Do American Politics Need Villains to Be Successful?

The Populism-Heavy 2016 Election Is Dominated by Resentment, but That Doesn't Mean Future Elections Have to Be the Same

For most of 2016, American politics could best be described as caught in a populist moment. Populism has always come in two variations, and we’ve seen both this year. The most familiar form, ably represented in all its raw madness-of-crowds by Donald Trump, is based on resentment of immigrants and other non-majority identities (racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious most prominently), and rancor directed at political elites for their perceived role in changing social norms. This is the populism familiar from historian Richard Hofstadter’s “status anxiety” explanation of late 19th Century …

More In: Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Negative Ad Campaign Style Is Vintage

It's Known as Lyndon B. Johnson's Enduring 1964 "Frontlash" Strategy

The recent report that George H.W. Bush plans to vote for Hillary Clinton made the former President the highest-profile Republican to repudiate the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump. The list …

Obama’s Unsung Legacy in the War on Income Inequality

As Clinton and Trump Try to Out-Populist Each Other, the Obama Administration Gets No Credit for Its Impressive Efforts to Boost Economic Equality

You’d never know, from this year’s presidential campaign rhetoric, that anyone in Washington has been paying any attention to economic inequality. Donald Trump has hijacked the Republican Party with his …

Almost Any Politician in a Democracy Is a Bit of a Demagogue

A Classicist, a Historian, and a Rhetorician Talk Trump, Clinton, and Cleon

There’s plenty of nastiness in our democracy. But is there anything new?

For all the fear and consternation about the lies, insults, conspiracy theories, and rhetorical excesses of the 2016 presidential …