The Media Myth of the Working-Class Reagan Democrats

The Media Myth of the Working-Class Reagan DemocratsNow that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, we are likely to get all sorts of mainstream media analysis about how his narrow pathway to Election Day victory runs through white working-class America, the way Ronald Reagan’s did, while the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, must corral young people, minorities and the well-educated.

Why Hillary Clinton's Promise Of A Gender-Equal Cabinet Is A Smart Move

Why Hillary Clinton's Promise Of A Gender-equal Cabinet Is So ShrewdAt a recent “Town Hall” debate Hillary Clinton announced that she would appoint a cabinet that is half female if she is elected president. When questioned by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Clinton pledged: “Well, I am going to have a cabinet that looks like America, and 50% of America is women, right?”

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big Dreams

The Pragmatic Impacts of Sanders’ Big DreamsThe race for the Democratic presidential nomination has pitted a dreamer against a realist, right? Bernie Sanders is the unrealistic one, and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatist, is the candidate who can get things done, right? But...

What's The Endgame of 2016′s Anti-Establishment Politics?

The Endgame of 2016′s Anti-Establishment PoliticsWill Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

The Origin of the Original May Day Workers' Holiday

On May Day

It's often forgotten, but the May Day holiday, the original, real, workers' holiday, originated in the U.S. And specifically it originated to honor the memory of labor's four martyrs unjustly sent to the gallows, in an atmosphere of hysteria and anti-worker oppression after the so-called Haymarket "riot" of 130 years ago, on May 4, 1886.

Bernie And Hilllary In A Sterling Example of Democracy in Action

Illustration by DonkeyHotey under a Creative Commons license.The back-and-forth has forced both candidates to raise their game.  Win or lose, Bernie Sanders has made this Democratic primary the most substantive in my lifetime.The back-and-forth has forced both candidates to raise their game.  

What I Learned From My March With Democracy Spring

Frances Moore LappeYesterday was the most important day of my life. I walked up to the Capitol building and sat on the steps with more than 400 people. When asked to move, we refused and were arrested. We committed nonviolent civil disobedience together to protest the power of money in politics and support the restoration of real democracy.

Can We Replace Politicians With Robots?

Can We Replace Politicians With Robots?If you had the opportunity to vote for a politician you totally trusted, who you were sure had no hidden agendas and who would truly represent the electorate’s views, you would, right?

Why The Major Media Marginalize Bernie Sanders

Why The Major Media Marginalize Bernie Sanders“Bernie is doing well but he can’t possibly win the nomination,” a friend told me for what seemed like the thousandth time, attaching an article from one of the nation’s leading newspapers showing how far behind Bernie remains in delegates.

Bernie Stole My Feminist Heart (But It’s Complicated)

Bernie Stole My Feminist Heart (But It’s Complicated)The kid was not your typical feminist. Granted, he did stand out for a 20-something living in central Maine. In these parts, his male peers’ uniform tends to be Carhartts, work boots, a beard, and a woolen cap. This fellow slinked up to the microphone in skinny suit pants and a hipster jacket.

The Waning Influence of American Political Parties, Just Ask Millennials

The Waning Influence Of American Political PartiesYoung Americans don’t care much for political parties. According to the Pew Research Center, 48 percent of millennials (ages 18-33) identify as independents. That’s almost as many as identify as Democrats (28 percent) and Republicans (18 percent) put together.

How The Legacies Of The Tea Party And Occupy Are Shaping The 2016 Race

How The Legacies Of The Tea Party And Occupy Are Shaping The 2016 RaceAs they continue to tear up their respective parties, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are tapping into rich veins of “anti-establishment” fury. And while they’ve managed to create movements of a force not seen at the ballot box in years, they clearly owe a debt to the US’s two biggest protest movements of recent years: on the right, the Tea Party, and on the left, Occupy.

A Parable:How the Peoples Party Prevailed in 2020

clinton ryan 3 23Third parties have rarely posed much of a threat to the dominant two parties in America. So how did the People’s Party win the U.S. presidency and a majority of both houses of Congress in 2020?

A Long And Unfinished Road to Democracy

US Embassy photo by Vince Alongi

The founding fathers minced no words about their distrust of the masses. Jefferson insisted, "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule.”

