Linda Darling-Hammond’s article “Education for Sale?” [March 27] is a wonderfully lucid overview of the charter and private-education movement in the United States, with valuable comparisons to different countries as well as between different states. Her comprehensively informative approach leads admirably to her convincing conclusion: “Allowing for-profit entities to operate schools would be recognized as creating an inherent conflict of interest. In short, the system would need to operate like a public system.” Thank you for publishing it!
Dr. Steven Webster
tacoma, wash., and new zealand
Kremlin-Baiting vs. McCarthyism
In its assessment of the current Russian entity and its machinations, The Nation disserves itself, its best traditions, and its readers. I think it is failing to balance the necessary project of nuclear détente with Russia against a proper appreciation of the country’s renewed aggressive imperial stratagems: the “active measures”—murders and deceits—this kleptocracy employs against opponents. At least I, a Nation reader since I was a boy, when my parents subscribed, feel this imbalance, both in the features and in the Letters column.
new york city
Stephen F. Cohen may be right that Donald Trump’s critics have overstated the White House’s allegiance to Vladimir Putin and that they have inflated Putin’s threat to American democracy [“Against Kremlin-Baiting,” March 13]. But the notion that those concerns, which amount to little more than the call for an independent or bipartisan inquiry (supposedly what Cohen wants as well), are “McCarthyism” is mere sloganeering. Let’s not twist the term’s meaning to vilify the very liberals and progressives who are reasonably concerned about the fundamental corruption and venality of Trump’s presidency.
In making his argument, Cohen conflates Cold War belligerence with McCarthyism, which, while it indeed inflated international threats, did so in large part to promote domestic counter-subversion. Moreover, Cohen’s argument deflects attention from present-day policies and rhetoric that far more resemble McCarthyism than anything said or done in the last few months by the left or the Democratic Party, neither of which has come close to anything like a domestic witch hunt.