I recently interviewed one of the leading scholars on far right extremism – a great academic voice warning us about the dangers facing democracy – Anthony DiMaggio. DiMaggio is a political scientist at Lehigh University, and the author of several books on American politics, including the most recent, Rising Fascism in America: It Can Happen Here. Along with a team of researchers, DiMaggio is releasing groundbreaking and important studies of the prevalence of far right extremism in the US, critical to understanding the nature of the threat and how to mitigate it.
Read the interview at the Washington Monthly.
I have a new essay at CrimeReads. Part movie review and part political analysis, my new story delves into how Arlington Road, despite its flaws as a film, was prescient and profound regarding the threat of right wing terrorism in the United States.
Read at CrimeReads.
I was thrilled to sit down for an interview with Kent Germany, an American historian, for the Institute for Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina’s podcast, Take On the South. We discussed the momentous life and influence of Jesse Jackson, paying particular attention to his formative years in South Carolina. Listen here!
I have new essay in the Washington Monthly on the political work of Norman Mailer, and his strengths and weaknesses as a writer and social critic. He was prescient about the rise of fascist politics in the US, but off the mark on many other topics. Above all, he was fascinating, and composed some of the finest sentences in American literature. Read at the Washington Monthly.
I recently read three books on the late Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy, and wrote a review for the Washington Monthly. In the essay, I also consider the efficacy and future of the democratic liberalism that Kennedy so effectively represented and advanced.
I’ve written an essay on John Mellencamp’s masterpiece, Scarecrow, for the Progressive, and its enduring musical and political relevance. Read at the Progressive Magazine!
I have a new article in The New Republic about the hateful campaign of book banning and censorship taking place in Dearborn, Michigan. It foreshadows the formation of a dangerous and powerful new religious right. Christian evangelicals have joined forces with conservative Muslims, putting aside their differences, to advocate for homophobia.
What is happening in Dearborn very likely functions as a preview for the future of fascism in the United States: Theocratic bullies clasping hands to assault not only LGBTQ rights, but educational freedom, public officials who oppose their agenda, and democracy itself.
I owe gratitude to Brandon Will, who was born and raised in Dearborn, for his generous research assistance.
Read at The New Republic.
I make my debut in the New Republic on how the assassination of Harvey Milk and George Moscone foreshadowed the fascism and terrorism of the contemporary right wing. The criminal defense of double murderer, Dan White, along with the outpouring of support he received from the San Francisco Police and so called “Christian conservatives,” provided a dark insight into the American right – one that, unfortunately, resonates today more than ever.
Read at the New Republic.
After attending a recent Gov’t Mule performance, which was characteristically intense, creative, and profound, I was inspired to write about the band as a model of countercultural excellence, advancing the tradition of everything from Walt Whitman’s poetry to The Grateful Dead’s freewheeling music. As an exercise in dissection, I attempt to determine what makes Mule’s music so uniquely powerful, and how it can serve as an instrument of hope for anyone attempting to color outside the lines in an increasingly cold and corporate culture.
Read at CounterPunch.
In my newest article, I make the argument that it is time to stop playing mealy mouthed games, and call the American right what they are: fascists. With help from the brilliant scholars on fascism, Paul Street and Anthony DiMaggio, and a reference to the late, great Italian historian and philosopher, Umberto Eco, I posit that “fascism” is the only term that accurately signifies the danger of the reactionary right wing political agenda.
Read at the Progressive.