We are reminded once again during this election season that national politics is an arena increasingly dominated by angry and suspicious participants. This is true of both the Left and Right. The different sides are angry and suspicious about different things, to be sure, the left of the rich and the big banks, the right of “the establishment.” In framing narratives about these targets, both sides are prone to exaggerate the influence of their respective bogeyman or to understand them in terms of malignant conspiracies that are only loosely correlated with reality. In many cases, these narratives are backed by impressive-seeming compilations of facts and figures and argued with impressive sophistication. Many voters lack the information or the resources required to sort through the charges and counter-charges. Amid the cacophony of national politics, it is a...


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