In Defense of Negativity in Politics
A perspective from Vanderbilt University professor John Greer: When a candidate goes on the offensive to show the harm in an opponent's preferred policies or an inconsistency between an opponent's words and their actions, it helps set an important comparison point for voters.
When those attacks are false or play on the opponent's race, gender, ethnicity, or religion, it's under these conditions that attack politics harm democracy. Of course, it's important that attack politics, no matter how substantive, do not occur in a vacuum. The news media has to play an important role as "fact checker" and referee, something journalists failed to do in 2004 but have done a notable job so far in 2008, especially in the Obama v. Hillary race.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
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Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.
- At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
- See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
- There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Yes, a coup d'état.
- Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
- A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
- Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
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