My last post here was three days before the fateful U.S. election of Nov. 8 2016. I leave these posts up as an archive of my musings about politics during the previous year and a half, when I, like so many others across the country, reacted, argued, wondered, enthused, and feared about the political problems of the United States.
Blogs were already obsolete when I started this; most of whatever readership I had was on Facebook, where most of this also appeared. But blogs make much better archives than social media,
Glancing back over what I wrote in the context of unfolding events, much of it holds up: the warnings about overconfidence in Hillary Clinton, the arguments about the pragmatism of Bernie Sanders, the warnings about the dangers of not taking Trump seriously. But I’m no wizard. I was wrong about Trump initially like everyone else. My insights, such as they were, came from my commitments — to progressive electoral politics, to Stuart Hall’s version of cultural studies, to epistemological caution in matters political. We say that our personal biases warp our understandings of reality, but some biases, some frameworks of understanding, give us a bit of a better handle on things than others.
My current commitments (see http://www.unitedacademics.org) have brought my focus to a much more local level. Even though, and perhaps because, the principle of democracy seems to be on fire worldwide, that does not seem like the worst thing I could be doing with my time.