EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionSex & Gender

The Woman Who Might Have Been President

As former Goldwater Girl Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to become the first woman president of the United States, it is worth asking: what prevented Elizabeth Dole — Clinton’s former Senate colleague — from breaking that historic barrier?

Sexism, not just within the Republican Party but also in a larger political world saturated by media coverage, is one obvious answer. The misogynistic rhetoric emanating from the campaign of Donald J. Trump has a long history in both parties. …

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

You’re Fired!

Donald Trump and the History of Failure

Ridicule is Donald Trump’s most prominent rhetorical strategy. Like the schoolyard bully, his attempts to humiliate and dominate others seize on a snippet of public identity, physical appearance or personal history. You can access many of these taunts on his Twitter account: in case you don’t want to sift through the whole thing, The New York Times has created a list of the 250 people, places and things Trump has most frequently heaped with shame here. 

These tweets, and Trump’s verbal assaults, purposely do not respond to facts or reveal new information that might respond to criticism. Instead, they are designed to shame and overwhelm people who ask questions or in any way impede his path to political success. He has characterized The New York Times as “failing” newspaper; claimed that Jeb Bush came out against Super PACs to obscure his “failed campaign;” and called for a boycott against Macy’s, a “very disloyal company.” …