Mastering the art of storytelling to drive change.

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Cocky, rocky, American democracy

A few days ago, I was standing on the “grassy knoll” on Elm Street in Dallas, just a few feet away from where white painted X’s on the street marked the exact spot where President Kennedy was shot. I cornily confess: I felt chills running down my neck.  [caption id="attachment_4452" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] X's mark the exact spot on Elm Street where President John F. Kennedy and Texas Governor Joh


The Jewish People

Today I’d like to share a few thoughts about the Jewish People: who we are, and why folks can expect to keep seeing us for as long as the earth remains habitable. The questions and answers I present here spring from my own experience and point of view. There’s not a Jew I know among us who would presume to speak for the rest of us. Further, these thoughts are geared in largest part towards people who are no


A Penalty Box for Human Beings

There’s a six-second clip from a Seinfeld episode that pretty much sums up the four main characters’ attitudes toward humanity: Elaine: “I will never understand people.”  Jerry: “They’re the worst.”  The nonchalant cadence in Jerry’s voice is the funniest part of the scene. But even if you’re just reading it off the page, the joke hits home — because it’s universal. On a daily bas


Facebook v. Jewdicious: Unlike machines, human beings have the capacity to consider CONTEXT

One day last week, a notification popped up on my Facebook page: “We removed your content. See why.” It had that foreboding hazard-icon with the exclamation mark. Removed? Me? Actually, there were two notifications: one for my personal page and one for the JEWDICIOUS page. On each, I’d shared a new article by one of our writers, Ross Marks, about how Jewish visionaries created Hollywood and the film industry


We’re live from the murder scene – get popcorn!!

I’m in the passenger seat of a van racing 90 miles per hour down a two-lane highway through the mountains of Central California — chasing the police. We’re no more than 100 feet behind a four-car convoy of CHP officers who’re searching for a fugitive who’s just escaped from a local prison. The rush is hard to describe. This is what happened on my first day working as a reporter at NBC-TV affiliate KSEE i


Can’t do live TV? Good luck winning the presidency

There are only two ways to become president in the United States:   Through charisma on camera and making people FEEL.  By default. I’m talking about for the last 63 years, since the advent of TV in presidential politics.  In 1960, after the first ever live televised presidential debate, Americans changed their mind about Kennedy. He was no longer looked at as a junior senator. He was perceived as


Introducing: JEWDICIOUS!!

At a pretty dark moment in my life, a dear friend insisted I read a book written by a man named Bill Wilson. Sure enough, the volume was overflowing with useful wisdom. But from start to finish I kept getting distracted from the message — because it was so beautifully written! I love writers. Sometimes I even like writing — but it’s hard. Which is one of the reasons I love to read other writers. We all stare


America! (in one sentence)

When John Hancock put his "John Hancock" on the Declaration of Independence, he was 39 years old. James Madison was 25, Alexander Hamilton was 21, and James Monroe just 18. But there was one famous signatory who was far older at the time of America’s birth. Benjamin Franklin, who was akin to a father to the Fathers, was 70 years of age in 1776. Three years later, Franklin became the first minister (ambass


A.I. & WAR GAMES: Can human intelligence prevent the nightmare scenarios that were once science fiction?

David Lightman is a computer whiz kid who’s dying to play a soon-to-be-released video game. He hacks into the computer company’s system and starts playing the game called “Global Thermonuclear War.” What the American teenager doesn’t realize is that he’s just inadvertently entered the mainframe computer at the U.S. Department of Defense — and it thinks David is the Russians.   This government comput


Your life is a movie. DIRECT IT.

You’re in a darkened theater, watching the new flick you’ve been dying to see for months. It’s living up to your expectations. This thing was definitely worth seeing on the big screen.  You’re watching and listening to the main character in the movie — as she’s watching and hearing all of the things that are coming at her. You’re also seeing her physical contact with some of these things and people.


