The Trump video in context: Why nothing should change

By now most people have read about and/or watched the disturbing video of Trump bragging about his ability to force himself on women (I wonder how long the Washington Post had that one tucked away…).  New shock waves about how someone so crass and so lacking integrity could get so close to our highest office.…

The Conundrum of Hegemony

The question of the United States’ role in the world, particularly with international institutions, has emerged as a common theme in this electoral cycle.  And while this theme is a common discussion, this time is particularly unique because it highlights the intrinsic tensions between a hegemonic power exercising its influence and contributing to its own…

Why the Russians would hack the DNC

Accusations that Donald Trump and Putin have some kind of mastermind plan to steal the election by hacking the Democratic National Committee’s servers are flying around, fueled by Trump’s relentless need to be outlandish at every turn.  While I don’t dispute the idea that the Russians might have some greater plan to affect the election,…

Democracy SOS

I have always been proud of the United States as an example of democratic institutions for the world. However, watching modern-day politics and social movements, I am struck and saddened by the fundamental lack of understanding of these core democratic institutions – by both liberals and conservatives – which creates a self-perpetuating cycle that erodes the foundation of…

The 2016 Election and Political Spectrums

As politics wonks watch the drama-filled 2016 election unfold, with often cartoonish characters and question marks of whether candidates defeated in the primary season have embraced enthusiastically enough the winners, a question seems to keep coming up – are warnings that Bernie Sander’s supporters might flock to Donald Trump valid? At the heart of this…

(Dis)Trust and the Rise of the Independents?

I wanted to investigate whether there was a relationship between trust and identifying as an Independent over time, using the 1972-2012 General Social Survey data. My dependent variable, independent, comes from the GSS variable partyid, which corresponds to the question “Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or what?”…