Trump isn’t Goldwater… He might win.

Published: Salon (July 2, 2016), The Good Men Project (June 28, 2016)

Back in March, I observed that Donald Trump had transformed the Republican Party in a similar way as Barry Goldwater. For those of you unfamiliar with the reference, Goldwater was a plucky arch-conservative Senator from Arizona who defied the GOP establishment by winning their party’s presidential nomination in 1964. Although Goldwater was subsequently trounced in the general election by President Lyndon Johnson, his influence lived on in the policies pursued by Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. read more

A Warning About Donald Trump

Published: Quartz (June 24, 2016)

If Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is any indication, Americans cannot become complacent about Donald Trump.

Trust me, I understand why many of my fellow political writers on the North American side of the Atlantic are breathing early signs of relief. Trump is behind Hillary Clinton in all but a handful of recent national polls and has been far outpaced by her campaign in vital metrics, likefundraising. Could the long national nightmare of his campaign—one defined in large part by messaging that was anti-Mexican, anti-Muslim, and anti-woman—be nearing its end? read more

Why “Finding Dory” speaks to me as an autistic man

Published: Salon (June 17, 2016)

There is a Yiddish word, verklempt, that roughly translates as being choked up to the point of near-tears without actually crying. If you grew up with a learning disability or raised a child with one, there are plenty of scenes in Pixar’s “Finding Dory” which will have that effect on you… and considering that quality family films about learning disabled characters are a rarity, it is refreshing to see “Finding Dory” rise to that challenge.

One scene in particular resonated with me: Dory’s parents, who recognize her short-term memory problems when she’s very young, are discussing whether she’ll be able to have a future. Her mother is hysterically crying because she’s terrified that her child won’t be able to make it on her own, and the father’s efforts at reassurance are as much for his own benefit as hers. Shortly thereafter she is whisked away in an accident, no doubt confirming their own worst fears. read more

It’s time for Democrats to unify: Why even the most idealistic Sanders voter should support Clinton

Published: Salon (June 16, 2016)

We don’t know what Bernie Sanders discussed with Hillary Clinton when the two of them met Tuesday night, but it’s fair to assume that the conversation revolved around Clinton’s new status as the presumptive Democratic nominee. As the burgeoning Bernie or Bust movement clearly demonstrates, a lot of Sanders supporters are unhappy with the prospect of backing Clinton. Of course, because Green Party candidate Jill Stein has offered to run on a joint ticket with Sanders, they may not actually have to do so. read more

A First Amendment Pioneer’s Take on the Second Amendment (republished after the Orlando mass shooting)

Published: GirlieGirlArmy (June 12, 2016, July 3, 2014)

co-author: Liskula Cohen

Editor’s Note: This was republished because, at a time when the media is fanning the flames of Islamophobia, we need to remember that if it wasn’t for our lax gun control laws and belligerent pro-gun culture, that mass shooter may have never had a firearm in the first place.

I have, shall we say, an interesting relationship with the Constitution. Back in 2009, I was involved in a lawsuit with Google over whether libelous speech (in this case that of a cyberbully against me) was protected by the First Amendment. When a Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled in my favor, a precedent was established that protected victims of bullying against their attackers. read more

Why Hillary should tap into ’90s nostalgia

Published: Salon (June 11, 2016)

Now that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, I have a congratulatory observation for her. When I talk to strangers about politics these days, the subject inevitably turns to the 2016 presidential election. Most of them have strong feelings one way or the other about Donald Trump, but unless they’re a partisan Democrat or simply proud of the feminist milestone signified by her nomination, their feelings toward Clinton’s candidacy are tepid at best and hostile at worst. Most of them seem to respect her experience but don’t trust her character. While that is expected among conservatives, it has spread to independents and Bernie Sanders supporters… and if they don’t turn out to vote for Clinton in November, she could lose to Trump. read more

How Gary Johnson can win my liberal vote

Published: The Huffington Post (June 9, 2016), The Good Men Project (June 4, 2016)

I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter, but in the likely event that the Democrats don’t nominate him, I will most likely cast my vote for Hillary Clinton.

That said, I have my reservations.

Foremost among them is Clinton’s long trail of scandals, which lead me to worry that she might not make it through her first term without being impeached. Aside from that, though, I’d prefer a president who would radically transform our nation – curb the unseemly influence of lobbyists, end the war on drugs, protect the rights of women and the LGBTQ community, and roll back America’s military adventurism overseas. read more