A Heaping Helping of ToM Politics to Get You Through This Election Season


Since our founding in 2010, we at ToM have swerved out of the strictly historiographical lane into the political one like Anthony Weiner forever furtively glancing at this phone.  Like the Great Weiner, we can’t help ourselves.

Some of our writers are Gen Xers, some are millennials; others are just unclassifiably disgusting. (Looking at you, Clem.) But whether we grew up in the age of Reagan or Clinton, we’ve all seen the same trends. The reality TV-ization of politics that has reached its apotheosis in Donald Trump, the feckless wars and recurrent recessions, and a general loss of faith in the system across the board, whether it takes the form of 9/11 conspiracy theories or a concerted challenge to the status quo from a Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, or Gary Johnson.  Our perspective as writers and scholars is inevitably shaped by the tumultuous nature of American life in the last 20 or 30 years.

Biden, Merkley
The fact that this is a real photo is proof that God exists and wants us to be happy

You can check out everything we’ve posted about politics and elections, but there’s a lot more that falls under the broad rubric of the political, as anyone who’s been to grad school knows.  This last week and a half, we have been inviting historians and political scientists to meditate on the long-term significance of Donald Trump’s candidacy, which seemed as dead as a dodo when the series started and now is apparently far less of a foregone conclusion than we had thought. (Don’t worry, kids – we’re still confident that HRC will win one for the Gipper, right off the stiff red cuff!) Here’s the series: Is Trump Sui Generis?

And you can revisit our election-eve assessment of 2012, for a bit of perspective. We were asking a lot of the same questions (voter suppression? GOTV? changing demographics?) then that we are now: What Will Be Revealed Today?

There is also a wealth of other great political writing at ToM.  For instance, RR’s many pieces on Trump, Reagan, and Nixon:

ASC’s early and apt takedown of the myth of Lil’ Marco’s political acumen:

Cherie Braden’s indomitable explainer on the mysteries of the Electoral College:

As ODB once said, “I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for helping me write ‘Smack That Bitch’ and ‘Big Fat Booty Hoes'”

J-Wow’s 2016 field report from a Texas Trump rally:

Bobby Baker’s prescient June piece on Trump’s unwillingness to concede:

Keith Orejel’s uncommonly insightful take on the phenomenon of Rick “Santorum” Santorum:

Clement Lime’s rip-roaring campaign coverage:

ToM’s 2015 Guide to Recognizing Your GOP Candidates

They just googled their father for the first time

And many great pieces about protest and activism: