The Republican Industrial Complex Has Turned Missteps Into Millions

Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was famously criticized for his ability to convince others to believe anything he said through a combination of hyperbole and bravado. One Apple employee called the effect a “reality distortion field” in 1981 and the term persisted ever since. It’s quite clear by now that conservative philanthropists and grassroots donors have been living in a reality distortion field as well, the creation of a cadre of political consultants who have failed repeatedly at their jobs and yet manage…

Is Pokemon Go a National Security Risk? Potentially, Yes

Nintendo’s smash hit augmented reality game Pokemon Go is attracting the attention of conspiracy theorists who believe it’s part of an elaborate plot to spy on users or get them to spy on behalf of sundry foreign governments. In China, where the app is not officially available, people are telling each other to avoid using the app anyway lest it allegedly allow foreign nations to spy on the country’s military installations: “Don’t play Pokemon GO!!!” said user Pitaorenzhe on Chinese microblogging site Weibo. “It’s so…

Donald Trump Is the Candidate Conservative Intellectuals Conditioned Their Base to Want

It’s been said that societies elect the governments they deserve. That’s certainly the case with the American Right and Donald Trump. In spite of this, many Republicans have been beside themselves about the man for the past 12 months. According to his critics, the former reality-TV star is a gross departure from the conservative tradition. They couldn’t be more wrong. One group of Trump disparagers were so discontented with their future nominee that they vowed to found their own rump organization, the Renegade Party, in…

The Trump Victory Proves the GOP Is Fundamentally Broken

If 2012 was the presidential election in which data-driven journalism really came into its own, the 2016 Republican nomination contest has been the one in which the conventional wisdom has continually been shattered. Besides driving Republican officials to distraction, Donald Trump has been the bane of journalists from data geeks like Nate Silver and the New York Times’s Nate Cohn to more old school analysts like Ron Brownstein of National Journal. The former television star’s unorthodox background and brash demeanor has upended the conventional wisdom…

The Rise of Irreligion is the GOP’s Real Demographic Crisis

In the past several years, many trees have been felled and pixels electrocuted in the service of discussion about the impact of Hispanics on the American electorate. No one knows for sure which way they’ll vote in the future but everyone is interested in discussing it. Curiously, though, an even larger political shift is taking place yet receiving almost no attention whatsoever from political reporters—the emergence of post-Christian America. Judging solely from the rhetoric and actions of the Republican presidential candidates this cycle, you would be…

Tim Cook and Apple Are Right: Encryption Is a Human Right That Must Be Protected

Apple is under fire from critics but this time it’s not for a hardware or software mishap. Instead, the company is being sued by the U.S. federal government to compromise the security of its users by creating a means of bypassing encryption on its iPhone mobile phones. At issue in the dispute is the smartphone of Syed Rizwan Farook, the man at the center of the 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California which killed 14. Before his death, Farook had enabled full device encryption…

Rand Paul Lost Because He Wouldn’t Appeal to White Identity Politics

Kentucky senator Rand Paul announced today that he is ending his run for the Republican presidential nomination. “It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House,” he said in a statement released to the media. “Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.” Paul’s withdrawal came after he finished fifth-place in the Republican presidential caucuses held in Iowa Monday. In 2014 and very early in 2015, Rand Paul was thought by many…

Donald Trump and the Anti-Libertarian Moment

It hasn’t even been a year and a half since journalist Robert Draper wondered at length in the New York Times Magazine whether America was about to begin a “libertarian moment.” The question seems downright quaint just days before the first actual votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Rand Paul, the man whom Draper and many others anointed as the leader of the revolution, has been languishing in also-ran territory for a solid year in local and national surveys….

Mike Huckabee: The Religious Right Is a Giant Scam

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee lashed out against religious conservative leaders Wednesday, accusing them of trying to bilk gullible donors out of money while actually having no desire to pursue goals like outlawing same-sex marriage and banning abortion. “A lot of them, quite frankly, I think they’re scared to death that if a guy like me got elected, I would actually do what I said I would do,” Huckabee said in an interview with Christian Right commentator Todd Starnes. “We would abolish abortion based on…

Donald Trump’s ‘Birther’ Ploy Against Ted Cruz Shows Why He’s Winning

It’s no secret by now that many conservative elites absolutely despise Donald Trump. Many do so because of his policy views which have been said to be incoherent or even liberal. Christian nation conservatives don’t like Trump due to his lower religiosity and history of making remarks indicating a general lack of interest in the ideas they hold dear. Another reason that Trump is so despised by many right-of-center authors and activists is that he’s managed to master the art of politics with no training…