The Washington Post recently received a tape of a GOP meeting on Capitol Hill. This anonymously gifted tape demonstrates yet another grave problem to American democracy. The only surprise is that Trump—in this specific instance—was not revealed as the main threat. Before going into details about what GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan said on the tape, it is necessary to provide some information in order to gain perspective on the relative fragility of democracies. The world’s first democracy, or “rule by the people,” was formed in ancient Greece around 470 B.C. Women and slaves living in Athens were not part of the equation, however, soRead More →

Black holes, in simplest terms, are formed when stars collapse and pull everything into them, making the mass even denser and more compressed. We don’t want to create black holes because the kind of annihilation they cause is almost unimaginable. Which makes the scientific phenomena of black holes an intriguing metaphor for the Trump presidency. While Trump is no star, he most certainly feels like a destructive mass to millions of Americans. Under the Trump administration, data of all kinds is disappearing. While everyone is either distracted, disgusted, or horrified with the revelations coming up about ties between the Trump administration and Russia/Putin, Trump andRead More →

We are living during a time of extraordinary ill will, glaring meanness that is embedded not only in our politics but every facet of our national life. This period of divisive cruelty, I will term the “age of Trump” since his arrival on our political scene landed with a racist and deliberately false screed about President Obama’s place of birth and question of his citizenship. While I would not want to advocate adding to the cruelty and crudity of our current rhetoric, I do believe we should consider our choices for magnanimity. Comedic actress and impersonator Melissa McCarthy has given the gift of alternative SeanRead More →

I was listening to a clip of AEI (American Enterprise Institute) president Arthur Brooks speak about the problem of contempt in American politics. Brooks says that we need to practice “warm heartedness” toward those who speak to us with contempt. On the one hand I can see that. We stand at a place and time in our country when the rich men who are in power want to divide us. They are effectively doing so along lines of race and gender and sexual orientation. After all, it only takes convincing one group that another is the problem to sow discord. Men lose their jobs toRead More →

Remember the good, old days before Trump became the GOP Presidential nominee and then President? Remember those days when… We’d wake up in the morning and none of us was cursing because he or she read the news on an IPhone? We would go for a drive to see the beauty of the countryside and not start talking about how Bannon and Trump are the most insidious and dangerous beings ever to gain a position of power in the country? We used to have breakfast and discuss our last visit to a museum, our grandchildren, or a book store and not the fact that theRead More →

  Knowing and understanding world history helps you to see patterns in human behaviors and events. Dictators never like the arts or artists. One of the first actions a dictator takes is to suppress the press and the poets and writers. Whatever classification in which you place the 45th President, Donald Trump now shares this trait with dictators, great and small, in human history. Russia’s Stalin conducted his Pogrom in secret, trial by terror, shameless and ridiculous to the few who witnessed it and survived. David Hofstein, Leib Kvitko, and Peretz Markish, among millions of others, suffered for their art, their words, before they wereRead More →

  Acts of hate against minorities and people of various religions in the United States, particularly those practicing the religions of Islam and Judaism, have recently seen a marked increase in incidences. The correlation between Trump’s rise to power, first as the GOP candidate and then as president, and the increase in hate acts in America appears marked. Fear can unleash terrible, violent, and unnatural emotions that result in criminal and horrendous acts. However, empowerment and lack of fear of retribution can also unleash terrible forces. In a mere ten days after the last presidential election, the rise in acts of violence against Muslim AmericansRead More →

My inbox is full of them. Surveys, questionnaires, emails requesting I let the DNC, the DCCC, the Americans for Democracy, Nancy Pelosi, Kirsten Gillibrand, or Tom Perez, know what issues matter to me. They list all the things Trump and the Republicans are actively destroying – the EPA, education, the environment, the Arts, Science; all the peoples whose rights are being obliterated – People of Color, members of the LGBTQ community, women, Muslims, immigrants; or every safety net we know – Medicaid, Medicare, ACA, Social Security. Then they ask me to “pick the three” I want the Democratic Party to work on preserving. Apparently, hittingRead More →

Teacher to Her Students: “You, too, Can Grow Up to be President” Always seeking to motivate her students to aim high, a teacher responded to her student’s question, “Could I be President?” “You, too, can grow up to be President of the United States of America, the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth, the beacon of hope for oppressed peoples everywhere if you work extremely hard, listen to others, study law and policy, learn world history, offer years of your life to public service, articulate your ideas clearly and well, advance the sciences and humanities, advocate, through your service and words, for theRead More →