Activism

Many of our America at a Crossroads audience members have repeatedly asked what they can actually DO to help protect our democracy. We have researched and vetted a number of non-partisan, non-profit organizations that are immersed in issues aligned with JUDJ’s mission. Voting rights, voter suppression and other pro-democracy ideals lie at the heart of the organizations we have included below. In many cases, these organizations have volunteer opportunities, including internships and special opportunities for high school and college students. We encourage you to connect with and support these organizations and actively engaged in protecting our American democracy.

Anti-Defamation League is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education, and is a leading organization in training law enforcement. ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

Learn more about ADL and volunteer opportunities.

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism.

Learn more about the Brennan Center for Justice. 

The California Center for Civic Participation is a non-partisan, non-profit civic education organization, engaging high school students by sparking their interest with exposure to real excitement of the democratic process. We believe that youth hold so much untapped and unlimited power to change their communities and their world and we exist to expose and nurture that power.

Learn more about the California Center for Civic Participation and volunteer opportunities. 

The Center’s mission is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965.

The Center for Civic Education helps students develop (1) an increased understanding of the institutions of constitutional democracy and the fundamental principles and values upon which they are founded, (2) the skills necessary to participate as competent and responsible citizens, and (3) the willingness to use democratic procedures for making decisions and managing conflict.

Learn more about the Center for Common Ground.

The Center for Common Ground empowers under-represented voters through non-partisan voter registration and Get Out the Vote. It provide voter information through door knock canvassing, texting, phone-banking. It also provide free rides to the polls on Election Day.

Learn more about the Center for Common Ground and volunteer opportunities.

Center for Election Innovation & Research engages in cutting-edge work to build voter trust, increase voter participation, and improve the efficiency of election administration. Their work helps elections officials maintain accurate and complete voter lists and secure election technology infrastructure.

Learn more about Center for Election Innovation & Research.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to ensure open, honest, and accountable government; to promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and to empower all people to make their voices heard as equals in the political process. Common cause works across four major issue areas: voting and elections; money and politics; ethics, transparency and government accountability; and media and democracy.

Learn more about Common Cause and the Common Cause Education Fund

Democracy North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to strengthen democratic structures, build power among disenfranchised communities, and inspire confidence in a transformed political process that works for all.

Learn more about Democracy NC and volunteer opportunities. 

ElectionDay.Org engages businesses to provide resources and tools to promote voting within their organizations including information on how to register, voting methods, and relevant deadlines. 

Learn more about ElectionDay.Org.

Equal Justice Works creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, legal services organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice. The organization believes that a community of lawyers committed to public service can fulfill our nation’s promise of equal justice for all. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of Equal Justice Works Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities.

Learn more about Equal Justice Works and available volunteer opportunities.

The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN) is a project of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research. EOLDN connects licensed, qualified, pro bono attorneys with election administrators who need advice or assistance. Election workers from all over the country, at the state and local level, can contact EOLDN via this website or by phone (1-877-313-5210) at any time, to request to be connected to a lawyer who can help them, at no cost. This service is available regardless of the election official’s political affiliation, or whether they work in a blue or red state or county.

Learn more about Election Official Legal Defense Network and available volunteer opportunities. 

FairVote is a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections for all. They research and advance voting reforms that make democracy more functional and representative for every American. FairVote has a proven record since 1992 as a nonpartisan trailblazer that advances and wins electoral reforms at the local, state and national level through strategic research, communications and collaboration. Today, we are the driving force behind advancing ranked choice voting and fair representation in multi-winner legislative districts that will open up our elections to better choices, fairer representation and more civil campaigns.

Learn more about FairVote and volunteer opportunities.

Indivisible is committed to providing civic education, policy resources, strategic guidance, and targeted trainings for groups across the country. It educates and empowers civic leaders at the community level across the country. 

Learn more about Indivisible and volunteer opportunities available in several states.

Inspire2Vote supports nonpartisan efforts to promote voter registration among high school students. Inspire2Vote is a program of Project High Hopes, a 501(c)3 operating foundation which engages in innovative programs in the areas of civic responsibility. For more information about Project High Hopes,

Learn more about Common Cause.

The League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Learn more about League of Women Voters.

The Lincoln Project is a leading pro-democracy organization in the United States — dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy. The Lincoln Project launched with two stated objectives. The first was to defeat Donald Trump at the ballot box. The second was to ensure Trumpism failed alongside him. As we have seen, our fight against Trumpism is only beginning. We must combat these forces everywhere and at all times. Our democracy depends on it.

Learn more about The Lincoln Project and available volunteer opportunities. 

People For the American Way Foundation conducts research, legal, and education work on behalf of First Amendment freedoms and democratic values; monitors, exposes, and challenges the Religious Right movement and its political allies; identifies, trains, and supports the next generation of progressive leaders through its Young People For youth leadership programs and its Young Elected Officials Network; and carries out nonpartisan voter education, registration, civic participation, and election protection activities.

Learn more about People for the American Way. 

Project Vote is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded on the belief that an organized, diverse electorate is the key to a better America. Project Vote’s mission is to build an electorate that accurately represents the diversity of this nation’s citizenry, and to ensure that every eligible citizen can register, vote, and cast a ballot that counts.

Learn more about Project Vote. 

Project Vote Smart offers services and programs for political journalists to enhance their coverage of politics and elections. The Project partners with more than 300 national, state, and local news organizations, all endorsing Project programs. In addition to comprehensive databases on more than 40,000 candidates and incumbents, the Project provides journalists with special research services and publications. We devote considerable effort to researching information about all candidates for presidential, congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative office and elected officials. Voters thus have access to unbiased information on candidates as well as those serving in elected positions.

Learn more about Project Vote Smart and available volunteer opportunities. 

The Public Citizen Foundation supports Public Citizen’s education, litigation, research, and public information activities. Public Citizen is a national consumer advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent consumer interests in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. Public Citizen fights for openness and democratic accountability in government, for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts; for clean, safe and sustainable energy sources; for social and economic justice in trade policies; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; and for safe, effective and affordable prescription drugs and health care.

Learn more about Public Citizen and available opportunities. 

Reform Elections Now works to reduce partisanship in government through electoral reform. It believes that election reform is the most systematic way to reduce partisanship in government. To this end, we pursue our mission by providing our members and audience with insightful analyses, high-return solutions, and opportunities for targeted engagement with like-minded organizations. Led by a team of non-partisan business people, we focus on pragmatic election reform initiatives that are achievable, constructive, and measurable.

Learn more about Reform Elections Now. 

Rideshare2Vote was created to increase the voice and power of people by expanding their civic engagement and voting rights. We have created a voter touch outreach field program that includes our transportation service specifically for Democratic and progressive voters. Rideshare2Vote focuses our work in disenfranchised communities; voting for the first time; who are not voting in every election; that are disabled; living in poverty and who are elderly.

Learn more about Rideshare2Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Rise mobilizes student voters to build our political power for change. Our vote is one of the most powerful ways we can change our communities and our county. Rise works to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and tools we need to get out the vote. 

Learn more about RISE and available volunteer opportunities. 

Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate. For almost 25 years, Rock the Vote has pioneered ways to make voting easier by simplifying and demystifying voter registration and elections for young adults.

Learn more about Rock the Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Spread The Vote helps members of our communities empower themselves to be heard at the polls: with IDs, registration, education, and turnout. 21 million Americans don’t have photo ID. If they live in a strict voter ID state, they can’t vote. Volunteer to help Americans win back their fundamental right to vote. We love our volunteers! Whether you live in a voter ID state or not, there are a lot of ways that you can help us fight voter suppression. 

Learn more about Spread The Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

Students for Justice is a non partisan organization created to empower underrepresented voters in voter-suppression-states. Students for Justice engages young people in the electoral process through paid internships; interns take on a variety of projects –- communications, outreach, and community organizing— all aimed at getting out the vote. Interns develop paid social media campaigns to increase voter registration and turnout. They recruit, train, and motivate volunteers to use postcards, phone calls, and texts to contact some of the 16.5 million Americans who have been purged from the voter rolls, helping them re-establish their voter registration, and get out the vote.

