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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Only real Americans: How the Republican Party’s ideology became one that explicitly rejects democracy

The man authorities have identified as the shooter who murdered eight people and wounded at least seven others at a mall in Allen, Texas, on May 6, Mauricio Garcia, appears to have been a White Supremacist. He sported Nazi tattoos and wore a patch on his vest that said “RWDS,” which stands for “Right Wing Death Squad.” Hispanic-Americans often identify as White, and as scholar of White Power movements Kathleen Belew noted on Twitter, today’s militant right holds together largely because of their interest “in hurting vulnerable communities, antisemitism, anti-Islam, anti-trans, misogynist violence.” A search by Aric Toler of...

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Massacre by Gun: How our free-for-all of violence is a symptom of the takeover by an extremist minority

For years now, after one massacre or another, I have written some version of the same article, explaining that the nation’s current gun free-for-all is not traditional but, rather, is a symptom of the takeover of our nation by a radical extremist minority. The idea that massacres are “the price of freedom,” as right-wing personality Bill O’Reilly said in 2017 after the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas, in which a gunman killed 60 people and wounded 411 others, is new, and it is about politics, not our history. The Second Amendment to the Constitution, on which modern-day arguments...

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Lost Youth: Why weakening child labor laws are part of state GOP efforts to gut the federal government

According to the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, legislatures in at least ten states have set out to weaken federal child labor laws. In the first three months of 2023, legislators in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and South Dakota introduced bills to weaken the regulations that protect children in the workplace, and in March, Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a law repealing restrictions for workers younger than 16. Those in favor of the new policies argue that fewer restrictions on child labor will protect parents’ rights, but in fact the new labor measures have been written by the...

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Foreign policy for the middle class: Jake Sullivan outlines a different vision of economic leadership

“And that is the core of our economic approach. To build. To build capacity, to build resilience, to build inclusiveness, at home and with partners abroad. The capacity to produce and innovate, and to deliver public goods like strong physical and digital infrastructure and clean energy at scale. The resilience to withstand natural disasters and geopolitical shocks. And the inclusiveness to ensure a strong, vibrant American middle class and greater opportunity for working people around the world. All of that is part of what we have called a foreign policy for the middle class.” – Jake Sullivan, National Security...

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Debt ceiling crisis brings differences between MAGA Republicans and Biden Democrats into sharp relief

The debt ceiling is not about future spending; future spending is debated when Congress takes up the budget. The debt ceiling is a curious holdover from the past, when Congress actually wanted to enable the government to be flexible in its borrowing rather than holding the financial reins too tightly. In the era of World War I, when the country needed to raise a lot of money fast, Congress stopped passing specific revenue measures and instead set a cap on how much money the government could borrow through all of the different instruments it used. Beginning in the 1980s,...

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Marginalized and Silenced: Why Black Americans push for Democracy as a way to change the status quo

Justin J. Pearson, along with Representatives Justin Jones and Gloria Johnson, the Tennessee Three, joined supporters this morning at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, before a scheduled special meeting of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners to decide whether to reappoint Pearson to the Tennessee legislature after it expelled him last week. Republicans expelled Pearson and Jones from that body after they and Johnson engaged in a protest for gun safety without being recognized by the chair. The Nashville Metropolitan Council reinstated Jones on April 10. Meeting at the Lorraine Motel conjured...

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