For half a century beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, there was a direct connection between the problems that afflicted American society and the remedies on offer from our democratic system. High unemployment? The New Deal, the World War II mobilization, and the postwar boom took care of that. Stagnant wages? With unions, growing productivity, minimum wage laws, and other regulation of labor standards -- American real wages tripled. Education? The G.I. bill, massive investment in public universities, community colleges, and later in public elementary and secondary education produced a better educated and more productive population. The exclusion of blacks from the American dream? A mass movement and a revolution in civil rights law made a big down-payment on redeeming the promise of Lincoln. I could go on, but you get the point. In the last century, democratic politics addressed real problems.
During the 2014 midterm elections Republicans have waged a negative "slash and burn" campaign, attacking President Obama and Democrats in general. In this hostile environment, most Democrats have been defensive and their message has been muted
Both parties have conditioned the populace in believing that a two-party system is best for the country - perhaps in the 20th century. But we cannot afford to have a 200 year-old two-party model in the 21st century especially when both major parties are focused on dividing the country rather than uniting us.
Yes, it's the better part of ghoulish to spend a birthday's morning in a graveyard, but that's where the sidewalk ended and the walk wasn't over...
We all know that banning books is wrong. So why is it so tempting?
Beating ISIS on the battleground could prove inconclusive, even counterproductive, if its dogma is not de-legitimized. This cannot be done by the gun but the law and a political system that offers an alternative to the rule of might.
If Congress wants more than cheerleading points for encouraging Poroshenko down the road of existential confrontation with Russia, it needs to back its applause with real dollars, for real weapons, real economic aid, and real trade concessions.
On Sept. 12, 2014 former Bolivian president and vice president, from 2003 to 2005 and 2002 to 2003 respectively, Carlos Mesa visited the Inn at Penn, located on the University of Pennsylvania's campus, to deliver a speech on the future of Latin America.
Pakistanis converging from across all social, economic, religious and ethnic backgrounds have demonstrated their desire to end the status quo style of politics.
The basic purpose of the government and its bureaucracy is to fulfill the needs of the people they govern. The champions of democracy who are carrying out sit-ins in Islamabad, are they really giving the people their right?
When jurors receive that summons in the mail, they believe the court commanded them to attend, not the Constitution. Such a reality inverts role that juries were expected to play. Citizens have lost the sense that jury duty is constitution duty, and that "we the people" are responsible for our government.
"The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight." ~ Theodore Roosevelt ...
Now it's our generation's turn to address perhaps the most important issue of our time -- restoring government of, by, and for the people, not bought, paid, or sold to special interests.
When We the People agree that something should done to make our lives better, it's supposed to get done. Right? You didn't know it, but that whole system changed several years ago. Our government, in our name, signed a document that placed corporate profits above our own democracy.
Everyday Americans are connecting those dots. They see that their opinions and voices are increasingly being shut out of a system that is supposed to be of, by, and for them.
Measured according to the priority of civic life over war-making, the wars promoted by our recent presidents against the background image of September 11th are disturbingly paradoxical. This is because our wars of late have been "continuations of politics" that are deleterious to politics. They are offshoots of a prevalent occurrence in American life: the "anti-politics politics" in which, for example, candidates seek government office only to reduce government towards nothing. A nation deeply wedded to "anti-politics politics" effectively makes war against itself when it makes war at all. For it is never the enemy who silences the citizen, or cuts off debate, or shifts resources away from domestic needs. It is us.