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Popular stereotypes of Republicans and Democrats often are wrong

  If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t know as much about rank-and-file Republicans and Democrats as you think you do. The popular stereotypes in your mind probably are greatly exaggerated. What’s more, these inaccuracies tend to be especially pronounced if you’re a Democrat thinking of Republicans in general or a Republican thinking of Democrats in general. The simple truth of the matter is that our minds tend to be cluttered with distorted pictures of members of the parties on the opposite side of...

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Democrats and Republicans are not equally paying attention to election campaign

  As was the case at this point four years ago, Republicans are following news of the presidential campaign more closely than Democrats — by a margin of eight percentage points, according to a new Gallup poll. It’s hard to say what this gap might portend for the results of the November election, but the Democratic candidate won the race in 2012. Another factor to consider is that while more women are likely to vote in November, more men are paying closer attention to the race at this point. The Gallup organization says THIS...

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Again, let me reassure you that Hillary will defeat Trump

  In recent weeks, as Donald Trump’s lock on the Republican presidential nomination became more apparent, I have offered several arguments here that he won’t have a chance of overcoming Hillary Clinton in the general election. Perhaps the most persuasive of these cases is the one in which I pointed out that there simply are not enough angry white males to outweigh the demographic benefits Democrats enjoy in presidential elections. Hillary, the likely Democratic nominee, almost certainly will prevail among women, blacks,...

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The Olympics have become a festival of disgrace

  There was a time when I, like most Americans and others around the world, greatly enjoyed watching the quadrennial Summer Olympics and, to a lesser degree, the Winter Games as well. But no more. It wouldn’t bother me if they cancelled the whole corrupt enterprise. Or at least they could scale it down to something far more modest and more truly dedicated to the principle, as the Olympic Charter puts it, that “the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to...

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Politics is an especially tricky business in this age of short attention spans

  If you’re middle-aged or older, you’re probably aware that the attention span of Americans in general — including you — has been declining in this age of multiplying media and countless intellectual stimuli. It’s small solace to me that my own loss of memory is probably attributable not just to advancing age but also to this explosion of media. The filing cabinet between my ears has long since become overloaded, mainly with trivia, rendering some of its contents less accessible than they used to be. Now,...

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Trump’s ugly rhetoric encourages bigots all over the world

  Let’s face it: Donald Trump has become a hero to people in far-flung places around the globe. But they’re the wrong kind of people, and Trump is the wrong kind of hero. The Donald has become America’s chief exporter of its ugliest product — bigotry.  Just as his followers here at home tend to be more racist than the Republican electorate on the whole, according to polls, his appeal abroad is strongest among the principal peddlers of hatred in foreign lands. This does not serve Trump’s vaunted objective of...

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