The Golfer’s Golfer: Michael Block hits the shot of his lifetime (and maybe ours too)

In the 1980 movie Caddyshack, Bill Murray plays greenskeeper “Carl Spackler,” who in an iconic scene fantasizes about being the “Cinderella Boy” who holes out an 8-iron in his last swing at The Masters. He’s daydreaming, but in its own way (a few ways), it is epic.  In the 1996 movie Tin Cup, Kevin Costner plays driving range pro “Roy McAvoy” — who actually does hole out his last shot in the U.S.


Bleeding Smart Liberal: The best solutions to America’s greatest challenges defy simplistic labels

It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I really adopted any kind of political philosophy or ideology. In fact, it sort of adopted me.  For several years, I’d covered local news for NBC in Fresno. We really reported on the entire San Joaquin Valley — and that included a consistent flow of homicides and violent crimes.  The more I covered crime and the criminal justice system — and the level of poverty in the


Debbie’s Life: A crushing loss has been a reminder that oldest friendships are eternal

Last night, I attended a Shiva to celebrate the life of a woman who was like a second mother to me during my teens. Her name was Debbie Fishbein, and each one of her four sons has been one of my closest friends at one point or another over the last 40 years. As I was sharing a moment at the bar with Debbie’s second eldest, Jeffrey, a family friend strolled up to us and asked:  “So, do you two guys still see e


RFK Jr.’s Holocaust stupidity: a lesson in what not to say

Children entering shower houses with their parents only to find out there would be no water falling onto their heads; only lethal gas creeping into their chest.  Men in uniform blindly taking orders to murder six million Jews — for being  Jewish. One and a half million of them — children.  At least another 500,000 non-Jewish lives snuffed out — because Hitler deemed them undesirable.  Mass graves.


As Israel turns 75, it must confront a new kind of threat to insure its future      

One of the things I love most about being Jewish is the poetic storytelling in our traditions that always speaks to the destiny of a better future — and our role in it. Yet it can be easy to forget that in our more recent history, Jewish visionaries and political leaders used the power of narrative in a far more proactive fashion to propel forward even the idea of establishing the State of Israel. In 1853, Avraha


Fear(-less): The lifelong process of becoming yourself

The first time I played spin-the-bottle, I was so terrified that I couldn’t even tell you today whether I kissed the girl or not.  I remember everything else. I was 12. It was a Saturday afternoon. And almost as if foreshadowing, my friend Jamie and I had stumbled upon an old Playboy Magazine outside a trash dumpster on our way uptown.  We ran into two of our cutest classmates at Gsell’s drugstore, and be


Arrest Trump, then nominate him

There are lots of options right now for people who hope that Donald Trump will be criminally prosecuted. It just might be the case where he allegedly conspired with his former pit bull attorney Michael Cohen to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels with $130,000 in hush money. The New York D.A., Alvin Bragg, is seemingly getting chilly feet after receiving recent information that may contest Michael Cohen’s testimony


Pucker Carlson: Champion of cable sycophancy and cruelty

I really do have more important writing to do at the moment than pen this first and last little ditty about Pucker Carlson. But if I don’t get it out, I’m going to vomit.  I am in the process of weaning myself off cable “news.” It’s a longtime habit, and part of that diet is watching at least the monologues of Carlson and Greg Gutfeld.  I like the Gutfeld show because he is comically talented and ha


How rising levels of anti-Semitism in the U.S. can fuel efforts to secure Israel

I think that there are a lot of good people who question why Jews continue to talk about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. I also believe that if those folks knew what it was like to experience the cruel illogic of being constantly hated because you’re Jewish, they’d understand that it’s a subject that must be talked about — whether we want to or not.  Until it’s gone.  The AJC just released a new st


Bestseller Birthday!

Ethical Tribing hits #1 in five Amazon categories: Marketing Digital Media Judaism Business & Marketing Computers & Technology Really? The birthday angle? What the hell could my birthday possibly have to do with how well my new book is doing? Have I no shame?? Hey — it’s a dog-eat-dog, ultra-fragmented media universe out there. Better to bark than mumble. Not to worry, though. Th


Israel. And us. All of us.

