Politics

Gullible isn’t in the dictionary

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Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Over the past decade the right-wing mediasphere has devolved from telling half-truths and lying by omission to simply propagating the most fantastical, stupid, and hateful lies imaginable. We of course all remember the bullshit birther hoax as well as Benghazi-gate — and who could forget the scandalous Buttery Males?

Most recently, everything from Facebook to Parler to Fox News primetime shows have been relentlessly spewing lies and stupid theories claiming that the 2020 presidential election was in some way fraudulent or stolen. …


4 dishonest denials about the Capitol riot that Republicans hope will fool America

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The January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. Photo credit: Blink O’fanaye

Since the Capitol riot on January 6, Republicans seem to have realized that making demonstrably false claims is not a winning strategy, and so the geniuses in the GOP appear to being trying out a new game plan. Instead of making affirmative claims that are as preposterous as they are refutable, right-wingers in Congress and the media have taken to simply denying easily verifiable facts.

This tack is just as likely to fail as the previous course. …


The establishment and populist factions of the GOP are two sides of the same coin minted in Rush Limbaugh’s image

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Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and former President Donald Trump. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Since the Capitol Riot, pundits and political insiders have speculated about the possibility that the Republican Party may split. First there was the possibility that the Trumpists would form a far-right populist Patriot Party. Then, in the run-up to Senate Republicans’ shameful vote to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial, it was reported that dozens of prominent conservatives were in talks to form an anti-Trump offshoot of the GOP.

This narrative about an impending political realignment was made stronger after Mitch McConnell’s fake-principled speech on the Senate floor condemning Trump for inciting the Capitol Riot — a speech which…


A scientifically informed approach to tightening up your writing

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Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels

Linguists are scientists who seek to describe and then explain language phenomena, and so they are generally not in the business of telling people how to speak or write.

Nevertheless, there are certain concepts from linguistics that can aid the writing process. Below I explain two such concepts and show how you can use them to take your writing to the next level.

Information Structure

In linguistics, information structure has to do with how sentences relate to what audiences already know or don’t know. In general, utterances can be broken up into two parts, one part linking the sentence to information that…


The Texas energy crisis shows that the post-Trump GOP is just as sadistic as ever

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The 2021 winter storm in Dallas, TX. Credit: Matthew Rader. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

In 2020, Donald Trump’s deadly combination of negligence and malice in response to the coronavirus pandemic led to the rise of the phrase death cult as a descriptor of the Republican Party.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote about how tribal politics led conservative Americans to eschew masks, endangering themselves and their families out of loyalty to Trump. The Los Angeles TimesMatthew Fleischer similarly lamented the impossibility of working with a right-wing party seemingly hellbent on ensuring that the pandemic is far deadlier than necessary. …


A poem

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Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

You gathered in the halls of the government
You took a cowardly stand to voice your fake dissent
For power, for fame
We’re writin’ your name down in the book of shame

So the mob stormed in ’cause the president
Commanded them to fight and they knew what he meant
His words were plain
So we’re writin’ his name down in the book of shame

Then the gallows was built and the fires were lit
They even killed a cop but you don’t give a shit
It’s fair, you claim
So we’re writin’ your name down in the book of…


Politics

The House impeachment managers make history

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Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A striking thing that you notice as you watch the House managers make their case for convicting Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial is just how sober, deliberate, and collected are their speeches and presentations. The managers rely on hard evidence from social media posts, television appearances, and security camera footage as they demonstrate that Trump spent months selling his followers the stolen election lie and encouraging them to “stop the steal,” beginning before the election even took place. …


It is important to establish that Trump’s acquittal will be based on lies

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The case for convicting Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial is clear: Trump incited the deadly mob that stormed the Capitol on January 6 in an attempt to overturn the November presidential election. He provoked the rioters in a speech to them immediately before the attack on the Capitol, and he also provoked them for months running up to the attack by spreading stupid lies about a stolen election.

The Republicans’ primary defense strategy is to lie. Here are the three main lies you will hear throughout the trial.

You can’t convict someone who is no longer in office

This is probably the lie we’re going to hear more…


Only a robust, united left can stop the rise of fascism

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Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Back in August 2020, the activist and author George Lakey helped to form a group called Choose Democracy, which devoted itself to organizing mass street protests in the event that supporters of Donald Trump staged a coup. Lakey based his movement off the general strike that snuffed out a coup attempt in the early days of the Weimar Republic in post-WWI Germany:

In 1920, a group of soldiers, veterans, and civilians tried to seize control of Berlin, under the right-wing leadership of Wolfgang Kapp. The legitimate government fled, and Kapp proclaimed himself the country’s leader. “He walked into the capitol…

Kevin King

Politics, culture, humor. Twitter: @kevinh8swriting

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