A few hours after last week’s Sift got finished, Donald Trump made his don’t-let-any-Muslims-in proposal, which seemed to be about all anybody could talk about for the rest of the week. Not to write about that would feel like dodging, but at the same time I don’t want to repeat the same oh-isn’t-that-horrible reaction you’ve been hearing all week.
Not that it isn’t horrible, but you know that already. Is there anything more insightful to say about it? The articles that I found interesting this week focused on where this stuff comes from and why there is an audience for it: Republicans and their conservative media have been building that audience for years, using white Christian identity politics to manipulate working-class whites into supporting the candidates of the corporate establishment. They’ve built an echo chamber where bizarre conspiracy theories and simplistic views of economics and foreign affairs can avoid the friction of the real world. Now that Trump is playing their game better than they do, they want to call a foul.
I’ll sum up that point of view in the first featured post “How the Republicans Trumped Themselves”. That should be out shortly.
But there’s something else that I think needs to get out there. What Trump’s fans love about him is that he is a “strong leader”, and I feel like that idea needs to be taken on more directly — because what he’s doing doesn’t fit my notion of leadership at all. So the second featured post will be “The Leadership We Need”. That still needs work, so I’m not sure what time it will post.
The weekly summary will discuss the aftermath of the recent mass shootings, quote two new books that illustrate the complexity and diversity of Islam, and pull together a few of the Peanuts references that have accompanied the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, before closing with two attempts to enlist high tech in the effort to replace meat and eggs.