What to do if the Republicans win on Tuesday

Sam Smith - If the Republicans win on Tuesday there's a big chance of massive numbers of sensible Americans going into depression, withdrawing from politics or replacing their positive goals with just anger. But there's another more useful approach: to use our time to work to restore American democracy, to illustrate what a kinder, wiser … Continue reading What to do if the Republicans win on Tuesday

Introduction to “Why Bother?’

Why Bother, in a wonderfully engaging and erudite manner, addresses the great question confronting democracy, community and justice -- and that is civic motivation. Prepare to be motivated. Sam Smith is an antidote to mindless speed reading. He makes you pause between paragraphs in order to mull over the captivating morsels he is placing in … Continue reading Introduction to “Why Bother?’

Notes on the end of the First American Republic

In 2003 I initially suggested that the First American Republic was over. Although the idea has gained credibility in some progressive circles, it remains unimaginable to traditional media, politicians and academics. Instead, there has been a bounce in talk of American “exceptionalism” even though when America was, in fact, exceptional it seldom used the term. … Continue reading Notes on the end of the First American Republic

A historian’s view of now (written sometime in the future)

From our overstocked archives Sam Smith, 2012 - One good way to step away from the daily news and try to figure out what’s really going on is to imagine oneself as an historian returning to this time some decades hence. What might you see as having happened in the years since Reagan’s inauguration?  Here … Continue reading A historian’s view of now (written sometime in the future)