Sara woke up to the sound of Amy Winehouse on her iPhone, texted “good morning!” to her grandma “Bitsy," and then checked her inbox. The first email she always opened was the History Quote of the Day. She read it out loud: “The Jews' greatest contribution to history is dissatisfaction! We're a nation born to be discontented. Whatever exists we believe can be changed for the better.” — Shimon Peres


The bravest deception: A Jewish triumph to fuel the future

Lisl Bogart was 13 years old in 1939 when the Nazis stormed Prague, Czechoslovakia. All travel was outlawed. Her family was trapped in their own hometown.   Three years later, Lisl, her parents and brother, and other Czech Jews were herded into transports bound for Theresienstadt concentration camp. There, she worked 14-hour days building railroad tracks and farming. On some of those days, she and others were giv


Why I still love the mess that is the US Congress

I love Congress. I really do. I don’t mean this particular Congress. Well, there isn’t an actual Congress at the moment. It officially dissolved last Tuesday morning. And nobody can get sworn in until a new Speaker of the House is elected.  I mean that I love the institution of Congress. Technically, this is composed of the House and the Senate. But the House is commonly referred to as “the Congress.” 


The Pretend Jew (liar) — George Santos insults millions

The irony is so thick that it is bloody sickening. It’s not too often that claiming to be Jewish will gain you a whole lot of public capital in a world that has an inverse track record on that score. Even today, acts of anti-Semitism are at an all-time high.  But a very small man named George Santos, a compulsive liar, has pretended to be Jewish for the last two years to win New York’s 3rd Congressional Distr


Ali, Rocky and Chuck: Underdog stories remind us that anything is possible

One of his boxing trunks was blue, the other red, and a white waistband wrapped around his skin. He looked all-American as he moved around the ring. The only problem was that his nose was broken and he was leaking blood from a severely cut eye.  You might think I’m describing “Rocky Balboa.” But I’m not. This was a real boxer, a New Jersey journeyman named Chuck Wepner. In 1975, Wepner had been guaranteed



Yuletide Greetings from the desert. This one’s stream of consciousness, straight from the heart.  Yesterday, as I was finishing book edits at a coffee shop in Cave Creek, Arizona, I was also saying “Merry Christmas” to the staff and regulars I knew there.  Then, as I was driving home, I started thinking about how many times I’ve said “Merry Christmas” over the last week. A lot! Who can count? 


How hugging your inner darkness can deliver the rest of you into the light

Whoever you are, there are two of you. Two different people in there. One of them you don’t like very much. And that animus can inflict a ton of pain on the one that you do like. If this is something you’re not aware of, don’t fret. It’s tricky. In fact, it is awareness — more specifically, consciousness — that is the only way for us to discern between the two. Most of the time we are not very consc


Everyone gets to decide: Will I approach political differences with an open mind?

Most people like to think of themselves as open-minded. Or at least most people don’t think to themselves or proudly proclaim out loud:   “I’m a close-minded person. Pretty narrow. I don’t like to even consider a different point of view if it conflicts with mine.”  It would sound pretty awful. Yet as human beings, we are conditioned to reflexively defend our beliefs. I know I often am. And there’s


When life wakes you up to how much it really matters

About five years ago, I walked into a therapist’s office in Chicago, dropped my computer bag on the floor, and declared: “All of this is meaningless! None of it matters. None of it. There’s eight billion of us tiny little dots wandering around as if we know something. As if there’s a point to all this. But there’s really not. We’re all here for about two seconds and that’s it. Blink of an eye. None o


Kari Lake reminds us that charisma on TV can be one of the most dangerous weapons in the world

Kari Lake, the election-denying Republican nominee for governor of Arizona, is someone I’ve known for 25 years. It’s no fun writing something critical about a person whom you were once friendly with. But at this point Kari is just too dangerous a TV talent — now contending politician — to ignore. Especially since she has the chance in a few weeks to become governor of one of the most important swing states in


