Chances are that you, like me, feel called to make a difference in this rapidly changing world. Today, more people than ever are feeling their own “divine dissatisfaction” or “blessed unrest” and want to make a difference. Yet also, unfortunately, it’s easy to get bogged down in not knowing how or where to begin.
Elections play a distinctive role in strengthening democracy, and voting is a pivotal part of that process. That’s why new research makes the case for universal participation through mandatory voting.
Youth turnout in the recent United States midterm elections was the highest it has been in 25 years. The midterms also saw the average age of congressional representatives go down by 10 years.
If someone asks you why you chose the election candidate you voted for, you will likely have a good answer. Maybe you agree with the candidate’s policy stances.
Seventy years after Gandhi’s assassination on the streets of New Delhi, Ramachandra Guha’s new book, Gandhi: The Years That Changed the World, 1914-48, reopens a familiar debate around his legacy.
A record number of women are headed to statehouses and Capitol Hill in 2019. One hundred women were elected to the U.S. House, which means that at least 121 women will serve in the 116th Congress – up from the current 107.
In October 2005 Stephen Colbert was just starting his eponymous show, The Colbert Report. It is somewhat chilling to realize that this was when he came up with the word truthiness: it seems so now.
Voter turnout among 18 to 29-year-olds in the 2018 midterm elections was 31 percent, according to a preliminary estimate by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. It’s a major increase from turnout in the 2014 midterms, which was 21 percent.
On the morning of Election Day, the top trending search on Google was “donde votar,” which means “where to vote” in Spanish. Lack of access to non-English ballots can be an obstacle to voting for immigrants. Simply put, if voters can’t understand the ballot, they may not vote.
When it comes to being politically active, young people typically have a bad reputation. In democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom, young voters tend to have low turnout rates – but there are early signs that this is changing.
Trust is at a breaking point. Trust in national institutions. Trust among states. Trust in the rules-based global order. Within countries, people are losing faith in political establishments, polarization is on the rise and populism is on the march.
For our first 125 years, about 35 percent of the members of the House retired before every election, because they believed that was good for them and good for the nation. Congressmen had not yet learned the art of feathering their own nests with hundred-thousand-dollar salaries, million-dollar pensions, large and obsequious staffs, and all the perks and privileges that power is heir to. In short, remaining in Congress for decades was not as attractive then as now.
The next United States Congress will have at least 123 women in the House and Senate, including two Muslim-American women, two Native American women and two 29-year-olds.
Questions about the legitimacy of the 2016 U.S. presidential election continue to reverberate and deepen partisan mistrust in America. Doubts have been compounded by the indictment of 12 Russians following intelligence reports of Russian interference with the election.
Iceland is a small country tucked away on the edge of Europe. It has a population of only about 340,000 people. Iceland’s prisons are small too. There are only five, altogether housing fewer than 200 prisoners.
The 2018 mid-terms broke the records on female candidates in US elections. More than 20 women were on the Senate ballot, while more than ten times that number stood for the House of Representatives.
Now that's an intense statement: We are responsible for the mess we made! And for some, it might tend to bring up anger, defensiveness, guilt, shame, feelings of being blamed, discouragement, and other such emotions. However, for me, I see it as good news! If we are responsible for the mess we made, then we can clean it up, and we can fix it.
It seems every election is the most important. Why? Because every election has been. Why? Democracy is a very young form of governance. Those that seek power also seek to dismantle it.
Republican women have faced a conundrum repeatedly in the last two years. In the cases of Donald Trump, Roy Moore and Brett Kavanaugh, the question facing them has been whether to support a male Republican leader accused of sexual assault – or to press for male accountability.
Disconnects between different levels of government make it challenging to address important challenges that confront American cities, such as fixing worn-out infrastructure. These issues require federal, state and city agencies to work together to identify funding – mostly from higher levels of government – and to plan and carry out projects.
Sociologists understand experiences of violence and neglect in childhood are part of what’s known as a Toxic Socialization (TS) process. Put simply, TS is a socialization process characterized by violence and neglect. Violence includes emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical violence. Neglect includes neglect of our physical, emotional, psychological and cognitive needs.
