Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

The Three Powerful Messages of the Democratic Convention

The final night of the convention in Philadelphia was an argument for diversity—and against Trump.

(Photo: Sipa USA via AP/Dennis van Tine)
(Photo: Sipa USA via AP/Dennis van Tine) Hillary Clinton speaks during the final night of the Democratic National Convention, after formally accepting the party's nomination for president. T he Democrats left Philadelphia last night after a generally successful convention that conveyed three messages. The first was simply that we are, as the campaign says ad nauseum, stronger together, and that Donald Trump’s efforts to pull us apart will—well, pull us apart. No convention has ever emphasized tolerance and equality—and the costs of intolerance and the denial of rights—like this one. None ever featured so prominently every minority or out-group. In the first two hours (4 to 6 p.m. Eastern time) of Thursday’s session, more than 25 speakers came to the podium, not one of them a straight white male. The most devastatingly effective of these presentations, however, came during primetime, when the father of a Muslim Arab-American immigrant who became an army officer and died in Iraq to save...

Obama Confronts Trump's Shaky Grasp of Democracy

Riccardo Savi/Sipa via AP Images
Riccardo Savi/Sipa via AP Images President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, on July 27, 2016. O ne of the shorthand characterizations of our two political parties that has long had some truth to it has been that the Democrats are the mommy party, and the Republicans, the daddy party. This year, if the two parties’ conventions are any indication, those characterizations have become understatements. The Republicans under Donald Trump have become the swaggering macho bluster party, while the Democrats have become the take-care-of-the-children-and-don’t-bring-that-damned-gun-into-my-house party. If you’ve watched the entire Democratic convention so far, and not just the big late-hour speeches, you’ve seen a constant drumbeat about Hillary the mom, the children’s advocate, the woman who bounced back after the defeat of Hillary-care to win the enactment of health insurance for children. You’ve...

Bill Clinton Wins Hearts and Heads

Sipa USA via AP
Sipa USA via AP Former U.S. president Bill Clinton takes the stage on the second day of the Democratic National Convention, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, July 26, 2016 B ill Clinton addressed a Democratic Party last night that was no longer the party he led 20 years ago, but such are his political skills that he had no trouble winning its heart and—the tricky part—its head. The heart stuff came easy. The major part of Clinton’s mission was to humanize Hillary, who, he noted rightly, has become a cartoon figure to millions of Americans. The head stuff required convincing Americans, and Bernie Sanders supporters in particular, that Hillary was, as Bill put it, “a change maker.” And so his speech ambled down two parallel tracks: Hillary the mom and Hillary the operational wonk rotated in and out of Bill’s account. The kind of change-maker Bill described, accurately, is incremental, pragmatic, tactically brilliant. She’s not a movement-builder, a compelling orator, or a progenitor...

The Sighted and the Blinkered

(Photo: AP/John Minchillo)
(Photo: AP/John Minchillo) Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders write comments on a sign following a protest march through downtown Philadelphia on July 24. T here comes a time in the life of all revolutions when circumstance erodes solidarity, when cracks, splits, and factions emerge. As anyone who’s been watching the Democratic Convention can attest, that time has come to the Sanders Revolution. The factions this time around aren’t Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. They’re more like the Realos (realists) and Fundis (fundamentalists) who fought each other in Germany’s Green Party once the party began to win some power. That’s not a bad way to describe the two wings of Sandersism, though the Sighted and the Blinkered might do as well. The circumstance that most erodes solidarity in a successful revolution is qualified success, which invariably brings with it some power and some compromise. By staying in the race to press for changes to the Democratic Party’s platform and rules—and more...

Trump's Dystopia

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Thursday, July 21, 2016. “ I have visited the laid-off factory workers and the communities crushed by our horrible and unfair trade deals,” Donald Trump said last night. “These are the forgotten men and women of our country. People who work hard but no longer have a voice. “I AM YOUR VOICE.” Those words were capitalized in the written text of Trump’s acceptance speech. That all-caps sentence was meant to be a big deal. And so it is. Franklin Roosevelt spoke up about “the forgotten man” during his 1932 campaign, in a time when the nation really had plunged into the kind of abyss that Trump spent well over an hour last night trying to convince his listeners is back again. But Roosevelt never claimed that he was his supporters’ voice. Nor did Lincoln or Washington. “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat...

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