Taylor Swift, Donald Trump and an America That Confounds the World

Taylor Swift, Donald Trump and an America That Confounds the World

Donald Trump
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Here’s where to find all our Oceania coverage.______After Taylor Swift sang “Bad Blood” and “Gorgeous, ” before the trapeze artists appeared, while the fireworks were bright and the rain was still bucketing down, I smiled and thought: This is so American.That was last Friday, when she performed in Sydney at ANZ Stadium. I was there with my young daughter and son, and it’s not the first time I’ve contemplated what pop music could teach my kids about the United States.As I wrote when they were toddlers in Mexico, “our ears pull in the first lessons of culture, ” and America’s greatest appeal can often be found in the sounds showing off the country’s carefree creative exuberance.Friday’s concert, though, came at a serious time: just a few days before the American midterm elections that determined control of Congress. And what I saw in Taylor Swift’s no-holds-barred extravaganza (even though I’m a middling fan of her music) was some important context for all of us trying to figure out what on earth is going on in the U.S. of A.What it told me ....

No place that can produce Childish Gambino and Taylor Swift, or Lady Gaga and Cardi B, will ever be easy to control.President Trump received a form of that message with Tuesday’s election results.
Despite structural barriers that favor Republicans in many states (from gerrymandered districts to voter ID restrictions), the House of Representatives flipped to the Democrats.The Republicans added seats in the Senate but the results will no doubt lead to more pressure for the president and more open political conflict.House leaders have already signaled that they plan to use their subpoena power to demand more from Mr. Trump (including his tax returns) while the president has threatened that he would retaliate with investigations of his own.But before the battle gets going, let’s take a breath and ask: What do the results tell us about the country on a deeper level?A few things to look at:1. District Maps: This New York Times map shows which parts of the country shifted to the left and to the right compared to 2016. The leftward tilt was pretty widely dispersed.2. .

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