A Reporter on Politics: Bourdieu, Billionaires, and Brain Disease

"Red-winged blackbird" by Greg_Limmer is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

  • Politics

Pierre Bourdieu's notion that people engage in a "rational management of symbolic capital" is an interesting way to think about the news that billionaires sought to help fund Trump's bond in a civil fraud case. The issue of symbolic capital also comes up in the contrast between Biden's "Fighting for" poster and the rather more literal poster from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., featuring his running mate, Nicole Shanahan.

It is perhaps symbolic that the GOP is realigning (again) under the leadership of an authoritarian populist who explicitly invokes religion (in the form of the "God Bless the USA" Bible) to fleece his followers.

The Trump trial in New York is worth following, if only for the inside look it will provide into the mind of the would-be autocrat. It is worth noting that even cynical, horserace-following, biased, and otherwise flawed media cannot entirely hide the obvious: Trump's repeated struggles with communication and cognition. It is a national and global emergency that someone suffering so obviously from brain disease could return to the White House.

The Biden campaign's quiet preparation for a Trump ambush is interesting, especially compared to the rather more loud preparations of the Trump campaign (his constant tweets would make a useful dataset for some enterprising student of NLP).

The increasing involvement of the Obamas and the Clintons in the Biden campaign is also worth noting, especially since it highlights the increasingly overtly partisan interests of the elite agenda-setting media.

Finally, Literally Anybody Else is running for president, which I have to admit I'm here for. I suspect that Meteor Strike would be a better vice-presidential choice than Shanahan, though.


A selection of stories from politics this week.