Believe in Something. Even if it Means Making a Lot of Money.

Believe in Something. Even if it Means Making a Lot of Money.

Next time you see a successful company or politician doing something controversial, just consider: who is being targeted? If you're getting angry, it's probably not you. If you're getting excited, you're the one being manipulated by the advertising.

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A US Cultural Power Transition?

A US Cultural Power Transition?

A reader and good friend reminded me recently that I wrote my thesis on the idea of Power Transitions in geopolitics. If you are a super-nerd of geopolitics or international relations it is just the thing for you right after you finish the latest Harry Potter spin-off.

They reminded me of it because he believes it's precisely what we're seeing in the United States that is leading to such strife. Let's expand on that idea.

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Mike Pence as a Litmus Test for Your Feelings on Trump

Mike Pence as a Litmus Test for Your Feelings on Trump

I live in Boston, so I get to hear a lot of concerns about Trump as president.

Every president gets flak, often unfair or hyperbolic, from people in the political opposition. 

But there's something unique about opposition to Trump that I haven't heard said about Bush, McCain, Romney, or Rubio/Kasich/Cruz: there is a strong strain of opinion that Trump is fundamentally unfit to be president.

When Mike Pence gets brought up as an alternative, a very important litmus test occurs.

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There Has Always Been Fake News--And We Can Learn From That

There Has Always Been Fake News--And We Can Learn From That

What better way to discredit something than to call it "fake news?" What better way to subtly deride your political opposition by bemoaning the "post-truth world" that we now live in?

It seems difficult to argue against the idea that fake news plays a larger role in our society today than it did 10 or 20 years ago. But there's a risk to thinking that we are in some unique moment in history, or having false nostalgia for some time back in the day when everything was trustworthy and you didn't have to be a discerning reader.

The good news: fake news may come in historical cycles that ebb and flow. That’s also the bad news.

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The Hidden Agreement Within America's Political Chasm

The Hidden Agreement Within America's Political Chasm

Here at ReConsider we like to harp on the idea that behind the mass of negativity and hyperpartisanship that dominates American politics, there are mostly shared values.

In Wedged we demonstrated this agreement in case studies. We showed that on even divisive issues such as guns, abortion, and taxes, most people will agree on core values most of the time. We posited that this agreement on values probably extended to other issues.

We eagerly awaited a broader study.

And then we got one!

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Why a War Over College?

Why a War Over College?

Conservative media may tell you that colleges are not only wasteful and out of touch, but are brainwashing kids into liberalism. Liberal media may tell you that conservatives have contempt for education and expertise. 

Is there a growing partisan gap in how people feel about college?

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Will Education Fix Our Political Polarization?

Will Education Fix Our Political Polarization?

Many folks on both sides of the political spectrum will tell you that the reason their political opposition doesn't agree with them is a lack of education. This can go as far as groaning about uneducated (typically either poor rural or poor urban) hordes voting en masse after being fooled. Education, therefore, is the fix for the crippling political divide we have. If people are educated, they'll agree on the facts, and we'll be able to move forward.

But does this claim hold up to evidence? 

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Roy Moore's Loss Doesn't Tell Us Much About Alabama

Roy Moore's Loss Doesn't Tell Us Much About Alabama

While Jones' victory does have major implications for US politics, much of the media makes a mistake by taking the result of a slim margin and extrapolating it as a bellwether for the entire state or nation. 

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Nazis, Communists, and Free Speech

Nazis, Communists, and Free Speech

For all their differences, national socialism and communism have one essential similarity: they both justify mass murder by promising utopia. Their versions of utopia differ, but they are believed to be attainable, not theoretical. First, though, society must pass through a period of chaos, anarchy and mass violence. This transition period - the struggle -  is endured since what comes after is expected to be a revolutionary better world.  But the need to endure a time of extreme violence is not a small part of either philosophy - it is a core aspect of both. A better world can be had. But first there must be killing.

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US Political Parties are Gnarly Coalitions--This Means They Can Be Rebuilt

US Political Parties are Gnarly Coalitions--This Means They Can Be Rebuilt

A pretty amazing new study from Pew Research shows that the parties are fragile coalitions, full of very deep disagreement. This fragility means many very interesting things could happen in the future... and that your stereotypes of each party may not make sense. 

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