On American campuses, there are two lefts.
Fifty years later, Kennedy's legend makes life at the White House harder for Democrats
For 50 years, Democrats have driven themselves crazy trying to live up to a legend
How unpopular opinions move history forward
American politics is a famously contentious theater, especially today. But the vast majority of liberals, conservatives, and Washington journalists all seem to agree that “extremism” is appalling and should be eradicated.
Is a new, young left really on the rise? A few weeks ago, Peter Beinart wrote a long online essay which argued strongly in the affirmative. It drew a lot of attention—20,000 “Likes” and almost 5,000 tweets, at last count. And it made a lot of the progressives who read it feel better about politics than at any time since Mitt Romney learned 47 percent was actually the percentage of his popular vote.
"America may have lost its stomach for military intervention," Charles Blow wrote recently in the New York Times. At least among Obama supporters, that has become the most common explanation, hardening into cliché, for why the president’s call to punish Assad’s regime for gassing its own citizens met with a curdled mixture of anger and apathy.
The 1963 March on Washington featured just one prominent white speaker. “We will not solve education or housing or public accommodations, as long as millions of Negroes are treated as second-class economic citizens and denied jobs,” declared Walter Reuther, the legendary president of the United Auto Workers. “This rally is not the end, it's the beginning of a great moral crusade to arouse America to the unfinished work of American democracy.” Thus did he confidently link the goals of organized labor to those of the black freedom struggle.
Last December, at the prayer vigil in Newtown, Connecticut, Barack Obama delivered one of the best speeches of his presidency. He grieved and consoled, speaking both as a father and as the head of state. Then, pivoting to the need for gun control, he became resolute: “We can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end.”
Unless they're really, really good.
Why a decades-old act of defiance still hasn't been surpassed
Daniel Ellsberg was a spiritual godfather to Snowden and Manning. But he was so, so different.
Woodrow Wilson was as important as FDR or LBJ. Why aren't we celebrating his 100th anniversary?
The first liberal Democratic president took office exactly 100 years ago this spring. So why aren’t contemporary liberals bestowing the same praise on Woodrow Wilson as they lavish on Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson? Granted, if he were running today, Woodrow Wilson wouldn’t win a single Democratic primary and would no doubt be heckled out of the race. Raised in the South, he smiled on Jim Crow and did not object when two of his cabinet appointees re-segregated their departments.