A Golden Opportunity to Strengthen the “Progressive” Brand

Posted on April 15, 2015

“Progressive” is our nation’s most popular political term, but at the same time, most Americans don’t really know what it means. If we play our cards right, the Democratic presidential primary season can help...


The Indiana law promoting discrimination is a new low

Posted on March 30, 2015

Last week, Indiana enacted into law SB 101, the so-called “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Apparently, proponents were surprised at the nationwide outcry against the law and they adopted a defensive crouch. “There has been a...


Promote “fair markets,” not “free markets”

Posted on March 9, 2015

Last week’s column bemoaned the fact that average Americans believe unquestioningly in “free markets,” even though there are no such things. Indeed, every market relies on a dense web of laws and regulations. Subsidies,...


There’s no such thing as “free” markets

Posted on March 1, 2015

Last week, when the Federal Communications Commission voted for net neutrality and changed the way the Internet is policed, conservatives fell back on their favorite myth. The right wing media raged that it’s “a...


The Right Wing Surge in the States

Posted on February 22, 2015

In state legislatures, 2015 is the right wing’s best chance to enact their most extreme legislation. The right now controls more state legislatures than at any time since the 1920s. This opportunity is fleeting....


The Science of Persuasion – Part Two

Posted on February 8, 2015

Last week’s column explained the science behind political stubbornness. Essentially, our brains are hard-wired to engage in “confirmation bias.” Further, our opponents get a blast of dopamine and feel pleasure after they rebut our...


The Science of Persuasion – Part One

Posted on January 31, 2015

Why won’t people listen? They’re so irrational! You make a sensible, even irrefutable political argument and they’re still not persuaded. Cognitive science tells us that persuasion is hard. When deciding whether to agree with...


Five Progressive Wedge Issues for 2015

Posted on January 19, 2015

For years, conservatives used “wedge issues” to split moderates from progressives—measures like criminalizing flag burning, cutting “welfare,” and (until recently) banning same-sex marriage. They still do that, of course, but the Tea Party has...


The State of the States and Localities

Posted on

Due to the ghastly 2014 elections, more state legislators are Republican and the GOP controls more state legislative bodies than at any time since the 1920s. Republicans now control the governorship and both houses...


Top Ten Legislative Victories of 2014

Posted on January 5, 2015

To be a progressive is to seek new laws that advance economic and social justice for all. That endeavor was thoroughly frustrated by the last Congress, and the next one will be worse. On...