Why Historians Must Use Wikileaks To Write The History Of The 2016 Election

Serious historical analysis of the Wikileaks material should yield a Holy Grail of understanding of U.S. electoral politics: How campaigns are organized and financed, the role of dirty tricks and how they are organized, the deals that are struck, the relationship of the media to the campaign, the internal dynamics of campaign teams, and so on. Note that Wikileaks is a one-shot opportunity. No future presidential campaign will operate on the assumption that its antics will remain secret. They’ll be much more careful. Perhaps Wikileaks will have the perverse effect of “cleaning up” presidential campaigns for fear that “dirty tricks” will be disclosed.

Good historians work slowly and carefully. Readers who really want to understand “the unsavory sausage-making” of US electoral politics must exercise patience.


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