NORMAN SOLOMON – With 2023 underway, Democrats in office are still dodging the key fact that most of their party’s voters don’t want President Biden to run for re-election. Among prominent Democratic politicians, deference is routine while genuine enthusiasm is sparse.
BERNIE SANDERS – We need to rebuild and protect a diverse and truly independent press so that real journalists and media workers can do the critical jobs that they love, and that a functioning democracy requires.-
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Why, why, why, as our ecosystem collapses, as millions of refugees flee the horrors of war and poverty, as the pandemic continues, as World War III and the possibility of nuclear Armageddon rears its evil head, as the planet trembles, does ever-expanding, global militarism remain our primary national purpose?
DANNY SHAW – Vladimir Putin is considered a threat because he restored Russian sovereignty, erased the humiliation of the Boris Yeltsin era, and championed Russiaâ€™s national interests. But that is just what the U.S. elite could not tolerate.
SONALI kOLHATKAR – Those seeking to squeeze Americans while boosting corporate profits and the wealth of the richest few have for years poured resources into shaping a false narrative that people donâ€™t want tax revenues to be used to pay for things that people need. Itâ€™s time to expose and upend such a regressive theory.
DR. MARC PILISUK – In a world increasingly threatened by nuclear annihilation, there is need for a new vision in which adherence to the values of peace with justice and environmental sustainability are prominent. This goes with support for the international institutions supporting them like the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the International Criminal Court. The outmoded world of aggressive gamesmanship will need dramatic U.S. reformist initiatives if it is ever to change.
RALPH NADER – Where is the outcry among Democratic politicians to reverse completely the corporate takeover of Medicare?
EILEEN FLANAGAN and GEORGE LAKEY – Two of the organizers who trained Americans to defend against a Trump-led coup explain how to minimize the threats to democracy going forward.
EZRA KLEIN – Democrates have two years to prove that the American political system can work. Two years to show Trumpism was an experiment that need not be repeated. Two years. This is the responsibility the Democratic majority must bear: If they fail or falter, they will open the door for Trumpism or something like it to return, and there is every reason to believe it will be far worse next time. To stop it, Democrats need to reimagine their role. They cannot merely defend the political system. They must rebuild it.
ROOTSACTION.ORG – On December 16, the progressive activist group RootsAction.org announced the launch of â€œNo Honeymoonâ€ — a sustained campaign that will mobilize grassroots pressure on Joe Biden from across the country. The groupâ€™s NoHoneymoon.org website invites activists â€œto join with RootsAction to push back against the destructive forces of corporate power, racial injustice, extreme income inequality, environmental assault and the military-industrial complex.â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – Some foreign-policy specialists with progressive reputations now extol potential Cabinet picks whoâ€™ve combined pushing for continuous war and hugely expensive new weapons systems with getting rich as dealmakers for the military-industrial complex.
STEPHANIE LUCE – Strikes are rare but political strikes are on the agenda more than they have been in many years. Labor Action to Defend Democracy has come together to “plant seeds and stir the pot,” and work with community partners to protect the vote.
PETER BERGEL – In the wake of the COVID epidemic, the movement to ensure that Black Lives Matter, the inadequacies revealed in our health care system, the movement to address climate change and the growing disgust our people feel for the U.S.â€™s ongoing foreign wars and international bullying, the time has come for system-wide changes.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – Americaâ€™s reluctant democracy: It demands a lot more of us than weâ€™re taught to believe. Yes, voting is important (if you can), but claiming the right to vote and have your vote counted â€” and being able to vote for more than simply the lesser evil and the maintenance of the status quo â€” requires continual struggle in the face of lies and teargas. Election season never ends.
NORMAN SOLOMAN – After events of 2016, when facts emerged showing that the Democratic National Committee put anti-Sanders thumbs on the scales, many progressives have become acutely sensitive to shortages of fairness in party proceedings. The last thing we need are fresh examples of powerful politicians opting for self-serving actions over democratic principles.
NORMAN SOLOMON – With Amy Klobuchar now on Joe Bidenâ€™s short list for vice president, the gruesome killing of George Floyd has refocused attention on Klobucharâ€™s history of racial injustice.
BERNIE SANDERS – On this May Day 2020, I wanted to give you an overview of what working people are going through in this country and throughout the world and where we need to go from here.
