Psychiatrist and author ROBERT JAY LIFTON has spent a lifetime not turning away from our dark side: writing about Hiroshima survivors, Nazi doctors, and the Japanese cult that released sarin gas in Tokyo’s subways. Now 93, he finds the darkness closer to home. He wrote the foreword to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Experts Assess a President, and his latest book is LOSING REALITY: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry. How can Trump’s alternative facts compete with the harsh realities of this moment?
“We’re still fighting the last battles of the Civil War,” according to attorney CONNIE RICE in a recent interview. Rice has for decades been doing the hard work of police reform. She believes, “There’s a war within American policing … Does it continue to go with the policing that descended from slavery, which is containment suppression? Or do they go toward community healing, wraparound safety, public health policing — which doesn’t even promote cops for making arrests?” Here’s my 2012 conversation with Rice about her book, POWER CONCEDES NOTHING.
My 20-minute commentary calls for Millennials and Boomers with shared values to forge a movement large enough, creative enough, diverse enough, and powerful enough to successfully confront the critical problems we face. 60s.2.0 – 21st century tech in the service of the best of ‘60s values – meets OK Boomer – the impatience of the young with the failures of the old. “If the challenges we face are big enough to turn us against each other, then they must be big enough to bring us together.”
ELIZABETH FERNANDEZ has worked on voter education and GOTV campaigns, helping to register thousands of new voters. She’s now Communications Director of MOVEMENT VOTER PROJECT, which offers a clear break from failed electoral strategies of big donors, big consultants, and big TV ad buys. MVP helps donors move their money to the best local community-based organizations in key states, who are alive on the ground 365 days a year, election or not. In 2018, they moved more than $13M to 350+ groups in 42 states – in almost every competitive US House, Senate, Governor’s race and ballot measure. You can learn more at movement.vote.
GEORGE PACKER’s recent essay in the Atlantic, We Are Living in a Failed State, was being quoted a lot – before George Floyd’s death and the ensuing days of rage. Packer is the author of 2013’s THE UNWINDING, which reported on a country growing vulnerable to a demagogue like Trump, and 2019’s Richard Holbrooke biography OUR MAN, just out in paperback. He’s a staff writer at The Atlantic and I reached out after reading two of his recent essays The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions and We Are Living in a Failed State. We talk about how it all fits together.