Category Archives: Politics

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S IRON SELF CONTROL.

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S IRON SELF CONTROL. I came across the story about Washington losing his temper at a cabinet meeting because I heard Mary Jane laugh out loud when she was reading Chernow’s biography of Hamilton. She laughed for the same … Continue reading

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FLYTING.

FLYTING. The kind of bragging that Trump uses has received its own term from linguists. Jeet Heer quotes Father Ong: “Standard in oral societies across the world, reciprocal name-calling has been fitted with a specific name in linguistics: flyting (or … Continue reading

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“DONALD TRUMP, EPIC HERO”

“DONALD TRUMP, EPIC HERO”. A week after Elspeth Reeves’s New Republic article about Trump and wrestling, Jeet Heer posted an article entitled “Donald Trump, Epic Hero” on the New Republic site. Heer compared Trump’s rhetoric to that used by Achilles … Continue reading

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THE CULTURAL DIVIDE ON PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.

THE CULTURAL DIVIDE ON PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING. It turns out that there have been a lot of analyses of the “heel” role that Donald Trump played in the campaign, as a Google search shows. Many of these analyses seem to be … Continue reading

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HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”.

HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”. Reeves quotes the wikipedia entry which describes the “heel” role: “…heels are often portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner by breaking rules… Others… exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such … Continue reading

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HOW THE MEDIA PLAYED THE FOIL TO TRUMP’S “HEEL” CHARACTER.

HOW THE MEDIA PLAYED THE FOIL TO TRUMP’S “HEEL” CHARACTER. This article by Elspeth Reeve on the New Republic site in August, 2015 (after the first Republican Presidential debate) shows how the media—and I— misunderstood what role Trump was playing. … Continue reading

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WHAT IS IMPORTANT IF CAMPAIGNS ARE NOT?

WHAT IS IMPORTANT IF CAMPAIGNS ARE NOT? The theory that the importance of campaigns is overrated has always had a great deal of appeal for me. I have not yet encountered a gaffe or a one liner that I thought … Continue reading

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DO POLITICAL CONSULTANTS MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?—A CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT.

DO POLITICAL CONSULTANTS MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?—A CONTROLLED EXPERIMENT. With all the uncertainty about measuring the effectiveness of political political campaigns, I was surprised to see that there has been a randomized controlled experiment. Molly Ball reports that: “In 2006, Rick … Continue reading

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DO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

DO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS MAKE A DIFFERENCE? In this article in the Atlantic— which was written before the Presidential election (!)—Molly Ball raised the question whether political campaigns, and especially the enormous sums spent on political consultants, make a difference in … Continue reading

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NATURE DOESN’T RUN ENOUGH ELECTIONS.

NATURE DOESN’T RUN ENOUGH ELECTIONS. Arnold Kling’s meta-interpretation appeals to me because he uses an analogy to a problem that I have posted on before—that in economics—“Nature doesn’t run very good experiments.” (See this post from 2007, for example). There … Continue reading

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