Fasting, God, and Israel

Today is Yom Kippur, and I am fasting. I don’t fast each year on this holiday, in fact, probably on less than half of them. But today, no food or water until sundown. Yom Kippur is a religious holiday, meaning it is something that is commanded by the formal religion of Judaism to be observed. Just as there are all kinds of commanded rituals in most religions. People in my life knows that I am not one who bel


Waiting out the pain: In the darkest of times — time itself is often the answer

The call came in around 2am from a dear friend who was in a very dark place. I know that place. And she knows that I know that place.   As luck would have it, I was wide awake when my cell lit up. Speaking over FaceTime, I could feel her pain. Seeing her tears wrenched me, yet I was so glad that she had called.  The first thing I told my friend was the obvious stuff: How utterly amazing a person she is and ho


“The Ripple Effect”: The Root of Chicago’s gun violence epidemic is far more than meets the eye

Eight weeks ago today, a gunman opened fire along a 4th of July parade route in Highland Park. Seven innocent people died and another four dozen were injured That night, I tried to channel some of the pain I felt for the town I grew up in by tapping out some words. Of course, it felt wholly inadequate. But the other thing was bothering me, as it often does, is knowing that fusillades of gunfire like this happen


What Sandy Berger’s Crimes Mean for Any President

On December 2, 2015, a man who had served his country for 40 years, worked for two presidents and served as head of the National Security Agency (NSA) — died of cancer. This man had negotiated the Dayton Accords that ended the Bosnian War and brought peace to the Balkans. He also spent decades working for the World Food Program USA and was honored with its inaugural Global Humanitarian Award. Despite this man


Father-Son Fortnight – Episode 3: Gambling, Part I

Father-Son Fortnight – Episode 2: “Aaaand they’re off!”

Father-Son Fortnight – Episode 1: Introduction

Flag phonies: If you can’t see the Trump hypocrisy, take Old Glory down

Millions of Americans who oppose Donald Trump will be watching tonight's House Hearings on the events of Jan. 6, 2021.  But this message is for folks out there who may still be Trump supporters. There are a number of them whom I'm friendly with. The overwhelming majority of them (if not near unanimity) will not be watching. When you believe in something or someone for so long, it becomes part of your identity. Wh


One step closer to unlocking the U.S. Senate.

At long last, a sitting Democratic President of the United States has publicly announced that he is in favor of having the U.S. Senate operate as the Constitution intended. President Biden, himself a relic of the Senate, announced at the G-&7 this morning that he is willing to suspend the archaic filibuster rules in the upper chamber — in order to codify abortion rights into law. This means NOT requiring 60


Doug Levy, President & General Manager, Univision Television & Radio, Chicago

Tigers vs. Tigers: BCS Championship Preview

With the possible exception of The Masters, there’s no sport I love watching more than college football — and tonight’s championship game between LSU and Clemson has the makings of an epic. A classic. An epic-classic. It’s the undefeated Tigers versus the other undefeated Tigers. The mascots may carry the same name, but these two teams are anything but mirror images. Louisiana State is ranked #1 in the


Interview with Eddie Bocanegra, Gun Safety Leader and Senior Director at READI Chicago

Michael Golden: I’m speaking today with someone who’s a leader in Chicago, and he's a guy who walks the walk because he's lived it. His name is Eddie Bocanegra, he's a senior director at Heartland Alliance, and he basically runs the READI Chicago program under Heartland which is geared toward slashing gun violence. And for people who don't know about this, Eddie and his staff work with people all over the South a


Eddie Bocanegra, Gun Safety Leader and Senior Director at READI Chicago

Jarrett Adams, Civil Rights Attorney & Exonoree

The under-recognized source of the furious hyper-partisanship playing out in the House Impeachment debate

Why do they all sound so angry? Why does the impeachment debate on the House floor seem like a clash of two entirely different species? For quite a long time now, I have been making a public case that the disastrous performance and unpopularity of the US Congress cannot simply be blamed on the individuals we send there. We've been electing people for 230 years — so it ain't just that. What I've argued, i


Should our country crash? Is that what half of America is saying? Lessons from “Airplane!”

