Should We Embrace Our Divisions to Build a Better America?

Rather Than Chase National Unity, Our Best Hope for Protecting Our Rights and Building a Better Future Lies at the State Level

Do you trust your state more than the U.S. government? Do you dream of California independence? Does breaking the U.S. into regional republics intrigue you?

Then you might be a true patriot in the greatest American tradition.

Or do you cling to the hope of national unity? Do you believe that we must compromise to preserve our sprawling union of 330 million?

Then you might be part of the problem.

The frightening 2020 election is already disrupting how we think about America and California’s place in it—and thank goodness for that. Perhaps …

More In: Connecting California

Californians Need a New Political Party That Can Keep Us Afloat | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Californians Need a New Political Party That Can Keep Us Afloat

Forget Democrats and Republicans. Real Change Requires Fresh Ideology

I got one of those calls again—they come every six months or so—from a Silicon Valley hotshot who wants to use his brain and his wealth to fix what ails …

Could California-Style Voting by Referendum Unify the Nation? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Could California-Inspired Voting by Referendum Unify the Nation?

An Expert in Direct Democracy Offers a Plan to Improve the Republic, One Ballot at a Time

California has a solution for America’s putrid populism and political paralysis on issues from abortion to voting rights to reducing greenhouse gases.

That solution is adopting direct democracy at the national …

California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Eastern Sierra Reminds Us There’s Life After Disaster

In the New Memoir Miracle Country, a Preview of Our Windblown, Fiery, Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic Potential

How will Californians ever recover from this year of apocalypse and conflict, of pandemic and fire, when landscapes and lives were broken, seemingly forever? Where can we find a miracle?

In …

California, Where Whatever You Do, You Will Be Wrong | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California, Where Whatever You Do, You Will Be Wrong

We're All in This Together—But Please, Keep Your Distance

Our politics may be paranoid, our society may be paralyzed, our police may be irredeemable, and our skies may be on fire, but don’t fear! At least we Californians can …

My ‘Field of Dreams’ Above Carpinteria | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

My ‘Field of Dreams’ Above Carpinteria

At Santa Barbara County’s Ken McMullen Baseball Camp, a True Team Player Taught Us How to Teach Others

Did you have strange dreams during this unsettling, crazy California summer? Me too.

Mine compressed time and space. In dreamland, I toggled between the anxious claustrophobia of summer 2020 and memories …