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Reality Rebellion

By doubling down on Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen, Republicans are making their base angrier, more radical, and more likely to turn to violence.

Crowd of people, many with MAGA hats, carrying American flags and Trump signs
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‘Be Ready to Fight’

The New York Review of Books

Trumpism is driven by cruelty and domination even as its rhetoric claims grievance and victimization. The attack on the Capitol showed that Donald Trump’s army of millions will not just melt away when he leaves office.

American flag flying over crowd of people, many wearing MAGA hats
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The Con He Rode In On

Why do people hardly even talk about all the car plants Trump has brought to Michigan?

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The Venerable W

Article for the Telluride Film Festival

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What He Could Do

The New York Review of Books What Could He Do

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The Real Trump

The New York Review of Books Reality Rebellion Mark Danner

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On The Election

All American elections tend to be touted as historic, for all American culture tends toward the condition of hype. Flummoxing, then, to be confronted with a struggle for political power in which, for once, all is at stake. We have long since forfeited the words to confront it, rendering superlatives threadbare, impotent. No accident that among so many other things Donald J. Trump is the Candidate of Dead Words, spewing “fantastic” and “amazing” and “huge” in all directions, clogging the airtime broadcasters have lavished upon him with a deadening rhetoric reminiscent of the raving man hunched beside you on the bar stool.

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The Magic of Donald Trump

We are told again and again: his is the most improbable political story in decades, perhaps in history.  And yet that a reality television megastar, as Trump might put it, could outpoll sixteen dimly to barely known politicians, some new faces, many also-rans, seems less than shocking. Did tens of millions ever cast their eyes on the junior senators from Florida or Tennessee or Texas, or the governor of Ohio, not the mention the ex-governors of Arkansas of Florida, or the ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard, before they chanced to mount the stage for a debate with Donald J. Trump last August, a television event that drew the unheard-of viewership of 24 million? Those 24 million tuned in to see trump. Only one man on stage gad a name as famous and by then it was in such disrepute that he had seen fit to replace it with an exclamation point on his campaign posters.&nbsp

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State of Siege: Their Torture, and Ours

Revolutionary times are times of revelation: they uncover and flood with light what has long been darkly buried. Implicit in the above exchange between a kidnapped Philip Michael Santore (Yves Montand) and his masked Tupamaro inquisitor, Hugo (Jacques Weber), in Costa-Gavras’s&nbsp, is the unassailable conviction that politics forms the hidden skeleton of our world. Anyone who can be bothered to dig beneath the surface quickly strikes his shovel against these grim, intractable bones, the ossified determinants of who holds power and who does not. Looming invisibly over the interrogation is Costa-Gavras, supremely aware that he wields in his lens a uniquely effective kind of shovel. Indeed, this to him is what the cinema