Sam Smith - In trying to figure out how someone as absurd as Donald Trump has been so successful, I've come up with several answers: The rise of corporatism: Lyndon Johnson, the last truly progressive president, said, "To put it simply, I am a Democrat by conviction. The Democratic Party has more to offer the … Continue reading Where Trump came from and where we can go now
Sam Smith – Long before the arrival of Donald Trump, America was into lies. For example, Wikipedia reports:  In Propaganda (1928), [Edward] Bernays argued that the manipulation of public opinion was a necessary part of democracy. In public relations, lobby groups are created to influence government policy, corporate policy or public opinion, typically in … Continue reading Before the lies of Donald Trump
Sam Smith – Although we spend an extraordinary amount of time talking about sources of hate in this land and what to do about it, we spend only a tiny amount figuring out how to get along better and have more fun with other Americans. There are a few exceptions, such as the last five … Continue reading America’s real divide
Sam Smith - My circulation staff for the Capitol East Gazette in the 1960s, our office just eight blocks from the Capital, came from the neighborhood -- when they weren't in jail. At one point, about half of them were. I found needles behind stacks of papers in the office, had a few checks stolen … Continue reading Some days in the 1960s
Sam Smith – One of the problems with reaching 84 years of age is that you discover that history isn’t as important as you thought it was. At least to others. Fortunately, as a journalist, I don’t have to sell history, I can just conceal it as another anecdote to support an antidote. Or as … Continue reading Why does history disappear to easily?
Sam Smith - One thing that fascinates me is that white supremacists, who put people like themselves at the top of the social and political chart, are universally those I don't want anything to do with. They are ignorant, dishonest and cruel. I wouldn't want a son hanging out with Tucker Carlson or a daughter … Continue reading Another problem with white supremacists
Sam Smith - At a time when the first American republic seems in as much danger as it has ever experienced save for the Civil War, the question comes up: who can save us? What is clear is that we can not reasonably expect recovery from the top. Between our corrupt social and political culture … Continue reading TWO SUBCULTURES THAT COULD SAVE US
Sam Smith – One of the best kept secrets about American politics is that change typically comes from the local and not the national and from the weak rather than the powerful. Consider civil rights, the environment, marijuana laws, or the peace movement that ended the Vietnam war. Each change came from those at … Continue reading The hidden power of the local
Sam Smith - Just came across a tape of songs I wrote for a musical co-authored by my historian wife Kathy Smith and then music teacher Becky Denney. The name of the show was DC: A Hometown Review, It was originally written for an elementary school in 1977 but in 1999 got a public performance … Continue reading From our overstocked archives: A DC musical moment
Sam Smith - I have recently come to the conclusion that humans may not become extinct thanks to warfare or climate change but rather that they may starve to death owing to the number of forms they will have to fill out in order to buy something at their local grocery store. If you think … Continue reading How humans are going to become extinct
Sam Smith - As I have noted before, being in your 80s is like being a teenager. You don't know how to do it, nobody tells you how to do it, and nobody likes how you do it. We have become an increasingly irrelevant part of the American story. The statistics, however, tell another tale. … Continue reading Some 80s thoughts
Sam Smith - Something that gets lost in reporting and talk about Trump's attempted coup is that we have no precedent for it in American history. This is the first time an illegal significant takeover of the American government has been attempted on behalf an individual. Even the Civil War was about succession from the … Continue reading Trump’s attempted coup was unique
Sam Smith - I view hundreds of headlines each day and just for the hell of it decided to compare the number covering the Will Smith incident as opposed to those about Ukraine. During three hours, Ukraine won with 23 headlines while Will Smith got 21. How's that for balanced journalism?
Sam Smith – If you look at just the big figures, it’s not pretty. For example, back in 1999 71% of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in this country. That number is now down to 21%. Last year a Pew Research poll found that 81% of those 65 or older thought … Continue reading Saving America from the bottom up
Sam Smith, Progressive Review: - A big environmental factor that we and the experts don't talk about much is us. Both in terms of population growth and growing life expectancy it clearly is a factor but you don't read much about it. I'm part of the latter problem having grown older than three generations of … Continue reading The environmental problem we put aside: us