American Elections Are Ranked Worst Among Western Democracies

American Elections Are Ranked Worst Among Western DemocraciesThe world is currently transfixed by the spectacle of American elections.  From New York, London and Paris to Beijing, Moscow, and Sydney there is endless heated debate in the news media and across dinner tables about the factors fueling the remarkable success of Donald Trump

How 5 Prisons Are Improving Life On The Inside

Inmates label trays and replant seedlings in a Conservation Nursery Program hoop house at the Washington Corrections Center for Women. Photo by Benjamin Drummond/Sara Joy SteeleFor the roughly 2.2 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails, daily life is often violent, degrading, and hopeless. In a 2010 study of inmates released from 30 prisons, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics found that more than three-quarters were arrested for a new crime within five years of being freed.

This Time, They’re Coming for Your Democracy

This Time, They’re Coming for Your DemocracyTwelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of

Why It's Time To End In Person Voting For Good

Why It's Time To End In Person Voting For GoodA line snakes down the sidewalk at Western High School in Las Vegas during the Nevada Republican presidential caucus.During President Obama’s final State of the Union address, he called for reforms to the voting process, saying, “We’ve got to make it easier to vote, not harder. We need to modernize it for the way we live now.”

How Not To Wind Up Voting For A President You Don't Agree With

But did you vote for the candidate that best matches your beliefs? jamelah e., CC BY-NC-NDWhen any American enters the voting booth, he (or she) is free to cast his private ballot for any candidate he favors. On the surface, this seems rather obvious, and easy. We each privately vote for the candidate we wish to support. We choose based on our preferences, so we vote correctly, right?

Trump And Clinton Triumph: 3 Scholars React

Trump And Clinton Triumph: 3 Scholars  ReactOn Super Tuesday, voters from more than a dozen U.S. states vote in presidential primaries with important consequences for the candidates. We asked three scholars in different parts of the world to comment on the results and what they mean for the presidential race going forward.

Global Transformation: Remembering Our Oneness

Global Transformation: Remembering Our OnenessEverything seems to be changing! What is new is that now, at the beginning of this millennium, the whole planet is in therapy. Planetary therapy takes us on a journey in which we discover that we are all evolving into a higher level of awareness, one that is not limited by our false sense of separation and powerlessness...

What Role Were You Born To Play In Social Change?

What Role Were You Born To Play In Social Change?Bill Moyer was a street-wise, working class white boy from rowhouse Philadelphia, who — in the turbulence of the 1960s — went to Chicago to work for an anti-racist housing campaign.

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change

It Takes a Movement To Bring About Change“I wish that we could elect a Democratic president who could wave a magic wand and say, ‘We shall do this, and we shall do that,’” Clinton said recently in response to Bernie Sanders’s proposals.  "That ain’t the real world we’re living in.“

How To Unleash The Wisdom Of Crowds

How To Unleash The Wisdom Of CrowdsThe great Victorian polymath, Sir Francis Galton was at a country fair in 1906, so the story goes, and came across a competition where you had to guess the weight of an ox. Once the competition was over Galton, an ...

Direct Democracy May Be Key To A Happier American Democracy

Direct Democracy May Be Key To A Happier American DemocracyAccording to recent research, it may not be. Martin Gilens at Princeton University confirms that the wishes of the American working and middle class play essentially no role in our nation’s policy making.

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)

12 People Who Made a Difference (And You Can Too!)Far too many people think not, and thus they sell themselves far too short. A wave of pessimism leads capable people to underestimate the power of their voice and the strength of their ideals. The truth is this: it is the initiatives of deeply caring people that provide the firmament for our democracy.

Managing One's Energy and Learning to Step Away

Managing One's Energy and Learning to Step AwayOur “civilized” societies often direct attention away from the need for an individual to act authentically — that is, driven not by externally motivated desires but from genuine internal impulses. It is time to be open to changing the rigidity of our embedded thoughts, beliefs, and...

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World Problems

By Playing Serious Games,Adults Learn To Solve Thorny Real World ProblemsIt is never easy for interest groups with conflicting views to resolve public policy disagreements involving complex scientific issues. To successfully formulate complex treaties, such as the recent Paris Climate Change Agreement, countries must find a way to meet the interests of almost 200 national representatives, while simultaneously getting the science right. Lowest common denominator political agreements that don’t actually solve the problem are useless.

Ending The Vicious Cycle of Wealth and Power

Ending The Vicious Cycle of Wealth and PowerWhat’s at stake this election year? Let me put as directly as I can. America has succumbed to a vicious cycle in which great wealth translates into political power, which generates even more wealth, and even more power.

The Rhetorical Brilliance Of Trump The Demagogue

The Rhetorical Brilliance Of Trump The DemagogueDonald Trump’s December 7 Statement on Preventing Muslim Immigration has attracted worldwide disdain. Nearly 500,000 Britons have signed a petition asking their government to prevent Trump from entering their country. In the US, Trump’s comments have been denounced by Democrats, Republicans, the media and religious groups.

