June 20, 2016

The Trump Issue

Win or lose in November, Donald Trump has already left an enduring imprint on American life. His unexpected political rise has shaken many long-held assumptions about politics and society. In this special issue, we asked scholars from a range of disciplines — history, political science, sociology, and philosophy, among others — to explore several questions: How did Trump happen? What ideas has he upended? And what does his candidacy mean for the future of democracy?

How web analytics fueled Trump's rise.

Trump’s campaign has become a referendum on what it means to be an American.

Forget democracy. What we need is epistocracy, where voting power is accorded by competence and knowledge.

Too long have elites dismissed the political reflexes of impoverished whites.

Trump says what angry voters think.

This campaign is proving wrong decades of research on evangelicals.

We take pleasure in Trump's clowning, nevermind the civic stakes. 

Thucydides and Plato warned us about this guy.

Michael Kazin, Jill Lepore, Harvey Mansfield, Alan Wolfe, and others offer an election-year curriculum.

Some scholars argue that the reading list represents neither diversity nor a commitment to social justice.