Brendan Mackie

Brendan Mackie is a Prospect intern.

Recent Articles

College Dropouts

Somewhere, Samuel J. Tilden may be smiling. The 1876 Democratic presidential nominee -- who won the popular vote but lost the presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes -- would surely approve of the movement afoot to entrust the American people with the direct election of their president. Though the outcome is far from certain, increasingly energized reformers have the Electoral College in their crosshairs. John Koza, a Stanford professor, is the brains behind the National Popular Vote campaign, a bipartisan organization promoting an innovative way to reform the Electoral College system that would elect the president, essentially, by a national popular vote. Koza's big problem with the Electoral College isn't just the rare election when the incoming president has lost the popular vote. He's concerned that under the current system, presidential candidates play a game of nationwide hopscotch, paying attention only to the handful of states that could swing the election and ignoring the rest...

Why We Fight

Everyone wants to talk about polarization. Why is American politics so contentious, so uncivil, and so stalemated these days? In their new book, Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches , political scientists Nolan McCarty, Keith T. Poole, and Howard Rosenthal identify a chief culprit behind the decades-long increase in political polarization: rising economic inequality. TAP spoke with McCarty from his office in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. You argue that economic inequality and illegal immigration feed America's increased political polarization. How does this “dance,” as you call it, work? What's happened in the past 25 to 40 years or so is that as economic inequality has increased, there's been a polarization of the parties on economic issues -- mostly due to the Republicans moving to the right. In the '70s and the '80s there was a rapid increase in incomes at the top without the commensurate increase of...