The American television punditocracy - the pollsters, political consultants and other talking heads who become as ubiquitous as air every election cycle - can be incestuous and herdlike.
Language is one of the only things that we truly share, and I sometimes used this joint inheritance to obfuscate and deflect and justify myself: to re-brand what was good for me as something appearing good for us both, when I threw around terms like 'the sharing economy' and 'disruption' and 'global resourcing.'
Our globalized, automated economy is full of magic - Everyday Low Prices and next-day delivery on that single Gatorade you one-clicked. But it is also full of loss - of jobs, of the dignity of steady work, of chances to rise.
Election time is when you start to hear about 'average people,' 'working families,' 'patriotic Americans' and such.
When it comes to granting unconditional birthright citizenship, the United States and Canada are alone in the industrialized world: North American exceptionalism, you can call it.
Birthright citizenship in America is part of something larger: The American longing to sever from history, to be a place of new beginnings.
Though it is perhaps expected for the bishop of Rome to warn against the idolatry of money, what is striking is how Francis suggests that not only God but also secular politics must outrank economic imperatives.
Our technology promises the magic of constant connectedness. Yet we feel loss in being atomized on separate screens, trapped in filter bubbles of belief, bobbing in a sharing economy in which the technologists seem to own all the shares.
My mother grew up strong. She was a charismatic leader among her peers, staging plays, organizing projects, raising money for charity; she was fiercely protective of her younger brother, with whom she shared a passion for jazz and rock and roll.
One of my clearest impressions about India as a child was that my parents' stories would have been impossible had they stayed. Of course, such a vision was self-serving, for it made a virtue of our displacement.
More and more, the superrich don't live in one place but many, flitting between multiple homes on different continents, flying to them on private jets, perhaps, concealing many of their real estate purchases through webs of shell companies and trusts.
I will not concede for a moment that old privileges should not dwindle. They cannot dwindle fast enough.
There is always a gap between what candidates say in the heat of the campaign, when they are not constrained by the realities of governance, and how they act after being sworn into office.
America has two clear tiers of workers: contractors and employees. The former have few regulatory protections; the latter have many.
Crowdsourcing aid is a cunning way to work around the do-nothing corridors of official Washington. But it also raises complicated questions about the nature of humanitarianism and what it means for a 'nation' to help.
To spend time in Silicon Valley in a year of political upheaval is, on one level, soothing. It is pleasant to hear talk of wearables, walled gardens, and disruptive beverages in between updates about mass deportation.
To those portions of the electorate fed up with politics as usual, Mr. Trump's willingness to say just about anything and to improvise as he goes seems more refreshing and trustworthy than disqualifying.
More than any other candidate, Mr. Trump embodies the evolving norms of communication that are being enabled and encouraged by technology and the matrix of connectivity that defines modern life: authenticity over authority, surprise over consistency, celebrity over experience.
I'm a son of immigrants. I'm not going to reduce my commitment to immigration. But can I empathize with the fact that if your town was 95 percent all white and now it's down to 60, that that can scare you? Can I empathize with that? Yeah.
In America, where no one judged or supervised her, where my father was too busy eating her cooking to notice whether she was eating it, too, my mother found herself newly enchanted by the taste of food.