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...
There was a lot of excitement around the Hughes Memorial School in Danville, Virginia, in 1952. It. has "school" in its name but it is really an orphanage. The names of six of the youngsters had been drawn from a hat as the ones who would go to New York to see the Macy Thanksgiving Parade.
Everyone is looking for solutions to the gridlock that grips Washington. Most suggestions are complicated. But there’s a simple step that could move our Congress in the right direction. We could stop seating the parties on opposite sides of the aisle...
Protesters have recently been out in force in Russia, Poland, Hungary, northern Morocco and Venezuela; sizeable democracy marches have mobilized to mark key moments in Hong Kong and Turkey
Democracy is under assault. Vladimir Putin’s authoritarianism, ISIS terrorism, the nuclear threat from North Korea and Donald Trump’s populism are just a few examples of the forces challenging our societies.
Organizing Human Chain Saves Drowning Family: Can A Similar Approach Save Our Drowning Human Family?
We always feel heartened by tales of heroism, and we celebrate the individual hero or "shero". It's even more heartening when the "hero" is a self-organizing, spontaneous group of people who see what needs to be done, and then do it.
Author Nancy MacLean has unearthed a stealth ideologue of the American right. Her book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, tells the story of...
According to famed anthropologist Arjun Appadurai, the central question of our times is whether we’re witnessing the worldwide rejection of liberal democracy and its replacement by some sort of populist authoritarianism.
When Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that “America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers.”
While there is much to critique about the news media in this age of “post-truth” within a landscape dominated by a handful of media conglomerates, we need the press to hold our leaders and institutions accountable. Locally, when the occasion calls for it, we should laud the press.
I now call the 4th of July "Independents Day" as I've come to realize that the only way we the people can take our country back -- and forward -- is by declaring our independence from the two political parties, the two-party duopoly, and the two competing narratives that keep us divided ... and conquered.
Forecasting political unrest is a challenging task, especially in this era of post-truth and opinion polls.
The primary ongoing question of your life is: are you going to choose same-old, same-old, or are you going to explore new possibilities? In other words, are you going to live in the conditioned but comfortable cocoon of your ego, or are you going to...
When Bernie Sanders took to the stage at this year’s Hay Festival, it was to a room of cheers and clapping.
Many gallons of ink (and megabytes of electronic text) have been devoted to explaining the surprise victory of Donald Trump.
Call me a hopeless hopium addict, but I believe that we are "in the same boat". Our ship of state has run aground, because the "propeller" (the guiding principles of our founders, along with perennial and native wisdom) is broken.
The Trump victory, and the general disaster for Democrats this year, was the victory of ignorance, critics moan.
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s wanton deployment of myths in the place of facts in recent months.
A foundation created by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam recently announced it’s giving US$100 million to investigative news outlets and other initiatives, a rare boon for media institutions under duress.
Most Americans don’t like Trump. Trump will most likely be reelected in 2020. How can both of these statements be true?
We have a choice. We can futilely try to protect ourselves and our families behind high walls, electric gates, etc., and turn a blind eye toward chronic human rights violations and an economic globalization that is not accountable to anyone. Or we can join with people and organizations from all the world's nations to lay the foundations for...
Customizing political news online to filter out what doesn’t align with your beliefs may have real-world negative effects on democracy.
The results of one of the most divisive and unpredictable presidential contests in recent French history, which saw early frontrunner, the conservative François Fillon, laid low by a corruption scandal and judicial investigation
Trump’s failure to accomplish little or any of his agenda during his first 100 days shouldn’t blind us to the vast harm he has done in this comparatively short time to our system of government, especially his degradation of the presidency.
Lost letters found in an old wooden crate inside a Connecticut barn are changing our view of the women’s suffrage movement in America.
We have been told we now live in a post-truth era. The author and academic Ralph Keyes has described it as a time when we do not have just lies and truths, but also “statements that may not be true but we consider too benign to call false”.
When I was ten years old and attending an elementary school called Mountainview School, my mother decided to have a little chat with my school director about the lack of trees on the school property. She argued that although the view of the mountain was lovely, the boring grassy lawn was not.
All Americans are lucky to live in a country brimming with public resources that everyone can share.
In a TV debate to mark the official start of the French presidential election campaign, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was accused of “twisting the truth” by her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron.
The White House war between Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner wouldn’t matter in a normal administration with a normal president.
While we work to change the government, we can’t forget that we can also make big change ourselves by starting small and local.
Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, has said Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged” is his favorite book.
The result of the presidential election may have taken some people by surprise, but the fact that Republicans retained control of the House of Representatives was completely predictable.
After two chaotic months as president, Donald Trump is widely credited with rewriting the political rule book.
Since the president sees himself foremost as a negotiator, perhaps it’s time for a negotiated revolution. Not to break us apart, but to bring us together.
Preserving the middle-class in America is necessary for the United States to continue as a democracy, warns Ganesh Sitaraman.
Like older voters, young ones were divided by the 2016 presidential election.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, in his press conference following the demise of his bill to replace Obamacare, blamed Republicans who had failed to grasp that the GOP was now a “governing party.”
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg published an essay that laid out the social network’s vision for the coming years. He outlined five domains where Facebook intended to “develop the social infrastructure to give people the power to build a global community that works for all of us.”
In the weeks since the election of President Donald J. Trump, sales of George Orwell’s “1984” have skyrocketed.
The US Senate is in the process of examining Donald Trump’s first nominee to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
If the rising sense of alienation from the political process is to be reversed in the long term, it will require more than a quick dose of populist rhetoric or tinkering with the way politics is organized.
Rigidity in our beliefs and behaviors is the greatest threat to our own survival and the survival of all that we've come to love in civilization. Ultimately, the question we have to ask is if our systems of politics and economy are flexible enough to become sustainable...