What Does “For the People” Mean?

Would someone please reconsider the prominent role of marketing in politics? Or perhaps I should rephrase that question — could we take a close look at the substitution of marketing and branding strategies for politics? I ask this question only days after the Democratic leadership, well-embarked on flipping the House of Representatives from Red to Blue, has … More What Does “For the People” Mean?

Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

What is Facebook? I ask this question as I am well embarked on a two-week intensive seminar, “Democratic Crisis and the Politics of Social Media,” part of the 27th annual Democracy and Diversity Institute sponsored by The New School’s Transregional Center for Democratic Studies in Wrocław, Poland. Facebook and Twitter, and the unregulated (often untruthful) political narratives they … More Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Facebook

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

 On this July 4 I am in Poland, where President Andrzej Duda has just decapitated the judiciary, and Poles are, as I write, in the streets to protest the continuing theft of their democracy. Perhaps because of this, a stirring performance of Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Polish Requiem” I attended at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kraków last night, a … More We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Remembering a Campus Free Speech Fight

On June 10, 2018, Doug Bennet, a historian, political aide, assistant secretary in the State Department, former president of National Public Radio and—most importantly to me—president of Wesleyan University, died at the age of 79. It’s rare that you see someone bring such a rich background to the executive office of a liberal arts college, but after a … More Remembering a Campus Free Speech Fight

Bill Clinton’s Symphony of Hypocrisy and Rage

I used to love Bill Clinton (known in our household for years as The Big Dog) and now I just want someone to get him off the stage. Two days ago, in an interview with The Today Show‘s Craig Melvin about a new thriller co-written with James Patterson, former president William Jefferson Clinton seemed to be completely, and … More Bill Clinton’s Symphony of Hypocrisy and Rage

Why Can’t Women Bridge the Left-Right Divide?

When did coalitional organizing between feminists and conservative women become impossible? I’m not sure, but as a feminist there is one place and time that I remember vividly: Indianapolis in the spring of 1984. There, led by Mayor William Hudnut, III Republican politician Beulah Coughenour and local movement conservatives, that city became one of the … More Why Can’t Women Bridge the Left-Right Divide?

Elections Turn On Policy, Not Public Relations

My liberal and left-wing friends continue to puzzle over a single, unanswerable question: why do white, working class people vote “against their interests”?Perhaps the reason that this is an unanswerable question is that it is the wrong question. I would like to suggest that they don’t vote against their own interests– or at least, that when voters … More Elections Turn On Policy, Not Public Relations