An Article a Day: 12 June 2017

by Maha Rafi Atal

Reactions to the election and predictions for the way forward, as well as a long look at Russian politics, a profile of Chelsea Manning, and a sobering assessment of the gadgets that govern our lives. 

Donald Trump and the rise of the Unidentified Political Object

by Hettie O’Brien

“I think people in this country have had enough of experts”. In hindsight, Michael Gove’s sardonic comment captures much of the political sentiment of 2016. When John Prideaux, the US editor of The Economist, visited Cambridge just before Donald Trump’s election victory, he argued that a good political analyst has to do the gritty work on the street – making person-to-person contact and listening to the viewpoints of average citizens. Yet academics, journalists and policy-makers – the “experts” whom Gove riled against – are still scrambling to make sense of 2016. The experts didn’t see Trump coming.

Can the camera do democracy?

by Ryan Rafaty

Last month, NBC News host Chris Hayes hosted a remarkable hour-long town hall meeting in Kenosha, Wisconsin with Bernie Sanders, a panel of outspoken Trump voters, and an audience ostensibly mixed of all political persuasions. It was the kind of cable news event with highly intermittent moments of bankable content, in between drawn out segments of messy, back-and-forth opining and debate; the kind of thoughtful engagement that takes ‘too much time’ and is therefore an exception, rather than the rule, of our political news hours. The video is worth watching. It serves as an example of how the camera can do democracy, if given the chance.