Know Thy Frenemy

Hitting China is a pretty popular campaign tactic for a number of presidential candidates. Donald Trump warns that China "will bring us down." If you look through Bernie Sanders' quotes on trade, he seems to feel particularly strongly that Chinese people should not have jobs and export their goods.  How do we overcome fear and jingoism when thinking about China?

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Understanding the Trump Phenomenon: We've Still Got it Wrong

Understanding the Trump Phenomenon: We've Still Got it Wrong

Much ink has been spilled on the topic of Trump's domination of the Republican primary. Where the heck did he come from, and what does his base look like? How does he hold the lead despite the having the entire party leadership turned against him?

There are two popular theories, and they're both very wrong. And it's very, very important to get them right. 

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The US Primaries: Parties, Democracy, and The People

The US Primaries: Parties, Democracy, and The People

So we've definitely got a very interesting Primary in the United States this year. Many Sanders and Trump supporters accuse establishment interests of deliberately trying to undermine the will of the people. Is this a legitimate accusation or a misunderstanding of how primaries work?

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Book Review: The Reunited States of America

Book Review: The Reunited States of America

Readers of our book Wedged have often given us feedback that sounds something like this: "I've learned a lot and see politics in a different way... but what's next?" We didn't write it, but The Reunited States of America is a great--possibly critical--next step.

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How We Embrace Lies in Politics

How We Embrace Lies in Politics

Have you ever run across satire on your Facebook feed that your friends believe is the real deal? Sometimes, we want so much to believe that something terrible is true that we just turn our brains off.

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Has Free Speech Fallen to Partisan Cherry-Picking?

Has Free Speech Fallen to Partisan Cherry-Picking?

Americans are twice as likely as those in other OECD countries to support the legal protection of "offensive" speech about minorities (though Millennials far less so than other generations). But Americans are also feeling a bit conflicted on speech when it comes to hate and harm. Has free speech fallen to partisan cherry-picking, or is there an internal sophistication afoot?

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The Wedging of America and the Suppression of the Center

The Wedging of America and the Suppression of the Center

This post was originally written for our friends at The Centrist Project. If you don't know them, take a peek. For those who haven't yet read Wedged, this is a great primer. We also got syndicated in a few other outlets--this one's a big one. Enjoy!

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Data in Policy Debate: Diversity and Racism in the Oscars

Data in Policy Debate: Diversity and Racism in the Oscars

For the 2nd year in a row the Oscar nominees for best acting roles have been all white--that's 40 nominations. The economist points out some other suspicious examples of non-white team members of good films getting snubbed. This has raised some eyebrows and started an ongoing discussion about diversity in the Oscars. Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith are boycotting the Oscars, and Twitter had one of its brief spells of outrage, this time in the form of #oscarssowhite.

We wanted to take the opportunity to take a step back and look at the question with rigor, and understand what the data tells us. The question we think we need to answer is this: "does the Academy have a racial bias in the nomination or award process?"

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Overcoming Political Polarization Must Start With the American Public

Overcoming Political Polarization Must Start With the American Public

A specter is haunting America: our growing political polarization and dysfunction leaves many citizens wallowing in dismay, watching cable news and presidential polls with jaws agape. Thisreaction is not some false nostalgia nor doom-singing: things are worse than they have been in a long time. Party loyalty in Congress is absolute, and candidates race to the fringes to win the support of increasingly-radical primary voters.

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Beware Ye the Advocacy Group

Beware Ye the Advocacy Group

In our landmark work Wedged we discuss the perverse incentives for politicians and media when it comes to politics. There is a third group in the political industry that we didn't cover, but deserves attention here: the advocacy group. How do they contribute to the wedge?

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