What Tropics of Meta Knows About Politics

.

Not much.

Roughly about a pitcher of warm piss.

What we know about politics and $2.50 used to get you on the bus in Atlanta. Now it doesn’t even do that.

But I exaggerate a bitcoin.

Four years ago we published an ambitious series of hot takes about whether Trump was a unique phenomenon or just a continuation and intensification of trends long existing in the GOP. All of our essays more or less took for granted that Trump was going to lose, published as they were in the last days of the 2016 campaign when a world historically misguided conventional wisdom took hold. But I think the takes by Tim Lombardo, Casey Baskin, Rob Baker and other ToM stalwarts actually had a lot of insight, despite our mistaken assumptions about the election.

Our former political correspondent Clement Lime said at the time:

After 234 years of campaigning… this wasn’t even Fresh Hell anymore. This was more like Clearance Sushi at Kroger. Not exactly the same thing as browsing the clearance aisle at Ross or TJ Maxx for nipple clamps. It’s just stale, and disturbing.

And as Adam “A-God” Gallagher aptly observed on the eve of the 2016 election:

I think that the tepid support for Hillary Clinton, even among many ardent and lifelong Democrats, is because she has none of the cultural relevance that Trump has. She looks like someone (minus the weird pant suits) that would be standing in front of you in the line at the bank, and she tries to actually answer policy questions with nuanced responses. She’s not particularly telegenic and is terrible at delivering crisp soundbites. In this insane election, HRC seems like a candidate from another era.

Oh, Adam. Put the scales back on your eyes!

The last four years have been traumatic for us and our readers. There is no getting around that. But we have published some of the best work of our 10, going on 11 years during this time, with fresh and unique perspectives on the Hellworld we all inhabit. These are just a few of them, but we hope that these wonderful essays can put the whole sick pageant in some kind of context. Thank you to our contributors and readers alike for sticking with us through the persistent nightmare.

Author: Alex Sayf Cummings

Alex Sayf Cummings is an associate professor of history at Georgia State University, whose work deals with technology, law, public policy, and the political culture of the modern United States. Alex's writing has appeared in Salon, the Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, Al Jazeera, and Southern Cultures, among other publications, and the book Democracy of Sound was published by Oxford University Press in 2013 (paperback, 2017). Alex can be followed on Twitter at @akbarjenkins.

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