In normal years, this would be the official kickoff to the political Silly Season. This year, however, is not normal, as instead we're right at the kickoff of Presidential Debate Season, and the votes are already in -- the silly subject we're all going to obsess over this year is named Donald Trump.
The very concept has moved from the surreal to the possible. So it's time to actually think about what it would mean for the country and for the Republican Party.
LA PAZ, Bolivia -- It is simple: if Trump can blame U.S. problems on small neighbors like Mexico, ascribing conspiracy plots to their "devious" government and agitate American voters to hate Mexicans, then strongmen like Venezuela's Maduro can more credibly blame the economic catastrophe they have caused in their own countries on "the U.S. empire" and justify a cruel domestic political crackdown.
"I wonder how you're feeling There's ringing in my ears And no one to relate to 'cept the sea..." -- Peter Frampton There are few afflictions as co...
Despite the claims, Trump is doing nothing new this time. Attendees at his rallies tell reporters they like him because "he has balls," he "stands up" for their values. The chickens are coming home to roost.
The only candidates in the 2016 race who might embrace these ideas are Bernie Sanders for the Democrats, and Jill Stein with the Greens. To help incubate a new politics of peace, though, a think tank co-founded by intellectuals Michael Lerner and Cornel West called the "Network for Spiritual Progressives" (NSP) has some good ideas.
When confronted with racist attitudes, I remained silent. As a child, I wanted to fit in and be liked. I just learned to bite my tongue. That changed when I became a teenager and hormones and anger took over. Now, as an adult, I am probably more outspoken and belligerent than I should be.
Improving teaching and learning in the classroom should have been the focus of attention, not tests and charter schools. "Fast and dirty" solutions, such as pressuring teachers to raise test scores, were a mistake.
The only things that really matter in Republican politics today are name recognition, a degree of celebrity, and the ability to make outrageous statements that appeal to a minority of voters.
As we contemplate our present and future around the 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, are we being myopic? Is our politics focused mainly on marginalia while real change, big change, is being prepped elsewhere?
Anyone who runs for President is driven in large part by ego. But Christie doesn't respect the voters, and believes that every time he has the podium it is time to tell you about himself and his "you-may-not-like-me-but-I'm-telling-the-truth" uniqueness.
Did you know that California is not in the West and that the "real America" is the Old Confederacy?
President Obama made history when he removed Cuba from the list of countries that are sponsors of terrorism, but not for the reason one might think. The list really has more to do with domestic politics and foreign policy objectives that have had little to do with terrorism.
It's well established that union members earn substantially more than nonunion workers ($207 more a week), and are more likely to have health care coverage and solid pensions. What is less well known are the advantages that unions provide for all workers, not just those who belong to unions.
Should Americans join the military if the next commander-in-chief of the armed services is an arrogant, ignorant, irresponsible, war-happy hawk? Many of America's best and brightest join the armed services. But with the U.S. constantly at war, joining is a life or death decision, dependent on the judgment of whoever sits in the Oval Office.
In many corners we hear the same old exhortation that the way to fix poverty and anything else that ails Americans is for us to become a nation of Good Samaritans. But has giving a beggar a coin ever been as effective as creating an economy that provides him or her a good education and a job?