Angry Trump supporters

Even if Trump loses big, the anger will remain. Here’s how the left can address it

E.J. Dionne Jr. at the Washington Post:

The urgent task of progressives in this election is to defeat Donald Trump. But even if we succeed, we have a long-term responsibility: to understand why Trump happened and to face up to how failures on the left and center-left have contributed to the flourishing of a new far right, not only in the United States but also across Europe.

The left, you might fairly protest, has enough problems without being blamed for the rise of a dangerous figure who is, first and foremost, a creation of the conservative movement’s radicalization and the Republican leadership’s pandering to extreme views over many years. When I watch GOP leaders bemoaning their party’s fate under Trump (or belatedly jumping off his ship), I am reminded of John F. Kennedy’s warning that “those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”

The left’s first instincts with regard to Trump is correct: Economic fears — realistic economic fears — are the engine driving his support. Bigotry is the fuel. But when economic times are good, bigotry is content to sit on the barstool and spout nonsense.

All sorts of good insights in this article about how the left has failed the white working class.

CGP Grey explains Brexit 

The vlogger sees “non-Brexit Brexit” as the most likely outcome, where the UK exits the EU in name only, still subject to the EU’s laws, open borders, and taxes, but without a voice in EU policy, which would suck for the UK’s citizens but be good for business and save face for politicians.

Another outcome: Full Brexit, which would lead to the breakup of the UK as Northern Ireland and Scotland secede to stay in the EU. Also seceding from the UK: The City of London (!) which would join the EU as an independent city-state.

A theory on why Boris Johnson dropped out 

The next prime minister of the UK will have a no-win job: Option A is pull the trigger on Brexit, in which case you’re leading the country on a disastrous policy that even its erstwhile supporters aren’t enthusiastic about anymore, and which could lead to the UK going the way of the USSR.

Option B is defy the will of the electorate and reject Brexit.

I wonder whether Boris Johnson saw the odds and said screw it I’ll be the Prime Minister AFTER the unlucky bastard who presides over that train wreck.

Having started this mess, Cameron had an obligation to see it through, and his resignation was — as we dignified journalist types say — a dick move.

Former London mayor Boris Johnson says he will not run for British prime minister

[Griff Witte – The Washington Post]

Ice Age Europeans had some serious drama going on, according to their genomes

Real Game-of-Thrones-type action, spanning tens of thousands of years, according to recent DNA research – Sarah Kaplan, The Washington Post

The entire drama of human history is encoded in our DNA.

Where we went. Who we slept with. How we died — or almost did. It’s basically a scientific soap opera, complete with occasional discoveries of long-lost cousins we never knew we had.

Take Ice Age Europe, for example. A new study of genetic material from the period reveals a continent roiling with change.

First, an upstart band of modern humans arrived, slowly pushing their ancient predecessors out of existence. But soon that new lineage was swept aside by a group of big game hunters. For the next 15,000 years, the older community lay in wait in a remote corner of the continent before bursting back onto the scene. The usurpers were overturned, and history barreled forward. And all of this happened against a backdrop of dramatic environmental change — waves of cold and heat that sent glaciers surging back and forth across the continent.

 

“Insane and dangerous”

Jeff Jarvis says the European court’s “right to be forgotten” ruling is terrible, tramples free-speech rights, ironically makes Google more powerful, and makes Europe appear technophobic and anti-American.

A reporter asked me for reaction to news that Google has put up a form to meet a European court’s insane and dangerous ruling and allow people to demand that links to content they don’t like about themselves be taken down. Here’s what I said:

This is a most troubling event for speech, the web, and Europe.

The court has trampled the free-speech rights not only of Google but of the sites — and speakers — to which it links.

The court has undertaken to control knowledge — to erase what is already known — which in concept is offensive to an open and modern society and in history is a device used by tyrannies; one would have hoped that European jurists of all people would have recognized the danger of that precedent.

The right to remember, dammit