What Obama and Sanders can do to keep “the Bern” alive while helping Clinton

President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders met on Thursday, June 9, 2016 to discuss “where do we go now” following the primaries and caucuses in California and five other states. Shortly thereafter, he endorsed Hillary Clinton, in a paid video by the Clinton campaign. In the announcement, the president said that the differences…

Nevada Democratic Convention

Sanders, Clinton, Nevada and squabbling liberals

What happened at the Nevada Democratic Convention is awful and inexcusable, and Sanders needs to apologize; demand that his supporters stop such terrible, hateful, stupid, counterproductive behavior; and then carry on campaigning and talking about issues until the convention, by the end of which he should strongly endorse Clinton. All that being said, a lot…

ally

The complexities of being an ally

It seems like recently the entire Democratic Party platform has been framed around the concept of allyship– being an ally for the poor, racial minorities, religious minorities, immigrants, women, the LGBT community, etc. You name the group the GOP is callously attacking (everyone except straight, cis, old, Christian, rich, American, White men, really), the Democratic…

White House Correspondents’ Dinner can be Culturally Alienating

If you are a reasonably affluent progressive, the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner had to be a real gas. President Obama and comedian Larry Wilmore came out swinging, taking jabs at just about anyone of any political stripe. This was not an event for everyone. You had to be politically knowledgeable, even politically sophisticated. You…

Survey: Democrats and Republicans want different kinds of leaders

Which two of the following characteristics best describes the kind of leader that you would want for the country? [You must select two]: A warrior, fearless and strong An intellectual who is knowledgeable and who reasons well A person who is thoughtful and caring with who he or she is Someone who will not back…

Survey: Does our economic system favor the rich?

Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans are the party of the wealthy. But as Donald Trump’s campaign has clearly revealed, there are plenty of Republicans out there who are not particularly wealthy. In a recent Occasional Planet poll*, we asked, “In your opinion, what do you think is the primary reason that some people in America…

Bernie Sanders is the new Teddy Roosevelt

Is Bernie Sanders channeling Teddy Roosevelt? Having recently re-watched Ken Burns’ in-depth biography, The Roosevelts, I am struck by the similarities—both in substance and in style. I started thinking about this comparison as I watched Burns’ old-time film snippets of Teddy Roosevelt—particularly those documenting him on the campaign stump. Roosevelt, known affectionately as TR, was…

Noam Chomsky: On capitalism and why electing Bernie isn’t enough

    In a recent interview in Jacobin, linguist, philosopher, and political activist Noam Chomsky gave an interesting answer to a question about the American capitalist system. He basically said we don’t have one. We have something else, more akin to “state capitalism.” And by not being engaged and involved in the political process, we’ve allowed corporations and banks to “run things,” to…