TIME politics

The ‘Jorge Ramos Effect’ Could Hurt Donald Trump

A new study finds that watching Spanish-language news doubles the likelihood that Latinos will vote

Donald Trump may chalk up his scuffle with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos Tuesday night in Iowa as yet another win in taking on the media. When Ramos insisted on asking questions about Trump’s immigration proposal, Trump declared “Go back to Univision,” and security escorted Ramos out of the room. But for Latino voters, it’s much more meaningful. Jorge Ramos is not just another news anchor—he’s the most trusted source of information among Latinos, according to Latino Decisions polling during the 2012 election.

Donald Trump’s confrontation with Ramos is the latest example in a long list of actions that have antagonized Latino voters. In June, when he announced his intention to run in the GOP presidential primary, he suggested that the real threat to America was Mexicans crossing the border. Mexico is sending people with “lots of problems,” people who were “bringing drugs,” and people who were “rapists,” he said.

Since then, Trump has continued to make immigration issues a centerpiece of his campaign. He has proposed building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border and somehow making Mexico pay for it. He says he will deport all undocumented immigrants, including U.S.-born children, whom he plans to deport with their parents: “We’re going to keep the families together, but they have to go.” He also wants to deny U.S. citizenship to U.S.-born children.

It is precisely this anti-immigrant rhetoric that has resonated so profoundly among certain pockets of GOP voters and keeps Trump as their frontrunner. As Christopher Parker, associate professor of political science at the University of Washington, has written, “people who are highly identified with the Tea Party are anxious about Latino immigrants taking over ‘their’ country.”

Trump is clearly not popular among Latinos. A recent Gallup poll tracking the GOP candidates reports a net favorable score of negative 51. (The next lowest are Ted Cruz and Rick Perry at negative seven. Jeb Bush is the highest, with 11.) Attacking Ramos likely won’t help.

In a new academic research paper, I find that Spanish-language media plays an important role in socializing and mobilizing Latinos to vote, and that exposure to Spanish TV news significantly increases interest in voting and campaign involvement. (The opposite is true for Latinos who are frequent consumers of English news media.) The findings show that being a frequent consumer of Spanish-language news more than doubles a person’s likelihood of voting. We call this the “Jorge Ramos effect.”

For many Latinos, Spanish news media represents both a trusted source of information, as well as a socializing vehicle. Ramos is leading this effort, asking tough questions to politicians about the issues most important to the Latino community. In addition, he participates in an extensive public service announcement campaign called Ya es hora imploring Latinos to register and vote to make their voices heard.

According to the research findings, Spanish-language political news clearly mobilized Latino voters in 2012. The “Jorge Ramos effect” was present not only in heightened interest in voting, but also in direct engagement with campaigns. Research also finds a direct connection between Mitt Romney’s comments that undocumented immigrants should practice self-deportation and the record Latino voter turnout for Barack Obama in 2012. And let’s not forget the failed U.S. Senate campaign in Nevada by Republican Sharon Angle, whose campaign depicted Latino immigrants as gang members and criminals. A post-election analysis proved she won less than 10% of the Latino vote.

Running on anti-immigrant rhetoric and fighting with Ramos is unlikely to go without consequences for Mr. Trump. It may just spark Latino involvement in politics even earlier than expected in 2016.

Read next: Univision’s Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump

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TIME politics

History Indicates That Donald Trump’s Campaign Could Be Trouble for the Left

2016 U.S. Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Headquarters And Interview
Michael Nagle—Bloomberg / Getty Images Donald Trump speaks during a TV interview at the Trump Bar inside the Trump Tower in New York City, on Aug. 26, 2015.

Establishment Republicans aren't the only ones with reason to worry

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

Over the past month, as Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican nomination has captured national attention for his blowhard-y comments, personal insults, and rising poll numbers, liberal commentators have rejoiced. As long as the Trump train keeps rolling, the argument goes, Democrats emerge as the real victors as Republicans grow more fractious. Weeks ago when Trump signaled he would consider running as a third-party candidate if he failed to win the Republican nomination, it was music to the ears of the left. While it is true that a Trump independent run would guarantee a presidential victory for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the long-term damage Trump could cause for the Democratic Party could be severe.

Consider the past. In 1948, Strom Thurmond broke with the Democrats and ran as a third-party Dixiecrat against Harry Truman, who encouraged civil rights legislation and desegregated the military. Thurmond spoke for millions of people when he declared on May 10 in Jackson, Mississippi, “All the laws of Washington, and all the bayonets of the Army, cannot force the Negro into our homes, our schools, our churches, and our places of recreation.” Thurmond’s campaign was a nightmare for Truman and the Democratic establishment. Most thought the Republican nominee, Thomas Dewey, would win, but Truman squeaked out a close victory, no thanks to Thurmond who split the party. Thurmond won four southern states, but was trounced outside of the South. But in his loss, he gave a new, powerful voice to the radical right in the South – one that united white supremacy, anticommunism, and anti-New Deal sentiment into a unified ideology that undermined the liberal state over the next two decades.

Sixteen years later, Barry Goldwater secured the Republican nomination for President. He ran as an outsider, a conservative purist out of vogue with the moderate approach of the Republican leadership. But Goldwater captured the imagination of conservatives across the country, promising them a return to pure capitalism and traditional values. Lyndon Johnson hammered him in the presidential election, inspiring political commentators from the left and right to draw up the last will and testament of the Republican Party. But rather than its end, Goldwater’s loss cemented a new generation of conservative activists within the Republican Party, including Ronald Reagan. Goldwater’s loss underpinned a conservative resurgence.

In 1968, George Wallace ran as an independent presidential candidate, fanning the flames of racial hatred across the United States. Like Thurmond and Goldwater, Wallace lost by a wide margin, but he stoked fears and prejudices that still survive. Nixon tapped into these feelings as during his run too, but Wallace appealed to poor and lower middle-class whites in a way reminiscent of Strom Thurmond in 1948. In a television commercial, a voiceover asks, “Why are more millions and millions of Americans turning to Governor Wallace? Take a walk in your street or park tonight.” In the frame, a woman walks down a dark sidewalk, and someone shoots out the streetlight nearby. Appealing to white fears, Wallace linked together black criminality, urban rioting, communism, big government, and the alleged breakdown of traditional families into a powerful right-wing ideology that gripped American politics.

