Past Present Podcast: Rigged Elections, Wikileaks, and Self-Care


In this week’s episode, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate the history of rigged elections, Wikileaks, and the importance of self-care.

Rigged Elections

Donald Trump has already declared the 2016 presidential race a rigged election. We discussed the history of claiming rigged elections.


Wikileaks continues to dump Democratic Party emails as Election Day nears. In our discussion of the history of Wikileaks, Natalia cited Fred Turner’s history of hacking, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, for showing how hacking went from something perceived as bad to something praised for its ideological commitment to the freedom of information. Niki recommended Sam Lebovic’s book, Free Speech and Unfree News, which argues that increasing free speech protections exist alongside the expanding treatment of government information as classified. Natalia also read from the Hacker Manifesto (1986).


“Self-care” has become the buzzword of 2016, but not everyone approves. Niki quoted from a Commentary article that criticized self-care for really being about selfishness. Natalia situated self-care in a longer history of self-help and wellness, noting Dan Rather’s 1979 report that described wellness as “a word you don’t hear every day.” Natalia also recommended William Davies’ The Happiness Industry for thinking about how businesses had brought self-care into corporate life. Niki noted a recent study of therapists found that the 2016 election had increased patients’ anxiety levels, prompting the increased attention to self-care this year.

What’s Making History

  • Niki talked about the renewed popularity of Janet Jackson’s 1986 hit “Nasty” in light of Donald Trump’s comments about Hillary Clinton in the third debate.

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