Thursday, November 9, 2017

Topline: A rebuke of Trumpism?

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

Stand Up Republic

Life is busy and filled with distractions. We wanted to make sure you saw these articles about the pressing issues facing our country.

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The Politics of Fear Must Be Defeated at the
Ballot Box
The Hill — Nov. 8, 2017
Evan McMullin, the co-founder of Stand Up Republic, argues that Ed Gillespie’s loss will ultimately serve the Commonwealth of Virginia, the country in general, and even the Republican Party in the long-term. If Gillespie’s example shows that promoting fear and division is not a path to victory, GOP leaders may begin to reconsider their promotion of populist and nationalist ideas.


Virginia and New Jersey Dump Trump 
New York Magazine — Nov. 7, 2017
The electoral consequences of GOP leadership’s embrace of Trumpism became apparent this week, as Democrats crushed state elections in Virginia and New Jersey. This is significant, as the tradeoff for becoming the party of Trump thus far has been cashing in values and sound policy in exchange for electoral victory. If sham populism and nationalism produce such dismal electoral results, moderate Republicans must ask themselves: is it worth it?


Lies Versus Lies 
Bloomberg — Nov. 6, 2017
Donald Trump, Jr. has shifted his account of the meeting with Kremlin representatives so many times, it’s difficult to keep track. Now, the Russian lawyer at the heart of the meeting is contradicting his latest story. Since the Trump administration has generally been in lockstep with the Kremlin’s narrative, this is a curious account indeed, which raises more questions than it answers.

A Page from the Kremlin's Playbook 
Politico — Nov. 6, 2017
Carter Page, a bizarre figure even by the standards of a notably bizarre Trump campaign, gave his testimony on Russia connections to the House Intel Committee this past week. Politico offers a helpful summary. The upshot: Trump campaign officials were lying (surprise!), the campaign made a direct effort to remove anti-Russia stances from the party platform in 2016, and Page's rambling, contradictory account inspires a laundry list of questions revolving around his trips to Moscow and his interactions with Russian government officials.


Social Media, Social Responsibility 
The Economist — Nov. 4, 2017
The Economist discusses the debate at the heart of modern democracy – how can we balance the changes wrought by social media with the necessity of a robust and informed public discourse? The future of representative government likely depends on solving this issue, but it isn't clear that many of the relevant companies are fully aware of what their platforms are doing to exacerbate societal divisions and spread disinformation.

From Russia to Facebook, with Love 
The New York Times — Nov. 5, 2017
The Paradise Papers brought to light a few embarrassing secrets for society’s wealthiest individuals. Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire with hundreds of millions of dollars underwritten by the Kremlin, was also revealed to have used that money to purchase large stakes in Facebook and Twitter. This certainly raises further questions about tech companies’ objectivity in combatting Russian disinformation online.


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