About halfway through the spoof "Airplane!”, when it looks like the crash is imminent, they cut to newscasters around the world predicting the tragedy in different languages. Even a cameo by Pat Sajak. Then the directors cut to a news debate show where an arrogant blowhard speaks condescendingly to his female opponent – then turns to the camera for the deadpan punch line: "Shanaaah! They bought their ticket


Jimmy Greenfield, Chicago Tribune Sports Reporter

Madeleine Doubek, Executive Director, CHANGE ILLINOIS

Trump and Ambassador Sondland: Are all of the president’s men arrogant – or just “not that bright”?

"Follow the money." Those three words comprise the most famous line from the 1976 Watergate epic, All The President's Men. The flick itself is one of my all-time favorites, but there's another line from Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-nominated screenplay that's always stuck with me most. I'll get to the quote in a minute. But first a little background. "Deep Throat" is the character who tells Washington Post reporters


Dr. Jeffrey Fishbein, Sport Psychologist, Chicago White Sox

Will Democrats find their “Good Fellas” witness to sing on Trump in impeachment hearings?

The reason it is so difficult to convict high-level criminals — including crooked politicians — is that they are usually well insulated. This is something that is conferred by power. The more powerful, the more insulated.  If you’re a Mafia boss, for example, you don’t need to talk on the phone when you’re ordering an assassination. When you’re that powerful, lieutenants come to you. One word, one wav


Gilad Gordon, Watergate Impeachment Hearing Attendee

Loriana Hernandez-Aldama, Cancer Conqueror, Founder, Armor Up For Life

Soledad O’Brien, Executive Producer, “Hungry to Learn”

A city still segregated

There’s something about Chicago. We lifers can feel it in our bones. It’s a pride tempered by humility. Yet plenty gritty. There’s not a trace of doubt in it. Chicagoans believe we live in the best city in America. At the same time, a whole lot of us know that our city sits at a perilous point in its history. More than a crossroad; a crucible. Chicago faces a set of seemingly intractable problems. Some new, bu


Wicked Don won’t lose his broomstick until Senate Dorothys see the right poll numbers for conviction and removal

Impeaching and convicting a president — especially in the modern media age — is all about numbers. Popular opinion. Same thing.  Perhaps it has always been thus, but the immediacy today of the moving parts and how they move the numbers cannot be ignored. Thursday’s floor vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry into allegations that President Trump pressured a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 elec


If the American Dream is still alive, it is demonstrated (and protected) by the life lived by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman

The expression "the American Dream" was first popularized nearly a century ago by a successful businessman and historian named James Truslow Adams. In his book, The Epic of America, Adams defined the dream as a land where “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." These days, talk of the dream conjures up imagery more reflective of


A reading from the 1987 conspiracy movie “No Way Out” – and how the GOP is acting it out 30 years later

The Uber-Chicagoan

The Cubs-themed floor mats — lined by blue track lights — are the first thing you notice inside Santiago’s Honda Odyssey. Next thing you see is the Chicago Bears flag proudly unfurled from the back of his seat. Look closer at the driver and you see he’s got a Bears shirt on. Look up and The Blues Brothers is playing on the overhead screen. They’re all conversation-starters on their own, but toget


Impeachment inquiry vote gets scheduled – House Majority finally catches up to the majority of voters

Finally. The full House Majority will vote this week to officially do WHAT THEY'RE ALREADY DOING. A resolution will be introduced on the floor tomorrow and then Thursday the House will pass it. About time, gelatin Democrats. Get your balls out in front of you. You should have done this weeks ago. The Speaker will say this is a vote to "affirm" or "confirm" the impeachment inquiry, but that's just semantics.