In the thick of 1968’s seismic social upheavals, Native Americans also reached for their rights, and activists renewed their campaign for recognition and status as fully sovereign nations.
Violent protests can undercut public support for popular causes, according to new research inspired by recent confrontations between white nationalist protesters and anti-racist counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Berkeley, California.
While outrage is generally considered a hurdle in the path to civil discourse, new research suggests outrage—specifically, moral outrage—may have beneficial outcomes, such as inspiring people to take part in long-term collective action.
Let's dare to dream of a Beloved Community where starvation, famine, hunger, and malnutrition will not be tolerated because the civilized community of nations won't allow it. We should dare to dream of a world being reborn in freedom, justice, and peace, a world that nurtures all...
The duelling sides in today’s cultural wars about “Western civilization” are united in one thing, at least - each is inclined to gloss over the extent to which “Western civilisation” has always been deeply complex and divided.
Hardly a week goes by without news of another data breach at a large corporation affecting millions, most recently Facebook. In 2016, the issue became political with evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election and the spectre of foreign control over public opinion.
An unsung shero of the early 20th century, Rose Schneiderman organized women to fight for laws to protect them from sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
For better or worse the radical remnants of the Republican party have now captured the American government completely. Whether they can hold it more than a month is all that is left to be seen.
If you were to watch a split-screen broadcast with global weather on one side and world politics on the other, you could easily conclude that we are doomed.
As the debate about the treatment of women rages across the United States, one Supreme Court nominee arrived at her confirmation hearing widely acknowledged as a trailblazer in establishing women’s rights.
There seems to be so many things going on these days that need to be addressed. I compare the situation to a "healing crisis". You may have had a weakness in your body for years, and then the situation becomes acute, obvious, and unacceptable. It is the same with the world around us...
Democracy demands a robust contest of ideas to thrive, and diversity is the best way of protecting the democratic foundation of the American experiment, a new paper argues.
I ask one simple question in my new film: how the hell did we let this happen and what the hell do we do now? Democracy is not a guarantee. Freedom is not inevitable. All of the myths and heroic tales we've told ourselves about America have been exposed. The mask has been removed. And in the battle for the future of America, there is no guarantee of victory.
Pundits are projecting this year’s midterm elections to be nasty, polarizing and “epic.” They’re also expected to stress a lot of Americans out in every part of their lives. And that includes at the office.
To those who take the bus or refuse plastic toothbrushes: Don’t listen to the cynics. Research shows the little things matter.
Economic justice goes a long way toward improving mental health up and down the socioeconomic ladder.
The United States media has been awash with debates about civility in recent months after a number of officials in Donald Trump’s administration have been heckled and shamed in public places.
As voters prepare to cast their ballots in the November midterm elections, it’s clear that U.S. voting is under electronic attack. Russian government hackers probed some states’ computer systems in the runup to the 2016 presidential election and are likely to do so again – as might hackers from other countries or nongovernmental groups interested in sowing discord in American politics.
Arizona Sen. John McCain – scion of Navy brass, flyboy turned Vietnam war hero and tireless defender of American global leadership – has died after a year of treatment for terminal brain cancer.
“With the Senator when he passed were his wife Cindy and their family. At his death, he had served the United States of America faithfully for sixty years,” McCain’s office said in a statement.
What happens when an entire society succumbs to childlike behavior and discourse? If you regularly watch TV, you’ve probably seen a cartoon bear pitching you toilet paper, a gecko with a British accent selling you auto insurance and a bunny in sunglasses promoting batteries.
It is not often that a neighbourhood squabble is remembered as a world-historical event. In the summer of 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a single night in jail in Concord, Massachusetts after refusing to submit his poll tax to the local constable. This minor act of defiance would later be immortalised in Thoreau’s essay ‘On the Duty of Civil Disobedience’ (1849)
When eligible citizens register to vote, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will turn out.
What would be good for us to expand? Our caring heart would be a great place to start. We can start caring more about people around us and about the planet in general. Yes, of course we care, but we do so in a general and impersonal way.
Millennials, the generation born between 1981 and 1996, see America’s role in the 21st century world in ways that, as a recently released study shows, are an intriguing mix of continuity and change compared to prior generations.
