How ‘Stan’ Culture Infiltrated Politics

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American politics has always been a personality game. Thomas Jefferson was the Democratic-Republicans’ avatar of agrarian nobility, contra John Adams’ Federalist, centralist elite. JFK was America’s dynamic future; Richard Nixon its dowdy cloth-coat past. George W. Bush’s aw-shucks Americanism was an implicit critique of John Kerry, despite their shared blue-blood lineage. But there’s something historically novel about modern-day personal politics — something that can be understood only through the lens of one of 21st-century pop culture’s great characters in his own right: Marshall Bruce Mathers III, a.k.a. Eminem, a.k.a. Slim Shady.

If you count yourself among any of the fan clubs mentioned above — the KHive, the Yang Gang, the Cuomosexuals — you just might…

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