This blog starts from the position that life shifted dramatically the night that Donald Trump was elected president. Many of us now live in fear for the first time in our lives. (We realize, also, how incredibly fortunate we are to be able to write that sentence given so many realities of our era.) Many of us are now trying to articulate a version of life that incorporates acts of personal resistance. To spit in the wind is at least to spit.
Not everything on this blog will be political. In fact, most things won’t be. Sometimes we may write about technology. Sometimes we may write about culture. Or cities. Sometimes we might write about baseball or salads. But we start from a position of dissent. (And moral horror.) We start from the position that the appointment of racists, homophobes, misogynists, and anti-Semites to senior policy or administrative positions is wrong. (For example.)
The age of Trump requires constant intellectual engagement and radical honesty. It requires a willingness to have impassioned, difficult conversations with people who don’t want to have them.
Second, the age of Trump demands that we think through our own positions. Everyone we know reads Vox and used to read FiveThirtyEight and everyone we know shares the same articles online. There’s great work there. But social media’s emphasis on the instantaneous share and the snippet-length reaction over the cultivated response encourages intellectual herding. We turn instead to the medium used by intellectuals and dissidents in the Bush-era: the blog. We turn to this once-vital-now-largely-moribund form to see if it can still serve as a means of engagement with our world — and if we are still capable of sustaining thought and action.
We imagine the next few months as an experiment and testing ground. For the time being we are “Unnamed Group Blog” and our platform is Medium, the Internet’s de facto Op-Ed page, and we will try to publish twice a week. As we discover who we are, both the name, the platform, and frequency may change. Perhaps the situation will be truly dire and we will be forced to use the CMS of last resort, Moveable Type. For the time being, the “we” is also small. We sincerely hope that this will change. Consider this an open invitation.
Read, think, write. The Age of Trump requires at least as much.