The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 BlogviewTed Rall Archive

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"Give Joe Biden time." "He just got there." "Trump left him a hell of a mess. It's unreasonable to expect him to turn things around in a month or two." "Now is not the time to criticize him or the Democrats. When would be a good time? I don't know, but certainly not now. Later."... Read More
My death will make some people giddy with joy. That's cool. I like to make people happy. In the unlikely event that I'm somehow able to witness the gleeful grins and chortles of those who savor the sweet news of my demise, I hope that whatever is left of me on the astral whatever will... Read More
"Radical solutions require radical solutions," I wrote in my 2010 book, "The Anti-American Manifesto," a polemic that calls upon us to save ourselves from imminent social, economic and political collapse by overthrowing the system and rebuilding society from the ground up. We currently face several radical problems. But we're not likely to rise to the... Read More
Censorship in mainstream corporate American media outlets is subtle. It's not so much that they spin the truth. It's that they omit pertinent facts and exclude relevant points of view. So it is with politics. Among the tools available to messaging and framing experts is "flooding the field" — dominating the news with a blizzard... Read More
Donald Trump may soon look back at his defeat as the best thing that ever happened to him. The former president has been disgraced and double-impeached, and faces criminal prosecution. Fortunately for him, he slipped out of Washington, D.C., just in time to avoid the blame for an economic catastrophe no one can fix. No... Read More
From mainstream left to mainstream right, the media deluge of Donald Trump postmortems share the assumption that 45 represented a departure, deviation or innovation from the comportment and policies of previous American heads of state. True, he was the first man elected president without political or military experience. And as I have previously observed, the... Read More
Terrified political leaders watched the police who were assigned to protect them melt away. They fled as an angry mob of hooligans, riled up by sketchy allegations of rigged elections, stormed up the stairs of the government building that hosted the debates and deliberations of their venerable democracy. The rioters, reactionary right-wingers from the nation's... Read More
"When someone shows you who they are," Maya Angelou said, "believe them the first time." We're about to be reminded who and what the corporate-owned Democratic Party is — something it showed us in 2009. A pair of upset victories in the widely watched pair of Georgia senatorial runoff elections has handed Democrats what they... Read More
Late last month, I wrote that there was a strong chance — I called it 50-50 — that Donald Trump would engineer a "self-coup" in order to remain in power despite having lost the election. The president, I explained, is a desperate cornered rat. Once he leaves office, he becomes vulnerable to a variety of... Read More
The raging argument on the left between progressives who argue for radical change and centrists who advocate for incrementalism is hardly new. Nearly a century ago, progressive titan and Wisconsin Gov. Robert La Follette and then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt were often at loggerheads over the same question. Roosevelt, La Follette complained, was too quick to... Read More
"In his first rally since losing the election last month, President Trump continued to spout conspiracy theories about voter fraud, falsely claiming that he had defeated President-elect Joe Biden." That was the lede of a news story in the Dec. 5 Washington Post. The Associated Press took a similar tack. "President Donald Trump flooded his... Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic was a crisis tailor-made for a xenophobe like Donald Trump. The coronavirus provided an ideal opportunity to turn the president's biggest liability — the nativist bigotry that went so far as to lock children in cages and then lose hundreds of their parents, which elicited disgust even among some of his supporters... Read More
It's too early to celebrate, back-to-brunch Democrats. Liberal voters are counting President-elect Joe Biden's corporatist Cabinet picks. But we still don't know for sure that President Donald Trump will let them hatch. There's still a significant chance — I would put it at 50-50 — that the "outgoing" president will engineer a coup d'etat in... Read More
Progressives and other leftists promise/threaten to pressure/take to the streets to make demands of President-elect Joe Biden if/when he falls short of our expectations. We on the left don't want to be one of those bad bosses who tells you your work isn't good enough but never says what they expect from you in the... Read More
Why, Democrats have been asking, do so many poor white people vote for a Republican Party that doesn't care about or do anything for them? The most common reply is: Democrats are snobby coastal elites who talk down to them. Classic example courtesy of former President Barack Obama, who said of voters in the Rust... Read More
My liberal friends are relieved. I am terrified. Democratic voters got what they wanted last Saturday: the electoral defeat of Donald Trump. By this time next year, if not sooner, Joe Biden's win will look like a Pyrrhic victory. Rather than pushing an affirmative platform of policy proposals, Biden's entire campaign boiled down to opposition... Read More
At this writing, two days after the election, Joe Biden appears to be six electoral votes away from winning the presidency. The Trump campaign has requested a recount in Wisconsin. Republicans are suing in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Nevada to demand the right to observe vote counts and challenge absentee ballots and COVID-related mail-in... Read More
Not long ago, there was a country whose people were suffering a devastating moral, political and economic crisis. Before the crash, they were certain of their place in the world; theirs was, even in the opinion of their adversaries, an exceptionally prosperous, powerful and politically vibrant civilization whose culture had disproportionate influence around the planet.... Read More
Joe Biden enjoys a double-digit lead over incumbent President Donald Trump because he promises a return to normalcy — not the platonic ideal of objective normalcy in a country that doesn't torture or spy on its citizens or let them starve because their coding chops are a few years out of date. Americans desperately want... Read More
I don't give a damn if Donald Trump lives or dies. I don't wish him well. I don't send him thoughts or prayers. If COVID-19 or green men from Mars or liopleurodon take him to his despicable maker, so be it. Everyone dies. Being famous and/or a billionaire and/or president of the United States does... Read More
Past performance is no guarantee of future returns, but there are few more reliable ways to predict what comes next than to examine the historical record, because, most of the time, history really does repeat itself. What kind of president would Joe Biden be? His centrist supporters assure progressives that he will be one of... Read More
It would be a stretch to say that Joe Biden is in trouble. He is ahead in the polls, including in states where Donald Trump won last time. Unlike Trump, whose campaign is apparently nearly broke, Biden's campaign is raking in corporate donations. Of course, Democrats couldn't have asked for a weaker incumbent: nearly 200,000... Read More
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote an article for The Atlantic that could harm President Donald Trump's chance to win reelection. Setting aside the controversial content of the remarks attributed to the president, it is important to note that this is an atrocious example of journalism. You could almost call it "fake news." And corporate media is taking... Read More
Front and center in the raging debate between liberals and progressives over whether they should support Joe Biden or opt out of the two-party trap by voting third party or not at all is the assumption that Biden would do less harm both to the world and to American leftism than Donald Trump. Even many... Read More
"Jesus, Ted. All you ever do," some people tell me, "is complain. We get it — you hate both the Republicans and the Democrats. We don't like them either. But those are the only two parties that have a chance of winning an election. Stop telling us what not to do. Tell us what you... Read More
Republicans will vote for President Donald Trump no matter what. Democrats will vote for Joe Biden no matter what. This column is for progressives weighing the pros and cons of succumbing to the two-party trap and voting for Biden. Unless you've been sucking through a ventilator in a COVID-19 ward for the last few months,... Read More
You don't want to lose your job. How would you feel if getting fired would mean that you would spend the rest of your life in prison? You would do anything to keep working. Anything. That's the position in which Donald Trump finds himself. The president is the target of a myriad of congressional, state... Read More
The stock response to President Donald Trump's suggestion that the general election might be delayed because voting during a pandemic would involve a record number of mail-in ballots, a format he argues is unreliable and susceptible to fraud, is that he doesn't have that power. NBC News is typical: "The president has no power to... Read More
1. My vote is a personal endorsement. It says, "I, citizen Ted Rall, approve of Joe Biden's career in public office." I do not. Voting for Biden would be a retroactive endorsement of his vote to invade Iraq, which killed over 1 million innocent people. Voting for Biden would be a retroactive endorsement of his... Read More
What would President Joe Biden do? His supporters are making it hard to read the tealeaves. They say he'd appoint a great Cabinet. But he won't tell us who would be in it. They say he'd be progressive. Yet his "unity platform" doesn't include a single major policy position endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. As... Read More
President Donald Trump is terrible. Joe Biden is just as bad. In some ways, the Democrat is worse. You shouldn't vote for either one. Trump is erratic and unpredictable, which is dangerous. Even so, Biden is worse than Trump on international relations. At the center of the president's worldview is a deep, admirable and prescient... Read More
Once again, the Democratic Party is asking progressives to vote for a presidential nominee who says he disagrees with it about every major issue. This is presented as an offer it cannot refuse. If it casts a protest vote for a third-party candidate like the unionist and environmentalist Howie Hawkins of the Green Party or... Read More
COVID-19 has created the ideal medium for a summer of continuous protest. Political protests and demonstrations used to be weekend affairs during which angry leftists shouted at empty government offices before shuffling home Sunday afternoon to gear up for the workweek. With 1 out of 4 workers having filed for unemployment and many more working... Read More
Culturally informed by Roman Catholicism's expectation that regret must prompt an apology as well as penance, Western European tradition calls for a rhetorical journey by politicians who claim to have changed course. A chastened leader should explain why and how he came to his previous belief, explain the circumstances that changed his mind and make... Read More
Dear Mr. Pearlstine: Last week, you issued a statement acknowledging the role your newspaper has played in the racist oppression of people of color, according to the "LA Podcast." "The Los Angeles Times has a long, well-documented history of fueling the racism and cruelty that accompanied our city's becoming a metropolis," you wrote. You promised... Read More
Few things are more terrifying than the unknown, as we are discovering as we struggle to navigate, avoid and (if we fail to avoid) survive a mysterious new virus. That goes double when reliable information is hard to come by; it is unquantifiably worse without credible leadership. "Who ya gonna believe," Chico Marx asked, "me... Read More
I shouted the text of my latest story about the invasion from a Palm Pilot into a balky Iridium satellite phone. It was at least my third attempt, and the battery was dying. A Village Voice employee assigned to take dictation on the other side of the world interrupted me. "I don't understand," she said,... Read More
The coronavirus pandemic has laid bare two fundamental flaws in the American health care system. No. 1: There's a reason that other rich countries treat health care as a taxpayer-financed social program. Employer-based health insurance was stupid pre-COVID-19 because our economy was already steadily transitioning from traditional full-time W-2 jobs to self-employment, freelance and gig... Read More
We can save the economy. We have to throw the landlords under the bus to do it. At this writing, 26.5 million Americans have lost their jobs to the national lockdown necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Added to those who were unemployed before the coronavirus crisis, we will soon face jobless numbers equivalent to or... Read More
The COVID-19 medical and economic crisis remains mostly unaddressed by both the Republican and Democratic parties. They have only passed one piece of legislation that significantly helps workers: supplementing existing state unemployment benefits by $600 per week. Those additional payments expire in four months. Until then, many people who are out of work will receive... Read More
There is no room for progressives in the Democratic Party. No matter how many votes he or she gets, no progressive will be permitted to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. Progressives who try to work inside of, contribute to and support the Democratic Party have no real chance of moving its candidates... Read More
Bernie Sanders is out of the race, and with him goes the last chance for progressivism to take over the Democratic Party for a generation. Now his supporters will decide what to do. Intransigent #BernieOrBusters will cast about for a third-party vote, write in Bernie or sit out the election in November. Other left-leaning voters... Read More
Some of my commentary about politics is presented in the form of "advice" to the ruling classes. Please understand: I don't really expect those in the ruling class to take my advice. My advice is not really directed toward them. It is a theoretical exercise. I am really speaking to you, the people. My goal... Read More
After my mother died on Feb. 7, I gathered her valuables and photo albums and drove home to New York. But there wasn't enough room in the car for everything I wanted to keep. There were tchotchkes such as a silly white ceramic saltshaker and pepper shaker in the shape of Arab kings. They weren't... Read More
It's the end of the world as we know it, and the banks and airlines feel fine because even in the midst of economic collapse, CEOs can sleep soundly at night, secure in the knowledge that the American taxpayer will bail them out. Again. All they have to do is wait a respectable six to... Read More
You Democrats ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You spent the last four years criticizing President Donald Trump in no small part for his mental state, and rightly so. The Founding Fathers included an impeachment provision in the Constitution in large part as a contingency to remove a president exactly like him, whose temperament and... Read More
You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: President Donald Trump's second term would be a disaster, for the Democratic Party, for the United States, for democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States." But would it really? Exceptions are a... Read More
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Watching panicky corporate-owned Democrats twist on the devil's fork of Bernie Sanders' "political revolution" is almost as much fun as it must have been for my mom and her fellow villagers to watch Vichy collaborators and Nazi sympathizers being executed by the resistance at the end of World War II. (That, Chris Matthews, is how... Read More
Bernie Sanders is currently the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. He and everyone else knows exactly how the Republicans will attack him if and when he becomes the nominee: old-fashioned redbaiting. China became communist in name only during the 1980s; the Soviet Union shut its doors in 1991; the Cold War is dead; and... Read More
My mom died last week. Her obituary is online. It is, as obits should be, about her. Too many women's lives are contextualized around their roles as wives and mothers. So I kept myself, and our relationship, in the background. Now for a personal remembrance. Like all mothers and sons, we argued. A recurring conflict... Read More