It Would Serve Them Right

It would serve them right.

Republicans, who have done everything in their power to tilt this and recent elections by denying people access to the polls based on fraudulent claims of voter fraud, richly deserve to lose this one. (Admittedly, in forty years I have voted for a Republican only once, when the Democrat was under indictment.) I suspect that on Tuesday President Obama will win a popular majority nationwide as well as in the Electoral College. But there’s a more than slim chance that the President will lose the popular vote but win in the Electoral College. And after the national disgrace of the 2000 election – and the ongoing disgrace of Republican voter suppression efforts – it would serve them right.

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Two fears of a pseudo-Republican

Watching the two national conventions, I’ve tried as a thought experiment to imagine what it’s like to be a Republican. Not a snarling right-wing Limbaugh type, but a moderate, libertarian conservative who believes in small government and dignity for all – the kind of Republican that once defined the GOP. Like some of my Republican friends, many of whom voted for Obama in 2008. And in so doing, I find myself confronted by two doomsday fears.

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Welcome home

All politics aside - or most of it, anyhow - President Obama’s decision to stop the deportation of young undocumented immigrants was long overdue. It was a cruel policy that diminished all Americans. And hopefully this move is the beginning of a long-term trend toward a sane immigration policy. By “sane” I mean one that judiciously bars the door to some, opens it at least part-way to many, and offers a pathway to citizenship that Americans can be proud of and makes us a stronger as well as a better country. Yes, stronger.

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Gatz and Gatsby

The curtain rises on a dingy office. It could be the 1980’s: a man sits silently at an ancient computer screen and pushes buttons but nothing happens.  In frustration, he rifles through a box next to the computer, and finds there a copy of  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. He begins reading aloud -  and gradually, without undue artifice, other co-workers come and go and assume various roles. Our original Office Man becomes Fitzgerald's narrator, Nick Carraway, while his colleagues provide other dialogue. Thus adapted to the stage, the short novel unfolds over six hours like a brilliant origami of the layered contradictions in American life.

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