Learn more about how to donate and to apply for an internship. 

The Andrew Goodman Foundation makes young voices and votes a powerful force in democracy. Our ability to spark their passion — today — will result in change, tomorrow. The Andrew Goodman Foundation supports youth leadership development, voting accessibility, and social justice initiatives on campuses across the country with mini-grants to select institutions of higher learning and other financial assistance to students.
Our vision is that young people will become active, engaged citizens who ensure a just democracy and sustainable future. Join us during this critical time for American democracy and help shape the next generation of civic leaders.

Learn more about The Andrew Goodman Foundation and available volunteer opportunities. 

The Center for Public Integrity is dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The mission of the Center for Public Integrity is to protect democracy and inspire change using investigative reporting that exposes betrayals of the public trust by powerful interests. To pursue its mission, the Center generates high-quality, accessible investigative reports, databases, and contextual analysis on issues of public importance; disseminates work to journalists, policymakers, scholars, and citizens using a combination of digital, electronic, and print media; and educates, engages, and empowers citizens with the tools and skills they need to hold government and other private institutions accountable.

Learn more about The Center for Public Integrity. 

The Civics Center is dedicated to building the foundations of youth civic engagement and voter participation in high schools through education, organizing, and advocacy. We support student-led, peer-to-peer voter registration and pre-registration efforts in high school communities.

Learn more about The Civics Center and available volunteer opportunities. 

VoteRiders is the country’s leading nonprofit, nonpartisan organization focused on the issue of voter ID. Our mission is to ensure that no eligible voter is prevented from casting a ballot that counts due to voter ID laws, either directly from lack of acceptable ID or indirectly because of voter confusion. Founded ten years ago, our work has helped millions of voters successfully navigate and overcome the barriers that result from voter ID laws, which are currently in place in 36 states. As we head into 2022 and the crucial midterm elections, our far-reaching voter ID education resources, partnerships, and free ID assistance programs are now more important than ever before.

VoteRiders offers a wide range of virtual and on-the-ground volunteer opportunities for individuals looking to make a difference, including virtual letter-writing and text-banking events and in-person or virtual ID assistance opportunities to support voters in the states of Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Learn more about VoterRiders and available volunteer opportunities. 

When We All Vote is a leading national, nonpartisan initiative on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed and engaged electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable.

Learn more about When We All Vote and available volunteer opportunities. 

JUDJ Newsletter

JUDJ regularly sends supporters newsletters highlighting upcoming events and a round up of important articles and news coverage related to our efforts and issue areas.

Dear Friend:

If you were not able to view tonight’s program featuring foreign policy analyst, journalist and author, Robin Wright  in conversation with Larry Mantle discussing “Whither the Iran Revolution”, you can watch the program at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  The program posts about 3 hours after its conclusion and remains there indefinitely together with all of our 140+ programs. 


Here is a link to the Apple TV series called TEHRAN that Ms. Wright mentioned in tonight’s program.  It is likely that you need to be an Apple TV subscriber to view this series.  

Next Wednesday we welcome Congressman Adam Schiff to discuss A New Year, A New Congress.  Congressman Schiff has represented California’s 30th district in the northeastern section of Los Angeles for the past 22 years. He was, until the current Congress, the ranking member and chair of the House Intelligence Committee and was the lead investigator in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump stemming from the Trump–Ukraine scandal, and was the lead impeachment manager in the first Trump impeachment trial before the US Senate. Congressman Schiff played a key role on the House Select Committee on the January 6th attack. 

Before entering politics, Congressman Schiff, a Harvard Law graduate, was a prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s office.  The Los Angeles Times wrote that  “Speaker Pelosi appointed Schiff to be lead impeachment manager because she felt his laser focus and unflappable determination in the face of a president’s unyielding attacks made him the right person to build a clear picture of the president’s corruption that would resonate with Americans.”  In January, Congressman Schiff was unilaterally blocked by Speaker McCarthy from serving on the House Intelligence Committee.  Congressman Schiff will be in conversation with Warren Olney.  Register Here

