Is the Nationalist Tide Receding?

Nationalism—placing the interests of one’s own nation above the interests of other nations—has been a powerful force in world affairs for centuries.

But it seemed on the wane after 1945, when the vast devastation of World War II—a conflict fostered by rightwing, nationalist demagogues—convinced people around the globe of the necessity to transcend nationalism and encourage international cooperation.  Indeed, the widespread recognition of the interdependence of nations led to the creation read more

Trump’s Broken Promises to U.S. Factory Workers

Back in 2016, while campaigning for president, Donald Trump discovered a useful tactic for drawing the votes of disgruntled blue-collar workers: denouncing the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs and promising to restore them.  At a rally in hard-hit Ohio, he assailed the Democrats and assured his listeners that he would turn the state into a “manufacturing behemoth.”  read more

Memories of Voter Suppression

Back in July 1962, when, according to Donald Trump, America was “great,” I was in the Deep South, working to register Black voters.  It was a near-hopeless project, given the mass disenfranchisement of the region’s Black population that was enforced by Southern law and an occasional dose of white terrorism.

It all started in the fall of 1961, the beginning of my senior year at Columbia College.  My roommate (Mike Weinberg) and I, both white, had joined the campus chapter of the Congress read more

Where Does the Democratic Party Stand on War, Peace, and International Relations?

After nearly four years of the Trump administration, U.S. voters have a pretty good idea of the policies that the President and his Republican allies champion when it comes to America’s dealings with other nations.  These policies include massive increases in military spending, lengthy wars abroad, threats of nuclear war, withdrawal from climate and nuclear disarmament treaties, a crackdown on refugees, and abandonment of international institutions.

But what about the Democrats?  Do they, as read more

American Workers Have Been Given a Raw Deal

Although Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that American workers are “thriving” during his presidency, this contention rings hollow.  The mishandled coronavirus pandemic, of course, has created levels of unemployment, hunger, and misery in the United States not seen since the Great Depression.  But even in the years before the pandemic, when Trump claimed he had created “the greatest economy in history,” that economy left American workers far behind.

During pre-pandemic years, the labor read more

Making America Feared Again: The Trump Administration Considers Resuming Nuclear Weapons Testing

Americans who grew up with nightmares of nuclear weapons explosions should get ready for some terrifying flashbacks, for the Trump administration appears to be preparing to resume U.S. nuclear weapons tests.

The U.S. government stopped its atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1962, shortly before signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963.  And it halted its underground nuclear tests in 1992, signing read more

Humanity is an Endangered Species

Have you noticed recently that things are collapsing?

Sure, the rightwing, nationalist rulers of many countries never stop telling us that they have made their nations “great” again.

But we would have to be dislocated from reality not to notice that something is wrong―very wrong.  After all, the world is currently engulfed in a coronavirus pandemic that read more

Let Them Eat Weapons: Trump’s Bizarre Arms Race

In late May of this year, President Donald Trump’s special envoy for arms control bragged before a Washington think tank that the U.S. government was prepared to outspend Russia and China to win a new nuclear arms race.  “The president has made clear that we have a tried and true practice here,” he remarked.  “We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”

This comment was not out of line for a Trump administration official.  Indeed, back in December read more

The Subversion of New York City’s Official Policy to Curb Police Brutality

In early November 1966, my sister and I―armed with a bucket of home-made paste, a wide brush, and a thick roll of “Vote No” posters―headed off from my student apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to plaster the surrounding area with the signs.  The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (PBA), a very powerful police union, had placed a referendum on the New York City ballot to remove civilians from the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

We were a very small part of  a read more