When I first moved here in 2011, I was planning to write a book on reality television — particularly The Real Housewives franchise and other shows featuring women. Continue reading
Well my article on reality television has finally been published: “The Mean Girls of McWorld: Reality Television and the Attack on Strong Democracy” in Strong Democracy in Crisis: Promise or Peril?, edited by Trevor Norris (Lanham, MD: Lexington Press, 2016). Believe it or not, I originally wrote the piece back in 2011.
I had just left academia in 2011, and I planned to write full-time. Continue reading
The following is an excerpt from Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2016).
‘One of the reasons that inequality has probably gone up in our society is that people are being treated closer to the way that they’re supposed to be treated.’
—– Larry Summers
‘Sometimes the task of government is to make incremental improvements, or try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north or south, so that ten years from now, suddenly we’re in a very different place than we were. But at the time, at the moment, people may feel like, we need a 50 degree turn, we don’t need a two degree turn. … And you can’t turn 50 degrees. And it’s not just because of corporate lobbyists, it’s not just because of big money, it’s because societies don’t turn 50 degrees. Democracies certainly don’t turn 50 degrees.’
—— President Obama (2015), quoted in Frank
“If our goal is to rescue the reputation of a hero who turned out to have clay feet, this is surely the way to go. Ocean liners are hard to turn. Presidents don’t have a lot of power. Republicans are in league with the devil. Continue reading
The United States was founded by people who came to these shores in search of a fresh start. And as our current debates over immigration remind us, the country remains a magnet for people around the world who are looking for a better life.
So it’s unsettling to find that millions of contemporary Americans seeking their own fresh starts, including hundreds and perhaps thousands here in Delaware, are being denied their most basic right as American citizens: the right to vote. Continue reading
The United States may be on the cusp of a new political era — and we are either on the brink of disaster or the edge of a democratic awakening. Just getting by has been so hard for so many people for so long that they are finally rising up on both the left and the right, demanding change from the political establishment. Continue reading
I read an interesting article in the New York Times this morning that speculates about what the “swarm” of young social media activists that catapulted the Bernie Sanders campaign are going to do next. These tech savvy activists are developing new ways of campaigning and raising money. Many may turn next to down-ticket progressives, which would be great.
I am so gratified that the General Assembly passed a bill rescinding all past resolutions calling for an Article V constitutional convention this week. Common Cause Delaware was primarily interested in rescinding the resolution that focuses on a balanced budget amendment to the US Constitution, which would be an unmitigated disaster for every educational and social welfare program funded by the federal government. It would take control over the budget out of the hands of the people’s representatives in Congress and give power to unelected judges, thus violating the separation of powers. Continue reading