Author Archives: politicaloptic

Is Tim Kaine a Progressive?

As a progressive democrat, I was disappointed when Hillary chose Tim Kaine, a politician known as a centrist, for her running mate. Hillary, it seems to me, missed out on a chance to show her progressive good faith and to appeal to a critical … Continue reading

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The Email Controversy

Whoever could have predicted that an issue as technical and nerdy as  Clinton’s email system would become so controversial? The scandal has dominated her candidacy and sucked much of the oxygen out of issues that cry out to be discussed in the … Continue reading

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The Man Who Stood Up to Donald Trump: The Lesson of Michael Forbes

Most Americans have probably never heard of Michael Forbes. And perhaps that’s understandable since the man resides in far-off Scotland and is not a typical celebrity. Forbes is an elderly Scotsman who owns a family farm in Aberdeen province and works hard to … Continue reading

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The Republican Party Will Never Be the Same after Trump

It will be a while before Republicans truly come to grips with a Trump-dominated party. So far leaders are trying to view his upcoming nomination in the old manner, still convinced he can fit a recognizably Republican mold. RNC Chairman Priebus is bravely … Continue reading

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North Carolina’s Bathroom Law: Culture War Redux

North Carolina’ recent “bathroom bill” is a classic example of legislation that creates a problem rather than solving one. Not only does it make life excruciatingly difficult for a vulnerable minority, it seems to decree general chaos. Among other stipulations about discrimination, House Bill 2 requires all transgender … Continue reading

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What Does Bernie Sanders Mean by Socialism?

Perhaps one of the most refreshing aspects of Bernie Sanders’ campaign has been his willingness to use the word socialism, one of America’s long-standing taboos. Of course, associating himself with socialism was always going to be a tricky move for Bernie in the U.S. political framework, even though … Continue reading

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Trump’s Bullying of the Press is a Threat to Democracy

Donald Trump crosses the line of acceptable political behavior so often that it is easy to become numbed to the danger he presents. A key example is his treatment of the press. An independent, robust free press is one of the things … Continue reading

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“Telling Like It Is,” Trump Comes Back to Punish the GOP Establishment

The “tell it like it is” tactic, so brilliantly portrayed in Donald Trump’s current campaign, has long been used as a forceful way of connecting with the voter. On the face of it, it is a form of plain-speaking, where the speaker says things … Continue reading

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The Plutocrats’ War Against Teachers’ Unions and Some Recent Blowback

While it’s no surprise that America’s billionaire elites oppose unions, it is worth noting how much they focus their attention on unions in the public, as opposed to the private, sector. Teachers’ unions, in particular, seem be their consuming obsession. In 2011, for example, they played a … Continue reading

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What Trump Hath Wrought: Mobs versus Elites in the GOP

The Republican higher-ups can hardly contain their horror and dismay. Enfant terrible Donald Trump, by embracing chauvinistic populism and garnering popular support in the race for the GOP nomination, has thrown “their” party into chaos. He has sucked up the available oxygen and left his … Continue reading

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