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Author: TheGuardian

1968 to 2018: From partisan tremors to destabilizing political earthquake

It is tempting to find reassurance in the comparison: America survived the turmoil, division and bloodshed of 1968. I find no basis for such solace. During the turbulent year in 1968, when I achieved Jewish manhood as a barmitzvah, I took on a more concrete form of maturity with a job delivering newspapers. Making the rounds of my New Jersey hometown, tossing copies of the Daily Home News onto 70-odd porches, I almost literally trafficked in the tragedies captured in each banner headline. My mother was doing the favor of driving me along my route on the rainy April...

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The promise of Reconstruction did not prevent a modern Confederate president

In the 158th year of the American Civil War, also known as 2018, the Confederacy continues its recent resurgence. Its victims include black people, of course, but also immigrants, Jews, Muslims, Latinos, trans people, gay people and women who want to exercise jurisdiction over their bodies. The Confederacy battles in favor of uncontrolled guns and poisons, including toxins in streams, mercury from coal plants, carbon emissions into the upper atmosphere, and oil exploitation in previously protected lands and waters. Its premise appears to be that protection of others limits the rights of white men, and those rights should be...

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Gender and Racism: Voting trends show half of white women still support anti-women politicians

Some 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election – the real story of white women voters is both more grim and more complex than the figure reveals. For the past two years, the American left has been haunted by a number: 53. It is the percentage of white women who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. In the sectors of the left where the figure and its implications have become a perennial theme, the number is treated both as disappointing and darkly unsurprising, a reflection of the conventional wisdom that...

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The War on Minority Voters has been a historic threat to American Democracy

The Republican party has harassed, obstructed, frustrated and purged American citizens from having a say in their own democracy for more than 150 years. It was a mystery worthy of crime novelist Raymond Chandler. On 8 November 2016, African Americans did not show up. It was like a day of absence. African Americans had virtually boycotted the election because they “simply saw no affirmative reason to vote for Hillary”, as one reporter explained, before adding, with a hint of an old refrain, that “some saw her as corrupt”. As proof of blacks’ coolness toward her, journalists pointed to the...

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A New American Apartheid: Gerrymandering ensures a permanent minority rule

The American right is in the midst of a formidable project: installing permanent minority rule, guaranteeing control of the government even as the number of actual human beings who support their political program dwindles. Voter suppression is one, but only one, loathsome tactic in this effort, which goes far beyond just winning one election. Minority rule is the result of interlocking and mutually reinforcing strategies which must be understood together to understand the full picture of what the American right wants to achieve. Examples are everywhere. Take North Dakota. In 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, won a surprise victory...

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Young Wisconsin voters hope to wrestle state policy from a hard-right grip

Governor Scott Walker has undone Wisconsin’s progressive past and turned it into a lab for rightwing governance, but millennials have a different vision for the future. Outside the Chazen Art Museum on the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, a shark, a banana, and Nada Elmikashfi are trying to corral students to the polls for the first day of voting. Madison, the liberal heart and state capital of Wisconsin, is in the final stages of a tight race to decide the political future of this once progressive state that is now deeply conservative, at least in terms of policy....

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