Trump’s candidacy is not without precedent. Similar campaigns have happened before, and the national media dismissed each at the time as insignificant. Democrats today would be wise to take Trump seriously. He won’t ever become President, but his impact on conservative America could run much deeper.

Sixty-five years ago, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., commenting in an article in the New York Times on “The Need for an Intelligent Opposition,” warned Democrats not to revel in the GOP’s troubles. “If a party becomes so feeble and confused that it turns into an object of public pity or contempt,” Schlesinger wrote, the result would be that “our whole political fabric suffers; the party itself disappears; and there is no guarantee that any new party which rises in its place will have a basic respect for constitutional processes and public order.” The same warning applies today.

T. Evan Faulkenbury is a PhD candidate in History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

TIME Greece

Greece’s Radical Ex-Finance Minister on Past, Present and Future of Greece

Yanis Varoufakis at a news conference following a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg on June 18, 2015.
Jasper Juinen—Bloomberg via Getty Images Yanis Varoufakis at a news conference following a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg on June 18, 2015.

Yanis Varoufakis answers questions from 9 leading academics on Greece and Europe

When Yanis Varoufakis was elected to parliament and then named as Greek finance minister in January, he embarked on an extraordinary seven months of negotiations with the country’s creditors and its European partners.

On July 6, Greek voters backed his hardline stance in a referendum, with a resounding 62% voting No to the European Union’s ultimatum. On that night, he resigned, after prime minister Alexis Tsipras, fearful of an ugly exit from the eurozone, decided to go against the popular verdict. Since then, the governing party, Syriza, has splintered and a snap election has been called. Varoufakis remains a member of parliament and a prominent voice in Greek and European politics.

When asked about Tsipras’s decision to trigger a snap election, inviting the Greek public to issue their judgement on his time in office, Varoufakis said:

If only that were so! Voters are being asked to endorse Alexis Tsipras’ decision, on the night of their majestic referendum verdict, to overturn it; to turn their courageous No into a capitulation, on the grounds that honouring that verdict would trigger a Grexit. This is not the same as calling on the people to pass judgement on a record of steadfast opposition to a failed economic programme doing untold damage to Greece’s social economy. It is rather a plea to voters to endorse him, and his choice to surrender, as a lesser evil.

The Conversation asked nine leading academics what their questions were for a man who describes himself as an “accidental economist”. His answers reveal regrets about his own approach during a dramatic 2015, a withering assessment of France’s power in Europe, fears for the future of Syriza, a view that Syriza is now finished, and doubts over how effective Jeremy Corbyn could be as leader of Britain’s Labour party.

Anton Muscatelli, University of GlasgowWhy was Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras persuaded to accept the EU’s pre-conditions around the third bailout discussions despite a decisive referendum victory for the No campaign; and is this the end of the road for the anti-austerity wing of Syriza in Greece?

Varoufakis: Tsipras’ answer is that he was taken aback by official Europe’s determination to punish Greek voters by putting into action German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s plan to push Greece out of the eurozone, redenominate Greek bank deposits in a currency that was not even ready, and even ban the use of euros in Greece. These threats, independently of whether they were credible or not, did untold damage to the European Union’s image as a community of nations and drove a wedge through the axiom of the eurozone’s indivisibility.

As you probably have heard, on the night of the referendum, I disagreed with Tsipras on his assessment of the credibility of these threats and resigned as finance minister. But even if I was wrong on the issue of the credibility of the troika’s threats, my great fear was, and remains, that our party, Syriza, would be torn apart by the decision to implement another self-defeating austerity program of the type that we were elected to challenge. It is now clear that my fears were justified.

Roy Bailey, University of EssexWas the surprise referendum of July 5 conceived as a threat point for the ongoing bargaining between Greece and its creditors and has the last year caused you to adjust how you think about Game Theory?

Varoufakis: I shall have to disappoint you Roy {Editor’s note: Roy Bailey taught Varoufakis at Essex and advised on his PhD}. As I wrote in a New York Times op-ed, Game Theory was never relevant. It applies to interactions where motives are exogenous and the point is to work out the optimal bluffing strategies and credible threats, given available information. Our task was different: it was to persuade the “other” side to change their motivation vis-à-vis Greece.

I represented a small, suffering nation in its sixth straight year of deep recession. Bluffing with our people’s fate would be irresponsible. So I did not. Instead, we outlined that which we thought was a reasonable position, consistent with our creditors’ own interests. And then we stood our ground. When the troika pushed us into a corner, presenting me with an ultimatum on June 25 just before closing Greece’s banking system down, we looked at it carefully and concluded that we had neither a mandate to accept it (given that it was economically non-viable) nor to decline it (and clash with official Europe). Instead we decided to do something terribly radical: to put it to the Greek people to decide.

Lastly, on a theoretical point, the “threat point” in your question refers to John Nash’s bargaining solution which is based on the axiom of non-conflict between the parties. Tragically, we did not have the luxury to make that assumption.

Cristina Flesher Fominaya, University of AberdeenThe dealings between Greece and the EU seemed more like a contest between democracy and the banks, than a negotiation between the EU and a member state. Given the outcome, are there any lessons that you would take from this for other European parties resisting the imperatives of austerity politics?

Varoufakis: Allow me to phrase this differently. It was a contest between the right of creditors to govern a debtor nation and the democratic right of the said nation’s citizens to be self-governed. You are quite right that there was never a negotiation between the EU and Greece as a member state of the EU. We were negotiating with the troika of lenders, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and a wholly weakened European Commission in the context of an informal grouping, the Eurogroup, lacking specific rules, without minutes of the proceedings, and completely under the thumb of one finance minister and the troika of lenders.

Moreover, the troika was terribly fragmented, with many contradictory agendas in play, the result being that the “terms of surrender” they imposed upon us were, to say the least, curious: a deal imposed by creditors determined to attach conditions which guarantee that we, the debtor, cannot repay them. So, the main lesson to be learned from the last few months is that European politics is not even about austerity. Or that, as Nicholas Kaldor wrote in The New Statesman in 1971, any attempt to construct a monetary union before a political union ends up with a terrible monetary system that makes political union much, much harder. Austerity and a hideous democratic deficit are mere symptoms.

Panicos Demetriades, University of LeicesterDid you ever think that your message was being diluted or becoming noisy, or even incoherent, by giving so many interviews?

