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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

An Abdication of Leadership: How reality is disrupting an ideology still opposed to the New Deal

For a generation, Republicans have tried to unravel the activist government under which Americans have lived since the 1930s, when Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a government that regulated business, provided a basic social safety net, and invested in infrastructure. From the beginning, that government was enormously popular. Both Republicans and Democrats believed that the principle behind it — that the country worked best when government protected and defended ordinary Americans — was permanent. But the ideologues who now control the Republican Party have always wanted to get rid of this New Deal state and go back to the...

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Trump opens a new chapter of his fascist playbook in Milwaukee under the guise of “law and order”

Trump announced on July 22 that he will send federal agents to Chicago and Milwaukee, as part of his push to advance the idea that he is a “LAW & ORDER” president. Trump insists that “violent anarchists” allied with “radical left” Democrats have launched “a shocking explosion of shootings, killings, murders and heinous crimes of violence.” “This bloodshed must end,” he said. “This bloodshed will end.” To hear the president tell it, the country is at war against a leftist enemy that is destroying us from within. But his dark vision is simply not true. While crime is indeed...

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A Deadly Reelection Stunt: Deployment of secret police force meant to distract from COVID-19 crisis

Trump is shifting his reelection pitch, and it has frightening implications for the country. Over the weekend, the federal crackdown in Portland, Oregon continued with people in unmarked camouflage uniforms arresting peaceful protesters and taking them away in unmarked vehicles. And then, they appeared — for now — to let them go. The administration appears to be constructing a scene of violence and disorder for the news media to show to viewers. It seems clear that the Trump campaign — which got a new director on July 15 – is going to make its case for reelection on the...

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Remembering John Lewis: An icon of the social justice movement with a legacy of community service

Just before midnight on July 17, we heard the news that 80-year-old Georgia Representative John Lewis has passed away from pancreatic cancer. As a young adult, Lewis was a “troublemaker,” breaking the laws of his state: he broke the laws upholding racial segregation. He organized voting registration drives and in 1960 was one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders, white and black students traveling together from Washington DC to New Orleans to challenge segregation. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” Lewis later...

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Assault on public schools: Why Betsy DeVos is using the pandemic to privatize education across the nation

The administration escalated its insistence on July 12 that our public schools must reopen on schedule for the fall. On “Fox News Sunday,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told Chris Wallace – who is one of the Fox News Channel’s actual reporters, “We know that children contract and have the virus at far lower incidence than any other part of the population, and we know that other countries around the world have reopened their schools and have done so successfully and safely.” Wallace asked her if it was fair to compare countries that have as few as 20 new...

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You’ll get used to it: Trump supporters embrace an alternate reality on his failed response to COVID-19

It is becoming clearer that there are currently two different versions of America. The White House and Trump supporters are trying to pretend that the world Trump continually tweets about is real, while the rest of the country is proving that reality doesn’t much care about the fictions Trump is peddling. July 6 began with Trump frantic-tweeting, and those tweets were an impressionistic picture of how he hopes to win voters. He defended his performance in combatting what he called “new China Virus” cases, touted the strong stock market, and warned that “if you want your 401k’s and Stocks,...

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