Tired of Winning


American Dispatches by Richard Cooke

American politics and society has rarely, if ever, been as tumultuous as it is today. In his weekly dispatch, Richard Cooke observes and explores American life in the run-up to the crucial November midterm elections.

Losing the plot: the American midterms

Caravan conspiracies, dead candidates and a miasma of acrimony … welcome to the 2018 US campaign trail

Through the hate tunnel

Grappling with the paintings of George W. Bush

The US midterm elections

Was it a blue wave? One thing is sure: the consequences will be compelling

Is Trump responsible?

On Pittsburgh, the MAGA bomber, and presidential fire-starting

At the gateway to Cape Fear

After the storm, North Carolina is a glimpse into a climate-changed future

Heavy water

Flint, Michigan, has become a symbol of American dysfunction, but the city is operating just as intended

The Devil’s Triangle

In the Kavanaugh hearing, American partisanship reached a point of no return

In The Big House

The quintessential American cultural experience is still college football

Notes on some artefacts

Political discourse in America is becoming a semiotic hot mess

The energy exchange

Fifty years on, the divisions so starkly demonstrated at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago look irreconcilable

One million monkeys

A loss of faith in traditional media was inevitable. But what has replaced it?

Alt right on the night

One of the extreme right’s greatest harms may turn out to be opportunity cost

Extraordinary Russian collusion and the madness of crowds

The story of Trump campaign collusion looks set to disappear in a mass of conspiracy theories

The aesthetic of the AR-15

Shooting did not give me an erection or PTSD, but it did show me more than I anticipated

Truth kicks the bucket

George Orwell is not the right tool for understanding Trumpism

Goat rodeo in Helsinki

As American diplomacy reaches a new low, perhaps it’s time to start looking for the upside

Political poison: EPA head Scott Pruitt leaves Washington

The corrupt agency chief was not the only person to equate luxury with security

A shooting in Annapolis

The well-practised response to the violence at the Capital Gazette

Manners and morals

The American conversation about civility and Trump’s reversal on migrant families

The blue wave versus the cult of Trump

Virginia’s bizarre primaries give a taste of what’s to come this election season

Christ on a bike

The strange case of Jordan Peterson

Diving to Atlantis

Goodbye, Philip Roth