Explaining the Trump Phenomenon

Billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Since the days of Richard Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” the Republican Party has played to the grievances of angry white men (and some women), in effect creating a ready audience for a hot-headed and quick-witted showman like Donald Trump, a classic case of reaping what is sown, as Lawrence Davidson explains.

Reporter Wins Fifth Amendment Case

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.

The U.S. government’s recurring threats to prosecute journalists who receive classified documents may have created an avenue for some reporters to evade testimony at least in civil cases – by asserting a Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, says Marcy Wheeler.

Kafka-like Persecution of Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

In an era when powerful institutions demonize decent people – and the mainstream media joins in, piling on the abuse – legal proceedings have become another Kafka-esque weapon of coercion. Few cases are more troubling than the persecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, as John Pilger describes.

A Clash Over Whose Lives Matter

Afghan children await school supplies from Allied forces at Sozo School in Kabul. (French navy photo by Master Petty Officer Valverde)

A Twitter clash has broken out between people favoring #BlackLivesMatter or #AllLivesMatter, both protesting U.S. police violence against Americans but failing to take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives lost to the U.S. military as self-appointed global policeman, says Sam Husseini.

How to Eradicate Racism

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and a rash of arson at other black churches across the South show that despite conservative self-serving claims – and liberal wishful thinking – about racism becoming a thing of the past, much more work needs to be done, says Lawrence Davidson.

The Right’s Made-up ‘Constitution’

Gouverneur Morris, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and a key drafter of the Preamble. (Painting by Edward Dalton Marchant)

From the Archive: Many Americans, especially Tea Partiers and Neo-Confederates, either haven’t read the U.S. Constitution or insist on distorting its plain language which established federal supremacy over the states and empowered the central government to “provide for … the general Welfare,” as Jada Thacker noted in 2013.

Gay Marriage and Western Muslims

One of the families featured on TLC's 2011 series, "All-American Muslim"

The evolution of thought on gay marriage shows how religions can adapt to humanistic trends of society, but religious fundamentalists refuse to budge from ancient prejudices, a challenge confronting not only Judaism and Christianity but Islam, as ex-CIA officer Graham E. Fuller describes.

Shaking Off the Symbols of Racism

Accused mass murderer Dylann Roof in a photo holding the Confederate battle flag.

A century and a half after the Civil War, many U.S. politicians still pander to Confederate sympathizers and hesitate to object to the South’s racist symbols, an attitude shaken by the murders of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church, as William Loren Katz describes.

War on Whistleblowers, After Obama

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

The war on whistleblowers has injected fear of prosecution into all honest communications between national security officials and reporters, meaning that the public instead gets a steady diet of U.S. government lies, propaganda and self-serving rhetoric, a problem addressed by John Hanrahan.

Was Race a Factor in Sterling Case?

Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling.

President Obama’s war on whistleblowers grinds on with ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling dispatched to a federal prison in Colorado, far from his home and family. In Sterling’s case, there’s also the disturbing issue of race, as Norman Solomon explains.