RECENT ARTICLES 
1.Congressional Politics  
This article in yesterday’s NY Times discusses efforts by Speaker McCarthy to remove Congresswoman Ilhan Omar for the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the temporary recusal by Congressman Santos from all of his Committees.  It also discusses the prior blocking by Speaker McCarthy of California Congressmen Schiff and Swalwell from their House Committees. And this analysis, also in the NY Times, discusses Congressman Matt Gaetz’s new powers, having ostensibly provided a list of demands to McCarthy during the 5 day floor fight for McCarthy to become speaker.  The article describes Gaetz as an “attention-craving political arsonist adored by the Trump wing of the GOP”

2. Conservative Judge Luttig’s Pursuit to Render Trump Irrelevant
This article in yesterday’s Washington Post profiles Judge (ret’d) Michael Luttig, the person whom Vice President sought counsel on January 4 as President Trump pressured Pence to help overturn the results of the election.  Luttig, long known as one of the leading conservative judges in the legal system, testified publicly before the January 6 committee declaring “Donald Trump and his supporters and allies are a clear and present danger to American democracy.”  This article describes how Judge Luttig continues to pursue what he calls “the beginning of the end of Donald Trump”, a goal which he is pursuing by trying to shape various court cases, as well by helping to craft election law changes.

3. Biden’s Legacy if Successful: Reversing the global Tide of Democratic Retreat
In this op-ed  yesterday’s NY Times, Bret Stephens suggests that, if successful, Biden’s legacy could be his stemming the global retreat from democracy.  He writes: “What will matter in 2073 is whether he reversed the global tide of democratic retreat that began long before his presidency but reached new lows with the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If Biden can turn it, it will be a historic achievement. If not, much darker days will lie ahead.” Specifically with respect to Iran, Stephens notes the critical important of Biden succeeding in entering into a nuclear deal with Iran. On that topic, Stephens notes: An Iran that crosses the nuclear threshold, as North Korea did in the 1990s, will be followed by nuclear proliferation elsewhere in the Middle East, a curse that will haunt successive generations of Americans. Surely this is not the legacy Biden wants: a region in which four or five nuclear powers, prone to religious fanaticism, are at daggers drawn with one another, in ever-shifting balances of power.”

Dear Friend:

If you were unable to watch tonight’s outstanding program with Michael McFaul, former US Ambassador to Russia, in conversation with the great Larry Mantle, about Russia’s war and Putin’s likely future you can watch it at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  The program will be posted about 3 hours after its conclusion and will remain at that site indefinitely together with all of our past programs.

 

Next week we welcome foreign policy analyst, journalist and author, Robin Wright to discuss “Whither the Iran Revolution”.   Robin Wright has covered wars, revolutions and uprisings around the world, with a special emphasis on Iran and the Middle East.  She has reported from more than 140 countries in her most illustrious career. She writes for The New Yorker and is a joint fellow of the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center and has written 5 books and co-authored 3 others.    She will be in conversation with Larry Mantle and the focus will be an analysis of the meaning and direction of ongoing uprising in Iran and more generally, on Iran’s power in the middle east. (register here)

Here is a link to many of Robin Wright’s recent articles in The New Yorker
At this link is an article published this week by the United States Institute of Peace entitled “Whither Iran on the Revolution’s Anniversary”

Dear Friend:

If you were not able to tune in for this evening’s program featuring preeminent Middle East expert Amb. Dennis Ross, Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute on Near East Policy who worked for decades with five successive US Administrations as the key advisor on the Middle East, in conversation with Warren Olney, you can see the entire program at THIS PAST EVENTS LINK.  The program posts about 3 hours after its conclusion and remains there indefinitely along with all of our 140+ past programs.  


NEXT WEEK: FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA MICHAEL McFAUL
Next week we welcome Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul who will be in conversation with Larry Mantle on the topic of the Russia-Ukraine War and Putin’s Future.  Register Here. In 2018, which was 4 years after Ambassador McFaul had completed his service as US Ambassador to Russia, Putin sought to interrogate Amb. McFaul.  In anticipation of next week’s program, here is an article that gives the backstory on Putin’s efforts to interrogate Ambassador McFaul and financier Bill Browder.

