Author Gore Vidal liked to call this country “the United States of Amnesia.” Even more so than other places, our country has been formed not by what it chooses to remember of its own past, but by what it chooses to forget.
In such a country, simply to remember is itself a radical act. It is to refuse to submit to the blinders that the powers that be are always trying to slip onto the rest of us. It is to subvert, implicitly or otherwise, the tyranny of the present — to insist on expanding the realm of the possible.
If all of this is true, then historian Eric Foner is one of the most dangerous men in the United States. And in the Trump era of sham populism turned shameless plutocracy, he might be the clearest voice on what this moment means for our country and how progressives might move forward.