GEORGE LAKEY – People trust a system that reliably supports security, solidarity and individual freedom to make major life choices. They learn that trust â€” or donâ€™t â€” through how well the system comes through for them. The contrast between Nordics and Americans these days reveals their contrasting systems.
GEORGE LAKEY – A big-city, mainstream editorial board is talking â€œsystem change.â€ We activists need to be able to answer such an invitation not with piecemeal policies, but with a system alternative â€” one that delivers what the pandemic has shown that we need.
PAUL ENGLER – There are times in history when sudden events â€” natural disasters, economic collapses, pandemics, wars, famines â€” change everything. They change politics, they change economics and they change public opinion in drastic ways. Many social movement analysts call these â€œtrigger events.â€ During a trigger event, things that were previously unimaginable quickly become reality, as the social and political map is remade
NORMAN SOLOMON – Every day now weâ€™re waking up into an extreme real-life nightmare, while responses are still routinely lagging far behind whatâ€™s at stake. Urgency is reality. The horrific momentum of the coronavirus is personal, social and political. In those realms, a baseline formula is â€œpassivity = death.â€ The imperative is to do vastly better.
BERNIE SANDERS – This is a moment that we have got to be working together and going forward together. What I wanted to do is talk about a series of proposals that we are working on and that we will introduce to the Democratic leadership about how we can best go forward.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – We live in a dangerous and paradoxical world. OK, fine. But is our social infrastructure capable of calmly and sanely handling new dangers that emerge â€” or is it more likely to make them worse?
ROBERT REICH – The Democratic establishment is viewing American politics through obsolete lenses of left versus right, with Bernie on the extreme left and Trump on the far right. This may have been the correct frame for politics decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but itâ€™s obsolete today.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER – The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 presidential election that drive me into a furious despair.
MEDEA BENJAMIN – Remembering some of the gains in the difficult year of 2019 can help inspire us for the critical struggles ahead.
YOTAM MAROM and GEORGE LAKEY – A worried young organizer confronts a movement elder who believes that now â€” in the midst of deep crisis â€” is our best chance to make big progressive change.
JAKE JOHNSON – More than 180 House Democrats joined a nearly united Republican caucus Wednesday night to pass a sweeping $738 billion military spending bill that gives President Donald Trump his long-sought “Space Force,” free rein to wage endless wars, and a green light to continue fueling the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The extremely rich Americans who are now frantically trying to figure out how to intervene in the Democratic presidential campaign make me wonder how different they are from the animated character who loved frolicking in money and kissing dollar bills while counting them. If Uncle Scrooge existed as a billionaire in human form today, itâ€™s easy to picture him aligned with fellow plutocrats against the â€œthreatâ€ of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
NORMAN SOLOMON – The billionaire class is worried. For the first time in memory, thereâ€™s a real chance that the next president could threaten the very existence of billionaires — or at least significantly reduce their unconscionable rate of wealth accumulation — in a country and on a planet with so much human misery due to extreme economic disparities.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Despite the upbeat words from Americaâ€™s billionaire president about the â€œeconomic miracleâ€ he has produced, economic inequality in the United States is on the rise.
HARVEY WASSERMAN – Both Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy are American made. Accept no substitutes.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – The meaning of democratic socialismâ€•a mixture of political and economic democracyâ€•should be no mystery to Americans. After all, socialist programs have been adopted in most other democratic nations. Even so, large numbers of Americans seem remarkably confused about democratic socialism.
JEFF COHEN – In the old George Carlin joke, the TV sportscaster announces: â€œHereâ€™s a partial score from the West Coast â€“ Los Angeles 6.â€ For a brilliant comedian like Carlin â€“ who skewered corporate power, class structure and political/media propaganda â€“ thatâ€™s one of his more innocuous jokes. But itâ€™s sharply relevant today as corporate TV news outlets serve up a series of partial scores. Call it â€œpropaganda by omission.â€
NORMAN SOLOMON – For plutocrats, this summer has gotten a bit scary. Two feared candidates are rising. Trusted candidates are underperforming. The 2020 presidential election could turn out to be a real-life horror movie: A Nightmare on Wall Street.
DAVID SWANSON – Meet the corporations that could lose their federal contracts when President Sanders signs a new executive order protecting workers’ rights.
