Politics

What Happened Here?

A collection of 20 stories shared in previous editions that together, go some way to telling the story of the Trump presidency.

It’s telling in its own way that in this administration where personalities were paramount, rather than covering legislative change or other signature issues, many of the pieces are profiles of characters in the Trump soap opera.

The edition comprises five sections:

The Man
The Family
The Team
Domestic Affairs
Foreign Affairs

Note that the story descriptions are contemporaneous to when they were first shared, so in some cases things will have changed. For instance, several of the people described in them have since been fired.

The neoliberal era is ending. What comes next?

An opinion piece suggesting that the neoliberal approach to government’s time is coming to an end, and that “a space has opened up for a different, more realistic view of human nature: that humankind has evolved to cooperate.” The author recognises that what will fill that space is far from certain.

William Barr’s State of Emergency

A profile of the United States Attorney General William Barr, in his second stint in the role, after first serving in George H.W. Bush’s administration in the early 1990s. His successor from his first incumbency had this to say on his influence in the Trump administration: “Those who think he’s a tool of Donald Trump are missing the point..If anything, it’s the other way around. Barr is vastly more intelligent than Donald Trump…Bill has longstanding views about how society should be organized, which can now be manifested and acted upon to a degree that they never could have before.”

Hey, Hey, LBJ…

An archive profile of Lyndon B. Johnson, US President between 1963 and 1969, a period that included both the passing of the Civil Rights Act, and much of The Vietnam War. The piece reflects on a change in the relationship between Americans and their President in times of crisis that was seen in Johnson’s time in office. He writes of Johnson’s predecessor – “to the day of his death Kennedy could have commanded the virtually unanimous support—even fealty—of the nation in a foreign crisis, a summit setback, a missile confrontation. In the jargon of the time, “bipartisanship” would have seen to it that the people “rallied around the President” while “politics stopped at the water’s edge.” In crisis, people would have trusted—even expected—him not only to do the right thing, but to know the right thing.”