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Issue No. 40 | Winter 2021

Biden Our Time

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The Indifferent and the Defiant

Battered by poverty and coronavirus, South Texas should have been deep blue turf for Joe Biden. It wasn’t. But in the Rio Grande Valley, the story is less about growing conservatism than about the rise of nonvoting — and despair.

Secession Planning

A looser union with more room for state and regional autonomy, as two recent books advocate, would cede much of America to the mercies of the Right.

When Biden Met Hillarycare

Records from the Clinton presidential archive give a revealing — and unflattering — look at the triangulating politics of Senator Joe Biden.

Trumpism After Trump

Don’t count right-wing populism out. While technocrats have seen their fortunes rise under lockdown, the sense of national decline and disarray that first brought leaders like Donald Trump to power still has a bright future.

The Biden Doctrine

As president, Donald Trump launched broadsides against the liberal international order. Will Joe Biden be able to put America “back at the head of the table” once in office?

The Politics of a Second Gilded Age

The mass inequality of America’s first Gilded Age thrived on identity-based partisanship, helping extinguish the fires of class rage. In 2021, we’re headed down the same path.

Nomads in Search of a Villain

The new film Nomadland is a heartfelt look at the lives of itinerant Americans cast aside by the Great Recession. But it ignores how employers like Amazon are raking in profits off this new class of worker.

Cyberpunk Needs a Reboot

Cyberpunk once stood out as a vital genre of anti-capitalist fiction. Today, it’s been reduced to a cool retro aesthetic easily appropriated by the world’s second-richest man to market ugly Blade Runner–inspired trucks to nostalgia-drenched Gen Xers.