Alternatives to Horse Race Coverage of Elections

In case you haven’t seen. My thread with reactions and pushback from journalists who cover politics. ⚡️ “Election coverage in 2020 is on track to be even worse than 2016” by @jayrosen_nyuhttps://t.co/NtQ07El3lF— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 10, 2019


This thread is to discuss alternative ways to cover a presidential campaign–specifically avoiding emphasis on the horse race, which candidates are ahead versus behind, and the analyzing the strategy and tactics the candidates employ to win the contest.

Rosen mentions going to voters to find out what they want to hear the candidates adddress, and build the coverage around these concerns. I like the idea, and I will respond to some of the other concerns that Rosen raises, but I want to start by discussing an approach that I’ve longed favored.

In addition to covering the the issues that the candidate and voters care about, including the policies favored by the candidate, I’d like to see the press evaluate whether the candidates have the attributes that good president’s possess. To do this the press should first identify the qualities that most good presidents seem to possess, seeking the help of historians, former presidents, white house aides, etc. Once the press identifies these qualities, they can then seek ways to analyze the candidates based on whether they have these attributes or not. Here, the press would work like an employer doing research on a potential employee.

One way the press could do this is creating a chart for each candidate. As the campaigns progress, the journalists can gather information and fill in the chart. Maybe at the start of campaign there will be many unknowns about the candidates–the journalists may be uncertain about certain attributes–e.g., knowledge, character, leadership, negotiating skills, etc. Over the time voters will see these charts fill up as journalist collect more information.

On a related note, part of the candidates’ profiles can include the overall governing philosophy of the candidate. What is their political philosophy and ideology? How was it formed? What are some expressions of this philosophy? I care about this as much, if not more, than their specific policy proposals.

Green New Deal

Democrats unveiled a major policy proposal, the Green New Deal. The title references FDR’s New Deal, and my understanding is that the plan is equally ambitious–addressing not only climate change, but also education, healthcare, among other things. In this thread, I want to analyze and discuss this proposal. Here’s a twitter thread that summarizes the deal:

1/Here’s a blog post detailing the specifics of the Green New Deal:https://t.co/HBajUSq8dA— Noah Smith (@Noahpinion) February 7, 2019

Continue reading “Green New Deal”

Notes on the Serial Podcast, Season 3

Based on the first episode, I get the impression this season will be more informative (in a sociological way) rather than entertaining. The subject itself, the way the criminal justice system typically operates, is also not a very cheerful, especially since a realistic depiction is the goal. Based on the first episode, they’ve seem to have done that. Listening to it made me think of my experiences in courtrooms. What I heard was familiar and not really pleasant. Continue reading “Notes on the Serial Podcast, Season 3”

Funny Moments in TV, Film, Literature, and Real Life

This is thread for to post and discuss humorous moments or anecdotes from TV, movies, books, or even real life.

I want to start off with a tweet from a political reporter, about his exchange with a politician. Before I post the tweet, I want to say that while I feel like I’m having trouble finding comedies that really make me laugh, some of the things I’ve seen in politics prove that I haven’t completely lost my sense of humor. Indeed, a part of me wonders if I’m losing interest in fiction because reality is far more entertaining. With that, here’s the tweet: Continue reading “Funny Moments in TV, Film, Literature, and Real Life”

News Meeting Groups

I believe I’ve talked about the following concept several times before, but I can’t find my posts or thread(s) on it, nor do I know if I even started a thread. Because of that, I’m starting a thread on this topic now. The basic concept is as follows:

  1. A group of people, preferably one that is preferably diverse in terms of their politics, ethnicity, gender, age, etc., meets periodically (maybe weekly, monthly, or quarterly), to receive, analyze, and discuss the most important information about current events and news.
  2. Preferably, a news agency (e.g., Start-Advertiser, Civil Beat, or even the Atlantic magazine) could oversee, lead, and facilitate these meetings, but a non-profit group (such as, the league of women’s voters, Common Cause, etc.) could also do so as well. This would.
  3. Here’s another idea that I may not have mentioned before. Continue reading “News Meeting Groups”

Why Americans Should Care About the Current Rules-Based International System

Today, Veteran’s Day, I came across the twitter thread below, which I thought was apropos. The thread does an overview of WWI, and how it lead to WWII. What’s important in my view is that an international system based on the rule of law versus the rule of the jungle has been the key to peace. An international system characterized by the rule of the jungle–where might makes right–likely leads to war and military conflict–one that we should assume would involve the U.S. (Ludes lists the number of people that died in both wars, breaking them down by country.)

I hope you take the time to read the thread. It’s fitting for our current politics and also fitting for a day when we should reflect on those who gave their lives to serve their country.