Back in 2016, The Financial Times’ Gideon Rachman advanced the view in a commentary for The Economist that the “strongman” style of leadership was gravitating from east to west, and growing stronger.
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, the word ‘hope’ was ubiquitous in Western politics. While its use in the Barack Obama presidential campaign has become iconic, appeal to hope was not limited to the United States: the Leftist Greek Syriza party relied on the slogan ‘hope is on the way’.
The percentage of Americans who say they “can trust the government always or most of the time” has been below 30% since 2007. A similar pattern of mistrust can be found in many democracies across Europe, as well. As democracy has been losing favor around the world, support for alternatives, such as strong man governance, has risen.
Nearly 40 years ago, on July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter went on national television to share with millions of Americans his diagnosis of a nation in crisis.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, won a landslide victory in Mexico’s presidential elections. He now stands poised to form the country’s first left-wing government for generations, and his triumph has stirred great hope – but it comes with enormous challenges.
The election of a leftist party in Mexico for the first time in decades has the potential to transform the country as it dislodges its ruling elite, challenges the economic consensus and promises to eradicate violence and corruption.
The best way to discourage voting—and thwart democracy—is to predict a big win for any party. Here’s what the primaries are indicating about the political landscape ahead of the midterms.
For Americans growing up between the 1950s and the 1980s, religion was not a regular presence on television. Today is different, however. Not only are there entire networks devoted to religious broadcasting, but also Christian television has moved directly into covering news and politics, reaching millions of Americans daily with a conservative perspective on current events.
Jara Neal Willis, a nurse at a hospital in Texas, usually clocked in a few minutes before the start of her shift and stayed late whenever her patients needed help.
People can no longer leave sociocultural, as well as economic, decisions to a few controllers, while themselves concentrating on a range of personal problems from the search for shelter to a good vacation spot. We now need to admit that each of us must be concerned with the total situation of our society...
Motherhood is taking center stage in U.S. politics. Two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Maryland’s Krish Vignarajah and Wisconsin’s Kelda Roys, made waves with campaign ads that, in addition to touting their capabilities as leaders, also show them nursing their babies.
Trust and faith. These two items are in very high demand these days. But, come to think of it, they've been in high demand throughout the ages, it is simply that we now, in this chaotic world we live in, are feeling it more deeply and closely...
In late March, Congress passed a significant spending bill that included US$380 million in state grants to improve election infrastructure. As the U.S. ramps up for the 2018 midterm elections, that may seem like a huge amount of money, but it’s really only a start at securing the country’s voting systems.
It seems clear that someone needs to rebuild trust between the media and the communities it serves. But how? Algorithmic upgrades are not the only answer.
As states begin to receive millions of federal dollars to secure the 2018 primary and general elections, officials around the country will have to decide how to spend it to best protect the integrity of the democratic process.
As an expert on the history of youth journalism and media activism that blossomed in the 1960s, I see today’s students as part of a continuum that began with that movement.
Antibiotic resistance is an example of a collective action problem. These are problems where what is individually rational leads to a collectively undesirable outcome. Small things that many of us do, often on a daily basis, can have disastrous consequences in aggregate. The most challenging problems humanity is facing are in one way or another collective action problems.
March 20 is International Day of Happiness and, as they’ve done every year, the United Nations has published the World Happiness Report.
As outrage over the Parkland school shooting persists, lawmakers are looking for actual policy solutions. Unfortunately, they sometimes misunderstand or misuse the facts that should drive policy.
When 17 students and teachers were murdered on what should have been a peaceful school day, students across the US took to the streets to demand change.
Forget Monopoly. There are new games that challenge us to turn our competitive drive toward solving social problems.
In scenes unprecedented in previous school shootings, the past few weeks have been marked by students taking to the streets, to the media, to corporations and elected officials in protest over gun practices and policies.
The internet was expected to renew democracy, tackle the hegemony of the monopoly news providers and draw us all into a global community.
Should expert knowledge be limited to providing a servant role in democracies, or elevated to that of a partner?
Our nation has been ripped apart by political discord, ad hominem attacks and deep rifts between the dominant political parties.
Although there were no outright winners in Italy’s parliamentary election on March 4, there were two clear losers – the European Union and immigrants.