ALLEGRA HARPOOTLIAN – What if thereâ€™s an antiwar movement growing right under our noses and we just havenâ€™t noticed? What if we donâ€™t see it, in part, because it doesnâ€™t look like any antiwar movement weâ€™ve even imagined?
NORMAN SOLOMON – Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as theyâ€™re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues. Mainstream journalists routinely ignore the essential core of the Bernie 2020 campaign. As far as theyâ€™re concerned, when Bernie Sanders talks about the crucial importance of grassroots organizing, he might as well be speaking in tongues.
NORMAN SOLOMON – Letâ€™s be blunt: As a supposed friend of American workers, Joe Biden is a phony. And now that heâ€™s running for president, Bidenâ€™s huge task is to hide his phoniness.
NORMAN SOLOMON – In the obvious contrasts with Kamala Harris and in the less obvious yet significant contrasts with Elizabeth Warren on matters of economic justice as well as on foreign policy, Bernie Sanders represents a different approach to the root causes of — and possible solutions to — extreme economic inequality, systemic injustice and a dire shortage of democracy.
ROBERT KOEHLER – The Senate’s “symbolic” Yemen vote matters hugely (you might say, in honor of co-sponsor Bernie Sanders). For one thing, Dems gain control of the House next year and the resolution could be reintroduced. Also, according to Reuters, some of the supporters are determined to introduce legislation calling for a ban on weapons sales to the Saudis; in other words, thereâ€™s more political action to come regarding U.S. involvement in this war.
NORMAN SOLOMON – As candidates and in office, the last two Democratic presidents have been young, dynamic and often progressive-sounding, while largely serving the interests of Wall Street, big banks, military contractors and the like. Do we need to make it three in a row?
MEAGAN DAY – Right-wing populism is advancing across the world. Bernie Sanders wants to fight back.
NORMAN SOLOMON – With six months to go before the midterm election, new national polls are showing that the Democratic Partyâ€™s much-touted momentum to gain control of the House has stalled out. The latest numbers tell us a lot about the limits of denouncing Donald Trump without offering much more than a return to the old status quo.
GEORGE LAKEY – Weâ€™ve had our first year of tweets and leaks from the White House, complete with reactions and outrage in the United States and abroad. The tsunami of words and feelings about Trump has dominated the media and is likely to continue. The question is: Will reactivity to Trump continue among activists, or are we ready to channel our passion into more focused movement-building for change?
JOHN ATCHESON – Itâ€™s worth considering what we are not talking about as we watch the political pornography of the Trump Administration play out and also how the focus on Russia undercuts the Democratic Party. In other words, what if this is exactly what Trump intended when he fired Comey? Itâ€™s worth remembering Trumpâ€™s mentor was Roy Cohn, who was a master at controlling the narrative and one of his favorite techniques was to change the subject with an in-your-face outrage of one kind or another.
NORMAN SOLOMON – After Hillary Clintonâ€™s devastating loss nearly six months ago, her most powerful Democratic allies feared losing control of the party. Efforts to lip-synch economic populism while remaining closely tied to Wall Street had led to a catastrophic defeat. In the aftermath, the partyâ€™s progressive base — personified by Bernie Sanders — was in position to start flipping over the corporate game board. Aligned with Clinton, the elites of the Democratic Party needed to change the subject.
GEORGE LAKEY – I was among the 100,000 who marched in San Franciscoâ€™s Womenâ€™s March the day after Donald Trumpâ€™s inauguration. While enthusiasm for the struggle seemed high, an important question was looming: Whatâ€™s the strategic plan, as we head into the Trump era? Although thereâ€™s no simple answer, I offer this 10-point plan â€” fully open for discussion and debate.
ROBERT PARRY – By inviting in Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat hostile to â€œregime changeâ€ wars, President-elect Trump may be signaling a major break with Republican neocon orthodoxy and a big shake-up of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.
OBITUARY OF MARY CADY PALADINO – Mary was a brilliant, strong, spirited woman with a huge and joyful heart, who greatly valued her independence, worked tirelessly every day of her long, happy life to make the world a better place, and was consistently a beacon of positive energy, love and light to those around her. Mary passed from this world on August 13th, 2016 on a bright, clear morning surrounded by family and loved ones, and at the moment of her passing a vivid rainbow filled the sky to let us know that while Maryâ€™s body could no longer carry on, her boundless energy and love will continue to grace this world.