Steve Hochstadt

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

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  • The Greatest Show on Earth

    by Steve Hochstadt

    I didn’t expect much more than a bit of diversion from the new film about P.T. Barnum, “The Greatest Showman”. A musical biopic from Hollywood is rarely a source of thoughtful history or powerful emotion. But “Greatest Showman” delivered something unexpected: a morality tale appropriate to 21st-century America.

  • Dangerous Words in the White House

    by Steve Hochstadt

    It is difficult to find a clearer expression of white supremacy than Trump’s words to a gathering of Senators in the Oval Office.

  • The Biggest Personality of the Year

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Trump is blowing up our relationships with all our most important foreign friends. He is not the biggest peacemaker, as we have long hoped our Presidents could be. He is not the biggest promoter of democracy, which we have long claimed is our national interest. He is not the best advertisement for America, not the face we wish to show the world. His work is a world-wide disaster.


  • Arcing Toward Equality in 2017

    by Steve Hochstadt

    American liberals have been thrown into despair in 2017 by the new nastiness of American politics. But behind the headlines, our country has been evolving in directions that liberals could find encouraging.


  • Keeping the Blacks Far Away

    by Steve Hochstadt

    American cities used zoning laws to direct new construction and to control where people lived. Black people were harmed in the process.

  • Santa’s On His Way

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The Republicans say that the best way to help the rest of us is to give billions now to the wealthy and to corporations. They will be so happy that they’ll raise everybody’s wages and create new jobs.

  • Political Humor, Then and Now

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Tom Lehrer poked fun at serious subjects, such as racism, fascism, pollution and nuclear war. Listening to him skewer racist hypocrites, imagine World War III, and exaggerate the effects of poisons in our air and water certainly contributed to the development of my political views.

  • This Tax Cut Is Not For You

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The Republican tax cut is not about economic policy and is certainly not for the middle class. It is political legislation about economic issues: cut corporate taxes to satisfy Republican donors and try again to kill Obamacare.

  • Election 2017: Repudiation of Republicans

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The Washington Post wondered whether “the Trump era will one day be remembered as the last gasp of white male privilege.” That will only happen if Trump continues his descent into national disapproval and the energy of liberal voters can be sustained through more election cycles.


  • The Health of the Senate

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Republican politicians are worried about money they could raise for the 2018 elections, not about depriving millions of their health care. Their donors want to slash Medicaid, so that’s what they’ll vote for. Republican senators apparently don’t even know in detail what their bill contains.


  • Payng for Big Storms

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Only an ideologically immovable force like the current Republican Party could ignore the mounting crises caused by our changing weather systems. In their refusal to acknowledge the basic facts of climate change, Republicans in Congress and the White House put Americans at risk of losing everything.


  • The Character Test Is Dead

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The character test may have been turned on its head. Trump appeals to a surprisingly large segment of Americans who like nastiness, who applaud insults, who cheer bloodshed, and who hate liberals and liberal ideas. When he grabs women and laughs about it, when he tells lies about good people, when he calls journalists “sick”, when he mocks the handicapped, and when he winks at white supremacists, his supporters are happy.

  • I Am An Antifa

    by Steve Hochstadt

    It was dangerous when my father and father-in-law and their whole generation went off to fight fascism on opposite sides of the globe. It was dangerous when young Americans volunteered to fight Jim Crow in the South in the 1960s. The defenders of American fascism and their fellow travelers want to make that dangerous now.


  • Conversations About Health Care

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The creators of our nation believed that “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” were the most important universal rights to be protected by government. It’s not clear what led Thomas Jefferson to elevate the pursuit of happiness to an inalienable right. If that phrase means anything, it must include government participation in our efforts to stay healthy. How can anyone be happy who can’t pay for health care they need?


  • The Republican Way of Governing

    by Steve Hochstadt

    When Senator Joe McCarthy tried to use hysterical fears of communism to attack all liberals, he was following a playbook used by both Democrats and Republicans. When Richard Nixon tried to corrupt our governmental structures to elect and then protect himself, I didn’t think his dishonesty was especially Republican. But the current “anything we can get away with” method of governing appears to have become standard Republican practice.


  • Why Americans Voted For Trump

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Too many Trump supporters take their beliefs in what is right as license to be hateful toward people who are not like them. Combine that with nostalgia for a time when blacks had to defer to whites, men could grope women, and gays stayed in the closet, and you have a Republican Party which cuts health insurance for millions of Americans, which keeps foreign students from returning to their American universities, which cuts federal programs for Americans in need.

  • Gay Equality is Coming Quickly

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Bigots will keep using religion as a cover for prejudice, as in the so-called religious freedom laws. But the shift toward acceptance of homosexuality will continue, as older opponents are replaced by younger advocates. Because our gay relatives and friends do not fit the prejudicial stereotypes, discriminatory impulses will lose their persuasive power.

  • The Amazing Mind of Donald Trump

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Trump doesn’t mostly make up the untruths he tells the world. He takes them from these professional spreaders of political lies. Trump takes his “news” from supermarket tabloids and their internet equivalents. He said, “You can’t knock the National Enquirer. It’s brought many things to light, not all of them pleasant.”


  • Antarctica is Melting

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Three-quarters of the world’s largest cities are located on sea coasts. Between 100 million and 200 million people live in places that likely will be underwater or subject to frequent flooding by the year 2100. Some estimates put that number at 650 million, nearly 10% of the world’s population. Mathew Hauer of the University of Georgia estimated that 13 million Americans might be displaced by 2100, mostly in southeastern states.


  • Whose Internet Is It?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    One of the exciting new developments in computer connectedness is the “internet of things”, the networking among objects we own, like cars, refrigerators, thermostats, and light switches, so they can communicate with us and with each other. In cute ads on TV, a baby turns lights on and off at home by touching a smart phone. In real life, the most basic of your daily actions at home can be monitored and recorded by companies you don’t know about or be hacked by criminals.
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