December 26, 2016

Getting to know people who know what we do now: Allan J. Lichtman, John R. MacArthur, Bill McKibben


What-We-Do-Now-white-235x300As you might have heard, in time for Inauguration Day we’re putting out What We Do Now, a collection of short, powerful essays on what we can do now to cope with Trump’s election, and how, moving forward, we can protect our values, our politics, and our country. The book’s twenty-seven contributors are prominent progressives, writers, and activists.

For the rest of the year, we’ll be sharing info on a few of our contributors every day — just a way to help you get acquainted with who’s on that list, and to help all of us remember that now’s the time to be preparing ourselves for the difficult and vitally important struggle ahead.

Allan J. Lichtman

imgresAllan J. Lichtman is a distinguished professor of history at American University. His prediction system, the Keys to the White House, has correctly predicted the outcomes of all U.S. presidential elections since 1984.

Background intel:
Read Allan’s interview with Peter W. Stevenson in the Washington Post. It’s from just before the election, and—yup—he calls it.

“We never had a candidate before who has no record in public service; a record of enriching himself throughout his life at the expense of others, whether through bankruptcies, his Trump Foundation or Trump University; we’ve never had a candidate who has called into question the integrity of democracy and threatened not to accept the result of the election; we’ve never had a candidate who openly brags about sexually assaulting women and then 12 women come forward saying he did that. Back in 2012, a guy named Herman Cain was the favorite for the Republican nomination. Then three or four women accused him of sexual harassment and he was driven out the of the race. Unlike Cain, Trump brags about sexual harassing women.”

What to look at:
Watch him talk with CBS News shortly after the election, this time predicting that Trump will be impeached before his first term is up:


John R. MacArthur

urlJohn R. MacArthur is the publisher of Harper’s Magazine.

Background intel:
Check out this examination of the electoral college from his book The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America, which we published online just after the election. Then watch him talking about torture and the Democrats’ relationship with Wall Street.

“In the political drama to be played out in the [2016 election], Hillary Clinton will be promoted, on the one hand, as a model of the successful woman, a female pioneer. But on the other hand, she’ll be ridiculed, portrayed as a caricature of feminine success, a woman who owes everything to her husband and is at the same time constantly humiliated in the light of his past infidelities. In defense of Hillary, Madeleine Albright, U.S. secretary of state in Bill Clinton’s second term, denounced the lack of solidarity demonstrated by the young women who support Bernie Sanders: ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,’ she thundered. In an article in The Nation, the writer Liza Featherstone, for her part, denounced Hillary’s lack of solidarity with poor women. According to Featherstone, ‘It would be hard to imagine a bigger blow to the material well-being of poor women in America than’ President Clinton’s 1996 welfare-reform bill. ‘As first lady,’ she points out, ‘Hillary wasn’t a mere spectator to this; within the White House, she advocated harsher policies like ending traditional welfare, even as others in the administration, like Labor Secretary Robert Reich, proposed alternatives.’”

What to look at:
His recent column on “Trump and Consequences,” in which he writes that “the Democrats lost to Trump not through stupidity but through cupidity.”


Bill McKibben

urlBill McKibben is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar in environmental studies at Middlebury College and the founder of the global climate group

Background intel:
Spend some time on his website. Then read his Rolling Stone article from a couple years back on Obama and fossil fuel drilling.

“My solution is: get outraged.”

What to look at:
Make sure you’re following him on Twitter, and then watch his recent appearance on Democracy Now!, talking about how Trump’s presidency comes, from an ecological perspective, at the worst possible moment: