A Deeply Rooted Story
This is just a short note to say thank you for Zoë Carpenter’s article “The Standing of Trees” [March 2/9], about Richard Powers and his book The Overstory. As an amateur botanist, I was particularly delighted. The article made my day (and week). Plus, I was thrilled to learn the good news that Powers is working on another book.
The Iowa Debacle
Democratic Party leaders and organizers should all read the late Jeffrey Cox’s editorial “Iowa Was Just the Start” in the March 2/9 issue of The Nation. Then they should think about it—and read it again.
The debacle of the Iowa caucuses was much more than an embarrassment. It was a snapshot of how dysfunctional the leadership of the current Democratic Party is. And it illustrated just how far the party lags the Trump campaign in preparing for the 2020 election. It is time for the Democrats to unite around a clear understanding of who they are really fighting against and to act together to mount a successful campaign.
The Forgotten Foreign Policy
Reading David Klion’s article “The Woman Behind Elizabeth Warren’s Foreign Policy” [March 2/9] made me realize how little discussion there has been during the current presidential race of US policy toward Latin America (and how little foreign policy there is in our political discourse in general). It is only when a country runs afoul of Washington and is then punished with onerous sanctions or threats of invasion that it’s deemed worthy of mention, often in one-sided screeds that are more propaganda than useful information. The uninformed public never makes the connection between the asylum seekers at our southwestern border and our catastrophic Central American policies.
Nevertheless, since the turn of the 20th century, this country’s constant interference in the internal affairs of the nations south of the Rio Grande has kept them in a subservient role, creating the opportunity for bloody right-wing dictatorial regimes, corruption, and the perpetuation of rule by wealthy elites. Many attempts to introduce progressive economic policies in Latin America have resulted in coups d’état. And both Democratic and Republican administrations have been implicated.
Some of the candidates in our current presidential campaign are advocating progressive political and economic changes, and that is a good thing. However, I am not sure they include the rest of the hemisphere in their equation, thereby missing an opportunity to end a supreme injustice.
They’ve Crossed a Line
I was sickened and outraged to read Morley Musick’s article “Meet the Boy Scouts of the Border Patrol” [February 3]. “The age-old games of cowboys and Indians or cops and robbers have simply been harnessed for a modern, state-run, militarized equivalent: border guards and immigrants,” he writes. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that someone came up with the idea to recruit young people into the Border Patrol’s ranks by putting a patriotic stamp on it. What does surprise me is that some of the recruits are first-generation immigrants themselves.
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