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Why Liberals Have To Be Radicals

By Robert Kuttner in Prospect - Just about nothing being proposed in mainstream politics is radical enough to fix what ails the economy. Consider everything that is destroying the life chances of ordinary people: Young adults are staggered by $1.3 trillion in student debt. Yet even those with college degrees are losing ground in terms of incomes. The economy of regular payroll jobs and career paths has given way to a gig economy of short-term employment that will soon hit four workers in 10. The income distribution has become so extreme, with the one percent capturing such a large share of the pie, that even a $15/hour national minimum wage would not be sufficient to restore anything like the more equal economy of three decades ago. Even the mainstream press acknowledges these gaps.

Love Me, Ferguson, I’m A Liberal

“Outside agitator.” These words were spoken by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett when asked about the Freedom Summer voting registration drive in 1964. They were also uttered by Alabama Governor George Wallace when he was asked about the protests in his state’s largest city, ignobly labeled “Bombingham.” Bull Connor referred to Martin Luther King, Jr. as one, even though his church was in the state capital, Montgomery. These two words were also uttered by Thomas Jackson, the police chief in Ferguson, as he tried to describe why his mostly-white police force could not stop the protests occurring in the nearly 70 percent black city he was charged with patrolling. All of these men were segregationists, anticommunists, and purveyors of state-sanctioned violence against African Americans. But now you can also find some prominent liberals using the term, ostensibly in relation to the activities of small pockets of anarchists and the Revolutionary Communist Party in the city. Both the Daily Beast and Gawker have run pieces on the RCP in the same spirit, Gawker even going as far as to call them “despicable” for “trying to drum up even more tension.” Justin Glawe writes in the Daily Beast that: And while police have rightfully been criticized for their heavy-handed approach to the protests that have gone on since Brown’s death, the intelligence they’ve gathered regarding some of the more riotous protesters has been correct. Those who wish to do physical harm to law enforcement are small in number, and subversive in tactics.

Liberal On Everything But Israel? There’s A Name For That!

Do you feel dovish most of the time but suddenly hawkish when it comes to Israel? Are you critical of the Democrats for being too centrist but supportive of Likud? Do your liberal ideas apply to every issue except for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? If you answered yes to the questions above, you may be a PEP (Progressive Except on Palestine). But you are not alone! PEPism is extremely common, especially among liberal Jews. In fact, if you are a liberal Jew, there is a high probability that this syndrome runs in your family. If you aren’t a PEP, you likely have some relatives who are. Though not genetic, PEPism is sometimes, though not always, passed down from one generation to the next. Two PEPs will frequently, but not necessarily, have PEP offspring, some of whom will outgrow the condition. Conversely, occcasionally, the offspring of two PEPs will experience an adverse reaction, manifesting in hyper-keffiyeh use and fetishization of all things Arab. The onset of PEPism varies. Children of PEPs tend to manifest symptoms as pre-teens. People who do not come from PEP parentage might experience a later onset, especially following a Birth Right trip or, in later years, after a move to Florida.
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