The Trump administration’s machinations have made it frighteningly clear that democracy is a fragile thing, mostly because of the vulnerabilities of human nature.
“In speech after speech, Wallace knit together the strands of racism with those of a deeply rooted xenophobic ‘plain folk’ cultural outlook which equated social change with moral corruption.
Trump has promised to appoint another hardcore conservative, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his minions will roll right over Senate Democrats to confirm him (or her).
A year and a half into Donald J. Trump’s mean-spirited, vulgar and callous presidency, no one should feign surprise that he referred to some illegal immigrants as “animals.”
In the administration of President Donald J. Trump, truth is scarce, discipline is weak, and old-fashioned virtues such as modesty have gone into hiding. Cynicism, however, flourishes.
Or perhaps it was the persuasive case presented by an able young prosecutor, Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Assistant District Attorney Kristen Feden, who put forward five additional witnesses who alleged that Cosby had also assaulted them. Perhaps it was a combination of the two — a more impressive prosecution coinciding with this moment of cultural reckoning.
Lynchings were not merely extralegal; they were often committed with the cooperation of local law enforcement authorities, including sheriffs and judges. Contemporaneous newspaper clippings show that some of them were announced in advance. Horrifyingly, white citizens often treated lynchings as entertaining social events, packing picnic lunches and bringing their children to watch, even though human bodies might be burned and dismembered.
I’ve never been enthusiastic about wretchedly overpriced coffee — my daughter was introduced to Starbucks by a friend — and the recent arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks did nothing to endear me to that chain of coffeehouses. Perhaps the best thing that can be said for the entire episode is that the video provides another opportunity for white Americans to understand the routine indignities that are part and parcel of black life.
When Ryan made the surprising announcement that he will not seek re-election, Washington observers noted that he is probably tired of shepherding his fractious House majority. Ryan took the job reluctantly after his predecessor, John Boehner, gave up and left politics. And his contentious House colleagues have managed to accomplish little under his leadership.
Trump is not ousting them because they are criminals or layabouts, leeching off the public treasury. He is pushing them out because they are immigrants of a darker hue, and he and his most loyal supporters don’t want them here. In another move meant to discourage legal immigrants, the Trump administration plans to change federal rules on government assistance, according to published reports.
It is difficult to catalog the ways in which President Donald J. Trump and his minions are damaging the fabric of American civic life simply because there are so many, large and small. He and his crew have normalized behaviors that have been judged out of bounds throughout our history, so that we no longer even notice some outrages that would have dominated headlines just a year or two ago.
He subverts the rule of law, threatening the constitutional separation of powers on which our democracy is founded. He has been busy creating a kleptocracy, using his office to further enrich himself and his family. He has aided and abetted white supremacists, widening the chasms of race and religion.
In an alternate universe, President Hillary Rodham Clinton may have proposed sending her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, to head a U.S. delegation attending the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But news of the proposal would have drawn swift condemnation from Republican politicians, conservative talk show hosts and even several Democrats…
That would be Coretta Scott King’s greatest achievement. She and other civil rights activists, including singer Stevie Wonder, had to counter the ugly opposition of explicit racists such as North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, and more subtle skeptics, such as the president himself.
As the mother of a fashion-conscious 9-year-old girl, I’m quite familiar with the bows, bobbles and bath bombs sold in Claire’s, a retail haven for the tween and young teen set. Imagine my dismay, then, when I heard a news report alleging that Claire’s was selling makeup laced with asbestos, a dangerous carcinogen.
For years, then Fox News host Bill O’Reilly railed against the predations of liberal heathens who were supposedly out to destroy the religious significance of the Christmas season. He aimed his umbrage at stores where clerks allegedly refused to say “Merry Christmas” and public school districts that insisted on proclaiming a “winter holiday” rather than a Christmas vacation.
The franchise is a formidable weapon. That’s why it is despised by dictators, authoritarians and anti-democrats the world over: It is the one instrument that can reliably subvert their intentions, drain their power, interfere with their plans.
In the waning days of the 2016 presidential election, worried political prognosticators, including more than a few moderate Republicans, papered over their fears about the possible victory of Donald J. Trump with reminders of the constitutional balance of power.
As his U.S. Senate campaign has been swamped by credible accusations of egregious sexual misconduct, Moore and his allies have taken the usual route toward undermining his accusers. The women, now middle-aged, have been denounced as liars, attention-seekers and tools…
Roy Moore, a former jurist and the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate from Alabama, has carefully crafted an image over the years as an ultraconservative religious zealot. He bashes gays and lesbians, denounces abortion and brings his hateful brand of religion into the courtroom, where it runs afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
The 21st-century Republican Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, the empire of the insanely rich and ultra-conservative Koch brothers. In its current iteration, the party’s only permanent principle is to cut taxes for the nation’s one-percenters.
Earlier this week, an Uzbek national named Sayfullo Saipov, apparently unhappy with his life here and radicalized by watching Islamic State group videos, allegedly plowed a rental truck into a busy bike path in Manhattan, mowing down as many cyclists and pedestrians as he could, killing eight and injuring at least a dozen more.
For 12 days after four U.S. Special Forces soldiers were ambushed in Niger, President Donald Trump said nothing publicly about their deaths. He didn’t mention their bravery. He didn’t acknowledge their sacrifice. He didn’t allude to the deadliest combat episode of his presidency.
Like George Orwell’s “1984,” Atwood’s chilling dystopia is newly relevant in a strange era of autocratic impulses and retrogressive policies. Now that Trump has rescinded another key benefit of Obamacare, the requirement that companies provide health insurance that guarantees birth control for their employees, a future in which fertile young women are enslaved as reproductive vessels seems less outlandish.
Yet, here in the most powerful and wealthiest nation on Earth, here in the land of incredible technology, of Nobel laureates and first-rate universities, of a constitutional democracy revered the world over, we do nothing to combat this strange malady.