THOMAS FRIEDMAN’S COLUMN IN TODAY’S NY TIMES & A LINK TO KLEIN HALEVI ARTICLE
In this op-ed in this morning’s NY Times, Thomas Friedman, in the strongest terms, chastises Netanyahu’s proposed West Bank annexation plans as well as his proposed reforms to the Israeli Supreme Court.  In the op-ed, Friedman declares that Netanyahu’s proposals conflict with America’s interests, and writes: “Israel and the US are friends.  But today, one party in this friendship–Israel–is changing its fundamental character. President Biden, in a caring but clear way possible, needs to declare that these changes violate America’s interests and values and that we are not going to be Netanyahu’s useful idiots and just sit in Silence.” 

Here is a link to the Yossi Klein Halevi article entitled, Netanyahu’s Betrayal of Democracy is a Betrayal of Israel, which was published in this week’s The Atlantic
 

Dear Friend:

 

If you missed tonight’s program featuring Larry Diamond of Stanford, and Claremont-McKenna College’s Minxin Pei, discussing, with Larry Mantle, the challenges and resistance faced by today’s autocrats–from China to Iran to Russia,  you can watch the whole program at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  It will be posted a few hours after the program ends and remains there indefinitely with all of our past programs. Here is a link to the article that Larry Diamond mentioned tonight which is in the new issue of Foreign Affairs; it is behind a paywall, but we wanted to provide you with the link nevertheless. 

Next week we welcome two preeminent Middle East experts, Dennis Ross and Yedidia Stern.  Ambassador Ross, a Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute on Near East Policy,  worked for decades with five successive US Administrations, serving as the key advisor on the Middle East.  Stern is a professor of political science and law at Bar Ilan University and, among many other engagements, is a key figure in multiple efforts to establish a constitutional democracy in Israel. There are no two people more qualified to provide a realistic, in-depth analysis of the impact of Natanyahu’s return to power and the likely impact of his new cabinet members. (Register Here)

DAVID MAKOVSKY ANALYSIS OF NATANYAHU & BIDEN
In anticipation of next week’s program, here is a two-part series published by the Washington Institute, written by David Makovsky of both the Washington Institute and Johns Hopkins University.  The articles analyze Natanyahu and his potential friction points with President Biden. Part 1 of the analysis focuses on the issues related to the Palestinians, and Part 2 of the analysis focuses on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and domestic issues. 

Dear Friend:

We are pleased to start 2023 off by hosting one of our country’s most popular and incisive pundits, David Brooks of the NY TImes who will be in conversation with LA Times Pulitzer prize winning journalist Patt Morrison. Aside from his long-time role at the NY Times, Brooks is a frequent guest on NBC’s Meet the press,  NPR and the PBS NewsHour.  An astute observer of human and political behavior Brooks covers a wide-range of topics in his writings, from global politics to domestic affairs to pop culture.  On January 4 at 5 pm Brooks will give us his assessment of the the state of the world and America’s place in it as we begin the year 2023.  Register Here.

INTERESTING ARTICLES AS 2022 ENDS HOW ARE THINGS GOING IN THE WORLD?
What do Susan Glasser, Robin Wright and Nicholas Kristof have to say about the past year and the one before us?

Frequent America at a Crossroads guest, Susan Glasser of The New Yorker, wrote this concise column looking back on 2022, entitled, 2022 Could Have Been Worse…Much, Much Worse.  “Russia could have won. A Republican red wave, predicted by history and the polls, might have swept radical Trumpist election deniers into control of both houses of Congress and key state-election offices. Inflation might have kept going up. The economy could have entered a full-fledged recession,” writes Glasser.  While she would not conclude that she is bouyed by optimism as we usher in 2023, Glasser has decided to “save the pessimism for another day. 2023 awaits.”

In a few weeks we will be welcome The New Yorker’s Robin Wright, journalist, author, and expert geopolitical analyst.  In this week’s New Yorker, Wright wrote this review of the wars and crises of 2022, and what they foreshadow for 2023.  As Wright provides an overview of the the  autocratic consolidated hard-line regime of Iranian President Raisi, she also notes the rising tide of protests led mostly by teenage women; as Wright describes the tightening of the alliance between China’s Xi and Russia’s Putin, she also writes about the revitalization and expansion of NATO.  Assessing the last year and looking to the coming year, Wright concludes that while  “[t]yrants and thugocrats have tightened their hold amid challenges to democracies… they face problems, too.” 

