In these darkest of days, here’s what gives me hope:
First, Donald Trump has been a giant wake-up call that we can’t take democracy for granted. The young people of America get this. I’ve been teaching for 40 years and I don’t recall a generation as committed to social justice, reforming this country, and making it work for all and not just a few.
Look at those kids in Parkland, Florida. Or the millions more who are getting involved in their communities and in politics. They are America’s future, and they won’t give up.
The second thing that makes me optimistic is occurring at the grassroots of America, where there’s more activism than I remember in half a century. The #MeToo movement, Time’s Up, #BlackLivesMatter, #Neveragain, the Poor People’s Campaign, Indivisible.org, swingleft.org.
They and thousands of other groups and millions of Americans are united by a commitment to end abuses of power – whether by sexual predators, or the police, the National Rifle Association, or billionaires out to undermine our democracy.
Third, Fueled by Trump’s election, more women are running for office than ever before. According to Emily’s List, more than 36,000 women are interested in running for office in 2018 and beyond. By comparison, 920 women contacted Emily’s List in the 2016 campaign.
Fourth, I’m optimistic because America’s history shows that every time we’ve gotten off track, Americans mobilize to get our country back on track. We did this after the Gilded Age of the 1880s and 1890s, when robber barons monopolized the economy; politics was poisoned by money; and poverty, and disease, and horrendous working conditions claimed thousands of lives each year.
We did it again in the Depression decade of the 1930s, after the economy collapsed because of Wall Street’s excesses. And again in the 1960s and 1970s, when we embraced civil rights and voting rights, Medicare and Medicaid, and environmental protection. If history teaches us anything, we will again reform this system.
Fifth, I’m also optimistic because these grueling years of the Trump presidency have made us all realize how fragile our democracy really is, and what we need to reform–from the Electoral College and super-delegates to gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and hacker-proof voting machinery.
And most of us now know how important it is to vote.
Finally, I’m optimistic because I don’t like the alternative. We must have hope.
The fate of this nation depends on every one of us becoming an activist, joining with others, and reclaiming this land from those bent on destroying it.
This article was originally published at RobertReich.org
Chuck Todd goes ballistic on AOC for using ‘concentration camps’ – and Dems for not condemning her
MSNBC's Chuck Todd says "you can't call" the concentration camps at our southern border "concentration camps."
"Be careful," Todd warned – comparing the Trump administration's camps, where we are keeping migrants, including many children, against their will, in horrific conditions – "comparing them to Nazi concentration camps. Because they're not at all comparable in the slightest.His tone was one of anger and personal outrage.
He is extraordinarily wrong.
Todd, who hosts NBC's "Meet the Press" and MSNBC's "Meet the Press Daily," also serves as the network's political director. Perhaps he should reach out to a few historians and a few experts on authoritarianism, maybe experts in Nazi concentration camps, before opining in such a degrading and condescending manner (watch the video below.)
A number of Democrats running for president are kind of weird about food
The New York Times has posted a series of short videos of the Democratic candidates for president answering important questions, like what they propose to do about our broken health care system and just how crooked Donald Trump is. Because campaign coverage demands candidates be allowed “human” (debatable!) moments, the Times also asked the participating candidates about their go-to comfort foods on the campaign trail.
Reparations, concentration camps and racial slurs: Republicans want to turn all discussion of race into pointless culture war debates
It wasn’t slavery. They are concentration camps. Racial slurs are not a youthful indiscretion.
This week has seen a series of culture-war debates dominate the discourse only to be derailed by bad faith arguments about semantics.
First, on Monday, nearly all of the right-wing ecosystem was engaged to defend the honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and gun rights activists Kyle Kashuv after he revealed that his admission to Harvard had been rescinded. At least one of Kashuv’s classmates in Parkland, Florida, released a number of text messages from him which included racist and misogynistic attacks on fellow students, including the description of black athletes as “niggerjocks.”