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New Republic July Issue: The New Paranoia

New York, NY (June 8, 2017) — From conspiracy theories on the left to the growing fear associated with the current administration, the July issue of the New Republic delivers an explainer for the nation’s growing paranoia—and how distorted information has provided a false semblance of relief during a time of instability and uncertainty.

“The American left faces a pivotal choice as it enters the age of Trump,” says Eric Bates, the magazine’s editor. “Will it continue to ground its political discourse in fact and reason? Or will it take a page from the right’s playbook, succumbing to conspiracy thinking and political fantasy? In a time of fear and anxiety, it’s imperative that we take stock of the growing tendency among liberals to favor reaction over reason.”


Colin Dickey pens July’s cover story, “The New Paranoia.” Although the right has long been an incubator for conspiracy theories, Dickey observes, since the election the left has “begun to rival Trump himself as a breeding ground for sinister musings and crackpot accusations ... using Twitter to gestate and market-test the most outlandish forms of political insanity.” With conspiracy thinking permeating into the mainstream, Dickey delves deeply into the roots of the paranoid mindset. “Liberals are human beings,” he writes, “and human beings get rattled when they’re afraid. If the left is succumbing to conspiracy theories, it’s because conspiracy theories are a way to manage anxiety.”   

In “The Silence of the Lambs,” Kathryn Joyce provides a heartbreaking look into widespread sexual abuse within evangelical churchesa crisis that could prove larger than the scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church. Through vivid storytelling and deep investigation, Joyce recounts the abuse that one teenage girl endured at the hands of an evangelical missionary—and the church cover up that allowed him to continue preying on children for decades.

With many observers comparing Donald Trump to Richard Nixon, Kevin Baker presents a compelling case for why Trump more closely resembles a different—and more dangerous —president. In “Trail of Fears,” Baker explores the parallels between Trump and Andrew Jackson, who entered the White House of a wave of populism, and used his power to deport people of color and exploit the presidency for personal gain. The result is a timely glimpse into the devastating consequences when our system of constitutional checks and balances breaks down, allowing a president to place his own financial and political interests above the rule of law.

Featuring photographs by Chris De Bode, July’s photo essay, “One Meal A Day,” spotlights the hardships faced by refugees who have fled to Cameroon because of climate change and Boko Haram. Constant drought, combined with government limits on farming designed to deter insurgents, have led to mass starvation in the region. “These images do not ask us to look into their eyes and see ourselves,” Lisa Palmer writes in her introduction. “They ask us to look at the emptiness of their bowls and reflect on the fullness of our own. We see their hunger through what little they have. We measure their suffering in the most universal unit of all: a single meal.”


In Up Front this month, managing editor Laura Reston argues that Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey is simply the latest salvo in his war on oversight in “Blocking the Detectives.” By not fully staffing the government with inspectors general, Reston writes, Trump has shielded himself and his administration from accountability. Max Rivlin-Nadler details how Trump has hurt the graduate student unionization movement in “Trump the Union Buster.” In “Don’t Get Met—It Pays,” David Dayen examines Trump’s reliance on executive orders—and details one particular memo that appears to have directly benefitted one of Trump’s corporate backers, MetLife. And Mary Pilon, in “Life At Trump Pavilion,” visits the nursing home in Queens that bears the president’s name, and discusses the impact Trump’s budget and the GOP’s health care plan may have on elderly Americans who rely on Medicaid for long-term care. 

Featured Columns include John B. Judis on why Donald Trump’s “preoccupation with personal loyalty—even more than incompetence, stupidity, or corruption—could be the thing that wrecks his presidency.” In “Family First LLC,” Adele M. Stan comments on the archaic institution that is the first family—and how Trump has made it even worse. The Trump family, Stan observes, is a reflection of the worst parts of America, “a version in which capitalism deforms all relationships, twisting everyone and everything to serve its basest needs.” 


We often view thought leaders as the arbiters of knowledge and trustworthy voices in a world full of “influencers.” But in “The Rise of the Thought Leader,” David Sessions presents the damning evidence against this new class of public thinkers and the wealthy who empower them. Analyzing Daniel Drezner’s The Idea’s Industry, Sessions provides additional insight into how the superrich fund many of today’s thought leaders, whose true role is to promote the views and interests of the one percent.

Mychal Denzel Smith, in “A Grief Observed,” sheds light on the pressures and expectations placed on black families following the racially charged death of a loved one. With the release of two new books written by the parents of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, Smith comments on a new subgenre that highlights how black grief is used as a political tool to spark social activism. While the relatives of white victims have a choice in how they mourn, black families are not afforded the same consideration, on their own terms.   

Also in Review this month: Rachel Syme explores how Georgia O’Keeffe’s personal style served as an extension of her work, based on an exhibit dedicated to the artist currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum. In “Invincible Reason, Edward Hirsch reviews a new biography on Czeslaw Milosz that reveals how the poet “became a political thinker who didn’t like politics, a memoirist who distrusted confessional literature, a poet who believed that the task of poetry surpassed being a witness.” Kyle Chayka explores how Monocle magazine helped shape the rise of a global consumer elite in “Nowhere Mag.Kazim Ali contributes this month’s poem, “Text Cloud Anthology,” and Backstory features an image by Spanish photographer Griselda San Martin. 

On the podcast: For the next episode of Primary Concerns (out Friday, June 9th), senior editor and host Brian Beutler will be joined by Ron Klain (lawyer and former Chief of Staff for Al Gore and Joe Biden) to discuss James Comey’s testimony.  

The July issue of the New Republic hits newsstands Thursday, June 8th.

For additional information, please contact Steph Leke