The Nation

January 24/31, 2022

The Nation is America's oldest weekly magazine and is independently published. The Nation speaks to an engaged audience as a champion of civil liberties, human rights, and economic justice. The Nation breaks down critical issues with lively editorials, in-depth investigative reporting and analysis, as well as award-winning arts coverage. Publisher and Editor: Katrina vanden Heuvel.

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in this issue

3 min
one nation under god

WE HAVE REACHED THE POINT WHERE THE US SUPREME COURT HAS BECOME ONE OF the greatest threats to public health and welfare in this country. At a moment when many thousands of people are falling ill every day with Covid and state legislatures are taunting the Supreme Court by passing hundreds of laws that blatantly violate long-recognized constitutional rights relating to gun safety, reproductive rights, and voting, the court’s conservative justices insist that the most pressing constitutional emergency today is a conjured threat to religious liberty. In a series of recent cases, the new conservative majority has accomplished a radical realignment in the way fundamental rights are recognized and enforced. The significance of this revolution cannot be overemphasized. Unlike previous decisions that shrunk the scope of equal rights, the court has…

4 min
the new wave

THIS WINTER BRINGS A BLEAK SENSE OF DÉJÀ VU TO the Boston-area ICU where I work. Once again, beds are increasingly occupied by critically ill patients with Covid-19. When I join Zoom calls with physicians from other hospitals to coordinate regional “load balancing” of ICU beds—exchanging patients between facilities to prevent overload—the tone is again tense. They too, seem about to burst. Compared with our last big surge a year ago, things should be much better now. After all, we have highly effective vaccines. But in many ways, things feel worse, and not just because of Omicron. Over the past two years, meaningful policy supports helped sustain us through the Covid pandemic. They were nowhere near sufficient, but nonetheless constituted a stronger and wider safety net than we had seen before…

4 min
recalling bell hooks

I WAS ALWAYS UNSURE HOW TO GREET HER, THE radiantly brilliant scholar named Gloria Watkins who wrote worlds into being as bell hooks. She was a neighbor of mine in the 1990s; we lived within blocks of each other in Greenwich Village. I did not know her well, but our paths crossed with some regularity because we wrote on overlapping topics—race, gender, class. She was the eminence whose 1981 book Ain’t I a Woman?, written while she was an undergraduate, had revolutionized second-wave feminism. She forced an epistemic rethinking of intersectionality, encapsulated well by the title of the landmark 1982 anthology All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave. One afternoon I ran into her at a bistro in the Village. The two…

5 min

EONS AGO—IN 2019—LINDA SARSOUR, TAMIKA Mallory, and Bob Bland stepped down from their leadership positions on the Women’s March board after a series of self-inflicted wounds. Aside from the widespread mismanagement that starved state chapters of funding and alienated them over trademark wars, the leadership’s failure to grapple with how it had cozied up to Louis Farrakhan exposed a gaping ignorance that many, especially Jewish women, simply could not abide. Two years later, the Democratic Socialists of America seem determined to make the same mistake, one that’s common on the US left: offending Jews. This is a bad idea. It’s bad because Jews vote in higher numbers than the electorate at large. It’s bad because Jews have a long history of left-leaning activism. And it’s bad because—especially after Charlottesville and the…

5 min
edmund burke won’t save us

DAVID BROOKS IS THE PRODIGAL SON OF THE DEMOCRATIC Party. As an undergrad at the University of Chicago in the early 1980s, he identified as a democratic socialist. But upon graduating he got caught up in the spirit of Reaganism, starting off as an intern for William F. Buckley Jr. Now, after more than three decades of being a formidable Republican advocate, Brooks is ready to return to the Democratic fold. In an essay in the January/February issue of The Atlantic originally titled “I Remember Conservatism,” Brooks concedes that the Republican Party is likely to remain enthralled by some version of Trumpism, a degraded and bullying populism that threatens American democracy. “A lot of my friends are trying to reclaim the GOP and make it a conservative party once again,” Brooks notes.…

3 min
the score waging change

Underneath all the economic reporting of 2021, there was a hidden story: Aided by the American Recovery Act and other stimulus measures, low-wage workers launched a small-scale revolution. Employees and contractors used the additional resources of the past year to successfully demand better pay and working conditions. This occurred alongside giant job gains—over 6 million new jobs this year—creating a recovery about eight times faster than the one that followed the Great Recession of 2008-9. The way in which this is happening is one of the more important and hopeful stories about the labor market today. Typically, labor conditions are quite bad during the initial recovery from a recession. This was especially true following the Great Recession, when stories of people being unemployed for more than 99 weeks or having to…