And, former America at a Crossroads guest, Nicholas Kristof’s column in his December 31 NY Times  is entitled, “Cheer Up! The World is Better Off Than You Think!” While there is plenty of gloom and doom news as we close out 2022, in this column Kristof focuses on advancements which have been made in 2022 despite the many problems the world faced.  Kristoff notes the positive strides in the tech arena, particularly in the domains of Artificial Intelligence and renewable energy, and remarkable advancements in the arenas of vaccine development and cancer treatment.  There was even progress, Kristof reports, in reducing global child poverty.  In conclusion, Kristoff quotes Oxford economist, Max Roser (Our World In Data),: “The world is awful. The world is much better. THe world can be much better.  All three statements are true at the same time.”

Dear Friend:

Tonight was the final America at a Crossroads program of 2022.  We thank you for your participation and for your patronage, and wish you a very happy holiday season and a healthy, happy, and engaged new year.

If you missed this evening’s program featuring the acclaimed NY Times investigative political journalist and writer, Jim Rutenberg in conversation with Patt Morrison about the troubling connections between Trump and Putin and the broader question of the Russia-US relationship, you can watch the program at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  The program is posted about 3 hours after it ends and stays at that link indefinitely with all of our past programs. 

We usher in the 4th year of America at a Crossroads weekly programming on January 4 at 5 pm Pacific with one of our country’s most popular and incisive pundits, David Brooks of the NY TImes who will be in conversation with LA Times  award-winning journalist Patt Morrison. Brooks is a moderate-conservative political and cultural commentator who, before joining the NY TImes as an op-ed columnist, worked as a film critic for The Washington Times, as a reporter and later op-ed editor for The Wall Street Journal, as a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, as a contributing editor at both Newsweek and The Atlantic Monthly.  He has also worked as a commentator on NPR and the PBS NewsHour.  An astute observer of human and political behavior Brooks covers a wide-range of topics in his writings, from global politics to domestic affairs to pop culture.  On January 4 at 5 pm Brooks will give us his assessment of the the state of the world and America’s place in it as we begin the year 2023.  Register Here.

GEORGE WASHINGTON’S WORDS ARE CLEAR:  AMERICA WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE A WHITE CHRISTIAN NATION

In yesterday’s Washington Post, this column by Jennifer Rubin debunks the myth that America was intended to be a Christian country. Rubin writes that in 1790, America’s most prominent American at the time, George Washington, sent this letter to the Rhode Island Hebrew Congregation in which he wrote:  “The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.” He added, “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

Dear Friend:

Thank you for generously responding to our “Giving Tuesday” and “End of Year” campaigns.  Your donations enable our programming. If you have not yet had a chance to contribute this year, there is still time!  Donate Here.

Later today we welcome the dynamic political analysts, popular commentators and respected pundits, Bill Kristol, and Ron Brownstein, who will analyze the American political landscape as 2022 comes to a close. Kristol, known as a leader in the modern conservative movement, is a regular commentator on ABC’s This Week, a frequent guest on CNN and MSNBC, and a columnist for The New York Times.  He is founder and editor-at-large of the political magazine The Weekly Standard and is editor-at-large of the center-right publication The Bulwark. Kristol established and led “Never Trump Republicans” and “Republicans Against Trump”.   Brownstein is a senior editor at The Atlantic and a senior political analyst for CNN. He has written 7 books and is a recipient of the American Political Science Association’s highest honor for lifetime achievement. Kristol and Brownstein will be in conversation with Larry Mantle, an award winning host on NPR’s KPCC. Register here.

