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Author: Robert Reich

Broken Windows: The willingness of our society to look the other way invites more stones to be thrown

Most of the 74,222,957 Americans who voted to reelect Donald Trump – 46.8 percent of the votes cast in the 2020 presidential election – don’t hold Trump accountable for what he has done to America. Their acceptance of Trump’s behavior will be his vilest legacy. Nearly forty years ago, political scientist James Q. Wilson and criminologist George Kelling observed that a broken window left unattended in a community signals that no one cares if windows are broken there. The broken window is thereby an invitation to throw more stones and break more windows. The message: Do whatever you want...

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Accountability for an Attempted Coup: The culpability of Trump and his GOP allies is beyond dispute

Call me old-fashioned, but when the president of the United States encourages armed insurgents to breach the Capitol and threaten the physical safety of Congress, in order to remain in power, I call it an attempted coup. The rampage Last week left five dead, including a Capitol Hill police officer who was injured when he tangled with the pro-Trump mob. We’re fortunate the carnage wasn’t greater. That the attempted coup failed shouldn’t blind us to its significance or the stain it has left on America. Nor to the importance of holding those responsible fully accountable. Trump’s culpability is beyond...

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Why a return to “normal” would be disastrous for America, normal gave us Trump

“Life is going to return to normal,” Joe Biden promised on November 26 in a Thanksgiving address to the nation. He was talking about life after COVID-19, but you could be forgiven if you thought he was also making a promise about life after Trump. It is almost impossible to separate the two. To the extent voters gave Biden a mandate, it was to end both scourges and make America normal again. Despite COVID’s grim resurgence, Dr. Anthony Fauci – the public health official whom Trump ignored and then muzzled, with whom Biden’s staff is now conferring – sounded...

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The challenge of healing a nation that insists on remaining wounded

It’s over. Donald Trump is history. For millions of Americans – a majority, by almost 5m popular votes – it’s a time for celebration and relief. Trump’s cruelty, vindictiveness, non-stop lies, corruption, rejection of science, chaotic incompetence and gross narcissism brought out the worst in America. He tested the limits of American decency and democracy. He is the closest we have come to a dictator. Democracy has had a reprieve, a stay of execution. We have another chance to preserve it, and restore what’s good about America. It will not be easy. The social fabric is deeply torn. Joe...

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Squattergate: Refusal to concede the election is just another fundraising scam by top political grifters

Leave it to Trump and his Republican allies to spend more energy fighting non-existent voter fraud than containing a virus that has killed 244,000 Americans and counting. The cost of this misplaced attention is incalculable. While COVID-19 surges to record levels, there’s still no national strategy for equipment, stay at home orders, mask mandates or disaster relief. The other cost is found in the millions of Trump voters who are being led to believe the election was stolen and who will be a hostile force for years to come – making it harder to do much of anything the...

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Suppression, purges, and the obstacles erected after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965

The country has a long history of disenfranchising and suppressing the votes of people of color, particularly in the South. But in 2013 the voter suppression efforts of yesteryear came roaring back. That was when the Supreme Court gutted key provisions in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those provisions had stopped states with histories of voter suppression from changing their election laws without an okay from the federal government. Let’s take a look at how that shameful decision has played out over the years, shall we? Voter suppression today often takes the form of purging eligible voters from...

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