On Politics On PoliticsOn Politics
Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

What Anti-Trump Activists Can Learn From Chicago ‘68

So far, anti-Trump protests at the Republican convention in Cleveland have been relatively small in number, with marches in the hundreds, not thousands, and mostly peaceful.

On the campaign trail, however, anti-Trump activists have, on a few occasions, as in San Diego, turned confrontational and even violent.

Based on the research in my book, “Chicago ‘68,” on the effect of mass protests on elections, anti-Trump grassroots activists would be wise to avoid angry confrontation that might lead to violence and focus instead – as most have – on getting progressive sympathizers involved in the electoral process.

The obvious case in point, here, is the protests that took place at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.

Protesters at that convention had a right to be angry. In 1968, the presidential nominating process had been rigged. The citizens’ right to make their votes and their voices heard had been trampled. Party bosses rejected voters’ overwhelming support for the antiwar candidacies of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, nominating instead Hubert Humphrey, a candidate who had won not a single primary.

In that fraught moment in American history, as thousands of demonstrators – peaceful anti-war protestors and radical revolutionaries alike – came to Chicago, they were met with...

Nearing the Exit, Obama Escapes Defining Scandal

House Re­pub­lic­ans’ long-awaited re­port on Benghazi re­veals why it was a clas­sic Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion scan­dal.

The 800-page re­port al­leges nu­mer­ous fail­ures that, to­geth­er, fatally com­prom­ised the se­cur­ity of Amer­ic­ans in Benghazi and pre­ven­ted their res­cue in the 2012 at­tack. But the House GOP’s latest Benghazi probe, which stretched more than two years, again failed to sub­stan­ti­ate al­leg­a­tions of a “stand down” in forces, or re­veal clear mal­feas­ance by Hil­lary Clin­ton in re­la­tion to the at­tacks.

If this sounds fa­mil­i­ar, that’s be­cause it is.

On more than one top­ic, probes of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion have de­tailed policy and per­son­nel fail­ures, yet haven’t found the kind of high-level mis­con­duct or stark cor­rup­tion that can shape a pres­id­ent’s leg­acy.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has cer­tainly suffered its share of screw-ups, but the bar...

What Would Abraham Lincoln Say to Donald Trump About Religion, Politics and Being a ‘Know Nothing’?

As the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump could learn a lot from his party’s first president, Abraham Lincoln. He should start with religion and immigration, topics on which he has appealed to fear and bigotry rather than “the better angels of our nature" as Lincoln did.

Trump has called for a ban on immigration and travel to the U.S. by Muslims and advocated surveillance of mosques within the U.S. In effect, he has equated the religion of one-fifth of the world’s population with terrorism, created a religious test for entry to the U.S., and identified American Muslims as subversives who bear watching.

As a historian of the Civil War era, I find Trump’s position eerily familiar. Religion and immigration were explosive issues in the years before the Civil War. The response of one of that time’s leading Republicans, Abraham Lincoln, offers sage advice to Donald Trump and the rest of us.

An appeal to hysteria

In the 1850s, a surge of immigrants from Ireland and Germany, most of them poor and many of them Roman Catholic, sparked fears every bit as great as terrorism does today.

Lincoln usnationalarchives/flickr


Americans were overwhelmingly Protestant...

Tim Kaine Takes His Turn Trying Out as Clinton's VP

Donald Trump’s vice-presidential search is coming to an end. But Hillary Clinton is still holding auditions.

The presumptive Democratic nominee appeared Thursday in Annandale, Virginia with one of her alleged top picks, Senator Tim Kaine, where he introduced her at a community-college rally. Kaine is often characterized as a “safe” choice, a politician with an impressive resumé who can help Clinton reinforce the notion that Democrats offer a more sensible ticket than Republicans.

Thursday represented an early test of their chemistry and, as Reuters put it, whether Kaine can “fire up a crowd.” But on that latter goal, Kaine had it relatively easy. The attendees were already pumped for Clinton when they walked in the room. “Are we ready for Hillary?” he asked early in his remarks, a crowd-friendly line he grabbed from one of her campaign slogans. When cheers and chants greeted his question, he remarked, “I think that’s a yes.”

Kaine isn’t nearly as charismatic as another of Clinton’s recent rally companions, Barack Obama, who overshadowed his former secretary of state in North Carolina last week. When Clinton took over for Kaine Thursday afternoon, she seemed the more comfortable campaigner. But the senator nevertheless...

Will the Vice Presidential Candidates Matter This Year? Maybe, but Not the Way You Think.

Veepstakes speculation is rampant as we approach the national conventions for both major political parties.

Media reports have detailed the wide array of options available to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as they decide who will be their number twos for this campaign, and perhaps for four or eight years to come.

Who will Trump and Clinton pick? That depends on each candidate’s goals – both for the remainder of the presidential campaign and after Nov. 8. Political observers widely agree that the most important characteristic to look for in a running mate is the ability to serve as president in the event of unforeseen circumstances, like a president’s death, incapacitation, resignation or impeachment.

However, when campaign staff and trusted political advisers vet potential running mates, they are certain to also weigh political considerations. That is, whether a given running mate will help or hurt the presidential ticket, with voters in general or with a key voting group. Particularly if the campaign is at a competitive disadvantage, its strategists may look to the running mate as a potential “game changer.”

The electoral advantage most commonly associated with vice presidential candidates is geographic. In other words, they are expected to...

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by eSignLive by VASCO

    Mobile E-Signatures for Government

    Learn 5 key trends that accelerate government demand for mobile signing.

  • Sponsored by Management Concepts

    SPONSORED: Successful Change Management Practices in the Public Sector

    How governmental agencies implement organizational change management.

  • Sponsored by Kronos

    Solving the Workforce Compliance Challenge

    Download this eBook to learn how data and automation can help state and local agencies.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.