Killing ISIS leader a victory for Trump, but won’t thwart political reckoning

I turned on the news this morning just as the president was announcing the killing of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, a principal of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump took an appropriately serious tone and made fewer errors than in past national addresses. While he gave out too much operational detail and did the usual self-congratulatory thing, his announcement will have his supporters busting. Plenty of


Shelley Jacobs, Founder, Chicago Is My Boyfriend on Instagram

Kate Sullivan, Host of “To Dine For” on PBS

Is impeachment the right choice for Democrats?

Pat Quinn, Former Governor of Illinois

Carol Marin, National Award-Winning Journalist, WMAQ-TV & WTTW-TV

Rick Kogan interviews Michael Golden about Unlock Congress

Karen Cohn, Co-Founder, The Zac Foundation

Alex Batdorf, Founder & CEO, Get Sh!t Done

How Nixon’s legacy is protecting Trump

Deep down in a cache of documents at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library Education and Museum sits a 15-page memorandum entitled "A Plan For Putting The Media GOP On TV News." The memo, dug up by journalist John Cook in 2011, was written two years before Nixon's 49-state landslide reelection in 1972. Even five decades ago, Republicans perceived news coverage of their party to be the unfair product of a liberal


Kawhi Leonard and Ryan O’Reilly: mirror journeys to two national titles

NBA and NHL players are rarely compared. Besides being professional athletes, they don’t have a ton in common. But I couldn’t help noticing last week that the MVPs of each league’s Finals, Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard and St. Louis Blue Ryan O’Reilly, have traveled an eerily similar path over the last year. Both born in 1991, 27 years later Leonard and O’Reilly would get traded in the same month to new tea


“The Fulcrum” launches – Michael Golden talks about the new national political reform publication

The 2020 presidential election will tell us who we are

  I saw this difference of opinion scrawled on a wall at Gino’s East restaurant last Friday night.   Right before I snapped the shot of it, I thought to myself, what a picture perfect image to represent the politically divisive sign of the times. But if you think about it, it’s far more than that. This handwriting on the wall is a preview of what’s going to be the ultimate societal Rorscha


One Million Degrees of difference

I’d like to introduce you to a few people. And then I’d like to explain why. [caption id="attachment_734" align="aligncenter" width="640"] In May of 2019, Kennedy-King College valedictorian Cindy Alvarez speaks to her fellow One Million Degrees Scholars and supporters.[/caption]   Three years ago, Cindy Alvarez was a mother of five teenagers with a high school diploma. The thought of starting commun


The lesson of RFK: To inspire an audience, show them your inspiration

  You are a better public speaker right now than the late Robert F. Kennedy was when he ran for the US Senate. Of course, I don’t know this for a fact, But there’s a pretty good chance it’s true, for RFK appeared lost in front of microphones and audiences during his first campaign. Yet by the time of his tragic passing four years later, Americans were hanging on his every word. What changed? Practice he


Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

Eric Zorn, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

Mary Ann Ahern, NBC-5 Chicago Political Reporter

Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Sun-Times

Shameful College Admission Scandal A Reminder Of What Actually Matters Along Life’s Early Journey

The payoffs made to Rick Singer in the college admission scandal make me furious — not only because of the greed and dishonesty of the entitled Hollywood offenders, but also because of their sheer ignorance. It is NOT ESSENTIAL to attend an “elite” university to live an excellent life. In fact, the Gallup-Purdue Index of more than 70,000 graduates — from people out of school for 10 years to 50 years — repo


On WGN-AM, Michael Golden talks about the history of segregation in Chicago

Kirsten Powers, CNN Analyst and USA Today Columnist

Melissa Henneberger, USA Today Columnist

Congressman Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)

Transgender independence: A daughter’s journey and her father’s love

  “You’re transitioning from one body to another. From one gender to another. But it’s more than that. I’ve always been the same up in my head. Deep inside I’ve always been the same person. But my body - it was just different. And I wanted to make corrections. I wanted to change myself so I felt more comfortable. And I felt more comfortable in a woman’s body. And that’s who I truly was. I wanted


