mcmorgan + politics   46

Trump is exposing the contradictions of the elite | David Callahan | Opinion | The Guardian
Apparent from the first, this one took a while to re-surface.

> Trump’s retrograde presidency has revealed the profound contradictions at the top of the US income ladder. In the wake of the president’s various actions toward immigrants and inflammatory remarks on race, we’ve gotten glimpses of a wealthy class with a powerful social conscience and the potential to offer leadership on some of the most divisive social issues of the day, as well as other urgent matters like climate change.

> Yet don’t expect an enlightened new establishment to command moral authority any time soon. That can’t happen until the wealthy and business leaders extend their vision of inclusiveness to the most important sphere of American life: the economy.
trump  politics  socialism 
14 days ago by mcmorgan
A blunt, fearful rant: Trump's UN speech left presidential norms in the dust | The Guardian
> With Tuesday’s address, however, Trump punched yawning holes in his own would-be doctrine, singling out enemies, expressing horror at their treatment of their people and threatening interference to the point of annihilation.
trump  rhetoric  politics  rhetorical_situation 
29 days ago by mcmorgan
Rightwing alliance plots assault to 'defund and defang' public sector unions | US news | The Guardian
Defund and defang. The right does alliteration. But the real interest is in the letter and the tribal constructions it uses.
unions  politics  unionization  rhetoric 
7 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Hurricane Harvey Exposes Trump's Empathy Deficit - The Atlantic
A shot at the rhetorical situation, but a miss. The Atlantic does rhetorical analysis.
rhetoric  politics  rhetorical_situation 
7 weeks ago by mcmorgan
As Harvey Drowns Houston, Trump Struggles to Contain Himself | Vanity Fair
Who knew leadership could be so HARD! Cultural tourism can be so tedious. Especially at a distance. Look to the sequence of statements.

> Since the rain began falling, however, Trump has struggled to respond to the first natural disaster of his presidency with anything other than contrived seriousness at best, morbid fascination at worst.

> “Record setting rainfall,” Trump observed, before quickly getting in a plug for a friend’s book. “Many people are now saying that this is the worst storm/hurricane they have ever seen. Good news is that we have great talent on the ground,” he noted. “Wow - Now experts are calling #Harvey a once in 500 year flood! We have an all out effort going, and going well!”
rhetoric  trump  politics 
7 weeks ago by mcmorgan
The Week When President Trump Resigned - The New York Times
Once more into the rhetorical situation - how Trump deals with the social demand for speech.

> On Tuesday he “relinquished what presidents from Roosevelt to Reagan have regarded as a cardinal duty of their job: set a moral course to unify the nation,” wrote The Times’s Mark Landler, in what was correctly labeled a news analysis and not an opinion column. Landler’s assessment, echoed by countless others, was as unassailable as it was haunting, and it was prompted in part by Trump’s perverse response to a question that it’s hard to imagine another president being asked: Did he place the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., on the same “moral plane” as those who showed up to push back at them?

> A soft coup against a cuckoo: It confirmed how impotent Trump had become.
trump  politics  rhetoric  rhetorical_situation 
8 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Donald Trump’s Crisis of Legitimacy | The New Yorker
> “Trump is using the precious capital of the bully pulpit to talk about confederate monuments in between savage attacks on fellow Republicans,” Holmes, the former aide to McConnell, told Politico Playbook. “Just think about that. Not tax reform. Not repeal and replace. Not North Korean nuclear capabilities. No focused critiques on extremely vulnerable Democrats who have opposed him at every possible turn.”
trump  politics  rhetoric 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
President Trump must go - The Washington Post
Significant because it doesn’t call for Trump's resignation.
rhetorical_situation  politics  trump 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Donald Trump, from His Tower, Rages at “the Other Side” in Charlottesville | The New Yorker
Raging against the light. > he had reduced a moral crossroads for the country to a question of naming rights. Standing in front of reporters, Trump came across as an angry man sheltered by a building bearing his own name in big, gold letters. But for how long? Tenants in some buildings have already asked to have the “Trump” taken off. Where would it stop? Would there, perhaps, never even be a statue of Donald J. Trump?
trump  politics  rhetoric 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
In 1939, I didn’t hear war coming. Now its thundering approach can’t be ignored | Harry Leslie Smith | Opinion | The Guardian
Specters. Not to be taken lightly.

> I recognise these omens of doom. Chilling signs are everywhere, perhaps the biggest being that the US allows itself to be led by Donald Trump, a man deficient in honour, wisdom and just simple human kindness. It is as foolish for Americans to believe that their generals will save them from Trump as it was for liberal Germans to believe the military would protect the nation from Hitler’s excesses.
history  politics  trump 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Donald Trump under fire after failing to denounce Virginia white supremacists
This account makes it clear that Trump mis-used the rhetorical moment. Didn't just miss the opportunity to condemn white supremacists but used it to normalize racism. This is not a rhetorically innocent move.

> The president said he condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides” on Saturday. He then repeated the phrase “on many sides” for emphasis. A White House spokesperson later amplified the president’s remarks, telling the Guardian: “The president was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides. There was violence between protesters and counter-protesters today.”

> But there was strong reaction to Trump’s refusal to denounce far-right extremists who had marched through the streets carrying flaming torches, screaming racial epithets and setting upon their opponents.
politics  rhetoric  trump  efficacy  rhetorical_situation 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Trump babbles in the face of tragedy
The mainstream is raising the specter of Nazism. I never thought I would tag a post with nazism.

> this is the natural result of defining authenticity as spontaneity. Trump and his people did not believe the moment worthy of rhetorical craft, worthy of serious thought. The president is confident that his lazy musings are equal to history. They are not. They are babble in the face of tragedy. They are an embarrassment and disservice to the country.

But

> Ultimately this was not merely the failure of rhetoric or context, but of moral judgment. The president could not bring himself initially to directly acknowledge the victims or distinguish between the instigators and the dead. He could not focus on the provocations of the side marching under a Nazi flag.

> If great words can heal and inspire, base words can corrupt. Trump has been delivering the poison of prejudice in small but increasing doses. In Charlottesville, the effect became fully evident. And the president had no intention of decisively repudiating his work.
racism  trump  politics  nazism  rhetoric 
9 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Depravity Is Downstream of Donald Trump - The Atlantic
> Andrew Breitbart himself thought Donald Trump was a con man and no conservative, but he doubtlessly would have enjoyed the showmanship and sheer disruption of Trump’s primary campaign.
trump  rhetoric  politics 
11 weeks ago by mcmorgan
Trumpcare Collapsed Because Republicans Cannot Govern
Republican ideology doesn't admit support for health care. It's not conservatism. It's Republicanism.

> In truth, it was never possible to reconcile public standards for a humane health-care system with conservative ideology. In a pure market system, access to medical care will be unaffordable for a huge share of the public. Giving them access to quality care means mobilizing government power to redistribute resources, either through direct tax and transfers or through regulations that raise costs for the healthy and lower them for the sick. Obamacare uses both methods, and both are utterly repugnant and unacceptable to movement conservatives. That commitment to abstract anti-government dogma, without any concern for the practical impact, is the quality that makes the Republican Party unlike right-of-center governing parties in any other democracy. In no other country would a conservative party develop a plan for health care that every major industry stakeholder calls completely unworkable.

> The power to destroy remains within the Republican Party’s capacity. The power to translate its ideological principles into practical government is utterly beyond its reach.
rhetoric  politics  ideology 
july 2017 by mcmorgan
Trump is ushering in a dark new conservatism
The real nostalgia is for the 1930s, not the 50s.
politics  trump 
july 2017 by mcmorgan
Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union - The New York Times
> ridicule is not enough. It’s necessary to address the concerns and beliefs of those who are taken in by the fraud, or who don’t recognize the nature and significance of the issues for other reasons. If by philosophy we mean reasoned and thoughtful analysis, then it can address the moment, though not by confronting the “alternative facts” but by analyzing and clarifying what is at stake, whatever the issue is. Beyond that, what is needed is action: urgent and dedicated, in the many ways that are open to us.
trump  politics  philosophy_as_action 
july 2017 by mcmorgan
Trump 2020 Is No Joke - NYTimes.com
> Trumpism is a form of collective gaslighting at Twitter speed. It is founded on the principle that velocity trumps veracity.

