We Mourn Muhammad Ali — And Something Even Bigger

Muhammad_Ali_1966Ali-Frazier. It was an event everybody in America paid attention to. In our fragmented media environment today that wouldn’t happen. That’s unfortunate.
Continue reading We Mourn Muhammad Ali — And Something Even Bigger

Finding Common Ground With Lester

Lester Maddox, former Governor of Georgia
We were in the waiting room to meet the governor of Georgia. Amadou K, governor of the Fourth Region of Mali and my charge for his 30-day visit to the U.S., had been high maintenance, and insisted of meeting a U.S. official “of his same rank.”

The programmer in Washington, exasperated with K’s self inflation, got him a meeting with America’s most official racist at the time, Governor Lester Maddox. So there.

Continue reading Finding Common Ground With Lester

Is Donald Our Duce?

Trum_MussoThe moment I have in mind is October 24, 1922 in Naples, Italy. Addressing a mass rally of his Fascist followers, Benito Mussolini declared, “Either the government will be given to us, or we will seize it by marching on Rome.” It was enough. The prospect of blackshirted mobs rampaging through his capital frightened the King of Italy into appointing Mussolini prime minister. From there, it was a short step to his becoming Il Duce (The Leader)—a dictator with absolute power.

Although some have compared Donald Trump to Hitler, he more nearly resembles Mussolini.

Continue reading Is Donald Our Duce?

Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Perhaps the biggest story coming out of campaign 2016 is not the rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but the fact that the media and political establishment never saw it coming. And the fact that they never saw it coming perfectly explains the rise of Sanders and Trump. Continue reading Sanders and Trump: How the Political and Media Establishment Got 2016 So Wrong

Unclear Private Role in Public Education

donorsComplaints about the quality of American public education are seldom absent from our political and historical debates. At issue are two related questions — whether the population is adequately educated to keep America great (defined in various ways) and whether the public schools are providing the ladder for upward social and economic mobility we believe in. Continue reading Unclear Private Role in Public Education