Category: rhetoric

The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work: Progressives and Leftists Edition

At the beginning of September, Facebook announced that they suspended five accounts affiliated with “Peace Data,” a news website launched by Russia’s social media propaganda wing, the Internet Research Agency. The IRA, of course, was instrumental in the Russian disinformation campaigns in the run-up to the 2016 election. This year, they even hired unwitting American … Continue reading The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work: Progressives and Leftists Edition

No, You’re Hitler!: A History and a Proposal

In 1953, famed political philosopher and Jewish-German exile, Leo Strauss, coined a term to describe a trope that he increasingly saw circulating in public discourse: reductio ad Hilterum. Reductio ad Hitlerum is a fallacy used in arguments to discredit anything that can be associated with or compared to Hitler. Hitler liked dogs? Then liking dogs … Continue reading No, You’re Hitler!: A History and a Proposal

The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work: Democrats/Liberals/Centrists Edition

There has been a veritable flood of new information this week about Russian interference in American elections, including the release of a Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee report confirming the Trump campaign’s coordination with Russian operatives before the 2016 election. In a press release issued upon the full release of the Intelligence Committee report, House Speaker … Continue reading The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work: Democrats/Liberals/Centrists Edition

The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work, and It’s Working

A little over a week ago, Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, William R. Evanina, released an update in the organization’s ongoing investigation into foreign efforts to influence American elections. Among its conclusions was the following: We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden … Continue reading The Russian Trolls Are Hard at Work, and It’s Working

The Rhetoric of Sacrificing [Grandma] for the Greater Good

About three weeks ago, archetypal vanilla milkshake, Tom Cotton (R.-Ark), introduced a bill in the Senate to prohibit federal funds from going to support the teaching of the “1619 Project” in public schools. If you haven’t seen it, the 1619 Project is a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles, poems, photographs, fiction, and more published in … Continue reading The Rhetoric of Sacrificing [Grandma] for the Greater Good

Rhetoric, Inevitability, and the Behavior of Voters

On November 5, 2016 — just three days before Election Day — the Princeton Election Consortium at Princeton University released results from a survey indicating that Hillary Clinton had a 99% chance of winning the presidency. The survey results raised doubts among some esteemed pollsters, but they also reinforced a lot of common sense about … Continue reading Rhetoric, Inevitability, and the Behavior of Voters

Americans Need to Stop Seeking Comfort in Feel-Good Riot Stories

Today marks one month since George Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis police officers. The uprisings that resulted from Floyd’s murder continue to rage across the country, and will likely continue for some time. In a number of cases, they’ve had significant positive results. Despite their continuation, news coverage of the uprisings has significantly died … Continue reading Americans Need to Stop Seeking Comfort in Feel-Good Riot Stories

What an Academic Book Review Does

Despite having a reputation for being an easy introduction to scholarly writing, book reviews in academic journals are a fairly-specialized genre. Their reputation for being easy comes from the fact that they're generally pretty short, so it's easy to juggle the relatively smaller number of demands than you'd have in an article or book chapter. … Continue reading What an Academic Book Review Does

Nazi Science: Coronavirus Edition

I decided to try posting this one on Medium. I posted the first few paragraphs below, and the full post can be accessed here: https://medium.com/@ryan.skinnell/nazi-science-coronavirus-edition-bac4c2a0ed15?sk=eb9579d771e4125548f77d2a84f7ddab Noted flim-flam artists and doctors of low repute—including Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil—have recently been trotted out by right-wing media outlets to bemoan Coronavirus social distancing directives as “worse than … Continue reading Nazi Science: Coronavirus Edition

Why Do People Keep Trusting Trump in a Global Pandemic?

In the past few weeks, even before nearly the entire country went on lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, Donald Trump has been addressing the country in daily press conferences. With all due respect—all due respect—they’re bananas. He contradicts his experts, denies the observable realities we’re all experiencing, and jovially pats himself on the … Continue reading Why Do People Keep Trusting Trump in a Global Pandemic?