Steve Hochstadt

Steve Hochstadt is a writer and a professor of history at Illinois College.

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  • Western Stand-Off

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Economists might applaud their tactics. If I wave the Bible and the Constitution and my gun and my cowboy hat enough, we won’t have to pay what we owe.

  • Watergate was a Big Deal

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Every political scandal gets compared to Watergate. But no political scandal since then can compare with a President authorizing burglaries by White House staff in order to win re-election, then lying about his administration’s cover-up.


  • Teaching Hate, Learning Hate

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Hatred and anger are powerful political emotions. Republican candidates believe they can employ the politics of hate to win elections and then later control the hatred they encourage.

  • It's A Bird! It's A Plane! It's Superman!

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Superman was the great savior during my childhood, along with a few other heros with seemingly superhuman abilities to dodge bullets and fight evil, like Wyatt Earp and Matt Dillon. It’s thrilling to know that a real, live Superman now flies among us, fighting evil and saving America. Of course, I mean Donald Trump.

  • Cops Out of Control

    by Steve Hochstadt

    If we can watch a new video every month of groups of police brutalizing unarmed citizens, then we have a police problem.

  • Science, Large and Small

    by Steve Hochstadt

    My dogs would make poor scientists, because they can be individual learners at best, unable to profit from the knowledge gained by other members of their species. But they are better scientists than Republican know-nothings, because they learn from the world around them without political filters and ideological blinders.

  • The Great Myth of the Free Market

    by Steve Hochstadt

    We can joke about the conservative effort to deregulate our economy. “How many conservatives does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Answer: “None. If the government would just leave it alone, it would screw itself in.” But saving lives is no joke.


  • A Speaker Who Speaks for a Few

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The so-called House Freedom Caucus, representing the people who made his job so impossible that Speaker John Boehner announced that he was quitting Congress, are demanding a Speaker for themselves.

  • It Can Take A Long Time

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Some men want to physically engage every woman they see who fits their image of sexy. They interrupt everything, get too close, use their hands, and won’t take “no” for an answer. When it doesn’t work, they try it again with another woman. Over and over again they manhandle women, because they think about them as the dog thinks of the squirrel, as lesser but attractive beings who must be chased. There used to be lots of guys like that.

  • Bugs in the Volkswagen System

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Cheating on an unprecedented scale was a simple business decision. Volkswagen executives had spent billions to develop a new diesel engine, but executives realized it could not meet the pollution standards of many nations, including the US and Germany. They could have scrapped the new model. Instead they put a software “bug” into the cars’ computers.


  • Ben Carson’s Religious Tests for Candidates

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Carson applies his tests of religious suitability only to Islam. He does not advocate that a Christian specifically renounce the Biblical passages which violate our Constitution, such as approving discussions of slavery and of stoning women accused of adultery.

  • What Do Republican Voters Want?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Republican voters want a confrontational outsider. Not necessarily a belligerent lover of personal confrontations like Trump. Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson act more decorously, but their policies are belligerent.

  • When Religion and Politics Collide

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Conservative Christians claim that they are only defending freedom of religion, but there is no attack on their freedom to worship and believe as they like. They want more. They want laws which apply to all Americans to reflect their religious beliefs. They demand the right to disregard laws they don’t like. They want their religion to be our politics.

  • Science, Averages and Hokum

    by Steve Hochstadt

    When you take the claims of global warming deniers, such as the so-called pause in warming, or the number of scientists who are skeptics, or the lack of consensus of the world’s scientists, and investigate the footnotes or check the math, you see that they are not doing science. Their work cannot stand peer review, so it is published on the internet, where they get maximum readership with minimal credibility.


  • How Do We See the Poor?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    It doesn’t do Democrats any good to advocate for the poor. They don’t make the giant political contributions that keep the Republican machine going. They don’t vote as often as the people who make those contributions. They don’t staff the offices of lobbyists in Washington. They don’t hobnob with candidates at fancy dinners. There is no quid pro quo for helping “the most vulnerable”, except the feeling that it’s the right thing to do.


  • The Meaning of Donald Trump

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Trump is just riding a wave. Soon he'll go down. What matters is what other Republicans do with their most vocal and extreme voters.

  • The Myth of Liberal Media

    by Steve Hochstadt

    One of the most significant political myths is about the “liberal media”, the supposed tilt of American public media to the left. This claim by Republicans is nearly as old as I am. It was false when it began, and it still is, although less so.

  • Bad Wars and Their Consequences

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The political leaders who now demand that we commit more people and money to these mistaken incursions into other people’s lands are the same ones who say we don’t have enough resources to pay for schools or poverty programs or museums.

  • That Was The Week That Was

    by Steve Hochstadt

    June 2015 will be remembered by us and by tomorrow’s historians as a moment of profound cultural and political change.
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