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Learning to understand my Trump-supporting family

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Growing up, I was always comforted by the idea that my conservative family members weren’t that bad. Yes, they’d always voted Republican, but they were reasonable Republicans, the type that simply had a different way of understanding the world. They liked the idea of universal health care, but they didn’t trust the government’s ability to effectively carry the policy out. They didn’t like the idea of poverty, but they figured raising the minimum wage too much would cause inflation and higher unemployment rates, and would end up harming the poor more than it helped.

These were all valid concerns, ones I assumed were the foundations behind my family members’ conservative understanding of the world. It was shortly after watching Knives Out that I realized I’d been giving them way too much credit. …


A call for a more nuanced understanding of polling

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America may be a highly polarized country, but there does seem to be one thing that everyone can get on board with: bashing on Nate Silver. Although he is not well-known outside the political world, those who closely follow US politics tend to have strong feelings about him, most of which are undeserved.

Hillary’s defeat

Back in 2016, Nate Silver got a lot of flak from liberals because his website, FiveThirtyEight, consistently gave Hillary a lower chance of winning than most of the other election forecasts. …


A story of two strangers in the future

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Fiona knows how to talk to the police. Step one, of course, is to tell them she wasn’t in the room when it happened. Tell them she was upstairs in a room directly above her kitchen ceiling. Tell them she had no idea there was anything amiss until she walked downstairs to find her boyfriend on the kitchen floor, blood gushing out of his forehead and stretching out into long red lines between the metal tiles.

“So, you didn’t hear any noise?” the officer asks. “You didn’t hear anyone walk in or out the front door? No screams, no nothing?”

She shakes her head. She tells him she was in the upstairs bathroom, which has an overhead fan that must’ve drowned out any outside noise. Fiona almost says she was taking a shower, but she won’t get away with that. …


This Is Us

Overcoming a speech impediment at 22

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When I was around eight or nine years old, my brother and I asked my mom for advice on how to blow a bubble when chewing gum. All our other friends were able to do it, but we just couldn’t quite figure out the movement you needed to do with your tongue. My mom looked at us and said, with some sadness in her voice, “Unfortunately, you’ll probably never be able to blow a bubble.”

Like so much of my childhood, my memory of this moment is hazy. I remember exactly what she said, but not how we responded to it. I think one of us asked for an explanation, but I can’t recall if she gave us one. …


Lessons from the Trump Era

My slow realization that it’s all theater

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The 2016 election was the first Presidential election I was old enough to vote in, and throughout that period I found myself caring a lot about what late night comedians had to say about politics. It’s not that I wanted them to tell me what to think; rather, I truly believed that the satire of comedians like Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver would have a tangible effect at swinging voters towards Hillary.

When John Oliver popularized the nickname “Drumpf,” in March of 2016 on a Last Week Tonight segment, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that I was kind of hyped for it. I downloaded that browser extension that would transform every instance of the word “Trump” that would show up on my screen into “Drumpf,” thinking that I was taking part in something important. …


How ‘Dinner Party’ is a master class of rising tension

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When horror, suspense and thriller writers talk about their inspirations, they often refer to the great, renowned authors and directors like Stephen King or Guillermo del Toro. They pick through the prose and story beats of their works in an attempt to figure out what makes the stories so effectively terrifying.

Although analyzing horror content sure is the most logical way of figuring out the keys to creating a good scary story, there’s also something to be said for analyzing comedy shows like The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, or even It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There’s a very thin line between horror and comedy, and writers will often use the same techniques to make a situation funny that they would use to make it scary. …


Rationalizing away your complicity

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The kids on The Sopranos can be hard to like. They’re often described as spoiled, whiny, self-centered, and hypocritical, and a lot of the time they are. On a show filled with murderers and thieves, somehow these two characters managed to provoke the most contempt from viewers.

While I admittedly lost patience with AJ quite a bit over the seasons, I still maintained a lot of sympathy for Meadow. They were both bratty from time to time, but Meadow was smart and often empathetic towards other people. …


How the whiteness of the true-crime genre fuels white supremacist narratives

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By March of 2018, Haley Anderson was a 22-year-old nursing student at Binghamton University. She had a part-time job at an on-campus coffee shop, a full-time job lined up at a Long Island emergency room in her home town, and was set to graduate in May.

Anderson was, by all accounts, a perfectly nice, compassionate, caring person. “She would’ve made an amazing nurse,” her friends said. “She wanted to make people happy, that’s what she always did. She wanted to get out of here and do something, make something of herself.”

The year before, she’d had a strained relationship with a fellow nursing student, Orlando Tercero. The two had “occasionally hooked up, but Anderson told him she just wanted to be friends.” She would later end up in a relationship with another student, which frustrated Tercero. …


They view losing in politics like losing a football game, but when they win their politics are designed to materially harm real people

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Imagine someone in your life who supported Donald Trump. You may no longer be close to that person. You may still hold a relationship with them, no matter how strained. You may be young and this person is a family member you can’t simply cast out of your life, even if you wanted to.

Imagine them saying to you something like this:

“Hey, listen. I’ve realized that I was wrong to support Donald Trump. Trump is a racist, corrupt, fascist President and I should’ve known that from the very beginning. The signs were all there. I should’ve seen them, but I made a conscious choice to remain ignorant to the damage he — and by extension, myself — was causing. …


Why the Biden Presidency might be better than some leftists predict

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Well, they’ve done it. The demonrats, libtards and snowflakes have managed to steal the election from the innocent, unassuming Donald Trump. They successfully managed to rig the election, although they somehow forgot to also rig the downballot elections in their favor.

People like to say how Trump should have been an easy candidate to beat, and the fact that he won so many votes shows an alarming failure on the part of both Biden and Hillary’s campaigns. That’s partly true, but the unfortunate fact is that Trump was a legitimately strong candidate with a powerful base, fueled by a massive right-wing media empire that demonizes liberals to the point where 45% of the country would never, ever vote for a Democratic candidate under any circumstances. …

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