The American Prospect

A monthly political journal of liberal though. Contains articles that generate debate, further ideas, and set agendas; and provides a forum for working through the controversies and hard choices facing all Americans. Includes regular topics and features.

Articles from Vol. 17, No. 5, May

A Technology Too Far
TOUCH-SCREEN, COMPUTERIZED BALLOTS--OFFICIALLY known as Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting systems--are not a way station to a glorious, all-Internet future for American democracy. They're a technology cul-de-sac. An election system should...
Continental Drift: Demagogues and the Dangerous Tide of Anti-Immigrant Populism
SILVIO BERLUSCONI WAS TRAILING his center-left rival, Romano Prodi, in polls preceding Italy's general elections on April 9 and 10. So, less than two weeks before the vote, he did what most politicians in such situations do: He moved to shore up the...
First among Thirds: Since 1998, New York's Working Families Party Has Been That Rare Thing: A Third Party That Doesn't Run Spoilers and Has Real-World Impact. Now, the Party Is Testing the Waters beyond the Empire State
ONE MORNING IN 1989, DAN CANTOR WAS HONEYMOONING in Scotland when his new wife, Laura Markham, looked up from a newspaper article about electoral returns in a European Parliament election. The virtues of European political systems isn't typical pillow...
God, This Guy's Good: Don't Laugh-The Reggae, Rap, and Devotion That Infuse Matisyahu's Third Album Place Him in an Elite Tradition of Lofty Style Blenders
THAT MUST BE A JOKE, I THOUGHT--along with a million or so others. Months ago, there began to appear, on newspapers and Web sites and storefronts, pictures of a tall young white man in a long beard, broad-brimmed hat and flowing coat: the perfect Talmudic...
Going Postal
THE FIRST TIME YOU HEAR ABOUT OREGON'S approach to voting, the idea sounds almost un-American. In 1998, the state that gave us assisted suicide decided to run all of its elections by mail: no voting booths, no frantic Election Day get-out-the-vote...
Life after Wartime: The Recent Feuding between Japan and China Underscores a Little-Noted Historic Dispute-Japan's Miserly Compensation of Imperial Victims
IN ALL THE PUBLIC BICKERING RECENTLY between Japan and China, one fact has received remarkably little attention: Japan's continuing refusal to pay compensation to victims of its militarist-era brutality. Ever since Japan surrendered in August 1945,...
Next Stop Iran?
DURING THE EARLY COLD WAR, WHILE RIGHT-wingers called for the rollback of Soviet communism, the strategists of containment argued that the United States ought to be patient, confident that internal forces would weaken communism from within and that...
On the Oregon Trail: In a Backlash against New Electronic Calamities, Vote by Mail Spreads Far beyond Its Roots, One County at a Time
OREGON'S STATEWIDE VOTE-BY-MAIL SYSTEM remains unique--for now. But with little fanfare, liberalized absentee balloting laws elsewhere have prompted a steady expansion of mail voting. In the process, popular support is growing, from the ground up....
Party in Search of a Notion: Democrats Have Matured into a Disciplined Opposition Party, and They're Increasingly Confident of Victory This Fall. but the Opportunity before Them Is Far Bigger Than a Few House and Senate Seats If They Can Recognize-And Seize-This Unique Historical Moment
THE DEMOCRATS ARE FEELING UPBEAT THESE DAYS, AND WHY NOT? The Republican president and vice president have lost the country's confidence. The Republican-controlled Congress is a sump of corruption, sycophancy, and broken principle. Races in the midterm...
Power Outage: Twenty Years after People Power, Things Look like They Did before It
MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES-- FOR A MAN WHO MIGHT BE JAILED at any moment, Harry Roque Jr., appeared very relaxed when I met him in Manila in early March. Dressed in a white barong tagalog--the long, delicately embroidered shirt worn untucked by Philippine...
The Labour Soap Opera
LONDON IS A PLACE WHERE THOMAS FRANK'S famous book bears the title What's the Matter with America?, thus extending the indictment to the whole nation, and where a small American child is required to affirm that she hates George W. Bush before she can...
The New Guy: Daniel Ortega Plots a Comeback-But an Unlikely Foe Stands in His Way
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA-- WITHIN HOURS AFTER THE left-wing indigenous leader Evo Morales was elected president of Bolivia last December, another outspoken critic of American power in the hemisphere, Daniel Ortega, sent him a message of "revolutionary...
The Oregon Voting Revolution: How a Vote-by-Mail Experiment Transformed the Democratic Process
OREGON'S VOTE-BY-MAIL SYSTEM CAME OF AGE on a cold, drizzly night in January 1996. It was the night of the special election to replace the disgraced Bob Packwood in the U.S. Senate with Gordon Smith, the charismatic Republican vegetable farmer from...
The Soldier in Me
IT WAS JANUARY 1989, DURING MY SENIOR YEAR IN high school. My family was sitting at the dinner table when my mother turned to me: "I was talking to some mothers today, and their kids are all applying for colleges. When are you going to get to it?"...
Vice Squad: They Terrorize Other Government Officials, and They're So Secretive That Their Names Aren't Even Revealed to a Harmless Federal Employee Directory. and They've Helped Ruin the Country. Meet Dick Cheney's Staff
BAD HEART, ERRANT SHOTGUN, AND Halliburton stock options in tow, Dick Cheney has ruled the White House roost for the past five years, amassing enough power to give rise to the joke that George W. Bush is "a heartbeat away from the presidency." Yet,...
We're Working on Them
RIGHT-WING BLOGGERS LOVE AUTHORITY. THEY live to repeat slavishly the talking points of the Bush administration, bowing down like a pack of authoritarian cargo cultists before the words and images of the Jeep-in-Chief. Left-wing bloggers, on the other...