Varoufakis: Yes. I have regretted several interviews, especially when the journalists involved took liberties that I had not anticipated. But let me also add that the “noise” would have prevailed even if I granted far fewer interviews. Indeed the media game was fixed against our government, and me personally, in the most unexpected and repulsive way. Wholly moderate and technically sophisticated proposals were ignored while the media concentrated on trivia and distortions. Giving interviews where I would, to some extent, control the content was my only outlet. Faced with an intentionally “noisy” media agenda that bordered on character assassination, I erred on the side of over-exposure.

Simon Wren-Lewis, University of OxfordMight it have been possible for a forceful France to have provided an effective counterweight to Germany in the Eurogroup, or did Germany always have a majority on its side?

Varoufakis: The French government feels that it has a weak hand. Its deficit is persistently within the territory of the so-called excessive deficit procedure of the European Commission, which puts Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, and France’s previous finance minister, in the difficult position of having to act tough on Paris under the watchful eye of Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister.

It is also true, as you say, that the Eurogroup is completely “stitched up” by Schäuble. Nevertheless, France had an opportunity to use the Greek crisis in order to change the rules of a game that France will never win. The French government has, thus, missed a major opportunity to render itself sustainable within the single currency. The result, I fear, is that Paris will soon be facing a harsher regime, possibly a situation where the president of the Eurogroup is vested with draconian veto powers over the French government’s national budget. How long, once this happens, can the European Union survive the resurgence of nasty nationalism in places like France?

Kamal Munir, University of CambridgeYou often implied that what went on in your meetings with the troika (the IMF, ECB and European Commission) was economics only on the surface. Deep down, it was a political game being played. Don’t you think we are doing a disservice to our students by teaching them a brand of economics that is so clearly detached from this reality?

Varoufakis: If only some economics were to surface in our meetings with the troika, I would be happy! None did.

Even when economic variables were discussed, there was never any economic analysis. The discussions were exhausted at the level of rules and agreed targets. I found myself talking at cross-purposes with my interlocutors. They would say things like: “The rules on the primary surplus specify that yours should be at least 3.5% of GDP in the medium term.” I would try to have an economic discussion suggesting that this rule ought to be amended because, for example, the 3.5% primary target for 2018 would depress growth today, boost the debt-to-GDP ratio immediately and make it impossible to achieve the said target by 2018.

Such basic economic arguments were treated like insults. Once I was accused of “lecturing” them on macroeconomics. On your pedagogical question: while it is true that we teach students a brand of economics that is designed to be blind to really-existing capitalism, the fact remains that no type of sophisticated economic thinking, not even neoclassical economics, can reach the parts of the Eurogroup which make momentous decisions behind closed doors.

Mariana Mazzucato, University of SussexHow has the crisis in Greece (its cause and its effects) revealed failings of neoclassical economic theory at both the micro and the macro level?

Varoufakis: The uninitiated may be startled to hear that the macroeconomic models taught at the best universities feature no accumulated debt, no involuntary unemployment and, indeed, no money (with relative prices reflecting a form of barter). Save perhaps for a few random shocks that demand and supply are assumed to quickly iron out, the snazziest models taught to the brightest of students assume that savings automatically turn into productive investment, leaving no room for crises.

It makes it hard when these graduates come face-to-face with reality. They are at a loss, for example, when they see German savings that permanently outweigh German investmentwhile Greek investment outweighs savings during the “good times” (before 2008) but collapses to zero during the crisis.

Moving to the micro level, the observation that, in the case of Greece, real wages fell by 40%but employment dropped precipitously, while exports remained flat, illustrates in Technicolor how useless a microeconomics approach bereft of macro foundations truly is.

Tim Bale, Queen Mary University of LondonDo you see any similarities between yourself and Jeremy Corbyn, who looks like he might win the (UK) Labour leadership, and do you think a left-wing populist party is capable of winning an election under a first-past-the-post system?

Varoufakis: The similarity that I feel at liberty to mention is that Corbyn and I, probably, coincided at many demonstrations against the Tory government while I lived in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, and share many views regarding the calamity that befell working Britons as power shifted from manufacturing to finance. However, all other comparisons must be kept in check.

Syriza was a radical party of the Left that scored a little more than 4% of the vote in 2009. Our incredible rise was due to the collapse of the political “centre” caused by popular discontent at a Great Depression due to a single currency that was never designed to sustain a global crisis, and by the denial of the powers-that-be that this was so.

The much greater flexibility that the Bank of England afforded to Gordon Brown’s and David Cameron’s British governments prevented the type of socio-economic implosion that led Syriza to power and, in this sense, a similarly buoyant radical left party is most unlikely in Britain. Indeed, the Labour Party’s own history, and internal dynamic, will, I am sure, constrain a victorious Jeremy Corbyn in a manner alien to Syriza.

Turning to the first-past-the-post system, had it applied here in Greece, it would have given our party a crushing majority in parliament. It is, therefore, untrue that Labour’s electoral failures are due to this system.

Lastly, allow me to urge caution with the word “populist”. Syriza did not put to Greek voters a populist agenda. “Populists” try to be all things to all people. Our promised benefits extended only to those earning less than £500 per month. If it wants to be popular, Labour cannot afford to be populist either.

Mark Taylor, University of WarwickWould you agree that Greece does not fulfil the criteria for successful membership of a currency union with the rest of Europe? Wouldn’t it be better if they left now rather than simply papering over the cracks and waiting for another Greek economic crisis to occur in a few years’ time?

Varoufakis: The eurozone’s design was such that even France and Italy could not thrive within it. Under the current institutional design only a currency union east of the Rhine and north of the Alps would be sustainable. Alas, it would constitute a union useless to Germany, as it would fail to protect it from constant revaluation in response to its trade surpluses.

Now, if by “criteria” you meant the Maastricht limits, it is of course clear that Greece did not fulfil them. But then again nor did Italy or Belgium. Conversely, Spain and Ireland did meet the criteria and, indeed, by 2007 the Madrid and Dublin governments were registering deficit, debt and inflation numbers that, according to the official criteria, were better than Germany’s. And yet when the crisis hit, Spain and Ireland sunk into the mire. In short, the eurozone was badly designed for everyone. Not just for Greece.

So should we cut our losses and get out? To answer properly we need to grasp the difference between saying that Greece, and other countries, should not have entered the eurozone, and saying now that we should now exit. Put technically, we have a case of hysteresis: once a nation has taken the path into the eurozone, that path disappeared after the euro’s creation and any attempt to reverse along that, now non-existent, path could lead to a great fall off a tall cliff.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME 2016 Election

What Donald Trump Doesn’t Explain About America

Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.

