Letters From the December 5-12, 2016, Issue

Letters From the December 5-12, 2016, Issue

Letters From the December 5-12, 2016, Issue

Radical soul… All hail Gary Younge… Foresight is 20/20… True fraudsters… Trump’s cheerleaders… Cold war, hot mess… And still women rise…


Radical Soul

A historical footnote on Stuart Hall [discussed by Bruce Robbins in “A Starting Point for Politics,” Nov. 14]: Stuart was deeply involved in the antinuclear movement in England in the early ’60s. A master strategist, he illuminated the way forward for the movement and inspired grassroots activists like myself.
Peter Franck
new york city

All Hail Gary Younge

Friends and I read and reread Gary Younge’s two recent articles, “Why the Gun-Control Movement Fails” [Nov. 7] and “A Lesson for America” [Nov. 14]. He is brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

Younge is so correct that guns are usually absent from the discussion of daily teen deaths, as if they occurred in a vacuum. And he is so correct that places like Muncie, Indiana, have been lost and ignored by both political parties, and they will not vanish after the election—there are too many unaddressed issues.

Thanks for printing his pieces, and do consider having him write weekly.

Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky
brownsville, tex.

Foresight Is 20/20

I read Sarah Jaffe’s article on Zephyr Teachout [“Her Revolution,” Nov. 14] on November 10. It was the first uplifting thing I’d seen since the election. Where can I get a “Zephyr for President” bumper sticker?
Philip Russell
austin, tex.

True Fraudsters

Re your Nov. 14 editorial [“The Real Election Fraud”]: Voter suppression? Are you sure? I’ve never heard of such a thing on the TV news!

OK, fine: Since (at least) 2000, various suppression tactics have been obvious—except, I guess, to the talking heads and maybe 200 million who believe that what they are watching is the news. You would think that Donald Trump’s allegations of vote-rigging just might inspire some corporate newsperson to cite some factual history on extralegal voter control and management. Trump is right: The integrity of the vote is at risk. But there seems little risk for one party to indulge in one ploy after another—now, for instance, the counterfactual.

Jerry Bronk
san francisco

The vote is the most visible living symbol of democracy; it has been defended by millions who have killed and been killed to protect it. Any irregularity, whether or not it’s “widespread”—at the ballot box, polling place, or registration rolls—is disrespect, if not mockery, of the sacrifices made by all those who have served or are serving.

The time is long past due to federalize federal elections. We must standardize fool-proof voting and vote-tabulation systems, ensuring equal registration opportunities and regulations across the country—no more state-by-state variations. What better cause for a publication called The Nation to pursue. How about it?

J. Ranelli
old lyme, conn.

Trump’s Cheerleaders

Eric Alterman’s article “Bromance News” in the November 14 issue of The Nation was spot-on. It was a thoughtful and thorough description of the Trump campaign.

I agree with everything Alterman pointed out regarding the misdirected and dishonest media folks who were involved with running or abetting Trump’s campaign. CNN and MSNBC became my primary sources of election information. I dumped Fox News years ago: In my opinion, a more dishonest organization does not exist. But I also dumped several sources on MSNBC right after the primary elections.

I could never stomach Morning Joe because of Joe Scarborough or With All Due Respect because of Mark Halperin. I would like to offer an additional specimen of a dishonest and offensive host who appears on MSNBC: Chuck Todd of Meet the Press. His subtly disparaging remarks regarding Hillary Clinton during the campaign did not go unnoticed, and they will not be forgotten.

I’ve spent the last few months in agony. Following the election of Donald Trump, my agony has increased many times over. I hope Alterman will offer his postelection understanding of where our great country now stands.

Frank Grimsley
leesburg, fla.

Cold War, Hot Mess

Re “Cold War Dangers” [Nov. 7]: Has The Nation lost its mind? Five hundred thousand people have already died in Syria, millions of others are in Jordan or overwhelming European nations as refugees, a bullying dictator treats the United States like a “pitiful giant”—and you object to significant action on our part as “saber rattling” by a “bipartisan war party”?

As one who opposed the war in Iraq, I recognize there are risks and potentially terrible outcomes when there is a possibility of armed conflict. However, Vladimir Putin is no Mikhail Gorbachev, who realized the jig was up for the Soviet Union even before Ronald Reagan forced it into an arms competition. Nor is he Nikita Khrushchev, who backed off when faced by a determined Kennedy administration. Putin is a bully who will probe and push as long as he is convinced he faces a paper tiger, but will do nothing once the United States asserts itself on behalf of the Syrian people.

Yes, there are risks and costs, but the underlying weaknesses of the Russian economy simply do not allow Putin to compete with the United States. His ill-gotten gains are largely a result of our noninterventionist policy, as was the case in Rwanda. (Bill Clinton would not now be admitting that Rwanda was his greatest foreign-policy mistake had he acted with resolve.) If we continue to dither and call for a “return to the hard but necessary work of diplomacy,” I’m afraid that President Barack Obama will come to the same conclusion with respect to Syria. His legacy will be tarnished by the many who will continue to die and the chaotic immigration pressures placed upon our allies in Europe.

Samuel B. Cohen
forest hills, n.y.

And Still Women Rise

Katha Pollitt makes her case with wit and humor, drawing from the experience of millions around the globe [“Women Strike Back,” Nov. 7]. This retired (male) lawyer found new hope from her column.
Pierre Hartman
tehachapi, calif.


A caption in Ursula Lindsey’s “Moroccan Rules” [Nov. 28] stated that the rally shown in the photo marked the “sixth anniversary” of the February 20 Movement. The rally, which took place this year, marked the movement’s fifth anniversary.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

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