The Uses of Patriotism

For the last few months, Langston Hughes’s depression-era poem “Let America Be America Again” has been playing in my head. The poem has something of a promiscuous political history. John Kerry used the its title as a campaign slogan in 2004; Scott Brown, in a 2012 campaign ad. In 2011, it appeared on Rick Santorum’s […]

Trump and the Working Class

I’ll try to make this brief. The apologetics and schadenfreude and recrimination are flowing fast. Too fast for good thinking. But this is important. A divide has emerged on the left between (1) those who believe Democrats need to develop a credible appeal to the archetypal (white, rural, high school-educated) Trump voter; and (2) those […]

Let’s Do Something Else

Today, Hillary Clinton called on Americans to remember the days immediately following September 11th, 2001, when “we did not attack each other [but instead] worked with each other to protect our country and to rebuild.” She urged us to recapture and revive the spirit of those days, “the spirit of 9/12.” I very much fear […]

Chait, Marxism, Liberalism

Jonathan Chait’s new salvo against Marxism and campus political correctness (which he now treats as synonymous in the same haphazard way the far right attributes identity politics to the Frankfurt School) is peak Chait—the purest expression yet of his ideology of liberalism as such and pugilistic disdain for any politics or political philosophy that steps outside its bounds. Others […]

Baseball, Whiteness, and Fugitive Joy

I am deep in the throes of a late-onset obsession with Major League Baseball. The combined factors of living a pleasant, partially above-ground subway ride away from the stadium where my favorite team plays, their having had an improbably good season in 2015, and finding myself in dire need of an outlet for naturally anxious […]

Long Tweets

Blogging always seemed dumb. But then I realized blog posts are just long tweets. So when I have a real good thought, but it’s too long for a tweet, I’ll put it here.