Ron Pruessen

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    Trump is not the first president to play fast and loose with the truth – but he may be the biggest fabulist.

Trump is not the first president to play fast and loose with the truth – but he may be the biggest fabulist.

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The term “trumped up” has become ironically relevant to the behavior of the 45th US president, as evidence of brazen dishonesty continues to mount.  Ron Pruessen considers how Donald Trump has utilized a mold inherited from predecessors – and how he is on the way to spectacularly breaking it.

“Lord, Lord, how the world is given to lying”: so says […]

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    Disgusted by Donald Trump? Turning away from the spectacle isn’t an option.

Disgusted by Donald Trump? Turning away from the spectacle isn’t an option.

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Almost nine months into the Trump presidency, it may be harder than ever to make sense of what is happening. How do we fully understand what seems to be a hybrid of Lewis Carroll and Stephen King imaginaries – of the Mad Hatter and Pennywise the Clown? Ron Pruessen considers his own frustrations and speculates about what to do […]

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    Donald Trump’s first weeks as president evoke Boschian visions of destruction and spectacle.

Donald Trump’s first weeks as president evoke Boschian visions of destruction and spectacle.

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And so it begins.  No soft launch, no early days honeymoon. The first weeks of the Trump presidency have unfolded – exploded – in a boisterous and provocative fashion that must have satisfied those wanting to “let Trump be Trump.” Ron Pruessen shares some early thoughts about the spectacle.  

I’ve been struck lately by the way we have moved from […]

Coming to grips with the Trump nightmare

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Hillary Clinton supporters can certainly appreciate the adjective that flavors the expression “in the cold light of day.” As voting results mounted after midnight on Election Day earlier this month, dawn brought dismaying and chilling realizations.  Ron Pruessen reviews some of his own efforts to come to grips with a nightmare scenario. 

“I have lived the last month with a […]

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    Finding the funny in presidential elections is an American political tradition

Finding the funny in presidential elections is an American political tradition

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We can hope that the 2016 presidential campaign will be remembered as the most bizarre (and frightening) in history and that the record will not be broken in the future.  As Election Day approaches, we all deserve an occasional countervailing force: a reminder that what we are witnessing can be funny as well as terribly disturbing.  Fortunately, Ron Pruessen […]

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    Despite Trump’s falling fortunes, voters may yet decide not to grant the Democrats a third term.

Despite Trump’s falling fortunes, voters may yet decide not to grant the Democrats a third term.

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Are rumors (and predictions) of Donald Trump’s political demise greatly exaggerated? Some are hopeful that the Republican nominee’s end is indeed nigh, Ron Pruessen being one of them. But he also cautions against premature celebration.  American political history offers plentiful evidence of the uphill and often unsuccessful struggle of presidential nominees seeking to extend their party’s control of the […]

  • Permalink (L) Parody of Jenny Lind's first American tour for P.T. Barnum, New York City, October 1850 (R) Donald Trump Credit: By W. Schaus [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons,  ed ouimette (Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0)Gallery

    With a modern P.T. Barnum act, Donald Trump is tapping Americans’ anger to sell tickets to his own political circus.

With a modern P.T. Barnum act, Donald Trump is tapping Americans’ anger to sell tickets to his own political circus.

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If the US election campaign currently has the air of a circus, Donald Trump can easily be seen as its P.T. Barnum.  While the historical analogy is worth consideration, though, Ron Pruessen argues that Trump goes beyond (and beneath) the earlier Big Top impresario – and that the audience he is attracting is more than a gaggle of rubes […]

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    The 2016 election is seeing the return of the ‘Paranoid Style’ in American politics

The 2016 election is seeing the return of the ‘Paranoid Style’ in American politics

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The 2016 primary season has seen Donald Trump gain traction with Republican voters through nativist rhetoric. While many see Trump’s extremist campaigning as a new low in American political discourse, Ron Pruessen, using the work of Richard Hofstadter, reminds us that such apocalyptic visions from politicians are really nothing new. He argues that crises over the decades such as […]

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