On how Democrats should change the fiscal policy

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“Republicans have made clear time and time again that they don’t care about the deficit. And Democrats shouldn’t either. Rather than fixating on the GOP’s shaky math, Democrats should highlight the cruelty of shoveling money to the rich at a time when inequality is soaring and millions languish in poverty ”

Josh Mound, ‘The Democrats Are Eisenhower Republicans’, Jacobin Magazine

On the colonial asset of the War for American independence

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“ People like to cite Washington, when he was president, on avoiding foreign entanglements. That represents what I see as a widespread fantasy that there could ever have been an independent American nation without expansion driven by a concentration of wealth and military power. That’s what nationhood meant — and that’s why, if we want a radical transformation, we have to stop seeking it somewhere in our national origins. Washington somehow managed not to see his conquest of the old Northwest in the 1790s as a foreign engagement, because the enemy was indigenous. Neat trick, but in fact many of the men who became revolutionaries, with Washington among the foremost, turned against England in the mid-1770s precisely because the mother country was blocking their expansion into Indian country, robbing the colonial speculators of their investments and of the massive potential profits to be made there. In the west, at least, the revolution was a war of American expansion ”

William Hogeland, ‘Not Our Independence Day’, Jacobin Magazine

On what a democracy should and shouldn’t protect

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“ The Constitution protects uncivil speech – hate speech, even. But it does so not because our democracy approves of such speech, but because we believe that truth will expose lies and the evil of government censorship is greater than the perils posed by untoward speakers (…) While a democracy can afford to tolerate some uncivil speech, it cannot withstand the sweeping cultivation of contempt directed against the institutions designed to keep government honest and elections safe.  This should be obvious to all public servants. And yet the present occupant of the White House has become the strident mouthpiece of uncivil speech that libels these very institutions ”

Lawrence Douglas, ‘The biggest threat to American democracy isn’t Trump’s uncivil speech’, The Guardian

On the distribution of political violent acts over the political spectrum

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“ The Anti-Defamation League recently reported that right-wing extremists have plotted at least 150 terrorist acts in the United States over the last twenty-five years, killing or injuring more than eight hundred people. An earlier ADL report found right-wing extremists were responsible for 74 percent of the 372 people killed in domestic terror attacks between 2007 and 2016 (…) Conservatives — and, it now appears, the mainstream press — love to complain about the ‘intolerant Left.’ But only one side of the political spectrum has been engaged in consistent, sustained, politically motivated violence for the last two decades ”

Branko Marcetic, ‘Whose Violence?’, Jacobin Magazine

On why the judiciary isn’t the antidote to Trumpism

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“ …since Trump’s election, and before that, liberals have seen the Constitution as the greatest weapon against the hard right. But long after Trump is gone, the hard right will be relying upon the judiciary — and behind that, the Constitution — to protect their gains. As was true of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Right will depend upon unelected judges interpreting the law, in defiance of the popular will. The very thing, in other words, that liberals think is the antidote to Trumpism — the Constitution — will turn out to be its long-term preservative, the elixir of life ”

Corey Robin, ‘Control the Supreme Court, Control the Republican Party’, Jacobin Magazine

On the anti-US sentiment in Yemen for its support of the Saudi-led coalition

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“ ‘USA Kills Yemeni People’, screams graffiti plastered on walls in Yemen’s capital Sana’a. The Yemeni people who have been on the receiving end of US bombs dropped by Saudi pilots know all too well that the United States is complicit in their suffering. The intense anti-US sentiment in Yemen should be a wake-up call for Americans: if you don’t care about the millions of suffering Yemenis, you might think about the future blowback (…) People in the region understand that until there is a serious US interest in a political solution, it won’t happen. Even if Trump is only interested in ‘putting America first’, he would do well to stop being involved in dropping bombs on Yemenis and instead use his ‘art of the deal’ to join with the United Nations in ending this catastrophic conflict ”

Medea Benjamin, ‘America will regret helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen’, The Guardian

On the American class double-thinking

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“ …most of the people on the highest rung in America are in denial about their privilege. The American myth of meritocracy allows them to attribute their position to their brilliance and diligence, rather than to luck or a rigged system (…)The rhetoric of ‘We are the 99 percent’ has in fact been dangerously self-serving, allowing people with healthy six-figure incomes to convince themselves that they are somehow in the same economic boat as ordinary Americans, and that it is just the so-called super rich who are to blame for inequality (…) There’s a kind of class double-think going on here. On the one hand, upper-middle-class Americans believe they are operating in a meritocracy (a belief that allows them to feel entitled to their winnings); on the other hand, they constantly engage in anti-meritocratic behavior in order to give their own children a leg up. To the extent that there is any ethical deliberation, it usually results in a justification along the lines of ‘Well, maybe it’s wrong, but everyone’s doing it.’ ”

Richard V, Reeves, ‘Stop Pretending You’re Not Rich’, New York Times