From raising the minimum wage to enacting police reforms, here are ballot initiatives progressives should watch in 2018.
Imagination, as Hawaiian Native rights advocate Poka Laenui describes it, is more than an antidote to hopelessness. It is a source of power.
The first year of Donald Trump’s presidency has inspired a fresh wave of women’s movements.
The paradox of ancient Greek democracy is that the freedom and rights of citizens depended on the subjugation and exploitation of others. Recent events remind us that we might not have come as far from the flawed ancient model of democracy as we would like.
The stable concept of identifying ourselves as Hungarian, Dutch, Vietnamese, Maori, or whatever, is falling apart. A new energy is sweeping through the planet, an energy that is not local, not just planetary, but cosmic. Now you have to stand in the Light and fight for the whole planet. You now...
Anyone looking for a visual representation of Donald Trump’s first year in office need only behold Time magazine’s cover marking the anniversary.
After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism?
We are not larger than Life, and we cannot live apart from Life though we have tried mightily to do just that. Life is the only context within which we can understand what we need to do both to survive and...
Someone said to me the other day that people don't change... as in "a leopard doesn't change its spots". Is it possible for a murderer, an alcoholic, a liar, a thief to be "reformed"? Is it a case of genetics and thus people can't change?
In the digital era, politicians and government agencies frequently find themselves the target of criticism on social media.
Margaret Mead is famous for noting, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." In many communities there are numerous groups for individuals to support one another's efforts to make changes in their lives and in the world.
None of us can afford to assume that somebody else will solve our problems; each of us must take his or her own share of universal responsibility. The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life.
The United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany, is an enormous event with a complex agenda.
Considering the history of television news a few years ago, iconic anchor Ted Koppel declared that CBS’ 1968 debut of “60 Minutes” forever altered the landscape of broadcast journalism:
Recent revelations about how Russian agents inserted ads on Facebook, in an attempt to influence the 2016 election, present a troubling question: Is social media bad for democracy?
Using the hashtag #metoo, thousands of women around the world have posted on social media sharing their stories of male violence, particularly in the workplace.
Lack of personal meaning and fulfillment is endemic to contemporary Western and Westernized societies. Why are depression, anxiety, and suicide increasingly common? I believe the cause has more to do with what we bring - or don't bring - to life than with...
Recent surveys suggest that people who do not like Donald Trump as United States president find nothing at all to like. But, like him or not, Trump has shown us a great deal in his short time on the political stage. For that, we should be grateful.
I need to remind myself not to waste time. Not to click on too many hyperlinks and certainly not to spend to much time on Facebook. Not to distract myself with too much retail therapy at the antique mall or on Amazon. Not to obsess over whether my...
Donald Trump seems addicted to violence. It shapes his language, politics and policies. He revels in a public discourse that threatens, humiliates and bullies.
I was listening to a news reporter in Texas listing all of the destruction, and then he started talking about all of the volunteers who have showed up to help, and he started to cry. Through tears, he said that he has never seen humanity show up in such beautiful ways to be of service and help others in need.
It is impossible to follow the news without catching reference to the rise of populism. A once little-used term that denoted a handful of parties in otherwise unconnected political contexts, populism now seems almost definitive of a political moment in time.
Today we opt for ballot boxes but humans have used numerous ways of voting to have their say throughout history
Anger, rage and a desire for revenge are all reasonable and justified in the face of armed attacks, abuse and exploitation. What matters is what we do with these things.
There’s no shortage of media reports listing which groups are taking donations, often with scant guidance about what kinds of relief these organizations can offer.
While many anti-fascists offered serious and potent arguments against Hitler, comedians like Charlie Chaplin responded to the mortal threat that the Nazis posed in a different way: They used humor to highlight the absurdity and hypocrisy of both the message and its notorious messenger.
It's hard to imagine wholesale changes to agriculture and food. Eating less meat is a shift that — in small ways — is already occurring. A recent poll in the Netherlands showed that well over half of consumers...
The understanding that each individual has their own connection to the Great Universal Intelligence is the basis of our democratic way of life. Democracy is a social system that is based on the right of each individual to be who he or she is.
The flipside of the populism coin is voter ambivalence about “democracy” as we know it. Ambivalence about democracy might just save it...