Phil Torres

Sam Harris is a lot like Donald Trump

Sam Harris is a lot like Donald Trump. To many readers, this may sound either obviously false or trivially true — after all, everything is like everything else in at least some way. But what I mean is quite substantive: There are important ways in which the strategy that Harris uses to communicate with his audience is strikingly similar to Trump's. This should worry us, because both speak with unwarranted confidence about topics they don't understand and have sizable audiences that are generally inclined not to question the wisdom and omniscience of their chosen leaders.

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The problem with Steven Pinker, Sam Harris and the epidemic of annoying white male intellectuals

In a recent article for Current Affairs, Nathan Robinson describes Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker as “the most annoying man in the world” because Pinker is the type of person who constantly insists he’s “Just Being Reasonable” while he is actually “being extremely goddamn unreasonable.” Although Robinson’s article was a bit harsh in tone, it gestures at something very real: we’re in the midst of an epidemic of “intellectuals,” almost entirely white men, who claim to embody Reason and Rationality while flagrantly and habitually succumbing to the same tribalistic tendencies that they identify as the Ultimate Enemy.

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What Happens After the Next Big Terrorist Attack? Trump Is Paving the Way Toward a Terrifying Crackdown

Terrorism has never been so dangerous. Even a single terrorist attack against American troops abroad or — more worrisome — a “soft target” here in the United States could have potentially catastrophic consequences for the stability and future of Western civilization.

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Just How Close Is Donald Trump to Becoming a Full-Blown Dictator?

There is widespread agreement among political commentators that Donald Trump is a unique figure in the political history of the United States — and a uniquely dangerous one as well. David Frum recently published a chilling article in The Atlantic titled “How to Build an Autocracy,” and The Washington Post’s John McNeill suggested last year that Trump was a “semi-fascist,” according to a set of robust criteria assembled by “dozens of top historians and political scientists.”

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How 'Fake News' Exploded - and How to Tell When the Label Is Misused

“Fake news” has become a ubiquitous buzzword among pundits, politicians, news media and bloggers. A Google Trends search finds that the term was virtually unknown until late October, just before the presidential election, at which point it underwent a sudden and significant spike. Stories like those about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring from a Washington pizzeria, or about Democrats wanting to impose Sharia law in Florida were widely shared among conservatives. Reports also continued to suggest that Russia ran a disinformation campaign to get Donald Trump elected, a claim that Trump stubbornly rejected until his first press conference.

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We’re Speeding Toward a Climate Change Catastrophe...and That Makes 2016 the Most Important Election Year in a Generation

Before dropping out of the presidential race last month, Marco Rubio repeatedly declared that the 2016 presidential election is “the most important in a generation.” Such language is, of course, not uncommon to hear during election seasons. Politicians have been assuring the public for decades that the “next election” will be more significant than ever before, and that if the opposition party wins, the consequences will be catastrophic. As Rubio once stated in overtly apocalyptic language, “if we don’t get this election right, there may be no turning back for America.”

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Too Loony for Fox News: Fox Created the Fact-Free GOP, Then Trump Stole It Away

On a recent “Face the Nation” appearance, Marco Rubio blamed Donald Trump’s extraordinary success as a presidential candidate on — you guessed it — “the media.” In his words, “the media coverage for Donald Trump has almost been cheerleading over the last couple weeks and I’m convinced [it’s] because many in the press want him to be nominee.” Why? Because it would provide Hillary Clinton “a clear shot to the Oval Office.” Rubio then added, “So I think there’s a kind of weird bias here in the media rooting for Donald Trump because they know he’s the easiest Republican to beat.”

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Donald Trump Talks at a 4th-Grade Level. Maybe That’s Why the Fox News Audience Loves Him

It’s a cliché to say that democratic states can’t function properly without an informed electorate. But it’s absolutely true. And this is why, heading into the 2016 election year, I’m nervous about the future. With Donald Trump leading the Republican presidential contenders, even many Republican die-hards are shaking in their boots.

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