Links for 08/09/16

by Michael Sean Winters

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At Vox, an interview with Robert Putnam and his thoughts about this year's election. This is a MUST read. The money quote:

I do think there is a direct connection between this year's election and this communitarian versus individualistic dimension — what we might term the "we/I" distinction. By many measures, I think the 1950s and 1960s were a high point in we-ness in America. I think now, after 60 years of moving in an "I" direction, we're now at a level of I-ness that is probably more extreme than any period in our history.

Donald Trump is the apotheosis of I-ness. It's kind of like I-ness taken to the most ridiculous extreme. It's all about him personally. I don't want to say that Hillary Clinton is devoid of self-interest. Of course not. But I do think her outlook, her philosophic outlook, is very much a "we" outlook. I think this year's election will be more defined by the "I/we" or individualistic-communitarian dimension than it will be by the left-right dimension, honestly.

Another interesting interview that touches on similar themes: Emma Green, at Atlantic, interviews Kevin Kruse about Christian libertarianism. There is so much to unpack here and Kruse's book is one that I wanted to get to, but didn't. Guess I will need to now!

From the file "spinning your wheels" some anti-abortion advocates want to take another bite at the Supreme Court apple over these state restrictions on clinics. Politico has the story. As I have argued before, no one buys for a second that these efforts are about protecting women's health and it is past tie the pro-life movement adopt more honest and effective approaches. 

There is much about NBC's coverage of the Olympics that is regrettable, but why do they only seem to show the medal ceremonies for Americans? We all know how the "Star Spangled Banner" sounds. While we are at it, let's think which country has the best national anthem? NBC may not show it, but Hatikvah and La Marseillaise are probably the best two in the world. 


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