Opinion Today

May 10, 2021

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say social media platforms are tearing us apart
Mark Murray, NBC News
Sixty-four percent of Americans think social media does more to divide than unite us, a majority that cuts across party lines.


Doctors’ Office Is Still the Top Choice for Most of the Public Seeking Health Care
Gaby Galvin, Morning Consult
Over 3 in 5 adults say traditional office would be their pick for wellness visits, blood work, treatment for common illnesses

Nearly half of Americans talk to mom at least once a day
Fred Backus, CBS News
Most Americans talk to their mothers very regularly, according to a recent CBS News poll. Forty-six percent of Americans whose mother is still living talk to their mothers every day, and another third talk to mom about once a week.


Liz Cheney is learning the GOP equals Trumpism
Harry Enten, CNN
The movement to replace Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney in the House Republican leadership after she voted to impeach former President Donald Trump shouldn't come as a surprise. And the fact that her potential replacement could be the relatively moderate New York Rep. Elise Stefanik should be even less shocking. The thing to remember about Republicanism these days is that it's about loyalty to Trumpism -- and Trumpism was never about conservatism.

Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ imperils Republicans who don’t embrace it
Calvin Woodward, Associated Press
Trump led his party in an election that cost Republicans the presidency and their Senate majority while leaving them short of taking over in the House. For all that, the party’s brute-force Trump faction is ascendant as Republicans place their bets on the energy and passions of his core supporters in the approach to the midterm elections next year. That bet requires a suspension of disbelief when Trump makes his fantastical claims about a rigged election.

Marooned at Mar-a-Lago, Trump Still Has Iron Grip on Republicans
Lisa Lerer, New York Times
The vilification of Liz Cheney and a bizarre vote recount in Arizona showed the damage from his assault on a bedrock of democracy: election integrity.

The making of a myth
Emma Brown, Aaron C. Davis, Jon Swaine & Josh Dawsey, Washington Post
The enduring myth that the 2020 election was rigged was not one claim by one person. It was many claims stacked one atop the other, repeated by a phalanx of Trump allies. This is the previously unreported origin story of a core set of those claims, ideas that were advanced not by renowned experts or by insiders who had knowledge of flawed voting systems but by Russell J. Ramsland Jr. and fellow conservative activists as they pushed a fledgling company, Allied Security Operations Group, into a quixotic attempt to find evidence of widespread fraud where none existed.

Stable Views in a Time of Tumult: Assessing Trends in American Public Opinion, 2007-2020
Daniel J. Hopkins (Penn), SSRN
The violent conclusion of Trump's 2017-2021 presidency has produced sobering reassessments of American democracy. Elected officials' actions necessarily implicate public opinion, but to what extent did Trump's presidency and its anti-democratic efforts reflect shifts in public opinion in prior years? Were there attitudinal changes that served as early-warning signs? We answer those questions via a 15-wave, population-based panel 2007-2020.

Ranked-choice voting can help us slow the anti-democracy whirlpool
G. Elliott Morris
The improved electoral systems in Maine and Alaska will help preserve a coalition of reason among Republican lawmakers

Terry McAuliffe's popularity in Virginia dims some Democrats' hopes for first Black female governor
Henry J. Gomez & Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News
Jennifer Carroll Foy and Jennifer McClellan — “The Jennifers” — have struggled to gain traction in a Democratic primary dominated by the former governor.

Covid job losses hit working mothers especially hard
Dante Chinni, NBC News
The Covid-19 pandemic hammered the U.S. economy, taking jobs away across the board, but some workers have faced a harder path — and women have faced some special challenges.


Study reveals mixed reactions about Covid-19 health disparities
Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office
The Covid-19 pandemic, like many other health crises, has had unequal effects on the U.S. population, with communities of color often hit the hardest. A new study co-authored by MIT political scientist Evan Lieberman identifies a related challenge: Different social groups have different reactions to the fact that Covid-19 has generated those health inequities.

Why politicians won't reach the vaccine hesitant
Harry Enten, CNN
A look at the data reveals that the vaccine hesitant group are not big Trump lovers. They're actually likely not to be Republican. Instead, many of them are people who are detached from the political process and didn't vote for either major candidate in 2020.

A blinking light ahead: Slowing population growth raises questions about America as a land with unlimited horizons
Dan Balz, Washington Post
For generations, Americans have thought of themselves as part of a dynamic, innovative and ever-expanding country, with an almost limitless horizon. In recent weeks, they have seen a portrait of a different nation, one that challenges assumptions about America as a land of continuing growth and unlimited opportunity.

As Biden faces a struggle to hold the Senate, Democrats’ divisions resurface
Sean Sullivan, Washington Post
With Republicans making a strong play to retake the House, the Senate could hold the balance of power in Washington after 2022, making it critical to the rest of his term. But the White House, in deference to the sensitivity of the party divisions, is taking a hands-off approach to the primaries for now, even while watching them intently.

Elizabeth Warren’s Book Shows She Has No Idea Why Her Campaign Failed
Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine
The 2020 Democratic primary took place in a disorienting atmosphere. The 2016 election, in which the supposedly unelectable candidate had defeated the supposedly safe one, seemed to overturn all the conventional assumptions about the electorate, and many activists and candidates went into the next election as if those assumptions weren’t true. Perhaps the voters were craving an even more radical change to the system. Maybe the key was to activate the moribund progressive voters who had been energized by Bernie Sanders and then sat out the general election. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign was perhaps a prime case study in the delirious post-2016 atmosphere and the errors in political judgment it produced.

Yes, Sexism Really Did Doom the Warren Campaign
David Atkins, Washington Monthly
Elizabeth Warren has a new memoir out that is driving some interesting discussion this weekend. Unfortunately, some in the pundit world are using it to draw false conclusions in support of positions that mischaracterize both the Democratic base and the general electorate. Those misconceptions need correction.

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