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our Dreams

Save the Planet By Unleashing Our DreamsWe need green visions for less carbon and poverty---but also for more fun and joy. At a time when ecological destruction is more dire than ever, the work of  protecting the planet depends on dreamers just as much as of scientists, activists, public officials and business leaders.

Going From Hiding to Caring: What Can I Do?

Going From Hiding to Caring: What Can I Do?Unfortunately, one of the repercussions of modern life with all our TVs and modern conveniences and big cities, is that we have become separated from our neighbors and from the people we see daily. We treat them all as strangers. We have become strangers in a strange land.

How Journalists Can Start Winning The Battle Against Politicians' Lies

How Journalists Can Start Winning The Battle Against Politicians' LiesPoliticians lie. To varying degrees, they always have. But it is starting to seem that that truism is more true than it has ever been. In 2012, American political commentator Charles P. Pierce claimed that the Republican Party was setting out in search of the “event horizon of utter bullshit” at its national convention that year.

The Factors Affecting Minority Voter Turnout

The Factors Affecting Minority Voter TurnoutAs the 2016 presidential election approaches, both Republicans and Democrats are courting minority voters – a group that is growing in numbers and electoral clout.

How Bernie Sanders Really Is Changing Democracy

How Bernie Sanders Really Is Changing DemocracyAfter months of expectation, US senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has at last given what might be remembered as one of the landmark speeches of the 2016 election: an explanation and defence of his position as a “democratic socialist”.

How To Persuade Others By Using Their Values

How To Persuade Others By Using Their ValuesIn today’s American politics, it might seem impossible to craft effective political messages that reach across the aisle on hot-button issues like same-sex marriage, national health insurance, and military spending.

Who is Justin Trudeau?

Who is Justin Trudeau?After a hard-fought election, Canada’s Liberal party has won a decisive parliamentary majority, and Canada will soon have an unfamiliar prime minister with a familiar last name. But 43-year-old Justin Trudeau’s rise to the top of Canadian politics was far from certain, even despite his remarkable political pedigree.

How Politics Became A Haven Of Resentment And Rage

How Politics Became A Haven Of Resentment And RageThe latest Republican presidential primary debate had it all: denunciations of President Obama, angry rants about America’s future, and all manner of bile. It seems like a new low – but in reality, Republican candidates have been singing this tune for years.

Why Small Government Is Good For The Few But For The Many, Not So Much

Why Small Government Is Good For The Few But For The Many, Not So MuchWhat’s better at creating happiness – the government or the market? Conservatives say market forces should reign in all aspects of political and personal life. They say that only completely unregulated markets can create a flourishing economy.

Reflecting On New Orleans 10 Years After Katrina

Reflecting On New Orleans 10 Years After KatrinaIn this season of anniversaries, no two are more stark in their parallels than Ferguson a year after the shooting of Michael Brown and New Orleans 10 years after Hurricane Katrina killed 1,800 and displaced thousands.

Making a Difference in Small or Big Ways

Making a Difference in Small or Big WaysMost people agree on what they want out of life. They want the basics -- food, clothing, shelter, health. They want a beautiful and healthy environment. They want opportunities -- education, jobs, and personal growth. They want dignity, a spiritual life, love, peace...

Does Understanding Social Psychology Make You More Liberal?

Does Understanding Social Psychology Made You More Liberal?Is the field of social psychology biased against political conservatives? There has been intense debate about this question since an informal poll of over 1,000 attendees at a social psychology meeting in 2011 revealed the group to be overwhelmingly liberal.

Modern Trade Agreements Are Designed To Circumvent Pesky Labor, Environment And Health Laws

Modern Trade Agreements Are Designed To Circumvent Pesky Labor, Environment And Health LawsWhat if a trade agreement were designed to protect and nurture labor rather than capital? On May 8th at Nike’s headquarters, President Obama denounced opponents of the hotly contested Trans-Pacific Partnership as ill informed. “(C)ritics warn that parts of this deal would undermine American regulation….They’re making this stuff up.  This is just not true.  No trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws.”

The Top 10 Happiest Countries and What Makes Them Happy

world happiness reportEveryone wants to be happy, and increasingly, countries around the world are looking at happiness as an indicator of national well-being and considering happiness in policy making. As this year’s World Happiness Report states, “Happiness is increasingly considered a proper measure of social progress and a goal of public policy.” But what makes people happy, and which countries have the highest levels of happiness?

