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The Nation

The Nation January 25/February 01, 2021

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The Nation is America's oldest weekly magazine and is independently published. The Nation speaks to an engaged audience as a champion of civil liberties, human rights, and economic justice. The Nation breaks down critical issues with lively editorials, in-depth investigative reporting and analysis, as well as award-winning arts coverage. Publisher and Editor: Katrina vanden Heuvel.

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United States
The Nation, LP
$3.79(Incl. tax)
$40.57(Incl. tax)
36 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
saving the mail

IN A YEAR THAT SHATTERED ASSUMPTIONS, EVEN THE TRUSTWORTHY US POSTAL Service found itself at the center of a political scandal. Months after the pandemic delivered a gut punch to the already beleaguered agency, its workers became pawns in a partisan attempt to suppress voting by mail. Louis DeJoy, the Trump administration’s handpicked postmaster general, busied himself with sticking his fingers in the daily operations of the USPS, leading to dramatic disruptions in mail delivery ahead of the election. Thanks to an unprecedented public pressure campaign, DeJoy was forced to suspend these changes, and tens of millions of people voted by mail without incident (or fraud). As a result of those votes, Donald Trump will soon leave office. Yet the Postal Service itself remains in dire need of reform. The agency’s…

4 min.
a native triumph

ON A DECEMBER SATURDAY, AT A PRESS CONFERENCE broadcast from the city of Wilmington, in a state named for an English lord—Thomas West, the 12th Baron De La Warr, who rebuilt Jamestown in 1610 after a period of starvation and cannibalism and was appointed captain-general and governor for life of the Virginia colony—President-elect Joe Biden introduced his climate team of White House officials and cabinet secretaries. Standing among the nominees was Representative Deb Haaland, of New Mexico and the Laguna Pueblo. In a speech describing climate change as “the existential threat of our time,” Biden was quick to acknowledge the significance of her presence. “After today, our cabinet won’t just make one or two precedent-breaking appointments but 12, including today’s long-overdue appointment of the first Native American cabinet secretary,” he said,…

4 min.
reading the pandemic

THE PANDEMIC HAS FORCED US TO SLOW down, if not to stop in our tracks. Locked inside, I read a lot. So when I was asked for a dispatch from Michigan about the past year, it was books I wanted to write about. I asked a friend in his 80s what I should read on the state. With the libraries at limited capacity because of the pandemic, he went to his garage and picked out a couple of musty volumes. The first, Michigan: A Guide to the Wolverine State, was compiled during the Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers’ Project. The book’s worker-writers, the introduction says, were “forgotten men—slightly frayed and sometimes hungry.” They used pencil stubs and wastepaper to record what they learned. “Thinly clothed and…

5 min.
time to deliver

I’VE BEEN TOLD THAT JOE BIDEN, SOON THE 46TH president of the United States, is a “creature of the Senate” so many times that I’m starting to wonder if there’s some kind of spawning ground beneath the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Biden, we are told, can work with Republicans, make legislative deals, and usher in a new era of comity and bipartisanship just on the strength of his Senate experience and relationships. But I’m not so sure. That’s because I know that a body in which Mitch McConnell holds any kind of power will frustrate the plans of even the most adroit Democratic leaders. I know, too, that any bipartisan “problem solver” caucus will solve none of the actual problems facing this nation. And I know that watering down legislation until…

5 min.
the weight on women

SOMETIME IN THE 1990S, A FRIEND TOLD ME WE DIDN’T have to worry about progress for women: “Feminism is in the drinking water now.” She wasn’t entirely wrong. Despite all the complexities and counterexamples, for a while it looked as though women were finally making real progress—in the workplace, in the home, in government, in the way they saw themselves. Well, thanks to Covid-19, you can forget all that. In less than a year, women’s equality has rolled back down the hill as fast as Sisyphus’s rock. According to a report by the Century Foundation and the Center for American Progress, “even a 5 percent decline” in mothers’ economic participation “would undo the past 25 years of progress.” Women are more likely than men to get Covid-19, because so many work in…

8 min.
was president trump a fascist?

Yes MABEL BEREZIN IN CONTRAST TO HIS MULTIPLE BUSIness failures, Donald Trump’s presidency spurred at least one growth industry: commentary on fascism. Academics, public intellectuals, and influencers on sites from Twitter to TikTok have been laser-focused on Trump’s resemblance to a host of past and present unsavory leaders with a weak attachment to democracy. At the moment, Trump is simultaneously a dangerous and a pathetic figure. Sequestered in the White House with only a fringe group of loyalists around him, he spends his time tweeting and mounting improbable legal challenges to the election. Trump resembles a third-rate autocrat planning a failed coup, while becoming ever more unhinged in the process. His power has always come from his combination of triviality and cruelty. Both characteristics made it difficult to imagine that he could win…