The New Old Hickory
Published in US News on February 13, 2017
Donald Trump has hung a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, next to his desk in the Oval Office and members of his staff are touting the idea that the two men have a lot in common. Vice President Mike Pence has boasted of Trump's victory, "There hasn't been anything like this since Andrew Jackson." That may actually be true. There are already signs of similarities between the two men and it's a cause for significant concern.
DeVos vote bodes ill for bipartisanship
Published in USA Today on February 8, 2017
We didn’t need more evidence that this country is in for a very rough couple of years, but we got some anyway with the squeaker Senate confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. DeVos, who married into the Amway fortune, has given $200 million to Republican candidates and causes over the years. She has long been a strong advocate for school choice, including vouchers and unregulated for-profit charter schools. She has demonstrated both unfamiliarity and hostility toward public education, even calling public schools a "dead end."
Trump's focus on forgotten men masks billionaire agenda
Published in USA Today on January 20, 2017
President Trump’s short inaugural address sounded the same themes he repeated throughout his divisive campaign. While it almost certainly resonated with his supporters, it is unlikely to have reassured many of the 65.8 million voters who did not cast a ballot for him. The overall tone of the speech seemed almost angry and grim — with Trump announcing that he is taking on Capitol Hill and all of the political leaders who have preceded him as well as much of the rest of the world.
Don't Repeat the Mandate Mistake
Published in US News on November 12, 2016
The biggest myth that needs to be dispelled about this election is that Donald Trump and the Republican victory was "huge" and overwhelming. Trump did win rural areas by a commanding margin but in the swing districts and states which secured his victory the margins were not massive but actually razor thin. The Republicans do not have an overwhelming mandate to push through a far-right agenda even though early indications are that they intend to govern this way.
The House won't go blue anytime soon
Published in USA Today on November 6, 2016
The moment when Democrat Hillary Clinton could expect a landslide victory seems to have passed. But even a huge margin would not improve the odds of her party taking control of the House. That’s because the self-dealing system used by most states, in which politicians draw their own gerrymandered districts to achieve maximum political and personal advantage, really is “rigged” and violates the principle of democratic representation.
Right message, horribly wrong messenger
Published in USA Today on October 26, 2016
Donald Trump’s assertions that the election might be rigged and that he will only accept the result if he wins (a supposedly facetious remark) have roiled the news media and political waters. But his overall campaign message that the entire political system is rigged against average Americans is the reason he is still in this race despite his horrible personal behavior and outrageous statements. Even though he is a deeply flawed messenger and not up to the job of being president, his message has resonated with millions of Americans who will still be angry and seeking change after Election Day.
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Linda Killian is the executive director of Independent Americans United a non-profit whose mission is electoral and political reform.