Trump didn’t just tie his successor’s hands. He handcuffed them to the throttle of a runaway train.
The far right would like to impeach Joe Biden, kick him out of the White House, perhaps even throw him in jail. “Lock him up” has been a predictable chant at Trump rallies going back to before the 2020 election. Even Republicans in Congress have joined this chorus. Continue reading
Child molestation is a very real problem. But the far right is far more interested in demonizing women, homosexuals, and the transgender community.
Hungary’s authoritarian leader Viktor Orbán loves a good enemy. He has lashed out against Eurocrats in Brussels. He has cynically demonized immigrants to boost his political standing at home. Continue reading
By mislabeling the radical members of the Republican Party "conservative," the mainstream media gives them a veneer of respectability.
The House Freedom Caucus is routinely described as conservative, by its members, by the mainstream media, by Wikipedia. The caucus, which draws together 45 Republican Party members of the House of Representatives, is the furthest to the right of any major political formation in the United States. The most extreme and flamboyant politicians in America, like scandal-plagued Matt Gaetz of Florida and gun-toting Lauren Boebert of Colorado, are proud to call the Caucus their political home. Even Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, after threatening to form an explicitly racist America First caucus, chose ultimately to continue promoting her nativist, QAnon-inspired beliefs from within the Freedom Caucus. Continue reading
The world welcomes Biden but is hedging its bets.
The nightmare is over. The vanquished beast has crawled back to Mar-a-Lago to lick his wounds. The heroes are hard at work repairing the damage. As America returns to the international stage, the world heaves a collective sigh of relief. Continue reading
The refusal of tens of millions of Americans to recognize the election results is part of a much larger denialism—of COVID-19, of climate change, and U.S. decline.
The presidential election wasn’t close. Joe Biden won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, which translates to a margin of 4.5 percent. His Electoral College victory was larger than either of George W. Bush’s. Continue reading
How else would you describe Americans who deny a pandemic that’s killed 250,000 people and the election that repudiated Trump?
The 2017 film “Bushwick” begins like a lot of zombie flicks. Continue reading
It’s going to take more than a change of personnel in Washington to address our decaying climate, public health, and democracy. But it’s not too late.
In 2008, Americans voted for hope and change. In 2016, they voted for fire and fury—and change. In 2020, the vote for change comes from an entirely different quarter. Continue reading
Trump is doing whatever he can to make it impossible for his successor to resolve some of the world’s most intractable problems.
It is a recent tradition among occupants of the White House, as they head out of office, to play a few practical jokes on their successors. The Clinton administration jesters, for instance, removed all the Ws from White House keyboards before handing over the keys to George W. Bush’s transition team. The Obama administration left behind books authored by Barack Obama for Trump’s incoming press team. Continue reading
Trump shrugged at 150,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths. Who’s to say he’s above starting a fight with China or Iran?
In 2016, Alan Lichtman departed from conventional wisdom to predict a Donald Trump victory in that year’s presidential election. The political scientist was following something he called the “13 keys to the White House.” Using this relatively straightforward metric, Lichtman had correctly predicted the outcome of presidential elections stretching back to 1984. Continue reading
Trump’s use of federal paramilitaries is a classic tactic of autocrats to test how far they can push their authority in opposition-controlled regions.
Federal agents poured into Portland, Oregon, this month to crack down on anti-racism protests. They beat up peaceful protesters and fired impact munitions at demonstrators, seriously injuring one of them. They drove around the city in unmarked vans pulling people off the street. Continue reading
How will the coronavirus transform the relationship between state and market? A look at oil, food, and finance.
You pay little attention to the systems of your body—circulatory, digestive, pulmonary—unless something goes wrong. Continue reading
Trump’s message to governors on lifesaving medical equipment—“get it yourselves”—is grimly appropriate in a country without national health care.
A crisis, according to self-help and leadership books, reveals much about a person’s character. The same can be said of a nation’s character. Continue reading
Donald Trump attempts to take out his electoral adversaries one by one, Mafia-style.
Donald Trump filed his paperwork to run for reelection only hours after his inauguration in January 2017, setting a presidential record, the first of his many dubious achievements. For a man who relished the adulation and bombast of campaigning, it should have surprised no one that he charged out of the starting gate so quickly for 2020 as well. After all, he’d already spent much of the December before his inauguration on a ”thank you” tour of the swing states that had unexpectedly supported him on Election Day—Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin—and visited Florida for a rally only a couple of weeks after he took the oath of office. In much the same way that Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky once embraced “permanent revolution,” Donald Trump embarked on a “permanent campaign.” Continue reading
The Spanish flu helped herald the collapse of the first wave of modern globalization. A century later, could the coronavirus do the same?
At a dinner party in mid-February, an architect told me that he was having a problem finishing his building projects. It was the carpets. Continue reading
The U.S. military is creating an imaginary 'space gap' to pour money into closing, wasting funds while increasing the risk of conflict.
With a stroke of a pen, Donald Trump created an entirely new branch of the armed forces last year. It’s the first new branch of the U.S. military since 1947. Continue reading
Understanding how the new right went global—and how to stop it—is key to keeping our planet habitable.
A succession of social upheavals over the last decade has radically realigned political power throughout the world. Continue reading
The far right’s war on culture is capturing the hearts and minds of mass shooters and populist politicians.
The far right is on a roll. Just a few years ago, liberals and conservatives would have considered its recent political victories a nightmare scenario. Right-wing extremists have won elections in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, India, and Poland. They pushed through the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. In the most recent European Parliament elections, far-right parties captured the most votes in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. Continue reading
Trump is counting on his base to endorse his increasingly open law-breaking. It may not end well.
Trump’s public appeal to China last week to help with uncovering dirt on the Biden family was both a brazen flouting of the law and (it pains me to say) an astute political tactic. Continue reading