Where’s the Sacrifice?

ride with hitler

Madeline Janis: Imagine if our government sponsored ads now likening riding alone in a car to taking a big old diesel engine, and dropping it onto the Alaskan wilderness, or a child’s face?

GOP 2012: The Pro-Fiction Campaign

flaky santorum

Tina Dupuy: Warning of a zombie nation feasting on the metaphorical brains of the U.S. is consistent with a party now completely untethered from basic American history, science or any other evidence-based practice: The GOP is now a party standing proudly on a pro-fiction platform.

Turning the Tide: An Historian’s View of School Reform

high school principal

Mark Naison: Over time, people of courage and integrity will turn the tide and begin to restore sanity to educational discourse and develop a powerful alliance of teachers, parents and students, supported first by the Occupy movement, and later by unions, religious organizations and progressive politicians.

Who Is an American?

group of people

Steve Hochstadt: Those who have argued for excluding some Americans from full rights, who have urged some Americans to leave because they weren’t American enough, who wanted to separate and classify and dominate people, have always been wrong.

Mittens, You’re No Tom Paine

tom paine

Dave Blake: What really bugs me is Romney going out of his way to quote Tom Paine, the most radical of the American revolutionary pamphleteers. Isn’t distorting Jesus enough for him? Is he going after Marx next?

Will Occupy Wall Street Be Co-opted?

occupy los angeles

Peter Dreier: Too many lefties view “co-optation” as failure. I disagree. The success of every radical movement in American history has occurred when it is co-opted by the forces of reform.

What Do Republican Politicians Believe?

rick-perry-swagger-wide

Steve Hochstadt: Displaying scientific illiteracy or telling disaster victims that their suffering is God’s punishment won’t create one new job. Scaring Americans about Social Security, the most successful social program in American history, won’t improve economic confidence.

Did Beer End Minnesota’s State Shutdown?

Christine Sismondo

Christine Sismondo: It was not the 22,000 furloughed state employees, the shuttered state parks, or the closed motor vehicle bureaus that finally brought the reality of the shutdown home to many state residents—it was the specter of unavailable beer, wine, and spirits.

Democracy Is Messy

lexington minuteman

Ted Vaill: Every Member of Congress who voted against increasing the debt ceiling should be targeted for defeat in the 2012 election. If that is not successful in changing the makeup of Congress after 2012, I may follow the lead of my ancestor Pelatiah Everett, and begin a new revolution.

The Midnight Ride of….

paul-revere

Jerry Drucker: The current gang of Pinocchio complex, ‘pants on fire’ Republicans have a penchant for rewriting history and what follows is the imagined GOP rewrite of our U.S. preamble that their corporate masters would desire.

The 112th Congress: A Lot of Nothing

112th-congress-wide

Tina Dupuy: The House of Representatives needs to start representing America and not just their rapidly-righter-facing ideology. Pyrrhic victories are not actually victorious for a country with a struggling economy.

The Labor Movement Shall Not Be Erased From History

union organizing

Bill Londrigan: Working mostly behind the scenes in academic, political, and media circles for the past 40-plus years, corporations and the wealthy elite have funded a multipronged strategy to wipe out the history of the integral role played by the American labor movement in the founding and growth of our nation.

Jobs: An Angry Dissent

jobless in america

Brent Budowsky: Never before in American history has unemployment been so high, yet neither the president nor Congress pushes for a major jobs bill.

‘Unprovoked’ Attacks, From 1812 to 9/11

grenada

Ivan Eland: American history vindicates the old saying that “truth is the first casualty of war,” but the passage of time should allow a republic to undertake a more honest and dispassionate examination of historical events. It rarely does, with truth being swept under the rug in favor of assuming uncaused indignities.

Look Away, Dixieland

slaves

Tom Degan: Listening to some of them defending the the secession ball was amusing, to say the least. In their minds, the War Between the States had not a thing to do with human bondage. It was all about “states rights”. Oh, brother!

Happy Election Day!

us elections

Steve Hochstadt: Republicans and Democrats agree on little else, but that this will be a transformative year for our national politics. After saying that, I wish that they both would offer me more about how my family’s life, my community, my country will be better

In Defense of Ethnic Studies and American History

Five generations of a family born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation

Simon Balto: Amidst the recent assaults on ethnic studies in Arizona and beyond that propagate a myth that such programs are divisive and exclusionary, I now find myself seeking to defend and justify their importance, and to wrestle with their place in American history.

Michael Tomasky’s Despairing Take on American History

Joseph Palermo: Tomasky argues that many of President Obama’s harshest critics on the left are reacting that way because they don’t want to admit to themselves that the “feelings of invincibility and redemption” after the 2008 election “were misplaced,” and that “the power and euphoria were somehow counterfeit.”

Paging Dr. King

Martin Luther King Jr.

Tom Degan: That’s what I love about this guy! American history is littered with “Christian” religious leaders. Try as you might, you can’t escape them. The thing that sets Reverend King apart from most of these guys is the fact that he wasn’t a hypocrite. He never tried to twist the words of Jesus of Nazareth into anything other than what they were – a call to love one another and for kindness and gentleness. The Trappist monk Thomas Merton is another celebrated American Christian who took the gospel seriously. So was Dorothy Day. Please give me a day or two and I might be able to name more, but at the moment none come to mind. Both Merton and King died in 1968, Day in 1980. They’re gone and they’re not coming back.

The New Obama Is the Old Obama

(AP Photo/Tim Sloan, Pool)

David A. Love: And at the Republican Party’s retreat in Baltimore, President Obama was responsible for the most compelling example of political theater in recent American history. He fielded questions from a crowded room of hostile adversaries– outnumbered, perhaps, but unmatched in intellectual firepower. The result was nothing less than a nationally-broadcast smackdown that the Republicans will not soon forget. Perhaps the president’s adversaries in the GOP, blinded by their partisanship, extremism, and dare I say racism, underestimated his capabilities.

Toward a More Complete MLK Day

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Simon Balto: King understood that the problems of America involved much more than racial inequality, and—in answer to LBJ’s question—what he in fact wanted was “a radical redistribution of power.”

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