Steve Hochstadt

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

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  • 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.

  • Better Living Through Chemistry

    by Steve Hochstadt

    A majority of conservative Republicans believes that climate scientists are influenced by desire to advance their careers and political ideology, not by scientific evidence or public interest. To put it simply, conservatives don’t believe in science or scientists, if it’s inconvenient.

  • Celebrating Power, Celebrating Resistance

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Celebrations of power are all around us. We don’t often think about how that power was exercised, about who might have suffered to make that power possible. Those who resist power usually pass into the fog of history because they were not famous and they had little opportunity to create imposing objects to memorialize their actions.

  • What’s Wrong With Iowa?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Why do the people of northwestern Iowa keep electing Steve King to Congress? It’s not because he does anything useful there. Since he was elected to Congress in 2003, he has sponsored over 100 bills and not one of them even got out of committee, even though Republicans controlled the House for most of those years. He was named the least effective member of Congress in 2015 by non-partisan InsideGov.


  • Europe is Alive and Well

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Europe is good. Three times as many Europeans as Americans trust their national legislatures. One-sixth as many Europeans as Americans are in jail, probably related to the fact that one-fifth as many murders occur. Health care is universal and Europeans live longer. According to the “World Happiness Report”, Europeans are the happiest people in the world. Americans do pretty well, too, ranking 14th, about the same as Germans.


  • Democracy Demands Wisdom In Its Citizens

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Conservative Republican politicians don’t believe that “democracy demands wisdom and vision in its citizens”. They attack the findings of geology, evolutionary biology, and climate science. They support the spread of fake news and promote alternative facts. They disparage the media in general. There is nothing new about the attacks on truth and knowledge by the Trump administration except its shamelessness.


  • Museums and the Power of Facts

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Seekers of illegitimate power always create distorted narratives to justify their dominance. Freedom and justice depend on popular insistence on learning the truth about themselves, their world and their rulers.


  • The World is Laughing at America

    by Steve Hochstadt

    A Dutch television program aired a satirical video with a voice-over pretending to be Donald Trump. Soon similar videos were being produced by late-night shows across Europe. The whole world is invited to laugh at, and simultaneously disdain, the American President. America has become the laughingstock of the world.


  • Capitalism + Bauhaus = Ikea

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The failure and success of the Bauhaus idea might demonstrate that the radical leftists of the early 20th century produced some wonderful ideas for improving daily life, but that their social implementation needed capitalist economic structures.
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