Jack Dickey is a reporter for TIME focused on culture and sports. He is also a contributor to Sports Illustrated.

To worry too much over Trump's alleged rise is to undersell the good work his omnipresence has inadvertently done

A bundle of political-journalism concerns (including this magazine) have in recent weeks dwelled on the apparent rise of Donald Trump, the political novice who has found himself atop several polls for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. The reasoning is simple enough: Trump, the thinking goes, has offended enough people on the campaign trail (and carries enough baggage from 30 years in the public eye) that his bid should have long ago lost whatever pulse it had; that he has, if anything, gained support surely signals an American irrationality worth investigating.

Do these analyses spend our time wisely? FiveThirtyEight says they don’t, with the first primary not until January, and with talking on the phone to a pollster having little in common with going to a voting booth. To wit: In August 2011, Michele Bachmann led in Iowa; she would finish sixth in the January caucuses. For its part, the Upshot contends that Trump’s polling lead is weakest (although still extant) among Republicans who have a history of actually voting in recent primaries. There’s reason beyond those metrics to doubt the significance of the Trump surge. He’s a bona fide celebrity in an awfully crowded field, giving him a natural but temporary advantage. When the herd thins and the runners-up of today find themselves with more airtime, Trump’s ubiquity will seem less imposing. In 1992, Pat Buchanan, whose platform looked a little like Trump’s, managed his strongest showing of all in the first primary, never matching the 38 percent he had in New Hampshire.

Then again, it’s dreary August, and, what—we’re supposed to fixate on baseball, when the greatest show on earth is on tour? The best way to experience the Trump 2016 campaign is to let it wash over you: to appreciate the silk ties, self-aggrandizing non sequiturs (“I have one of the great memories of all time,” he told The Hollywood Reporter) and celebrity feuds he still can’t put aside as a signature American grotesquerie—perhaps, indeed, one of the greatest of all time. Even if you find his scattershot positions or boorishness too noxious for amusement, you can change the channel or click over to another browser tab, reassured, with the Republican convention 11 months away, of just how little is at stake this summer, and how little his so-called support matters. (Though taking true under-one’s-skin offense at anything Trump says or does may give him too much credit.)

Truly analyzing Trump goes beyond the mere rubbernecking I just advocated, and it’s a tricky practice. The impulse that prompts such investigation is surely a good one—it treats, somewhat optimistically, the political process as an essentially pure expression of the people’s will. It declines to disregard opinion polls. The words of the humble rally-attender take on great importance in this world, while the elites for once have to pipe down and listen.

What, though, if the views a citizen (not even a voter, because no voting has happened yet) holds are insincere or likely to change? What if the rallies’ vox populi are simply a playback of what’s on cable news? What if he’s refreshing to voters the same way a bucket of ice a would be—on the ground in a hot second, melted in half an hour, and evaporated by nightfall? It would be shortsighted and futile here in August to let a celebrity entrepreneur tell us anything ostensibly meaningful about our national character, not least because there’s little reason to think those conclusions might be true.

But that hasn’t seemed to stop the presses. Far from it, to judge by among other works a feature in this week’s New Yorker. The magazine embeds with, chronicles and conflates two bands of Trump supporters (disaffected conservatives and white supremacists), never mind that they’re entirely distinct in size and motivation, to argue that Trump has illuminated and, worse, strengthened a long-dormant strain of American nativism. This view relies on that most liberal-arts stand-by—close reading—to tie Trump to the paranoid style identified long ago by Richard Hofstadter. Most felicitously for its premise, white nationalists come to endorse Trump’s campaign (so has David Duke), and one watching the debate in Cincinnati suggests Trump is actually dog-whistling to them. I don’t immediately comprehend how someone so relentlessly blunt could be perceived as a dog-whistler—it’s as though the metaphor was deployed by someone (say, an avowed white supremacist) whom a reader might suspect to be irrational.

How rewarding can close-reading Trump possibly be? He toggles between the impossibly vague (“Trade? We’re gonna fix it. Healthcare? We’re gonna fix it. Women’s health issues? We’re gonna fix it.”) and the especially literal (not only has he insisted he will build a wall along the entire border with Mexico, and that Mexico will pay for it, but he has said “I want it to be so beautiful because maybe someday they’re going to call it the Trump wall”). He said of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” What is hiding under that?

The fact that Trump spends more time in the hippy-dippy, rah-rah, make-our-country-great-again character than in Joe Arpaio mode would suggest, too, that a lot resonates with his supposed supporters before they even begin to consider his immigration stance. As one told focus-grouper Frank Luntz, “We know his goal is to make America great again. It’s on his hat.” Behold, yet another radicalized American.

If Trump has done anything even semi-permanent—if he has done anything at all—he has disrupted the campaign choreography designed long ago and implemented anew each election cycle by the immovable professional political class and the shadowy donors who pay their salaries. He has haphazardly but valuably spoken about the toxicity of money in politics—a protest worth staging now more than ever.

To fret too much over Trump’s alleged rise, and even pathologize it, is to undersell the good work his omnipresence has done, however inadvertently, in undermining a broken political system. The great challenge ahead, to be sure, comes in rebuilding it. Anyone know a good builder?

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Marketing Lessons From Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign

Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.

What you see is what you get

Donald Trump has taken over the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign. Whether you agree or disagree with him, there’s no denying that his candidacy has been a powerful force in the race and has commanded a great deal of media attention.

Time will tell whether Trump’s campaign will be successful in winning the nomination, but he’s already been very successful at generating headlines. Despite his brash demeanor and highly questionable (some would say “hateful” or “stupid”) statements, as of this writing, Trump just keeps rising in the polls.

Regardless of what happens with Trump’s presidential campaign, he’s already a winner in the constant battle for public attention. Here are a few marketing lessons from Trump that any brand or political cause can emulate:

1. Know your audience

Donald Trump doesn’t care if you love him or hate him. He’s playing to a very select crowd of voters who believe in his message and who want to support him. There’s something about Trump’s tough-talking “I don’t care what the experts think” attitude that appeals to Republican primary voters in 2015. Lots of Republican primary voters are feeling frustrated and are passionate to take back the White House. Trump is giving voice to feelings that are widely shared in that political party.

