The Art of Nonviolence
I am appalled by the drawing on the cover of the Feb. 12/19 issue of Donald Trump being physically assaulted. I was equally appalled when he tweeted the picture of himself assaulting a figure labeled “CNN.” I don’t understand the rationale of stooping to his level, and I feel like this kind of portrayal condones physical violence.
At a tough time for all who care about humanity, the article “California Shows How to Beat Trump” [Feb. 12/19] gives hope. All the other “blue” states need to copy California’s lead.
Two steps that California has taken that were not mentioned but should have been were its efforts to protect voting rights by passing automatic voter registration and Vote by Mail; it has begun pilot versions of the latter in five counties with the aim of eventually expanding Vote by Mail throughout the state, as in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.
Those two reforms, combined with Election Day registration, allowing preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, passing the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, replacing electronic voting machines, instituting ranked-choice voting, and combining all local elections with the midterm elections, must become the goal of all progressives and Democrats. Most of these reforms boost voter turnout. Several also save tax dollars, for which I am sure governing bodies could find much better uses.
In Defense of Male Feminists
Re the latest Katha Pollitt column, “Overkill?” [Feb. 12/19], let me get this straight: Somebody I’ve never heard of does something distasteful, and because of that Pollitt declares that I, as a self-proclaimed male feminist, can never be trusted. How is that fair? It reeks of prejudice.
Pollitt is my favorite Nation columnist. However, that statement had me rolling my eyes.
Donald S. Handy
mount clemens, mich.
I have always put the term “feminist man” in the category of fighting words, just as being a white person and declaring that you are not a racist means you are probably just that. Regarding men who harass in the workplace, I want to say to them that they can stay out of trouble simply by not being jerks.
The President Cuts a Rug
I enjoyed the Comix Nation panel by Sally Gardner [“The Alpha-Male’s Guide to Power-Hair-Styling,” Jan. 15/22]. It finally explained the mystery behind the creation of that unattractive haystack atop Trump’s head. But I believe Gardner may have left out one of his very crucial construction aids—the bobby pins I hear he has to use to anchor that eyesore!
gig harbor, wash.
What This Country Needs
With a national debt eclipsing $18 trillion and Social Security hurtling toward an abyss, it seems to me that we should be regarding immigrants of any kind as highly valuable, highly desirable additions to this country [“Deportation Nation,” Jan. 15/22]. Rather than deporting people, we should be aggressively recruiting them.
To start with, how about a huge, sweeping amnesty program whereby all people who are undocumented can become documented by paying, say, $100 to $150 for the administrative cost of a Social Security number, all border transgressions forgiven? On the heels of that, let’s replace the walls and wires with a bunch more border-crossing points. Hey, Salvadorans, please join us up here! We need you… badly!
Charles Murray, Creationist
In response to a detail within Khalil Gibran Muhammad’s “Racism by the Numbers” [Jan. 29/Feb. 5]: Charles Murray’s belief in the bell-shaped curve of human intelligence is similar to the belief in creationism. From a psycholinguistic perspective, grounded in natural science, the idea that there can be a test for intelligence is no less an abstraction than the notion that there can be a test for the existence of hobgoblins. From this perspective, the word “intelligence” works a bit more logically as an adjective than as a noun. For example, it makes sense to say “He gave an intelligent answer to the question of the reality of global warming.” But used as a noun, the idea of a measurable “intelligence” is as ridiculous as the search to find the place where the superego resides in an organism.
The issue is not a matter of free speech, as Murray’s defenders frame it. The issue is that an abstraction cannot be measured.
Murray is a social scientist. Until our colleges and universities recognize that social science and cognitive science are both oxymorons, they will continue to invite people like Murray to their campuses to discuss their beliefs.
We’re With Kap
Thanks once again to Colin Kaepernick for being an inspiration to us all, but especially to young people, by being true to himself [“Leading the Resistance: Colin Kaepernick,” Jan. 29/Feb. 5]. Here’s another Shakespearean quotation, this one from Hamlet. Polonius reminds Laertes, his son, “This above all: to thine own self be true, / And it must follow, as the night the day, / Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Kaepernick walks the walk…
I am glad to see The Nation writing about disability more frequently [“;Leading the Resistance: ADAPT,” Jan. 29/Feb. 5]. As a disability activist, I’ve long felt that progressive magazines give disability rights short shrift. Disability health is everyone’s health.
I am a longtime subscriber, a retired lawyer, age 76. I am surprised and disappointed that, as far as I can tell, The Nation has not written about Daniel Ellsberg’s recent book, The Doomsday Machine, based on nuclear-war planning documents he sneaked out of the RAND Corporation at the same time he smuggled out the Pentagon Papers.
One of Ellsberg’s duties at RAND was to help Pentagon officials create plans for nuclear war. Ellsberg’s book details the scary scenarios plotted out by the rational madmen who plan this country’s nuclear strategies and whose actions put all life on Earth at risk. Your omission is puzzling to me.
John F. Klinkert