Happy Anniversary!

I have been a Nation subscriber off and on for nearly 50 years, but I recently made the decision to let my subscription expire. The only reason was that I had come to dread the news. I had decided that it was bad news enough to have become elderly; I did not need the further outrages inflicted by Cruz, McConnell, Gohmert, et al. Like Candide, I made the decision simply to tend my garden.

However, I somehow continued on your mailing list just long enough to receive the 150th-anniversary issue [April 6]. What an inspiration! I realize that I really need The Nation for however much longer I am alive. Thank you for the remarkable good work you do.

Janel Borsos
san antonio

Congratulations on The Nation’s 150th birthday and the wonderful anniversary issue I received. Not only am I a loyal subscriber, but my uncle, Maurice Wertheim, was the publisher and benefactor of The Nation from 1935 to 1937, during the hard times of the Great Depression, when the magazine needed considerable support and guidance to stay alive. That is why I am so delighted to know that The Nation still remains the voice of the voiceless. Here’s to 150 more years!
Arthur Frank Wertheim
rancho palos verdes, calif.

Thank you for an astounding anniversary edition of The Nation. I will spend many hours savoring each and every article. It is our history, the history of movements and ideas that have been instrumental in shaping the American consciousness. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the struggle for dignity on behalf of people who are often invisible to those in the halls of power.

I live in the bizarre alternate universe called Texas. The Nation keeps me in touch with a conversation outside the one-party autocracy I live in.

I’ve been a reader of The Nation since college, and I’m way beyond that experience by a couple of decades. From time to time, I run into other Nation readers in Texas, and we speak in hushed tones, eyes darting about to make sure we’re not being watched. I often catch myself being very conscious of hiding the cover page of my Nation when reading in public. It feels wickedly subversive. Just having a Nation subscription in Texas can be considered a revolutionary act.

I want everyone who has anything to do with producing The Nation to understand just how much they mean to the like-minded people here in America’s outback.

Eric C. Botts

I read many of the articles in the special 150th-anniversary edition and skimmed through more. I am a pragmatic conservative who has a deep respect for our Constitution. While I am not surprised by many of the views expressed by both former and current contributors to The Nation, there does seem to be a pervasive hostility to many things American and to the Constitution, as well as affection for such countries as Cuba. Nothing is perfect, and no nation is. Most of the world’s nations are run by tyrants, dictators, or dysfunctional leaders. However, in terms of personal freedom, social and economic opportunity, and standard of living, what major countries with a large, highly diverse population are superior to the United States? David F. Tufaro

I hope you’ve received tons of congratulatory messages, and I want to add mine. That anniversary issue is a treasure of interesting material, and a reminder of how important your magazine is—and has been for 150 years—to keeping humanitarianism and an authentic patriotism alive in the United States, and to speaking up against the fraudulent, greedy, and cruel forces that perennially threaten human progress. Bruce K. Martin
des moines

I have just finished reading “Michael Moore for President” in your wonderful 150th-anniversary issue, and I must say that I would be delighted to vote for him. His platform—even the tongue-in-cheek planks—is more people-friendly than most of the political rhetoric bandied about these days.

Point 3, which calls for conscripting the adult offspring of members of Congress and the children of Fortune 500 CEOs in future wars, reminded me of All Quiet on the Western Front, where it was suggested that wars be fought by the politicians who declare them and the industrialists who profit from them. Now, if Hillary endorsed a program like Moore’s, I would truly be ready for her.

Gayle Voeller
carmichael, calif.

Liberal De-Nihilism

In Mike Konczal’s article “The Wages of Liberal Nihilism” [March 23/30], he left out the principal contributor to America’s decline: the election in 1980 of Ronald Reagan, whose anti-government, anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology has infused the GOP at all levels of government ever since, and whose control was gained through massive donations of cash to Republican election campaigns, outrageous gerrymandering, and, as in Florida, plain old election fraud. All of these have caused tax-starved communities and beneficial programs to wither and die. Until we can get the Republicans out of office, or that party has a social epiphany, don’t expect any real improvement.
Howard F. Sosbee
scotts valley, calif.

Liberals can’t lobby seriously for higher workers’ wages because almost all Democratic lawmakers, particularly at the national level, have been captured by the very corporate forces they’d have to confront and challenge. Try making a viable presidential run today without serious cash from the financial sector; you won’t get the money if you threaten real progressive labor reform. That’s why Obama has never really pressed the issue, and that’s why Hillary won’t be able to either.

Yes, it appears that the Democrats are looking more like the Republicans every day. Sure, the GOP is worse, but the Democrats are sorely lacking. As soon as any Democrat talks about wage problems, you hear the chants of “Class warfare!” from the Republicans, and the Democrats simply fold. It started with Clinton and his pro-Republican policies and has just gotten worse over time. If there are any Democrats out there worried about this stuff, they are few and far between (Elizabeth Warren is the best example). Bottom line: We need to find something or someone else. The Republicans are driving this country down the sewer, and the Democrats are missing in action.
Jeff T.