> All of this is serious. But it’s not as serious as the seeping, constant attempt — one sacred value at a time — to disorient Americans to the point they accept the unacceptable, cede to the grotesque, acquiesce to total arbitrariness as a governing principle. On one side the Constitution; on the other the rabbit hole that leads to the Trump International Hotel.
trump  politics  rhetoric 
june 2017 by mcmorgan
Forget Julius Caesar – Trump is more like Richard III, Shakespeare’s satanic joker | US news | The Guardian
> Sponsorship, a British director once told me, is implicit censorship. ... . A spokesperson for one of the sponsors said the portrayal of Caesar was clearly designed “to provoke and offend”, which some of us thought was one of theatre’s basic functions.

Why else would business put money behind art? Or a brand on a hockey rink? Or their name on an endowed chair?
politics 
june 2017 by mcmorgan
In Trump’s America, a thick-headed man’s incredibly thin skin is threatening free speech | Opinion | The Guardian
Thick head, thin skin is no reason. But the point is that censorship is here. Political correctness now comes from the right.

> That large corporations are punishing creative expression because it is critical of Trump is worrying. Even more worrying, however, is the insidious but understandable creep of self-censorship among everyday Americans. This week provides yet another example that, when it comes to Trump, exercising your right to free speech – that dearest of American values – can prove an expensive endeavour.
polemic  politics  censorship  trump 
june 2017 by mcmorgan
Donald Trump Poisons the World - With toxic positioning
Trump's "cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage" makes the global community a global hallucination. Asserts the only position is his. Closes debate. Explains his spectacle. Illustrates how politics differs from business. Assigns us each our role.
trump  rhetoric  politics  globalcapitalism 
june 2017 by mcmorgan
100 days of gibberish – Trump has weaponised nonsense
> Without language, there is no accountability, no standard of truth. If Trump never says anything concrete, he never has to do anything concrete. If Trump never makes a statement of commitment, Trump supporters never have to confront what they really voted for. If his promises are vague to the point of opacity, Trump cannot be criticised for breaking them.
politics  rhetoric  trump 
april 2017 by mcmorgan
Has Trump Stolen Philosophy’s Critical Tools? - The New York Times
> Trump’s playbook should be familiar to any student of critical theory and philosophy. It often feels like Trump has stolen our ideas and weaponized them.

They always were weapons. Derrida, Foucault, Latour weigh in at the Weapons Exchange
critical_thinking  politics  rhetoric 
april 2017 by mcmorgan
Why are liberals now cheerleading a warmongering Trump? | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
Handing over the keys?

> History shows that war presents the ideal opportunity for the authoritarian-minded to amass, consolidate and concentrate power. Dissent can be more easily portrayed as treachery; jingoism sweeps the nation, boosting the popularity of the ruler; critics fall into line; constitutional norms can be disregarded at a time of national crisis.
polemic  politics  rhetoric_of_action  trump 
april 2017 by mcmorgan
Melania Trump and the politics of airbrushing - The Washington Post
Fashion meets politics in the open media, with some semiotics chucked in to start the discussion. "Mahaux has given the public a two-dimensional version of Trump: just the gloss, just the facade. Trump is the fantasy, the dream."
visualrhetoric  semiotics  politics 
april 2017 by mcmorgan
Trump Embraces One Of Russia's Favorite Propaganda Tactics — Whataboutism : NPR
Rhetoric is *always* about policy.

> But whataboutism extends beyond rhetoric, said Dmitry Dubrovsky, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "It's not only a narrative practice; it's real policy," he said. "For example, the Russians installed a special institute to cover the violation of human rights in the United States."
epistemology  politics  rhetoric  trump 
march 2017 by mcmorgan
Donald Trump and the Enemies of the American People - The New Yorker
How to define the enemy as anyone who challenges power

> an old-fashioned autocrat wielding a very familiar rhetorical strategy.

