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Here's the Deal, Folks: A New Year's Announcement
As we make the turn into a Trumpless 2021, Political Junkies is adding subscriber-only content
Slightly less than a year ago, Political Junkie launched with a post about the Democratic presidential primary campaign. That post described the experience of politics from a campaign volunteer’s perspective. It was written in the first person plural because this newsletter was one of the ways that the editorial board of Public Seminar, a weekly digital magazine based at The New School, hoped to leverage an audience I have been cultivating since 2006 to expand our audience.
I still co-edit and write for Public Seminar, but it has had its own weekly newsletter for the last six months, liberating me to use this platform exclusively for my own writing. Some of you followed the 2020 campaign here, as I transitioned from the Warren to the Biden campaign, and honed in on some of the defining issues of political life. Now, as we await the end of the Trump administration and the return to (a dim hope for) normalcy on January 20, 2021, I am taking the next step: paid content.
Three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, this will be the place to be for essays, interviews, and links about politics, culture, the media, and higher education.
Photo credit: United States Bureau of Engraving
Like our president-elect Joe Biden would say, “Here’s the deal, folks.” You can remain a free subscriber (or become one by clicking the button below.) You will receive one post a week, every Monday, with full updates on what I am reading, watching, and listening to.
As loyal fans know, this is actually an upgrade from the previous free subscription deal, which committed me to exactly nothing. Sometimes that meant that I wrote exactly nothing.
So please think of this as the deal of all deals: you do nothing, I do more. For free. You are Tom Sawyer; I am the lunkhead whitewashing the fence.
In summary: stick with this newsletter, or subscribe for free, and I can promise you a great essay, every Monday, for the low, low price of $00.00. If you like what you see or are already a subscriber and know that you enjoy Political Junkie, you can…
Become a paid subscriber and receive three posts a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), comment on posts, have access to the archives, read and listen to interviews with my fellow political junkies and smart media friends, engage in conversations about the future of higher education, and be part of a conversational community organized around classic and contemporary books.
You can sign up for:
$5.00 a month (which means you can cancel if you come to hate me or find that your inbox has been taken over by Substacks that you impulse-bought.)
The discounted yearly price of $50.00, which you can only cancel at the end of the year, or maybe forget about, like that gym you joined last January and haven’t visited since the middle of March.
$100 for the first year as a founding subscriber. You receive all of the subscriber benefits *and* (drumroll) a free copy of my book, Political Junkies: From Talk Radio to Twitter, How Alternative Media Hooked Us on Politics and Broke Our Democracy (Basic Books, 2020).
Now, if you were Joe Biden, you would squint at me in that cute, folksy, Delaware way, and say: “C’mon, guys! Whaddya want me to do? Buy a pig in a poke? How am I supposed to know whether I want to spend $50 on you, much less $100?”
Excellent question, Joe. This is why, beginning Monday, January 4, 2021, I won’t paywall anything for two weeks. You will have six posts to try out what Political Junkies has to offer and decide whether three posts a week — at the low, low price of .41 a post, people — enhances your life.
OK? If you want to subscribe for the first time, click this button:
If you want to change from a free to a paid subscription, and start the New Year right, do this:
Log in your account and click on the menu (downwards arrow)
Click on "My Account"
Click on "change" next to your plan details.
Select the plan you wish to change to
And don’t worry: when I switch to subscriber-only content, I will repost these instructions. I’m glad you can join me on this new journey.
I am going to like working for you.
What I’m watching the mailbox for:
There’s a new socialist-feminist magazine! Subscribe to Lux (it’s named after Rosa Luxemburg, not the dishwashing liquid) before the end of 2020, and get a tote bag! I just signed up. If their tag line is any indication — “It’s sex, with class” — it’s promising.
What I’m Reading:
Edward Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (Basic Books, 2014). Baptist explains how slavery made capitalism and how capitalism shaped itself to enhance and promote the trade in souls. This is possibly one of the best books I have ever read, and if I can talk him into it, Brother Baptist will be interviewed for a future issue of Political Junkie.
After 25 years, Eric Alterman’s column at the Nation is at an end. “The one thought I’d like to leave readers with is this,” he writes: “Remember the fundamentals—the things that inevitably get lost in the never-ending frenzy that defines our current media ecosystem.” (December 30, 2020)
Mona Charen sees the cure to Trumpism in a new center-right party where refugees from the Republican Party can coalesce. (Persuasion, December 26, 2020)