The Shallow State

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 08: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up his book after holding a press conference at the Trump National Golf Club Jupiter on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. Trump is projected to win the Republican Presidential primaries in Mississippi and Michigan. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

When we read the news, most of us do so via the internet, with the majority of those under 30 doing so via social media. That means your Facebook page. It means not only do your friends influence what you see and read (thus creating an echo-chamber effect) but your news pops up in a stream of content that includes baby pictures and cat videos. That’s right — cat videos, among the most popular destinations on the web, are responsible for Trump, too. Because they are the competition of the news, and therefore unless it is as quick, easy to digest, visual, and satisfying as a cat video (or baby pictures), it doesn’t get read.

Forget the conspiracy theories. Something much more dangerous is seeking to gut our government and change the character of our society.