A New Mind for a New World: Empowering a New Paradigm

A New Mind for a New World: Empowering a New ParadigmIt is important that we ourselves participate in an effort to shift our thinking patterns, to develop a new mind-set. If a person’s mind-set is rigidly fixed into the old patterns of thinking, then that person will feel threatened by drastic change. The person may even try to...

Support Is Needed, Not Denial and Suppression

Support Is Needed—
Not Denial and SuppressionMake no mistake: we’re in the midst of an evolution of consciousness. We can cocreate a planet that works for everyone. We can redirect success from profit and pollution to true sustainability. We can reactivate an Eden in which our new fertile crescents and restored ecosystems grow and grow while we give back to the Earth rather than take from it.

The Other One Percent

The Other One PercentAs a high school student, I came across an observation by Abraham Lincoln who said that “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” Today “public sentiment” would be called “public opinion.”

Will A New Civil Rights Movement Emerge In The Wake Of Police Shootings?

civil rights movementRecent widespread attention to shocking instances of alleged police misconduct – the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and now Walter Scott – have rallied voices across the country in defense of equal protection under the rule of law.

Why Forgetting Baltimore Is A Big Mistake

Why Forgetting Baltimore Is A Big MistakeSuddenly, the mass media is writing about or televising the conditions in West Baltimore. Conditions that Washington Post columnist, Eugene Robinson, summarized as decades long “suffocating poverty, dysfunction and despair.”

The Greater Good And Why It Matters More Than Ever

The Greater Good And Why It Matters More Than EverAlthough the term civilization has less currency today than it once did, most of us see ourselves as living in a civilization. And, as posited by John Ralston Saul, our understanding of civilization tends to be centred on a sense of shared destiny; on shared interests, collective purpose and a common future.

Just How Did America Became an Oligarchy Instead Of A Democracy?

Just How Did America Became an Oligarchy?According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of – or even against – the will of the majority of voters.

The Shift From Domination to Partnership: At Home, At Work, Worldwide, and with Nature

The Shift From Domination to Partnership: At Home, At Work, Worldwide, and with NatureThere are two fundamentally different models for all relationships: the partnership model and the domination model. These two underlying models mold all our relationships -- from relationships between parents and children and between women and men to the relations between governments and citizens and between us and nature.

Do Our Genes Tell Us How To Vote?

Do Our Genes Tell Us How To Vote?As a society we believe that our political allegiance depends on which party best marries up with our needs and values – and that these are shaped by our life experiences. But research with twins suggests picking who to vote for in an election might have more to do with your genes than the policies of the parties.

How To Spot The BS In Election Campaigns and Debates

How To Spot The BS In Election Campaigns And DebatesAs we battle on through TV election debates, some are already rolling their eyes. Many have stopped following the news altogether for fear of seeing more coverage. Why do we loathe elections so deeply? The answer, I believe, can be captured in one word: bullshit.

There Is One Encouraging Sign In The Hyper Partisan US Budget Process

There Is One Encouraging Sign In The Hyper Partisan US Budget ProcessMany pundits give President Obama’s budget proposal little chance of passing in the Republican-controlled Congress. In fact, the House and Senate budget blueprints have set the stage for a likely veto struggle. Dysfunctional, hyper-partisanship may continue to rule Washington.

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice

Girls on Fire: Young Adult Dystopia Promotes Social Justice and Social CritiqueYoung Adult dystopia is having an effect on consumerism and pop culture. The political potential of this literary phenomenon – especially for empowering girls – could ultimately be the genre’s most profound and lasting influence. And though its staying power has yet to be tested, YA dystopia has spurred legions of readers towards promoting social justice.

What Causes Slave Ants to Rebel Against Slavemaker Ants?

Why Do Slave Ants Rebel Against Slavemaker Ants?Ants have a reputation of being industrious hard-working animals, sacrificing their own benefit for the good of the colony. They live to serve their queen and take care of all essential tasks including brood care, gathering food and maintaining the nest.

10 Dynamics That Will Shape the Next Two Years of American Politics

Dynamics That Will Shape the Next Two Years of American Politics

What's past isn't necessarily prologue, but the outcomes of some recent political battles – and a look at who will be coming and going when Congress reconvenes in January – give us a pretty good sense of the dynamics that will shape the next two years of American politics.

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

Inside Story On How One Little City Slew An Oil Dragon

A  dragon by the name of Chevron, breathing a fire fueled by Citizens United and $3.1 million in cash, succumbed to the people of the tiny city of Richmond, California last November when similar right-wing dragons were burning and pillaging voters and their towns across the country.

Will Pope Francis' Humanitarian Values Shape Church Policies?

 Will Pope Francis' Humanitarian Values Shape Church Policies?

“Every person ought to have the awareness that ‘purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act’.” Francis wants us to buy as if someone else’s life depended on it.  And he wants us to act not only as individuals but collectively.

Why Finland Sets The Benchmark For Education Worldwide

Why Finland Sets The Benchmark For Education Worldwide

When looking at large-scale international studies and comparisons of education systems worldwide, everyone’s always talking about Finland. Finland seems to set the benchmark for education worldwide. Foreign educational experts, delegations of teachers and educational politicians...

The Real Revolution: Follow Your Dreams

The Real Revolution: Follow Your Dream

Hermann Hesse predicted that when enough individuals begin to listen to na­ture’s voice and pay heed to their own dreams — including their visions, in­tuitions, and instinctive promptings — the greatest revolution in all history will unfold. This is not an ending, but rather a beginning.

Did Gandhi Win? How Social Movements Effect Change

How Did Gandhi Win? How Social Movements Effect Change

For those who seek to understand today’s social movements, and those who wish to amplify them, questions about how to evaluate a campaign’s success and when it is appropriate to declare victory remain as relevant as ever. To them, Gandhi may still have something useful and unexpected to say. 

Real Sustainable Development Requires Change Through Culture

seven billion

Next up on the global development agenda: the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). The UN hopes the goals will form a framework of rules and ideals that can influence development plans and actions around the world...

How Capitalism, Democracy, and Liberal Education Must Change

How Capitalism, Democracy, and Liberal Education Must Change

Capitalism, democracy, and liberal education are the crowning achievements of the mental age of evolution in which the mind evolves. These three represent a quantum leap in ordinary people's access to what the mind does best: process deep questions of meaning...

The Human Imprint: Large in Human and Biological Events

The Human Imprint: Large in Human and Biological Events

While in the timeframe of Earth’s lifespan human events are relatively short, the imprint of even small, collective action is large. A good example in relation to food and the environment is the impact of the Neolithic revolution of farming on who we are today and the world in which we live.

Help Them Anyway: Becoming A Public Citizen and Volunteer

Help Them Anyway: Becoming Public Citizens and Volunteers

by Kent M. Keith. The world will change when more and more people carve out time from their busy schedules to raise questions, challenge assumptions, set high standards, and pitch in to help each other. The meaning that people find in their work and families will be.....

Fast Food Workers Plan Civil Disobedience As Employers Freak Out

Fast Food Workers Plan Civil Disobedience As Employers Freak Out Over NLRB Ruling

On the heels of what many are calling a historic convention of over 1,200 fast food workers held in the Chicago suburbs last weekend, the campaign for "$15 and a union" won a major National Labor Relations Board decision that, if upheld, could have significant repercussions throughout the industry...

It Is Getting Easier Everyday To Be Serious About Privacy

privacy badger

Nothing shocks me too much anymore about online abuses of privacy. It is hard to know just who you can trust online these days. We are being asked "Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes". Well, it appears my eyes haven't been lying too much lately...

Fast or Slow Reform: Frances Fox Piven’s Theory of Disruptive Power

Piven’s Theory Of Disruptive Power

Mostly, the work of social change is a slow process. It involves patiently building movement institutions, cultivating leadership, organizing campaigns and leveraging power to secure small gains. If you want to see your efforts produce results, it helps to have a long-term commitment.

Environmentalism's Benefits On Display

How Grassroots Organizing Came To The Rescue In West Virginia’s Water Crisis

An estimated 10,000 gallons of the coal-processing chemical MCHM, along with an unknown amount of a second substance called PPH, spilled into West Virginia’s Elk River — just upstream from a municipal water intake that serves nine counties. While government and industry have been slow to respond, some remarkable community organizing has taken place...

Overcoming Greed, Ill-Will and Delusion In Our Institutions

Draft Overcomming Greed, Ill-will And Delusion In Our Institutions

All institutions are the mirror image of the motivations that make them work. So when politics and economics are based on the worst aspects of human nature, the inevitable result are societies riddled with inequality and violence.

Should We Fight The System or Be The Change?

Should We Fight The System Or Be The Change?

It is an old question in social movements: Should we fight the system or “be the change we wish to see”? Should we push for transformation within existing institutions, or should we model in our own lives a different set of political relationships that might someday form the basis of a new society?

Expanded Role for Schools Needed to Respond to Realities of Today's World

Expanded Role for Schools Needed to Respond to Realities of Today's World

Raising children in today's world is much more challenging than it was in the Fifties. Many parents, whether in intact families, single-parent families, divorced families, or remarried families with stepchildren and half siblings, are crying out for help. The role of public schools needs to be expanded and revamped...

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