In the same way, your brand doesn’t have to appeal to “everyone.” Know your target market and speak to their concerns in a relevant way.

2. Know your brand

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump knows who he is. The Trump that we’re seeing on the campaign trail is well known to New Yorkers (I’m a native New Yorker myself). We have watched him for decades become famous as a New York real estate developer, bestselling author and TV reality-show contest business mogul on “The Apprentice.” Trump hasn’t changed. He’s just talking about politics now instead of business deals. But he’s always been bold and brassy, with a take-no-prisoners attitude.

The lesson: Your brand needs to stand for something. Lots of people are not fans of Trump, but even people who oppose his candidacy find themselves grudgingly admiring the consistency of his brand message. What you see is what you get.

3. Be audacious

Trump has said a lot of outrageous things during the campaign, from inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants to accusing John McCain of not being a “war hero,” but every new media gaffe or media whirlwind just seems to boost his performance in the polls. The reason: Trump’s core supporters respect him for speaking his truth, even if he’s not saying it in a polite, genteel way.

Most political candidates are so polished and focus-grouped that it’s almost impossible for their real feelings and emotions to come out. Trump is in your face, every day, with unvarnished depictions of life as he sees it. He’s not afraid of what anyone thinks about him, and it shows.

The lesson: Don’t be afraid to really stand for something as a brand, even if it’s controversial. Too many companies try to be blandly inoffensive in a failed attempt to be “mainstream” and appeal to “everyone.” It’s better to be memorable, even if you lose some customers who don’t “get it,” as long as you keep appealing to the niche market of customers who love you the most.

4. Trust yourself

Trump doesn’t follow focus groups. All candidates these days test out their message, trying to find the right combination of words and issues to appeal to the right demographic segments of voters. But often, candidates end up sounding excessively “focus-grouped.” The real human connection of the candidate gets lost in trying to appeal to too many people. Trump seems to be resonating with conservative Republican voters because he’s so unrehearsed and unpolished — he’s not afraid to speak off the cuff. Every day on the campaign seems like he’s just really talking about whatever is most urgently on his mind at that moment.

The same goes with your product. It’s good to do some market research to find out whether a new product is viable, but it’s even more important to trust that you have a good idea. If you feel that way, trust that others will feel the same. I’ve seen so many great ideas become convoluted and watered down, when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. If you try to make your product appealing to everyone, you’ll ultimately end up appealing to no one.

5. No apologies

Trump is like no one else we’ve seen in presidential politics in recent years. He seems to have absolutely no sense of regret or shame. He says what he says, he calls it like he sees it, and then he moves on, ignoring the critics. Has Trump ever apologized for anything? He seems incapable of admitting to mistakes or being wrong.

This raises an interesting question for your brand: when should you apologize? If a customer has a bad experience with your product, should you apologize? Or should you just give them a refund and move on, writing it off as “Well, they’re not the right kind of customer for us?” If someone is offended by or misunderstands something your company posts on Twitter, should you apologize? Should you ignore the critics, or try to learn from them?

It’s hard to know when to draw the line. If you apologize too often, you’ll find yourself catering too much to customers who really don’t understand the value of what you offer. But if you don’t apologize when an apology was really warranted, you might damage your brand. You have to toe the line between maintaining your brand reputation and doing the right thing. Don’t spend all of your energy on trying to make bad customers happy.

Trump embodies the purity of a certain kind of bold, no-apologies approach to doing business. He’s almost Zen-like in his clear-headed refusal to get bogged down in details of saying “sorry.” He just keeps moving forward and on to the next deal. There’s something so refreshing about that, but not all brands can pull it off.

Whether you’re voting for Trump or not, there’s no denying that he’s a fascinating one-of-a-kind figure in American politics and business. You don’t have to become like Trump to learn from how he’s marketed himself and built his brand.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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TIME psychology

Understanding Prisoner’s Dilemma Can Help Bridge Liberal and Conservative Differences

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Despite political differences, there are ways to build common ground by drawing on their respective moral concerns

In my social psychology class, I pose an extra credit question where students choose between having two points or six points added onto their final term paper grade, with the stipulation that if more than 10% of the class chooses six points, no one gets any points.

This exercise is a classroom demonstration of the commons dilemma, and similar to the prisoner’s dilemma. Essentially, people are forced to choose between what would maximize their personal outcomes (more points) and what would be best for the group as a whole (fewer points).

It’s worth noting that this exercise was developed 25 years ago. I first learned it from my college psychology professor Steve Drigotas over a decade ago. I have been using it since 2008.

But recently, after a student of mine tweeted the dilemma of the extra credit question, it went viral in a way that I had never expected. So why is it only now starting to resonate with so many people worldwide? And why are people connecting this exercise to concerns about greed or selfishness?

The prisoner’s dilemma

Let’s analyze this class exercise. At first glance, it would seem that the obvious choice would be to pick two points – for then, everyone is sure to get the points.

But this requires a great deal of social trust. And that is not always apparent between strangers.

Thus, some students choose six points (greater than 10% of students in all of my classes have done so, except one class which hit 10% exactly). In fact, I would argue, picking six is a “rational” choice, because the likelihood of your own choice directly affecting the group is very small.

Now let’s look at the big picture.

Imagine if everyone in a group uses this line of “rational” reasoning. Then everyone would proceed to behave in a way that maximizes their own lot. The point here is that choosing six is “rational,” but only when we consider how individual actions impact the group.

In the aggregate, when thousands (or millions) of people behave this way, the consequences are disastrous.

This exercise is analogous to real-world behavior involving consumption of public resources (water, food, oil, electricity, etc). The “rational” mindset is how we end up with overharvesting, water or food shortages, pollution, climate change, etc.

What the exercise revealed

It’s important to note that most students in my class (around 80% each semester) end up choosing two points. While many students choose the “rational” six-point option, they are still in the minority.

I believe this is because most people do understand the importance of being communal. In other words, most people are happy to behave in a way that benefits others around them.

Here’s a real-world example at work: Honest Tea gave people the opportunity to pay for tea using the “honor system.” People can choose to take a bottle of tea without paying (the selfish option), or voluntarily pay for their tea by putting money into a jar (the communal option).

Again, the “rational” choice is to take the tea without paying. But a majority of people pay for their tea, even if they don’t have to.

Why is it so? Humans are prosocial creatures – which means they like to help each other.

