Photo by Robert King/Newsmakers

In 2000, The conservative majority in the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 to stop the Florida recount, handing George Bush a 271 electoral vote victory, despite losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes.

In 2010, Mitch McConnell famously said “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

In 2016, Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes and became president-elect, despite losing the popular vote by 2,868,686 votes. There was one recount in Michigan that lasted for about 2 days before a judge shut it down.

In October 2019, in the midst…


White children cheer outside an African-American residence that they set on fire in September, 1919. Bettman Archive/Getty Images

I know people far prefer the “actually, we’re a good country and here’s why” take that shows up on Facebook around the 4th, but this feels like the right year to unapologetically say “America was never great.” (thanks for stopping by, I assume nobody will read the rest of this.)

To be clear: I believe both of those things. It’s possible, as it turns out. It’s basically what I’ve been saying in these annual essays the whole time. We weren’t ever as great as we tend to believe today; but we are a good country; but we must be better…

Dylan McDowell

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