2016: Understanding the nightmare

A selection of my articles on the hellscape that was 2016, divided by topic. Full list available here. If you want an understanding of how we got into this mess, try my book on the conditions leading up to the election, “The View From Flyover Country”

Thank you to the Globe and Mail, De Correspondent, Quartz, The Guardian, Foreign Policy and the many other outlets who support my work. Thanks most of all to my readers! Normally after a year like this I would say next year is bound to be better, but…

Anyway. Here we are.


Donald Trump’s shakedown of the American Dream (12/4/16)
We’re heading into dark times. This is how to be your own light in the age of Trump (11/18/16)
Our fate was sealed long before November 8 (and not because the election’s rigged) (11/3/16)
A fascist’s win, America’s moral loss (11/9/16)
Trump’s strategy: Pull the fringes to the center, and mainstream extremism (11/3/16)
A conspiratorial candidate, and Americas deferred dread (10/20/16)
To Donald Trump, we are all bit players in a fantasy America starring Donald Trump (10/19/16)
Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories are making his supporters paranoid — and dangerous (10/13/16)
It doesn’t matter who won the debate: America has already lost (10/10/16)
Kaine vs Pence: When Midwestern Nice meets Midwestern Lies (10/5/16)
Who won the presidential debate? (9/28/16)
Trump’s birtherism: a national narrative of exclusion (9/18/16)
Trump’s wall guards nothing but the sanctity of bigotry (9/1/16)
Donald Trump and his racist followers could destroy America even if he loses (8/5/16)
Welcome to Donald Trump’s America (8/3/16)
How Trump punked American by manipulating our obsession with useless polls (7/28/16)
Trump is right: the greatest threat is indeed from within (It’s him) (8/16/16)
In a history littered with political corpses, Trump’s assassination hint is a new low (8/10/16)
Making America work again — for Trump’s family (7/20/16)
Where economic despair and xenophobia meet, you find Trumpism – and Brexiters (6/28/16)
The term “anti-establishment” has lost all meaning (5/12/16)
Trump is the smartest candidate — he’s running on American pain (5/4/16)
Metropolis, the hometown of Superman, has a new hero: Donald Trump (4/6/16)
Trump supporters in St. Louis: How ‘midwestern nice’ became a sea of rage (3/12/16)
Who Won the Midwest? Not the people who live in it (3/16/16)
Super Tuesday was a referendum on racism (3/2/16)

The media

The fake war on fake news (12/15/16)
Be afraid: Trump may have bought the Fourth Estate (9/9/16)
The trump card for U.S. cable news: Riots, ratings and rallies (3/30/16)


Donald Trump, Russia, and the mystery of “these people” (12/14/16)
Trump and Putin: The worst case scenario (12/23/16)
Donald Trump’s bromance with Vladimir Putin underscores an unsettling truth about the two leaders (8/19/16)


Meet Darren Seals. Then tell me black death is not a business (10/1/16)
How do you become ‘white’ in America? (9/1/16)
Missouri’s new permitless gun law will put black Americans in even more danger (9/23/16)
Black death, police brutality, caught on video: no justice, only sequels (7/7/16)
US officers who kill rarely get punished, but they might get rich (5/23/16)
How state politicians are quietly working to steal the US presidential election (5/20/16)

The economy

How nostalgia blinds Trump to the reality of working-class America (7/28/16)
Why young Americans are giving up on capitalism (6/16/16)
The myth of millennial entitlement was created to hide their parents’ mistakes (6/30/16)
Most women won’t be able to follow in Hillary Clinton’s footsteps — unless they’re rich (6/16/16)
The Contingent Faculty Retirement Crisis (5/16/16)
Geography is making America’s uneven economic recovery worse (4/28/16)
Why America’s impressive 5% unemployment rate feels like a lie (4/21/16)

Central Asia

Independence Day for a Scared Nation (9/1/16)
Uzbekistan’s real problem is not terrorism — it’s politics (9/6/16)
The Death of Islam Karimov and the Unraveling of Authority in Uzbekistan (11/1/16)
Trumpmenbashi: What Central Asia’s spectacular states can tell us about authoritarianism in America (3/22/16)

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