That most students chose the prosocial option in my class is notable. It inspires me and gives me hope for the future. However, the fight is not over, and we still need to reduce excessive consumption.

People crave reciprocity

So, learning from this exercise, how can we increase cooperation on a mass scale?

Psychological science may provide some potential solutions.

One of the biggest theoretical developments in moral psychology in recent years has been Moral Foundations Theory, which suggests that there are several intuitive systems that feed into our judgments of right and wrong.

One of these is a concern about fairness/cheating.

People crave reciprocity with others. If someone does us a favor, we feel compelled to repay the kindness: or if they hurt us, we crave revenge.

Fairness manifests in justice and equality (eg, right to a fair trial), and in principles like the “Golden Rule” (treating people the same way you want them to treat you).

Another moral virtue is in-group loyalty.

Every community and nation has important symbols of unity (eg, the national flag), songs, pledges of allegiance, legends and monuments to its founders, sacred documents (eg, the Constitution), and institutions designed for the group’s protection (eg, the military).

In recent history, liberals have tended to strongly emphasize the importance of fairness and justice in building a strong society.

Consider the equal rights movements for African Americans, women, and LGBTQ folks, especially in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling. Liberals are fighting to close wage gaps, end discrimination, and promote equal rights.

In contrast, conservatives have tended to emphasize the importance of group loyalty. Consider the emphasis on keeping America strong, protecting the homeland from foreign threats, bolstering the military and respecting national symbols like the flag.

Challenges outside the classroom

So how do these moral virtues apply to the commons dilemma game?

Well, if you want the extra points, you’re relying on other people to cooperate. So, think about the ethic of fairness.

Pick the same choice that you would want others to take. Let your own desires for others’ behavior guide your own personal decisions – if you want others to choose two points, you should do the same.

Additionally, if you want your group (eg, your school, your community) to thrive, you must personally contribute. If you care about the health and the spirit of your culture, that sentiment must be reflected in your own actions.

If we consider the ethic of group loyalty, then choosing two points is not only cooperative, it’s patriotic. Making a conscious effort to limit one’s consumption of resources (by using less water, for example) is a duty to the flags, symbols and pledges of allegiance that unite us.

Outside of the classroom setting, there are environmental problems that must be solved, and there are moral virtues that can help bridge across the ideological aisle.

While liberals and conservatives may differ in their perspectives on political issues, there are ways to build common ground by drawing on their respective moral concerns.

Solving the world’s problems

Fairness and loyalty are two different paths toward reining in selfishness and making cooperation more possible.

If we can harness the power of these moral virtues together, we just might have a shot at solving some of the world’s toughest ecological problems.

A case in point is the Pentagon. Usually in charge of military matter, it now considers climate change a national security threat.

In order to combat climate change, we need to use all the tools available in our moral toolkit. Everyone must sacrifice for the common good of preserving our great nation, and it is essential that we view our neighbors as equal partners in this endeavor.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME politics

Hamilton Is the Broadway Hip-Hop Musical Every Political Leader Should See

Painting of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), American politician, by John Trumbull.
DeAgostini/Getty Images Painting of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), American politician, by John Trumbull.

It reminds us once again of the power of reason and of words in the political realm

What do the new Broadway hip-hop musical “Hamilton” and Europe’s debt crisis have in common? A great deal, actually.

“Hamilton,” which opened on Aug. 6, celebrates the life and public career of one of our nation’s greatest statesmen, Alexander Hamilton, our first Secretary of the Treasury under President George Washington and the lead author of the most important and influential commentary on the Constitution, The Federalist.

European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras, who squared off recently over the latter’s desperate need for another bailout, should book front-row seats, because “Hamilton” has important lessons for them about debt and government.

Hamilton’s stroke of genius

Hamilton was instrumental in transforming the United States into a true nation, in particular by his policies and actions as treasury secretary, and the musical conveys the scope and drama of his achievement.

One of Hamilton’s most brilliant and successful policies was to have the federal government assume the Revolutionary War debts of the states, which it did in 1790.

Hamilton recognized that the United States would be better able than individual states to make regular payments on those debts and ultimately to retire them. Further, he recognized that the government could use the debt as a means to stimulate economic growth, bolster the strength of the new nation’s currency and shore up its honor in the community of nations – by showing that the U.S. would meet its obligations.

One key insight also drove Hamilton’s policy. He saw that consolidating state debts into a single national pool would require a single national policy. No longer would the United States be plagued by divergent or conflicting state policies. Hamilton ensured that his plan would promote national unity.

To this day, scholars of American constitutional and legal history like us, who try hard to maintain their objectivity in interpreting the past, find it difficult not to admire Hamilton’s constitutional, legal, economic and political creativity. And rarely have Hamilton and his policies seemed more relevant than today, particularly for Europe as it struggles to prevent Greece’s debt crisis from ripping apart the eurozone and potentially the European Union.

A clash of nations

In this crisis, we see individual European nations clashing with one another.

Germany and its supporters have insisted on imposing strict austerity measures on Greece in exchange for a third bailout needed to prevent the collapse of the Greek economy – even at the price of stripping Greece of its sovereign power to determine the structure and workings of its economy and society.

Some even charge Merkel with seeking to turn Greece into a colonial satellite by means of Germany’s economic clout, as it did with its military might during World War II.

Nor have Greece’s political leaders played innocent roles. By holding a referendum on the E.U.’s proposed bailout for Greece, Tsipras and his government sought to blackmail Merkel into abandoning her demands for austerity by asking for reparations for the Nazis’ occupation of Greece and implying current leaders are bent on ignoring Greek democracy and the democratically expressed wishes of the Greek people.

Tsipras refused to follow the consensus-building rules by which the E.U. has governed itself. In our view, his embrace of populist, hardball politics has done serious harm to the mechanisms of European governance, risking destroying them.

Preventing destructive political conflicts

In the 1790s, by contrast, the federal government’s assumption of state debts under Hamilton’s guidance prevented similar destructive political conflicts in the early United States.

When Hamilton proposed his plan to bolster the nation’s public credit, he did so within the context of a constitutional system in which there was a general government, at least arguably supreme in certain spheres of activity over the states. In addition, it was within the context of a union that many Americans saw as necessary to their new independence and ability to create a nation and maintain their liberties.

Vigorous, contentious debates within Congress and the public could thus unfold without threatening to burst the Union or the Constitution – even though some states, which had already paid their Revolutionary War debts, resented that the federal government would relieve other states of their burdens.

