Slate Plus

The Reckoning Begins

The Slate Plus Digest for Nov. 18.

Rural voters helped elect Trump. Above, a campaign sign along a highway near Belvidere, Illinois.
Rural voters helped elect Trump. Above, a campaign sign along a highway near Belvidere, Illinois.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

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From Slate

Here’s how we began to reckon with the new world this week.

On Trump voters: Rural voters took a stand and elected a president who won’t help them at all, writes Henry Grabar. Some of them are “good people”? Nah, argues Jamelle Bouie. They had “good intentions”? Screw that, says Aleksandar Hemon.

On the GOP: House Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, are running the show now, argues Jim Newell. Does that mean they’ll check some of Trump’s worst excesses? Hard to imagine, Mark Joseph Stern points out, since they rolled over for Trump’s white nationalist “chief strategist” Steve Bannon.

On the Democrats: Jamelle Bouie thinks they’re blowing it. Michelle Goldberg thinks Keith Ellison, who hopes to lead the Democratic National Committee, represents a better way forward. Daniel Gross wonders if the last best hope for progressive values could be … Fortune 500 corporations.

Can’t bear to think about it? Neither can Daniel Engber. Read these four poems, written between 1884 and 1968 and selected by Robert Pinsky, who writes, “Often, the best works of art about an historic event come from long before.”

Not From Slate

Alexandra Petri has her fangs out for Republicans going soft on Steve Bannon: “Listen, when we need to denounce an actual racist, anti-Semite, white supremacist, Islamophobe, you name it, I will be there. I promise. I will not hesitate to do that, when the time comes, clearly and appropriately labeled. I have yet to see one, but when I do, boy, I will light into him! It will be something to see.”

Matt Yglesias points out that the Facebook problem goes way beyond made-up stories: “A news diet overwhelmingly driven by shareability and algorithmic targeting is going to be profoundly misleading whether or not it contains fake news.”

Jessica Hopper implores fans hoping music will get better under Trump to stop kidding themselves: “The equation that great art is best born in a hothouse of desperation is a false one. It’s a blithe dare for artists to come out on the other side of trauma dancing — survive, and entertain us, too.”

Teju Cole on the terrifying day after the election: “So many were falling into line without being pushed. It was happening at tremendous speed, like a contagion.”

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Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus