For generations, the U.S. public has largely accepted that the two-party system was the best we could hope for: while perhaps not perfect, this particular brand of democracy – dominated since the 1800s by the Democratic and Republican parties – is certainly more democratic than the one-party communist dictatorships of China or North Korea, and […]

Election 2016 has taken a turn into territory unfamiliar and perhaps mildly terrifying to many Americans, potentially heading down a road characterized by political violence and what social scientists call “authoritarian aggression,” defined by retired psychology professor Robert Altemeyer as “a general aggressiveness directed against deviants, outgroups, and other people that are perceived to be targets […]

Troubling comments within the GOP presidential field over whether to reinstate torture and implement other war crimes have been drawing criticism lately, with the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, even feeling compelled to weigh in last week by calling out the “loose talk” in the Republican primaries. On Feb. 9, McCain took the Senate […]

Over the past year, an ongoing trend in the Black Lives Matter movement has been a tactic called “black brunch,” in which groups of activists enter restaurants in the late morning/early afternoon hours to disrupt people’s meals by reading out names of African Americans slain by white police officers, and shouting slogans such as “white silence […]

With more than 40,000 negotiators from 196 governments descending on Paris this week to negotiate a comprehensive accord to tackle climate change, it is hard to imagine that they could possibly reach an agreement that will satisfy everybody. The interests that each country brings to the table are so complex and diverse – especially when […]

Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential contender, may have a skeleton in his closet that could disqualify him from leading the United States of America in the eyes of millions of his supporters. No, it’s not the fabrications of significant chunks of his life story that he’s told, nor his opposition to Muslims being […]

Last week’s attacks in Paris offered a painful and tragic reminder that despite the unprecedented counterterrorism measures implemented since the attacks on New York and Washington 14 years ago, citizens in the West remain as vulnerable as ever to the threat of extremist violence. This may come as a bit of a shock to those […]

Just as the commercial extravaganza of the Christmas season seems to begin earlier and earlier each year, with displays popping up in some places not long after Labor Day, so too does the annual absurdity known as “the War on Christmas.” This year, we have an early taste of the asinine arguments to come with […]

The arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old whiz kid who brought a home-made clock to school in Irving, Texas, seems to have struck a nerve in the United States in a way that any number of other stories regarding anti-Muslim bigotry over the years have not. While there have been countless examples of Islamophobia run […]

It has long been an article of faith that despite whatever slipups it might make along the way in pursuit of its foreign policy objectives, the United States is always motivated by a sincerely held desire to promote democracy and human rights around the world, which in turn is seen as vital in ensuring global […]