Lessons for Europe

Did Hamilton and other founding fathers of the United States behave better than Europeans today?

To be sure, political leaders at all times and in all places will do what they must to please supporters and constituents who place their selfish fears and interests ahead of the need to maintain rational government. By contrast with most of his contemporaries, Hamilton’s defiant candor, which sometimes amounted to tactlessness, often made him and his policies more enemies than friends.

Even so, Hamilton understood, as did most politicians of his time, that the way to avoid irrational politics was to create governmental structures for a federal republic that channeled decision-making in productive directions.

In helping to create the first system of national politics, Hamilton and other founding fathers devised a system that forced voters who wanted to make effective and constructive political choices to unite behind centrist candidates and to make binary choices between partisan alternatives.

A case in point is the election of 1800, when voters rejected many of Hamilton’s domestic and foreign policies, elected his archrival Thomas Jefferson to the presidency and gave the Jeffersonian Republicans control of Congress. This result testifies further to the wisdom of the system that Hamilton helped create in Philadelphia in 1787. That system often showed its ability to contain and damp down heated disagreement over major policy issues.

Indeed, one aspect of the 1800 election that showed the Constitution’s strength and resiliency was the peaceful transfer of power from the Federalists to the Republicans, when President John Adams stepped down from office after losing, making way for Jefferson to become the third president. Behind the scenes, Hamilton urged his fellow Federalists not to block Jefferson’s election, though he admitted his dislike of Jefferson and his political views.

An end to blackmail and conquest

The Greek debt crisis is only the latest problem demonstrating the need to create European political structures that can prevent games of blackmail and conquest and give citizens the political power to attain the economy and society they desire.

Europeans themselves are aware of the need for such strengthening and reform. As the European Commission’s 2015 report “Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union” (EMU) notes:

A complete EMU is not an end in itself. It is a means to create a better and fairer life for all citizens, to prepare the Union for future global challenges and to enable each of its members to prosper.

Hamilton’s career, and the American founding experience in general, offer insight as to how those structures might be built.

Statesmen such as the late Jean Monnet – considered the founding father of the European Union – and modern scholars such as British political philosopher Larry Siedentop have often invoked the American example as a model for a United States of Europe, or of a European Union beyond what we see today.

While recognizing that ethnicity, religion and national heritage may serve as barriers to such a union, these scholars and statesmen have argued for a rational recognition among Europeans of their many shared interests. That step would help to replace self-interested and bitter squabbling among nation-states with a rational means of controlling nationalist resentments, emotions and suspicions.

In the U.S. founding era (comprising the years from the 1760s through the 1830s), even though the early states had few sensible reasons to remain separate and many good reasons to coalesce, suspicions, jealousies and resentments comparable to those plaguing Europe today reigned.

These suspicions and resentments, and Americans’ fears of a too-powerful general government, were so strong that, during the framing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, the delegates to the Federal Convention specifically crossed out the words “nation” or “national” from the working draft. Even so, they created a government strong enough to protect national interests while checked and balanced enough to safeguard democratic governance and individual rights.

Lessons for the U.S.

Not only Europeans could learn a thing or two about rational political decision-making from the new musical “Hamilton.” Americans, also plagued today by a vicious, bitter, either/or form of political conflict, could benefit from the lessons of Hamilton and the other founding fathers.

Those who see “Hamilton” will gain a renewed appreciation for the need to preserve rationality in American politics. The musical’s presentation of complex and difficult policy disputes between Hamilton and Jefferson as well-staged, well-written rap battles shows how words and arguments matter. The show’s author, Lin-Manuel Miranda, recognizes the power of words not only in his use of hip-hop and rap forms but in his close attention to getting the substance of his rap lyrics right.

The play is pervaded by one great insight: the power of language and reason. That power not only enables Miranda’s Hamilton to transcend his humble roots and vault into political leadership of the Revolution and of the creation of an American constitutional republic, it also enables all the founding fathers who appear in the show – Hamilton, Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Burr – to order the American political world with words.

“Hamilton” reminds us once again of the power of reason and of words in the political realm, and of the need for reason to anchor that political world and to direct its course.

Perhaps “Hamilton” might persuade Americans who see it, whether conservative or progressive, of the foolishness of hardball politics and of the need to nurture institutions that promote compromise and to accept it as a legitimate means of getting political things done.

It may convince people that their leaders cannot satisfy every interest demanding satisfaction, and it also may emphasize the need to show respect to their opponents as well as to the values by which those opponents live.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME politics

The Price and Promise of Hillary Clinton’s Wobbly Summer

Hillary Clinton
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, listens during her introduction at an event in Ankeny, Iowa, on Aug. 26, 2015.

Joe Klein is TIME's political columnist and author of six books, most recently Politics Lost. His weekly TIME column, "In the Arena," covers national and international affairs.

The Clintons have always been a high-wire act

On Aug. 18, on a bare indoor basketball court in North Las Vegas, Nev., Hillary Clinton held a press conference. It lasted 10 minutes, and it wasn’t pretty. Almost all the questions were about the controversy of the moment: her private email server and whether she used it to send or receive classified information. She seemed frustrated by the grilling, a bit testy, and at one point, when Ed Henry of Fox asked her if she had “wiped” the server, she flashed sarcastic: “You mean, with a cloth?” It was noted that she was wearing–insert giggles here–an orange (is the new black) pantsuit.

And then the extrapolation began: Clinton was on the ropes, she was slipping in the polls, she was obfuscating, she was being legalistic, a classic Clinton misdemeanor. Her trustworthiness numbers had gone south; she was losing in battleground states against people like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Donald Trump was actually beating her–by a slim digit–in Michigan. A white knight, Vice President Joe Biden, loomed to save the Democratic Party from this embarrassment.

Clinton has seemed rather wobbly this summer to a new generation of journalists–and citizens–who know only the myth of the Clintons: a brilliant, undefeatable political juggernaut. But the Clintons have always been a high-wire act. There have always been press conferences like the one in Las Vegas; there have always been crises like the server–indeed, some have been much worse. Many Americans first met Hillary Clinton when she seemed to dismiss women who “stayed home and baked cookies.” Many Americans met her for the second time in a 60 Minutes interview, defending her philandering husband and saying she wasn’t just some little Tammy Wynette standing by her man. The Clintons, in essence, were the Donald Trumps of their time: you just didn’t say, or do, the things they said and did, and survive in American politics. You didn’t have bimbo eruptions. You didn’t get caught trying to avoid military service. And for a time it seemed the press was right: in the spring of 1992, Bill Clinton had locked up the Democratic nomination but was running third behind George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot. He was pretty much a laughingstock, but three months later, Perot was toast and Clinton had rebirthed himself by naming young, dynamic Al Gore as his running mate.

