Politics

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David Biespiel’s Poetry Wire: 21 Poems That Shaped America (Pt. 7): “Facing It”

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There should be no forgetting, much less forgiveness, of what happened during the Vietnam War. ...more

Crybaby College Students and Their Bogus Trophies

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I’m a small blue dot living in a blood-red corner of a red state, so I’ve grown accustomed to hearing right wing talking points. I don’t like them, but they surface as regularly in my southwest Florida town as white egrets on the highway and dolphins in the Gulf.

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The Saturday Rumpus Essay: Walk On

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As writers, we must write it out. Tear off the veils and air the rotting fruits. ...more

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #11: Politics, Madness, and Sanity

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My family was always political, but I have a love/hate relationship with politics.

Today, I can feel the country swinging towards madness. And make no mistake, a country can go mad. It is familiar territory, exciting and threatening, seductive and fearful.

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This Week in Trumplandia

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Welcome to This Week in Trumplandia, a new Rumpus column in which I, your passionate, sometimes angry, mostly emotional, Aries/Taurus cusp host, will highlight PEOTUS-related news that you need to know.

Who am I? I’m a freelance writer from Philadelphia (also, the biggest fan of Buffy) who wants to make a difference and stand against the xenophobia, white supremacy, misogyny, and general bigotry of Trump and his supporters.

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An Open Letter to My Brother, A Trump Supporter

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Dear John,

I, like so many other Americans, spent the past weeks worrying, crying, and searching for the people around me that I loved so they could be beacons when I felt most battered. I did not seek you out, did not call or text you, did not respond to your victory message because I was hurt, nursing my wounds with those who felt safe to me.

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Post-Election Dispatch: Charleston, SC

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Right now as I write this, smoke from fires in the southeastern Appalachian Mountains haze the morning. We’re under orange alert—the air quality bad enough that schoolchildren will stay indoors today. This morning the coastal flooding is up again thanks to the powerful tidal pulls of the recent supermoon.

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Wolves

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The men who called me names were always white men, dressed in the shirts and ties that marked them as belonging to a different class than I did. They sat down next to me when I asked them not to, they kept touching me when I asked them to stop.

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Trump Dads: A Confession

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Mine wears short shorts while he jogs, with a baseball cap over his baldness, and no shirt.

His comes home from work and changes into a full gray sweatsuit, then sits at the head of the kitchen table to relax by eating a block of cheddar cheese.

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The Digital Dictator

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I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night –Roman emperor Gaius Caligula (AD 12–AD 41).

Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich. –Donald Trump

President-elect Donald Trump’s vernacular has been compared to that of Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and even the unpredictable and vengeful Roman emperor Caligula.

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Touring Trump’s America on Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad

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Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad won the National Book Award on Wednesday night. In his acceptance speech he told us, “We’re happy in here; outside is the blasted hellhole wasteland of Trumpland. Be kind to everybody. Make art and fight the power.”

Not only was this apt for the evening, but it also describes the landscape of his novel, which presents us with several different Americas, including the diverse, literary America he was referring to.

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Job Insecurity 101

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At California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland, adjunct faculty have been trying for two years to win their first union contract. They are part of the Service Employees International Union’s Faculty Forward movement, through which some 13,000 adjuncts at fifty colleges across the nation have unionized in the last three years.

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A Letter to My Male Friends Who May Not Know That They Are Women

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Dearest loves,

As you are, I am stricken. I am devastated. I am unmade.

We have all felt a terrible blow. And yet, of course, we all feel it differently, and have different understandings of what has befallen us, and what is to come.

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The Storming Bohemian Punks the Muse #10: Art Lives!

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Sunday: I work through the voting guide, propositions, and candidates, making my decisions. My partner, Argyle C, Klopnick (ACK!), is sure, now, that Hillary’s victory is certain. I ‘m not yet a believer. I think Trump is electable.

Monday: I’m catching the excitement.

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Where We Go from Here

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Warrior up! Begin with small actions, like donating or volunteering, if you're able. ...more

The Night Wash Jones Won

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Eighty years ago, Wash Jones appeared as a minor character in William Faulkner’s masterpiece on American identity and self-invention, Absalom, Absalom! From a craft perspective Jones was put in for a purpose: to demonstrate the role that white working-class men played in maintaining white supremacy among the wealthiest people in America before the Civil War, the Southern plantation class.

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Dear President-elect Trump

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This evening, after returning home from my job as an English instructor in St. Paul, Minnesota, I locked my keys in my car. I believe the reason for this mistake pertained to my haggard and undone emotions.

From my vantage point, your campaign included numerous emotional-appeal techniques. 

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United We Stand

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No one knows exactly what the next four years will bring. But we are always stronger when we protest together. ...more

The America We Live in Now

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I don’t consider myself a political person. To me, there are no “wrong” political beliefs. I believe that democracy means respecting everyone’s right to her opinion. And if I were forced to declare my own political views, I would have to reluctantly admit that, out of cynicism and self-interest, I find myself increasingly leaning towards the right.

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From the Editors: Election 2016

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This election is critical. We are code-red. We might elect our first woman president, or we might elect a man who is at best dangerous and unqualified and at worst the end of democracy as we know it today. ...more

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Color at the Mercy of the Light

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What if I said: while people still believe they are white in America, that delusion, and the dream upon which it is founded, needs to be seriously examined. ...more

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Dedicate Your No-Trump Vote: Robin Black

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In a world in which it is okay for our president to mock a man with disabilities, we might well never see again the ultimately beautiful sight of a classroom of children disowning their own cruelty, choosing to be on the side of decency and care. ...more

Photograph by Beowulf Sheehan

Fair Dancin’ Mad: A Scottish Town Fights Trump

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Councilor Ford pauses to catch his breath. “For goodness sakes do not elect [Trump]. It would be a catastrophe. Not only for the United States but for the world.” ...more