Dorothy Day, Radicalism, and Present-Day Politics

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Walter Moss: Dorothy Day’s work and legacy serve as a gentle reminder to politicians and those of us among the “chattering classes,” that what matters most is not what we say or how we or others label us, but how we contribute to the common good.

If the Tea Party Were Liberal

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Tina Dupuy: If liberals were doing to their country what extremist tea party Republicans are doing to theirs – it would be called unpatriotic. A whole tsunami of sound bites would sweep the country calling for the sabotage to stop.

Call Me a Socialist and I Won’t Get Mad

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Berry Craig: Genuine socialists are proud of the socialist handle. They call their parties — you guessed it – “socialist,” or sometimes “social democratic” or “labor.”

Winner-Take-All

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John Peeler: “Winner-Take-All Politics” provides a well-documented analysis of how the United States government, since the 1970s, has systematically enriched the top one percent of the country at the expense of everyone else. Written by distinguished political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, the book shows how big business interests ratcheted up their national organizations to defend their interests in national policy debates. In addition to employing far stronger lobbying, these interests created think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, designed to challenge the liberal conventional wisdom of the New Deal and Great Society and replace it with an explicitly conservative, free-market-oriented way of thinking.

Repubs Winning, Dems Whining

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Michael Sigman: The Right’s genius for manipulating people’s sense of grievance — combined with liberals’ weak brew of tepid policy proposals and corporate coziness — leads ordinary voters to cast their ballots against their own economic interests time and time again.

Why Johnny Can’t Think Critically

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Rev. Irene Monroe: A mind is a terribly thing to waste. But for conservatives and Tea Party activists who want to indoctrinate our kids rather than to educate them, a mind is a terrible thing to have. Now with far-right activists like Glen Beck pushing for more Jesus and less Darwin — working to reshape the academic landscape in schools, colleges and universities across the country — we will soon know without having to wonder “Why Johnny Can’t Think Critically.”

Joe the Plumber: A Political Inspiration?

Steve Hochstadt: Simple virtues and political cliches won’t solve our problems, which can’t all be blamed on “liberals.” Getting off our butts to cheer our congressman was not what Wurzelbacher wanted. If these conservatives do Take Back Illinois, they won’t know what to do with it.

The End of Encyclopedias?

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Steve Hochstadt: Conservapedia is mainly silly, reflecting Schafly’s cranky ideas, such as that vaccines are a conspiracy to poison us. But the wider idea that science, and other kinds of knowledge, can be “liberal” or “conservative” is dangerous. This is exactly the argument that German Nazis and Soviet Communists used to reject “Jewish” or “capitalist” ideas.

As Progressives Predicted, Clinton Welfare Reform Law Fails Families

Randy Shaw: After President Bill Clinton signed legislation in 1996 “ending welfare as we know it,” many highlighted this “common sense” solution and criticized progressives for opposing the bill. Soon after passage, politicians and the media said it had not caused the downsides that activists had predicted, ignoring that the law had not been fully implemented. But troubling reports soon emerged.