Cultural Conservatism and the Politics of Rage

  During a recent episode of FiveThirtyEight’s “Elections” podcast, Harry Enten mentioned a phrase I haven’t thought of for a while that I thought warranted a second look. Enten’s been a vocal critic of not only Trump, but the wave of “cultural conservatism” behind his campaign’s success. He suggested that the core fissure within the…

Conversations with the Ghost of America’s Future Past

Lost in the madness of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week is that Agreeing Loudly snuck two reporters, Carson Starkey and Troy Olson, through the picket line to give our readers this inside scoop on what things are like on the floor. Here is a snapshot of their interactions throughout the week.  Carson It’s a…

AP Mass Shooting Template Accidentally Published

Washington D.C. — At approximately noon today, an Associated Press journalist accidentally published the mass shooting in the United States template he had been working from for the past six years of his employment. Below is the text of that template. ********** In what has seemingly become a daily occurrence in the United States, the latest…

Conversations with the Ghost of America’s Future Past

by Carson Starkey and Troy M. Olson On a quiet park bench on Central Park West, merely hours after a 2018 GOP strategy conference on how to win back the White House got over, which Carson Starkey and Troy Olson, had just got done attending under the guise of being correspondents. The mood is somber. Not…

Donald Trump and Right-Wing Drag

Like a skilled drag performer Trump exposed mainstream Republicanism—an ideology based on subtle identity politics and soft authoritarianism—as a farce by taking it to it’s rational extreme. Trump is a buffoonish caricature of the American populist Right. While many observers believes that this would have disqualified him from any serious consideration, The Donald’s theatrics both to mock elite Republicanism and vindicates the anger felt by marginalized conservatives—which is not exclusively white or male (Hillary Clinton, beware).

What Wrestling Can Tell Us About Donald Trump

Professional wrestling, in many ways, can tell us more about democracy, demagoguery, and the political power of public spectacle than polling and political science. Donald Trump’s campaign is a revolution in the kayfabe of American politics. Unlike many candidates, he offer no glimpses beyond his public persona, nor does he offer much in the way of concrete policy plans. Instead, he invites his audience to pour their anger, disappointments, and indignation into the vessel of “The Donald.” Political scientists and pundits try to dissect the rationale behind his support to no avail because, just as in wrestling, what matters is not what a Trump support thinks but what a Trump supporter sees.

To Kill A Mockingbird: 2016 Edition

by Troy M. Olson (with deep regrets) Atticus Finch is an over-worked and underpaid public defender with 175 thousand in student loan debt due to the escalating costs of undergraduate and legal education. The other main characters, Jem and Scout, are the names of his cats, because he cannot afford to start a family. When…

Comparing Cars and Guns (Using Facts), Part 1 of 2

 by Troy M. Olson The following was originally written in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and President Obama’s subsequent modest proposals to curb mass killings and violence in America in late 2012 (Note: the gun is the chief weapon of choice for violent crime in America period, and we’ll get to that. I don’t…