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Politics

On democracy and dictatorship

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

The wonderful thing about Donald Trump's presidency (I never thought I'd begin a column this way), is that he brings us back to basics.

The basic difference between a democracy and a dictatorship comes down to means and ends.

Democracy is about means, not ends. If we all agreed on the ends (such as whether to build a wall along the Mexican ...Read more

What to expect of House Democrats

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi. After two years of Republican control over both chambers of Congress and the presidency, some balance has been restored to our democracy.

I know and have worked with many members of the 116th Congress. They are people of integrity who will strive to do ...Read more

America's New Year's resolution: Protect our democracy by removing Trump

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

After Donald Trump's first bizarre year as president, his apologists told us he was growing into the job and that in his second year he'd be more restrained and more respectful of democratic institutions.

Wrong. He's been worse.

Exhibit A: the "wall." After torpedoing Mitch McConnell's temporary spending deal to avert a shutdown, he's holding ...Read more

Trump's shutdown and the economic precipice

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

I was in Bill Clinton's Cabinet when Newt Gingrich pulled the plug on the federal government in the mid-'90s. It wasn't a pretty picture. A long shutdown hurts millions of people who rely on government for services and paychecks.

Donald Trump's shutdown also adds to growing worries about the economy. The stock market is on track for the worst ...Read more

What's truly terrifying about Trump's private transactions

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Donald Trump has described the payments his bagman, Michael Cohen, made to two women during the 2016 campaign so they wouldn't discuss their alleged affairs with him as "a simple private transaction."

Last week, when ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked Cohen if Trump knew the payments were wrong and were made to help his election, Cohen replied, ...Read more

A tip for Tariff Man

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

"I am a Tariff Man," Trump tweeted last week. "When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. ... We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN."

I'm sorry, Mr. President, but you got this wrong. Tariffs are paid by American consumers. About ...Read more

Trump takes on General Motors (and guess who wins?)

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Donald Trump's "America first" economic nationalism is finally crashing into the reality of America's shareholder-first global capitalism.

Last week, General Motors announced it would cut about 14,000 jobs, most of them in the politically vital swing states of Michigan and Ohio.

This doesn't quite square...Read more

Trump assaults the rule of law

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

The "rule of law" distinguishes democracies from dictatorships. It's based on three fundamental principles. Trump is violating every one of them.

The first is that no person is above the law, not even a president. Which means a president cannot stop an investigation into his alleged illegal acts.

Yet in recent weeks, Trump fired Attorney ...Read more

Break up Facebook (and, while we're at it, Google, Apple and Amazon)

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

The New York Times revealed last week that Facebook executives withheld evidence of Russian activity on the Facebook platform far longer than previously disclosed. They also employed a political opposition research firm to discredit critics.

There's a larger story here.

America's Gilded Age of the late ...Read more

How blue states help red states

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress love to demonize government handouts. But their own red-state supporters depend on these handouts. And the handouts are increasingly financed by the inhabitants of blue states.

The federal program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- what we used to call "welfare" -- is now tiny. It provides cash ...Read more

America has rejected Trumpism

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Make no mistake: America has rejected Trumpism.

No one seriously expected the Senate to flip, because Democrats had to defend 26 seats in that chamber, compared with only nine held by Republicans.

The real battleground was the House, where Democrats had to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to get the 218 needed for a majority.

They did.

Trump ...Read more

Trump's demagoguery inspired it. Fox News magnified it.

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Demagogues rarely commit violence directly. Instead, they focus blame, ridicule, fear and hate -- and then leave the violence to others. That way, they can always claim, "It wasn't me. I don't have blood on my hands."

Of the tens of millions of Americans whom the Donald Trump/Fox News regime has made fearful, only a small percentage -- say, a ...Read more

Democrats, don't go high or low. Go big and bold.

From the Left / Robert B. Reich /

Donald Trump says the midterm elections are a "referendum about me." Of course they are. Everything is about him.

Anyone who still believes the political divide runs between Republicans and Democrats hasn't been paying attention. There's no longer a Republican Party. The ...Read more

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