Month: February 2020

“Debates Don’t Matter,” and Other Silly Notions

A little over 7 years ago, I wrote a blog post about the importance of debates in Presidential politics. Obama was running for re-election against Romney, and they were debating each other about a month before the election. At the time, I wrote: "As I surfed Fizzborg, the Twitter, and other haunts of the political … Continue reading “Debates Don’t Matter,” and Other Silly Notions

I Will Tell You Everything I Know in 1,000 Words or Fewer

As I prepare to give a talk at an upcoming conference, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, I'm stuck by a complication in the task that lies ahead me. The talk I'm giving is about public intellectualism and the push among academics to do more public-facing, publicly-consumable work. It's about making what academics know … Continue reading I Will Tell You Everything I Know in 1,000 Words or Fewer

Demagoguery and the Dangers of “Extreme Democracy”

I recently published an academic article, “Using Democracy Against Itself: Demagogic Rhetoric as an Attack on Democratic Institutions,” where I wrote about “extreme democracy” as a form of demagoguery (The abstract is here. If you want to read the whole thing, let me know). Specifically, I argued that a consistent—perhaps defining—characteristic of demagoguery is that … Continue reading Demagoguery and the Dangers of “Extreme Democracy”