“Malevolence Tempered by Incompetence”


Check out this absolutely scathing analysis of President Trump’s executive order on refugees and visas. It is authored by Benjamin Wittes, affiliated with the Brookings and Hoover Institutions. One snippet: “In the rational pursuit of security objectives, you don’t marginalize your expert security agencies and fail to vet your ideas through a normal interagency process. You don’t target the wrong people in nutty ways when you’re rationally pursuing real security objectives. When do you do these things? You do these things when you’re elevating the symbolic politics of bashing Islam over any actual security interest.” Yowza. We’ll discuss this piece Tuesday.

(The picture above shows protestors of the executive order outside JFK airport.)



The full name of this course is “Anti-Intellectualism in American Culture and Politics.” Hostility to science, experts, and “book learning” is a common impulse that shapes contemporary American society. In this course, we will explore how anti-intellectualism promotes notions about media bias, encourages belief in implausible conspiracies, and spurs hyperpolarized politics, among other topics. We will take the tumultuous 2016 election season and the early days of the Trump administration as case studies.