Columns

Delay the Election? Presidents Often Do Things They Can’t Do

The stock response to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the general election might be delayed because voting during a pandemic would involve a record number of mail-in ballots, a format he argues is unreliable and susceptible to fraud, is that he doesn’t have that power. NBC News is typical: “The president has no power to […]

It Could Easily Happen Here, Soon

You don’t want to lose your job. How would you feel if getting fired would mean that you would spend the rest of your life in prison? You would do anything to keep working. Anything. That’s the position in which Donald Trump finds himself. The president is the target of a myriad of congressional, state […]

Trump Tries to End the Afghanistan War, Democrats Want to Keep Killing

Pollsters have observed a consistent enthusiasm gap between supporters of President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Any factor that dampens Democratic turnout could contribute to a second come-from-behind victory for the GOP.             Adding to liberal voters’ ambivalence over Biden is a rarely-discussed aspect of Trump’s presidency. Trump’s skepticism of foreign military entanglements […]

10 Reasons I Won’t Vote for Biden

My vote is a personal endorsement. It says, “I, citizen Ted Rall, approve of Joe Biden’s career in public office.” I do not. Voting for Biden would be a retroactive endorsement of his vote to invade Iraq, which killed over 1 million innocent people. Voting for Biden would be a retroactive endorsement of his long […]

Like Trump, Biden Would Be a Right-Wing President

            What would President Joe Biden do? His supporters are making it hard to read the tealeaves.             They say he’d appoint a great cabinet. But he won’t tell us who would be in it.             They say he’d be progressive. Yet his “unity platform” doesn’t include a single major policy position endorsed by Bernie […]

On Foreign Policy, Joe Biden is Worse Than Trump

            Trump is terrible. Biden is just as bad. In some ways the Democrat is worse.             You shouldn’t vote for either one.             Trump is erratic and unpredictable, which is dangerous. Even so, Biden is worse than Trump on international relations. At the center of the president’s worldview is a deep, admirable and prescient […]

The Data Is Clear: Progressives Should Boycott Biden

            Once again the Democratic Party is asking progressives to vote for a presidential nominee who says he disagrees with them about every major issue. This is presented as an offer they cannot refuse. If they cast a protest vote for a third-party candidate like the unionist and environmentalist Howie Hawkins of the Greens or […]

Resist Evictions and Foreclosures

            COVID-19 has created the ideal medium for a summer of continuous protest. Political protest demonstrations used to be weekend affairs in which angry leftists shouted at empty government offices before shuffling home Sunday afternoon to gear up for the workweek. With one out of four workers having filed for unemployment and many more working […]

Our Politics Need a Culture of Atonement

            Culturally informed by Roman Catholicism’s expectation that regret must prompt an apology as well as penance, Western European tradition calls for a rhetorical journey by politicians who claim to have changed course. A chastened leader should explain why and how he came to his previous belief, explain the circumstances that changed his mind and […]

An Open Letter to Los Angeles Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine

Dear Mr. Pearlstine, On June 5th you issued a statement acknowledging the role your newspaper has played in the racist oppression of people of color. “The Los Angeles Times has a long, well-documented history of fueling the racism and cruelty that accompanied our city’s becoming a metropolis,” you wrote. You promised reforms, including “addressing the […]