Jeremy Sherman

The founders tried to guard against con artist tyrants — but our democratic republic may end anyway

Our founding fathers were of an era when slavery and colonization were a direct extension of the "t'was ever thus" of history. To fault them for their failures to live by our current standards (by which they fail miserably) is to miss the point.

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If Trump wins, all of our past war victories are reversed

The Right has mastered preemptive wolf-crying.  Calling Obama Hitler got us up in arms about hyperbole, which opened the way for right to shift us toward Nazism with us reluctant to call it by its true name because, after all, we said Hitlerizing is hyperbole.

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This is the rhetorical trick most likely to cause our species’ extinction

For all the invective we throw and recycle at the MAGA cult, we have yet to put a finger on, let alone driven a stake through that cult’s mindless, heartlessness. Our invective is at most therapeutic for us with little effect on them.

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The re-emergence of totalitarianism -- and why some extremists prevail

“News” means two things, what’s happening and what’s surprising. In information theory, it means surprise. It’s not news that you still have air to breathe or that millions live in poverty. More of the same is not news because it’s not surprising.

By information theory’s standard, it’s no surprise that news reporting is all about surprise, shock and the extreme versions of everything. Extremist trolls are surprising and therefore newsworthy, dominating subtler interpretations of what’s going on.

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How to beat a trumpbot

Throughout history people have fallen for an easy way out of life’s complications by just pretending that they can do no wrong. Moment to moment, challenge to challenge they find trumped-up rationalizations that they pretend trump all challenges to their absolute authority.

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History shows Trump’s house of cards will eventually fall — and reality itself with get the last word

Trump has overlearned one life lesson: Impulse trumps deliberation. There have been gaps in its success but overall, it has worked beautifully. His impulsivity now reliably outwits any wit.

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How to take down a cult leader

Do you focus on shaming them for the damage they’re doing? Do you try to expose their lies and hypocrisies? Do you remind them of our common values? Do you try to prevail with your values? Do you try to prove that they’re factually incorrect? Do you curse them for being bad people?

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Conspicuous presumption: Blatant hypocrisy isn’t just a moral outrage — it’s a status symbol

The king has everything; the peasants have nothing. He eats 15 course meals while the peasants starve. Rebels yell and the king laughs, ignoring or suppressing them effortlessly.

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Why Trump uses this psychological trick to appeal to his followers — and the media keeps falling for it

We spent the Obama administration’s first months monitoring attempts to cap the source of BP’s toxic oil spill. We have spent all of Trump’s administration trying to cap the source of his toxic spill. We fret and rail over the damage it's causing, the many ways it's weakening everything in its path, especially the resistance.

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