Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: liberal

What Will Be The Future of The Democratic Party?

Photo by Rhododendrites, Wikimedia The 2016 election may be the most confounding political event in living memory. And the need to understand it is urgent. That a candidate so obviously lacking in virtue, principal, and understanding of the world beyond his own narrow ambitions, should break out from the large field of Republican contenders and win the nomination speaks volumes about the failure of the Republican establishment to offer a credible vision for America’s future. That so many Americans would choose an outcome that is so obviously to their detriment calls for an explanation. And on the other hand, that the tone deaf Democratic Party establishment considered Hillary Clinton entitled to their loyalty may at first be understandable. But ignoring the unparalleled enthusiasm engendered by Bernie Sanders, then putting every possible obstacle in his way, and actually plotting to sabotage his campaign, revealed a very undemocratic mentality at the core of the party establishment. And how should we evaluate the American people? Are we smart enough to recognize that we are losing our social solidarity and confronted with very serious contradictions in our society, but too dumb to recognize where positive change may lie? Are we incapable of recognizing the people…

An Open Letter To President-Elect Trump

An Open Letter to President-Elect Trump From Ron Garan, Col. USAF, (Ret) Congratulations on your election victory. Thank you for your words of conciliation in the early morning hours following the election, and your “pledge to every citizen of our land that (you) will be president to all Americans.” You also reached out to people who did not support you to ask for guidance and help, “so that we can work together and unify our great country.” I am one of those people. As a citizen of this great nation, I respectfully offer guidance on immediate steps that can help start the process to bring everyone “together as one united people.” First, reconsider your promise to cancel every one of President Obama’s executive orders and programs on your first day in office. As a businessman, and now as president-elect, you know orderly transitions matter. Canceling the health insurance of millions of Americans without a fully functioning system to replace it will disrupt if not destroy the lives of those who depend on it. Consult the science community as you plan. As a NASA astronaut who lived and worked in space, I know Earth is not flat, that we live in a highly interrelated and interdependent biosphere, that…

2016 Election Explainer In 4 Words: The Urban-Rural Divide

Since the historic win of Donald Trump, the American media and pundits have been grappling to understand the election results and how could they not see the predict the turn of events. It will take some time before detailed data on actual voter behavior is made available but one trend is clear. Voters who live in large urban centers, largely voted for Hillary Clinton while those who live in more rural parts of the country voted for Donald Trump. The ideological divide manifested itself through the vast geography of the United States. The reasons are linked to the inequities that define today’s America and how its citizenry is divided along class lines. The residents of cities are typically wealthier, have higher educational attainment and are somewhat more liberally inclined. Conversely, many rural parts of the U.S. are poorer and are less educated in the formal sense. These generalizations admittedly are challenged by many exceptions but the electoral maps attest that the blue (Democratic) clusters are in cities and the Republican support is strongest in the vast lands of rural America. Most states where one party controls both branches of the legislature (State House & Senate) are gerrymandered in the ruling parties favor. The…

Americans Don’t Think The Government Needs ‘Experts’

Americans, particularly those who voted for Donald Trump, are skeptical of civil service workers and the concept that expertise is an asset for government work, according to the results of a new HuffPost/YouGov survey.
While 43 percent say they have at least a fair amount of trust in civil service employees who run federal government departments and agencies, 45 percent say they trust those employees not very much or not at all. Only about a third of Trump voters report trusting the civil service, compared with 64 percent who do not.
A 53 percent majority of the public, including 71 percent of Trump voters, agree that “Everyday Americans understand what the government should do better than the so-called ‘experts.’” Thirty-six percent of those who voted for Hillary Clinton, and 55 percent of Americans who did not vote in this year’s election, feel the same way.
(The non-partisan think tank PRRI, which first asked the question in September 2015, found an even wider disregard for expertise, with about two-thirds of Americans saying they mostly or completely agreed.) Trump’s cabinet, drawing heavily on loyalists from the military and private sector, is on track to…

Could campaign finance overhaul help solve congressional gridlock?

Vice President Joe Biden said big money in politics is “corrupting.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) BY: ASHLEY BALCERZAK Should we restrict political contributions? How have weakened political parties impacted this election? Can public financing work? President-elect Donald Trump pledged to “drain the swamp,” yet has not proposed changes to the campaign finance system. So experts in the field with various viewpoints ran through scenarios at a forum organized by New York University and law firm Sidley Austin on Thursday. Vice President Joe Biden headlined the event, breezing by the subject except to call “the role of big money” in our system “corrupting,” and saying, “If you want to change overnight the way of the electoral process in America, have public financing.” Experts argued about what form that corruption — if it exists — takes, with some disputing Biden’s suggested cure. David Keating, president of the conservative Center for Competitive Politics, maintained there is no evidence stricter contribution limits affect the amount of corruption in politics. Others framed the issue differently, saying that politicians will be more likely to listen to policy advice from their biggest supporters. “The concern is one about rising inequality that comes from the greatest wealth transforming economic power into political power,” said Richard Hasen, a professor at…

Pipelines of funds support allies of Dakota Access project

A winter storm hit the Standing Rock protestors the day after the Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement needed to build the pipeline. The pipeline has been boosted by politicians who have been heavily funded by the oil and gas industry. (Photo by Michael Nigro / Pacific Press) (Sipa via AP Images) BY: SOO RIN KIM When the Army Corp of Engineers announced Sunday it would block construction of an essential part of the Dakota Access Pipeline Project and study alternative routs, thousands of protestors at the site — members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, environmentalists, veterans and others — joined hands in jubilation. Concern about potential damage to the tribe’s sacred lands and leaks that could poison the water supply led to the outcry; a semi-permanent encampment of RVs, teepees and tents sprang up in recent months as the ranks of the objectors grew. But they’re not breaking camp just yet. The forces behind the $3.8 billion pipeline, which is expected to carry Bakken Shale oil from northwest North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to connect to an oil reserve in Illinois, have a lot of sway with President-elect Donald Trump, who could order the Corps to reverse course, and those…

Obama Inspires To ‘Have Each Other’s Backs’ During His Final National Tree Lighting Ceremony

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot fir tree in the Ellipse at the White House adorned with over 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white, and green–as voices sang holiday carols in the background. In 2016, and for the 94th time, President Coolidge’s original message of hope and peace carries on to become a highly celebrated tradition, better known as the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, DC. With the best star-studded line-up to date, this year’s ceremony is different. It is hard to ignore a bittersweet feeling in the air. This itch wouldn’t leave me alone in the back of my mind. It is Barack Obama’s last Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House; it’s the beginning of his final send-off. Hosted by Eva Longoria, this year’s star-studded line-up features Kelly Clarkson, Chance the Rapper, Yolanda Adams, The Lumineers, Marc Anthony, James Taylor, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood–as well as appearances by Barack and Michelle Obama, with special guest Olympic Gold Medal swimmer Simone Manuel. President of the National Parks Foundation, Will Shafroth, says, “There’s something in our National Parks for everyone, and we’ve represented that with the…