Steve Hochstadt

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

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  • My Fellow Americans!

    by Steve Hochstadt

    We can’t magically make our country healthy again in November, but we can reverse disastrous recent trends. We can make America great again, not by being an ugly neighbor, not by trashing other nations, not by just looking out for ourselves, but by electing great Americans and encouraging them to represent the best in us.

  • Why Vote Against Equal Rights For Women?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Republicans opposed to the ERA talked about toilets in the 1970s, and talk about abortion today. Some Illinois Republican arguments against the ERA are lies, such as Rep. Peter Breen’s assertion: “The only alleged benefit ... that I’ve heard about ... is that it will expand taxpayer funding of abortions. They have no other thing they want to do.” Or the claim by the Illinois Family Institute that it’s about “eradicating sex as a legitimate characteristic on which to base reasonable distinctions.” Denial of equal rights is not “reasonable”.


  • Elections Are the Best Surveys

    by Steve Hochstadt

    What will happen when Democratic women, white and non-white, compete against Republican white men in November? Will these newly diverse candidates mobilize new voters? Are independent voters leaning more toward minority and female candidates like Democrats or away from them like Republicans?


  • Why Do Some People Hate College?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Decades of conservative attacks on higher education have succeeded in creating an image of the college teacher as radical, elitist, unpatriotic, and intellectually dictatorial. The students who marched in their robes across the Illinois College campus Sunday, and tens of thousands of students marching across America, know better.

  • People Keep Asking “Why Trump?”

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Mutz supports this explanation for Trump’s victory, one that also has been much discussed since the election: groups of Americans with traditionally high status felt threatened and voted for the candidate who seemed to support their continued dominance. White Christian men who were concerned about social changes in recent decades gravitated to Trump, whose rhetoric and behavior consistently prioritized whiteness, maleness, and Christian belief.


  • The Extremism of NRA Politics

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Below the surface of public statements about gun legislation, the NRA sells its members a disturbing critique of our society. Under the title “Standing Guard | Colleges Spread Anti-Gun Sentiment” on the NRA website, LaPierre says this about American higher education. “American freedom faces no greater threat than from our academic institutions, where the most basic fundamental principles upon which our nation was founded are aggressively attacked by extreme socialists posing as honest professors,” etc.

  • Science Isn’t Always Scientific

    by Steve Hochstadt

    The name Asperger is widely known as a syndrome related to autism. But Asperger played a despicable role in a despicable system, participating in murdering children whom he deemed unworthy of life. He deserves no international honor. His name should not be used without an understanding of his deeds.


  • We Are Killing Ourselves

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Since Europeans arrived in America, about one-third of plant and animal species in the Western hemisphere have become extinct. Another quarter are at risk of extinction.


  • Who Are The People?

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Under the guise of “populism”, conservatives seem to attack “elites” from below, but actually focus on attacking social groups regarded as different from above. In Trump’s America and in many European countries, right-wing political formations of white Christians attack immigrants, those with darker skin, Muslims and sometimes Jews as not belonging to “the people”.


  • Promise and Flaw in Organized Religion

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Last year was the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 1517 proclamation of objections to Catholic Church practices. Luther masterfully used the new technology of printing to spread his ideas. But the religious community he wished to create was welcoming only for those who followed his lead. Luther condemned in the strongest terms anyone who refused to give up their religion for his.


  • Off With Their Heads! The Danger Extremists Pose.

    by Steve Hochstadt

    A German film about the Hungarian revolt of 1956 has lessons for us today about the importance of defending democracy from a small far right minority who only see black and white. 

  • Kids Versus Guns

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Right now, the political engagement of young Americans for gun control is very high. Can the kids accomplish politically what generations of adults have not be able to do – prevent further school massacres?


  • President Trump Versus Trump Voters

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Will Trump’s so-called “base” ever wake up? Does he have to shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue before his supporters recognize who he is? Or was he right that even that won’t hurt him?


  • Justice: Late, But Not Too Late

    by Steve Hochstadt

    Some Americans apparently feel that men are under attack. I disagree – men who abuse women are under attack and it’s about time

  • 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.
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