Sign in

What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.


In GEN. More on Medium.


Over 150 prominent Republicans issue “A Call for American Renewal”

Wow, if you had told me twenty years ago, as Dubya and Dr. Evil orchestrated the First Big Lie — that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq — that it would be a Cheney who started the great exodus from the Republican Party, I would have thought you mad. But welcome to the alternate universe of a post-Trump, almost-post-COVID world. What is up is down; what is down is sideways. …

What I saw made me question everything, including myself

The other night, I walked by a crowded bar. Inside, I saw dozens of people clustered together without masks, laughing and drinking. In an adjoining room, a DJ played ’80s classics to a throng of writhing and jerking bodies.

Six weeks ago, before I took up temporary residence in the South, I would have looked with horror at such a bacchanalian scene, seeing it as a selfish and self-destructive display of disregard for Covid safety protocols. Over half a million dead and nearly 30 million cases in the U.S. A cratered economy, thousands of livelihoods lost. …

The president didn’t get us into this mess on his own— he had enablers at every turn

It is now more or less official to say Donald Trump will not be serving a second term as president of the United States. Sweeping a shambling, defeated loser off the stage to jeers and boos is cathartic, and Trump deserves every measure of the ridicule and shame being heaped on him. He is a thoroughly odious human being, dishonest to the core — a nasty bully, whose chaotic presidency was driven by a deep-seated compulsion to cause torment. He should live the rest of his life in utter disgrace.

Trump is already being scapegoated for all of America’s problems…

My ballot is a quiet love letter to nearly four million U.S. colonial subjects who are denied the right to vote

“Mamá Blanca will never get to do this.” That’s what crossed my mind every time I thought about casting my ballot in New York City on Election Day. My 85-year-old grandmother has believed in the political project of statehood for Puerto Rico all of her life, but she’ll likely die without ever voting for a president or having real congressional representation. The very country that calls itself a beacon of liberty and democracy will never allow her the opportunity to exercise the right to vote in federal elections. …

Rumors of War

A collection of stories about one of the most uncertain, anxious moments in our nation’s history

Election Day 2020 will be either a short night or a long month. We’ll know right away if there’s a Biden blowout—look to Florida, Arizona, and the way things are trending in the upper Midwest — but anything narrower could wind up in the courts or in recounts. Absentee and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin won’t be counted until polls open, adding to the potential for a lengthy period of uncertainty about who will preside over the United States come 2021.

No matter who wins, though, when America finally gets an answer, only part of the country will be…

The president is a reflection of our worst instincts

Even before I agreed to write The Art of the Deal for Donald Trump three decades ago, I sensed his extreme self-absorption and utter lack of conscience. I wrote the book anyway for the money. To do so, I set aside my concerns about the kind of man he was, and more importantly, the kind of man I wanted to be.

I never imagined that writing a book for a buffoonish real estate developer could eventually help get him elected president of the United States. …

Of all the bad signs, this one feels especially telling

This summer was a rough one for Americans visiting Canada. Friends of mine who live in Washington, D.C., and summer in Nova Scotia put a sign in their car window this year: “Canadians Happy to Be Home.” The word “home” was underlined twice. Nobody wants to be confused. A handful of Texans at a restaurant in the Canadian Rockies mentioned to their server that they were on vacation; she promptly called the police. There have even been unprecedented acts of minor violence: Cars with U.S. plates have been keyed, drivers tailgated and hassled.

Canada is the United States’ deepest and…

I finally understand that help is not coming

A mother helping her son study and read.
A mother helping her son study and read.

I spent the first six months of the pandemic sure that help for mothers was on its way. Bills would be passed, systems would be reworked. Workplaces would shift to include caretaking within their cultures. A year of the country “staying home” would validate the work of stay-at-home mothers. As the fall brought more remote learning, we’d reconfigure school standards to keep children safe from virtual truancy and failing grades given over Zoom in the name of academic rigor. …


What’s worse than Trump when he’s winning? Trump when he’s not.

If you’ve ever divorced Donald Trump, you know that things don’t end well with him. The United States is already getting a horrifying idea of what that process looks like. Nearly 165,000 of us are dead, and there is copious evidence that this is because Trump was afraid a Covid-19 outbreak would make him look bad with voters. So he pretended the pandemic could never happen. Well, it happened, and thanks to this absolute fucking monster, it will remain happening in America for much longer than it has been in other, more worthwhile countries.

There is a certain portion of…


The lies we tell ourselves are such a comfy kind of bullshit

Why us? Over the past few months, I’ve been watching us fall behind practically every other country on Earth in terms of Covid-19 prevention and thinking to myself, Why America? Why are we so vulnerable to misinformation that we have both citizens AND leaders who don’t just ignore the basic truths of the virus, but mock them outright? WHY ARE WE SO FUCKING STUPID?

Given that Donald Trump, a hopeless amateur, is our current president, people like me have had a good four years now to pore over that final question. Yesterday at The Atlantic, Ed Yong published a living…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store