So if you’re Hillary and you’re fretting through a hostile press conference in Vegas, here’s what’s going through your mind: Here we go again. Another cycle of dust and blather to be endured … and I sure hope I didn’t put anything stupid on that server … and if it turns out that something minimally or temporarily classified–my itinerary for the Pakistan trip–was erased, how much of a problem is that?

Smart politicians have a different sense of chronology than journalists. They are not concerned with “winning the day” or the week. They know that the memory of the public is an eyelash in the wash of time. When the Monica Lewinsky story broke, I watched esteemed colleagues predict the imminent defenestration of Bill Clinton. Clinton figured he could wait it out, and he did. By the time he admitted what the true nature of is was–and boy, was that embarrassing!–the public had moved on. Why? Because he had balanced the budget and the economy was rocking along, and we were at peace in the world. His approval rating was above 60%, far higher than those in the press and Republican Party trying to get him.

And so, if you are–say–Bill Clinton and you are looking at the state of your wife’s campaign on Labor Day 2015, you might evaluate it this way: Well, it hasn’t been a terrific summer, but it could have been worse. Donald Trump has been a blessing, soaking up all the attention and outrage as Hillary stumbled about trying to find her comfort zone. Bernie Sanders has been a blessing too. Yes, he’s been drawing big crowds, but he’s still calling himself a socialist–how silly and self-defeating is that?–while mostly taking standard liberal reform positions that Hillary can sand down and make acceptable to moderates. She’s already doing it on financial reform and college tuition.

If you’re Hillary Clinton, it’s good news that the left wing of the party has had a summer safety valve; it’s probably better news that Joe Biden is thinking about getting in. Biden will only split the anti-Hillary vote; and there are the legions of teachers, single moms, the blacks and Latino women who latch on to her ever more strongly when it appears she’s being picked on or held to a higher standard by men. Plus, there’s always the advantage that comes from wingnut overreach–the smug of war, the same sort of people who accused her in 1994 of complicity in Vince Foster’s suicide or making a fortune off of Whitewater (she lost money). They inevitably blow so much hot air into their balloons–think Benghazi–that they explode in their faces or whiz off into the ether, trivial and incomprehensible.

But does that mean there is nothing to worry about? Hardly. Hillary Clinton is a tough politician but not an especially artful one. There is the eternal problem of her standoffish paranoia, the instinct to walk out of the North Las Vegas gym instead of just taking questions until some marginally responsible journalist gets bored and decides to change the subject.

It is a mistake she has made throughout her public life, from Whitewater to the email server: Why didn’t she turn it over months ago? The same can be said–and more seriously–about the Clinton Foundation: Why did she allow it to accept contributions from foreign governments when she was Secretary of State? And why does she meet the press so infrequently if there isn’t, as she insists, something to hide?

I got a glimpse of how Clinton wants to portray herself in July, when she responded on the record to her husband’s contention that years ago, she didn’t want to run for office, that she saw herself as “too aggressive and nobody will ever vote for me.”

“True story,” she told me. “Bill always saw his future in politics. I saw myself as more of an activist than a politician, working for the Children’s Defense Fund … That’s how I thought I’d contribute.”

In the Democratic Party, the job of “activist” is nearly as sanctified as “community organizer.” It is a good move, in a primary, to identify yourself as such. But there are contradictions. Why does Hillary the “activist” seem so much a pol when it comes to saying yea or nay on the Keystone XL pipeline? And on the plus side: How many “activists” are willing to be as tough and candid with the Black Lives Matter group–the video of her confrontation with them, her refusal to gloss over complex issues of race and class, was her finest moment of the campaign. It was about the only time she didn’t seem rote.

But there have been too few fine moments, and a new stage of the campaign begins now. The GOP field is about to contract. Donald Trump’s 25% or so won’t seem so formidable–or newsworthy–when the race gets down to Trump plus Jeb Bush and player to be named later. There will still be the rush of garbage thrown her way. The press will assume the worst–she’s earned that over time–and the public will not take the trouble to hash through the complexities.

But the public will watch for the simple things: a clear answer on Keystone, the candor to tell young black activists painful truths. She can do this, if she chooses to–the mystery is why she doesn’t more often.

This appears in the September 07, 2015 issue of TIME.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME South Sudan

South Sudan President Signs Peace Deal With Rebels

Salva Kiir Riek Machar sudan
AP South Sudan's President Salva Kiir, left, shakes hands with rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar after signing an agreement at the end of talks in Arusha, Tanzania on Jan. 21, 2015.

President Salva Kirr has been under immense pressure to sign the deal

(JUBA, South Sudan) — South Sudan President Salva Kiir has signed a peace deal with rebels, after 20 months since the start of fighting between loyalist forces and rebels led by his former deputy.

Kiir signed the agreement in Juba, the South Sudan capital, in a ceremony witnessed by regional leaders on Wednesday. Kiir’s opponent, former Deputy President Riek Machar, signed the agreement last week in Ethiopia but Kiir asked for more time to consult supporters.

Kiir has been under intense international pressure to sign the agreement mediated by a group of neighboring states, with the U.S. threatening new U.N. sanctions if he failed to do so.

The agreement binds Kiir into a power-sharing arrangement with Machar, whose dismissal in July 2013 sparked a political crisis that later boiled over into a violent rebellion.


Scotland’s First Minister Helped a Man Propose to his Boyfriend

Nicola Sturgeon popped the question on the man's behalf

Nicola Sturgeon took a break from being Scotland’s First Minister by helping a man named Paul propose to his boyfriend, Ian, during a public meeting in the Scottish town of Oban.

The proposal, which was documented on her Twitter account, shows Sturgeon popping the question on the behalf of Paul, who was bent down on one knee.

Thankfully for all, a happy-looking Ian said yes, prompting Sturgeon to offer her congratulations to the couple.

On Wednesday, Sturgeon retweeted a picture of Ian’s engagement ring to her 200,000 followers.

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