INDEPENDENT STATE LEGISLATURE “THEORY”: THE 800 POUND GORILLA?
In this column in this week’s New Yorker, staff writer Andrew Marantz writes about the Moore case which was argued before the US Supreme Court last week.  At issue is the so-called Independent State Legislature Theory (ISLT) which would basically give state legislatures the ultimate power to administer federal elections unconstrained by state constitutions and unreviewable by state courts. Marantz writes, “The law professor Rick Hasen has called it [the ISLT] ‘the eight-hundred-pound gorilla’ of election law; the conservative former judge J. Michael Luttig referred to it as ‘the gravest threat to American democracy today.’  … There’s a lot to say about I.S.L.T….but, in its strongest form, it’s so doctrinally flimsy that it may not deserve to be called a theory at all. ”  

RON BROWNSTEIN ANALYZES GEORGIA SENATE RACE AND NATIONAL MIDTERM VOTING TRENDS
In this column in The Atlantic, Ron Brownstein analyzes the results of last week’s Georgia Senate run-of.  Given the voting patterns of the mid-term elections, and looking forward to the 2024 elections, Brownstein concludes  that “As long as voters still perceive Republicans to be operating in Trump’s shadow (much less if they again nominate Trump himself), Democrats will begin with an advantage in the states most likely to pick the next president.”  See also this Brownstein article posted to CNN.com which analyzes the country’s voting trends in light of midterm voting data.

BILL KRISTOL QUESTIONS WHETHER AN ELECTION DENIER SHOULD BE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
In this Bulwark column, Bill Kristol and his co-author Jeffrey Tulis question whether Congressman McCarthy should be Speaker of the House in light of the fact that he has demonstrated no understanding of the fact that as Speaker, Mc Carthy would be a constitutional officer.  The writers opine about McCarthy, “In his speech and action, Kevin McCarthy has shown no evidence that he cares about the constitutional order. His focus is entirely on the political prospects of his party. His preoccupation is understandable for a party leader. But he now seeks to be elevated from a partisan to a constitutional officer without demonstrating any evident sense of the national responsibility the new role entails”. Kristol and Tulis suggest that it would be wiser for the Republicans to elect a Speaker who did not vote to overturn the last election.  

Dear Friend:

If you missed tonight’s program with former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Juliette Kayyem in conversation with Warren Olney on the topic, The Devil Never Sleeps–risks to American domestic security, you can watch the program at THIS PAST-EVENTS LINK.  The program posts around 3 hours after its completion and remains there with all of our 140 past programs indefinitely.


Next week we will host the dynamic political analysts, popular commentators and pundits, Bill Kristol, founder of the Bulwark and Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic, who will analyze the new US Congress, the implications of the results of the Georgia senate race, and the overall question of how our political landscape is changing.  Kristol and Brownstein will be in conversation with  Larry Mantle.  Register here.


HERSCHEL WALKER: TRUMP’S WILLING PUPPET 
In this op-ed in today’S NY TIMES, Charles Blow writes about Why the Defeat of Herschel Walker,Trump’s Celebrity Pick, Matters.  After Trump was shunned by the NY elites, Blow writes, he embraced, and even re-shaped, pop culture.  In the context of Trump’s pop-culture, he was able “to compartmentalize on the issue of race, segregating the masses whom he abhorred from the few he idolized.”  So, when Trump needed to put up a GOP candidate to run against Warnock in Georgia, Blow writes, “Trump did a simplistic racial calculation: He knew a conservative Black acolyte who could run against the liberal Black”…and that was Herschel Walker.  Celebrity was the only qualification that mattered to Trump, and was Walker’s only asset except this: Walker was a Black person willing to toe the line and vote with party–“a willing puppet for their ventriloquism.”  In Blow’s opinion, Walker lost, but Trump lost more.

MORE ON THE WARNOCK-WALKER RACE
In this column in today’s New Yorker, John Cassidy concludes that “Walker’s weak performance relative to his fellow-Republicans provides strong evidence that the biggest impediment to his campaign was himself rather than changing demographics, or a brilliant Democratic campaign, or anything else.”  And, in this column, also in today’s New Yorker, Benjamin Wallace-Wells writes that “not even the most optimistic liberal has reason to think that the page has turned, after an election in which Republicans nominated a historically terrible candidate and still only barely lost to a talented and well-funded incumbent. For several years, partisan politics have been on a knife’s edge, and what matters most is how much you despise the other party. The Georgia Senate election was an example and an iteration of this history, too”