American elections are, personally and politically, often unpleasant. They can feel like trench warfare as earlier and earlier every cycle, both sides gear up for a battle of attrition. But, I think – hope – there is another way for us to think about our politics, and elections provide the opportunity for reflection. They’re like a political New Year’s Eve;
In the wake of Julian Assange’s arrest on April 11, the United Nations, ACLU, and a number of journalists are crying foul. Any attempt to indict Assange, they say, would be an attack on journalistic freedom to publish leaked information. However, Assange is not without his opponents, both inside and outside the fourth estate.
On April 17, President Donald Trump vetoed a resolution from Congress calling for an end to United States military assistance to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen. This veto illustrates the challenge in reinstating democratic accountability over foreign policy, as well as the degree to which western powers are complicit in Saudi Arabia’s rampant violations of international law.
No other film this year has been as polarizing as Vice — a mess of comedy and political thrill about former Vice President Dick Cheney written and directed by Adam McKay. Everyone from movie critics to political commentators has been debating the film’s veracity (or lack thereof), its straddling of satire and seriousness, or its neglect of other important figures in the George W. Bush administration. But the most important aspect of the film, and where it whiffs the worst, is the political story arc McKay constructs that begins with Cheney’s humble beginnings in Wyoming and ends with the presidency of Donald Trump.
This November 11 marked the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War, and the beginning of the long peace process that followed. The centennial of one of the greatest tragedies in human history offers an opportunity for reflection on what went wrong a century ago, and should encourage us to understand exactly how the peace process failed so spectacularly in less than two decades.