The Mighty, Mighty AGs: Remember Your Mother on November 6th

From Mother Earth’s perspective, the most important ballots cast on November 6th could be in the 30 contests for state attorney general (AG). The role played by AGs in the nation’s transition to a low-carbon economy is easily ignored in the heat of this year’s Congressional elections.

Entrepreneurs of Hate

Is it possible to transform politics around values such as empathy, solidarity and love? Many progressive commentators think so, and have laid out different plans to put these ideas into practice. But empathy and love seem in short supply in the actuality of politics today, crowded out by hate and intolerance. 

Down the Memory Hole: Trump’s Strategic Assault on Democracy, Word by Word

Perhaps instead of hurling insults at President Trump’s incompetence and the seeming disarray of his presidency, it might be worth taking a step back and asking ourselves whether there is indeed a larger goal in mind: namely, a slow, patient, incremental dismantling of democracy, beginning with its most precious words.

Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Imagination

I was intrigued as to what impact living in a state of ‘Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder’ might have on the human imagination, on its ability to flourish, and to imagine the future in positive ways.  Are we all, to one degree or another, living in a state of ‘Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder’?

How the Anti-Democracy Movement Used Media to Command the Narrative

As far back as 1835, perhaps our nation’s earliest and most astute observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, understood the power of the media. He described the press as “the chief democratic instrument of freedom.” But today our “instrument of freedom” seems to mean the freedom to enrich oneself privately, whatever it takes. How did we get to this sad state?

We Have what it Takes to Meet the Crisis of our Democracy

In fending off despair and effectively taking on democracy’s degradation, one insight has helped us a lot: that it’s not the magnitude of a challenge that crushes the human spirit; rather, it’s a sense of futility that does us in. Homo sapiens evolved, after all, as doers and problem solvers.

A Letter to my Friends in Norway

As you may have heard, during recent discussions on America immigration policy, President Donald J. Trump exclaimed that what the U.S.A. truly needs is not more people from “shithole” countries like those in the Caribbean, South America and Africa, but newcomers from “Norway.”  When I heard this I thought to myself, “Hey, I know some Norwegians!  I should let them know about a fabulous opportunity that awaits them.”

How a Small New England State is Becoming a Trailblazer in Democracy

Recently, I spoke with John Marion, the executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, who, since 2008, has led the organization. He has successfully spearheaded numerous pieces of democracy reform through the legislature during his Common Cause tenure, including online voter registration, a law strengthening the state’s Ethics Commission, and more recently, automatic voter registration and risk-limiting post-election audits.