ Just Fine”

Demonizing Organized Labor And The Road To Fascism

The word ‘union’ occurs five times in Jedediah Purdy‘s Jacobin essay ‘How Trump Won.’ On the first two occasions, Purdy invokes unions as part of an analysis of the demographics of Trump voters: [U]nion voters abandoned the Democrats dramatically Clinton was much weaker than Obama with union-household voters: he won them 58–40, she only 51–43.Continue reading “Demonizing Organized Labor And The Road To Fascism”

The Normalization Of Donald Trump

Before the elections of 2016 we were informed at every step of the way that Donald  Trump was a fascist, one to be stopped by any means necessary; we were urged to stop this greatest danger to the American republic ever by throwing our bodies into the breach, by manning the barricades, by storming them.Continue reading “The Normalization Of Donald Trump”

The 2016 Elections: Chronicles Of A Disaster Foretold

In October 2008, I went door-knocking in Wilkes-Barre, PA–for the Barack Obama campaign. (Earlier, I had donated a total of $100 to the Obama campaign, making two contributions of $50 each.) I was assigned a map of a neighborhood, along with names and addresses and an indicator of whether earlier in the election season, theContinue reading “The 2016 Elections: Chronicles Of A Disaster Foretold”

Peter Thiel Should Attempt the Anatomically Impossible

A few years ago, I made note of Peter Thiel’s showboating program to give young folks a cool hundred grand if they dropped out of college to pursue their dreams. This scheme, cooked up by a Stanford graduate, a venture capitalist and hedge-fund manager, was in transparent alignment with various neoliberal schemes cooked up to denigrateContinue reading “Peter Thiel Should Attempt the Anatomically Impossible”

Paramilitary Organization Endorses Fascist; Nation Worries

Friday brought us the most frightening news of this terrible election season: The National Fraternal Order of Police, a 330,000-member union of law enforcement officers, has endorsed Donald Trump for president. “Our members believe he will make America safe again,” FOP President Chuck Canterbury said in a statement. Trump “seriously looked at the issues facingContinue reading “Paramilitary Organization Endorses Fascist; Nation Worries”