> all follow a general pattern. They attack and threaten the press with deliberate and ominous intensity; the press, in turn, adopts a more oppositional tone and role. “And then that paves the way for the autocrat’s next move,” Simon told me. “Popular support for the media dwindles and the leader starts instituting restrictions. It’s an old strategy.” Simon pointed to Trump’s lack of originality, recalling that both Néstor Kirchner, of Argentina, and Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, of Uruguay, referred to the press as the “unelected political opposition.” And, as Simon has written, it was the late Hugo Chávez who first mastered Twitter as a way of bypassing the media and providing his supporters with alternative facts.
trump  politics  rhetoric 
february 2017 by mcmorgan
Trump’s America, where even park employees have become enemies of the state | Sarah Kendzior | Opinion | The Guardian
A consideration of Trump's alternative facts and their rhetorical use. They make any poster of facts an involuntary dissident.

> What Americans have learned is that our system of checks and balances is so weak that even parks employees can become enemies of the state. They are learning their rights as they lose them, grieving for what they once took for granted. Fear is matched by incredulity that hundreds of years of imperfect democracy could cede into autocracy with such ease. Trump’s win was followed by debate over what it means to live in a “post-facts” world. This was a fatuous debate: if facts did not matter, then Trump and his team, whose threats of punishment and litigation long preceded his official lock on power, would not work so hard to suppress them. The idea of a fact always mattered – it simply had to be the Trump administration’s facts that counted. Trump’s adviser, Kellyanne Conway, made this blatant last weekend when she stated that the administration would proffer “alternative facts” that justified its political aims.

> America has become a country of involuntary dissidents, where those who seek to stay employed respond to illusions with allusions. (“If you’re part of a group that’s paid to applaud, you’re a ‘claqueur’,” Merriam-Webster dictionary slyly tweeted after Trump’s CIA visit, which allegedly included an entourage who clapped on command.) The media are “the opposition” and should “keep its mouth shut”, according to Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But in a digital age, where it is increasingly hard to classify who counts as “the media”, anyone who seeks to inform the public is potentially under attack.
rhetoric  trump  politics 
january 2017 by mcmorgan
The Music Donald Trump Can’t Hear - The New Yorker
The New Yorker weighs in on authoritarianism in the 21st century: "at that terrifying first press conference of Trump’s, on Wednesday, we saw the looming face of pure authoritarianism. Rewards are promised to the obedient: those good states that voted the right way, the “responsible” press. Punishments are threatened to the bad: “They’re going to suffer the consequences!” Intimidation is the greeting to any critic. And look! There’s a claque alongside to cheer the big boss and deride his doubters. This is what was once called Bonapartism: I won and I can now do anything I choose. Victory, however narrow, is license for all. Autocracy, after all, has always been compatible with plebiscitary endorsement. The point of constitutional government is to make even the victors subject to the rules."
politics  authoritarianism  trump 
january 2017 by mcmorgan
The Ecuadorian Library — Geek Empire — Medium
Sterling on Snowden, Assange, Wikileaks, NSA. Cleverness distracts from the point too often, but he might be opening a focus on an implication of all media converging, Kittler, media always being a misuse of military equipment.
Kittler  media_theory  essay  politics 
august 2013 by mcmorgan
oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia on Vimeo
Olympic rings reveal idealistic symmetry when data driven.
DH  politics 
august 2012 by mcmorgan
NSFW: Sarah Palin – How’s That Promotey, Embargoey Stuff Workin’ Out for Ya?
i love this guy, using the Palin Massive as a case study for author and publisher gamesmanship. Palin is all about control, and she's not going to get it from the open press. "Publishers simply don’t have the luxury of controlling the flow of information any more. The idea that they can release thousands of preview copies of a new title, in electronic form, weeks (or even months) ahead of publication and rely on a gentleman’s agreement with the press that their embargo will be respected is simply laughable."
publishing  politics 
november 2010 by mcmorgan

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