We’re now a year and change into this chilling era, and yet it’s still shocking. Every day, it seems, we have occasion to say: He did what?! Sometimes more than once a day.
We all spend a lot of time thinking about what Donald Trump is doing to the country, and the world. But with this issue, we focus on a different, more speci c question: What he’s doing to us, to liberals? We asked John Jost and Orsolya Hunyady—he is an expert in political psychology at NYU, she a practicing psy- chologist; they are also husband and wife—to think about what Trump is doing to our brains, and did they ever deliver. I’m con dent that you’ll read sections of their essay and think to yourself: “Yes, that’s exactly what I’ve been feeling!” “Groundbreaking” is perhaps an overused word, but to this essay, it certainly applies.
Is there any difference between “liberal” and “progressive”? We tend to use the words interchangeably in casual conversation, but as the eminent historian
Sean Wilentz shows in his essay, there are vast and important historical differ- ences. Sean’s brief is for the word “liberal” and the traditions and habits of mind it implies, but even those who disagree will learn a lot from this nuanced piece.
Next we turn to our political parties. Both major parties are confronting unusual ruptures these days. Are these signs that they may actually break apart though? To answer this question, we assembled a very distinguished group of people to discuss the future of our party system: Christopher Caldwell, Frances Lee, David Karol, and Michael Kazin. I think you’ll be surprised at what they have to say.
One of the fault lines currently at issue, in both parties, is trade. And trade, in turn, is part of a larger conversation: To what extent are our international security policies connected to our domestic economic policies? According to our authors, they aren’t nearly connected enough, and it’s high time to think about how our global actions affect the country domestically, as well as vice versa. Jessica Harris, Heather Hurlburt, Bruce Jentleson, and Todd Tucker offer four insightful takes on the subject, in a symposium arranged by Hurlburt.
The issue also features book reviews by James Crabtree, Charles Kenny, Sanford Levinson, and Mitchell Moss, and a response to Richard Vague’s earlier piece on pensions by Chad Aldeman and Andrew Rotherham.