Asked to explain his political views, Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — once said that he was “against people who push other people around.” Were he alive today, he would surely be using his sharp pen to make fun of Donald Trump.
It seems we are in the throes of another of those periods when the “paranoid style in American politics,” as the historian Richard Hofstadter put it in a groundbreaking essay, is ascendant. No nefarious act, no multilayered conspiracy, is too bizarre, too complex or too ridiculous for some to believe.
America under Donald Trump is entering an uncharted authoritarian era. There are myriad events that everyone is seeing and unfolding behind closed doors that are forming a prologue to Trump’s authoritarian rule.
Her name was Margaret Chase Smith, a Mainer from small Skowhegan. Senator Smith to you and me, she was the first woman to run for president from a major political party. In 1964, the Maine senator lost the Republican Party nomination to right-wing Barry Goldwater, but not the respect she carried in Congress: eight years in the House and 24 years in the Senate.
Bernie Sanders assures voters that he is running to win and there is no reason to doubt him. But win or lose, his campaign nevertheless is proving highly educational for Americans perpetually perplexed by the meaning of “socialism.” Or as Sanders sometimes specifies, “democratic socialism,” or the even milder “social democracy.”