Democrats win 40 House seats to regain the majority – Michael Golden on the meaning of the midterms

On WBBM’s “At Issue,” Craig Dellimore interviews Michael Golden about Unlock Congress

From drug addiction to deacon: A story of love and salvation from the man who lived it

Seventy-one year-old Calvin’s three grandkids call him “PawPaw.” He met his wife of 42 years when they were in middle school. True “soulmates,” he says. “We still have so much affection and love.” Storybook-sounding on the surface. You'd never know that beneath it all, Calvin and Gwendolyn were both were addicted to drugs and alcohol for years. “Those were tough times to go through. Being homeless.


The great American story: Once a refugee, now a nominee

  As a child, Safiya Wazir lived in Afghanistan under the threat of the Taliban, hiding from shootings and bombings. Today, 27-year-old Safiya is the Democratic nominee for state rep. in New Hampshire’s 8th Ward. Some Americans are just unstoppable. Safiya’s family fled the Taliban when she was six for Uzbekistan. There, she was shamed by classmates — called a “terrorist” and “Taliban kid.” Wi


Our democracy’s stress test: It’s coming on election day

By Michael Golden and Norman J. Ornstein There’s an old saying that in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. The 2018 midterm elections just might prove that theory once and for all. The lightning-rod presidency of Donald Trump has been described as “unprecedented” and “divisive.” But it’s been far more than that. The last 18 months have tested our institutions and system


The politics of Rahm Emanuel’s retirement from the Mayor’s Office

Annafi Wahed, Founder, The Flip Side

The political divide does not require us to demonize

We don’t have to demonize each other, just because we vehemently disagree with one another. I have never felt universal hatred for Americans who support this President. I’ve felt anger, shock, confusion, sadness, but never hatred. And I’m not being patronizing. If anything, I’ve strived harder to try to better understand people who support a person who disgusts me on a daily basis. This is one of the lesso


Jennifer Rodgers, CNN Legal Analyst

Win, Tiger, win.

  There’s nothing in America like a comeback. Especially from the depths of public failure. In this country, we love to see people get knocked down when they deserve it — and then we cheer for them to climb their way back up the mountain. Muhammad Ali, Bill Clinton, Richard Pryor, Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan, Sinatra, Robert Downey, Jr., etc., etc. And there’s nothing like watching the drama unfold in


Trump And Putin in Helsinki: For the president’s supporters, the true moment of truth

To my friends who voted for this President because they believed that there were genuine positions he held that would improve their lives: First of all, I get it. I don’t agree, but I get it. Setting aside the awful, racist, mendacious behavior of the man (and I can’t set it aside, but some folks can) — I get it. Maybe you wanted lower taxes. Maybe you couldn’t stand Hillary Clinton. Maybe you just wanted a


You may wonder where I’ve been

  You may wonder where I’ve been. Why you haven’t seen much of me. Why you haven’t heard much from me. After all, I was the President of the United States for eight years. Naturally, I care. Obviously, I’m watching. And listening. There is a tradition in our country, especially in the modern era, that a former president doesn’t engage in public criticism of a sitting U.S. President. There are excepti


Journalists are patriots

Journalists are patriots. I don’t write much after these shootings occur. Like you, all of them just make me sick. So sad. So damn sad. But today’s mass murder didn’t make me sad. It made me angry. I could feel it in my blood. I attended a political event tonight where interesting speakers talked about interesting things. Yet mostly I was thinking of those journalists who died at the Capital Gazette. In an i


The full scope of what America’s dumb immigration system costs us

  (The following is an excerpt from Unlock Congress, published in 2015 by Why Not Books) Near universal agreement exists that our approach to both legal and illegal immigration is causing the country pain. The last major immigration legislation Congress passed was the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (Simpson-Mazzoli Act) — a law whose consequences remain controversial nearly thirty years later. Y


Tina Rosenberg, Founder, Solutions Journalism Network


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