Can the American Republic Survive the Stubbornness of San Francisco?

The City by the Bay Keeps Producing Leaders Who Won't Quit—Even When They Should

San Francisco stubbornness is holding the republic hostage.

The hostage takers are two of California’s oldest and most powerful mules. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer are past retirement age, but refuse to quit their jobs now, when they could be replaced by allies who share their California values. Their stubborn insistence on staying in power could end up elevating right-wing political forces hostile to California, and to democracy itself.

The 88-year-old Feinstein, by not quitting while Gov. Gavin Newsom remains in office, could end up being …

How ‘Automation’ Made America Work Harder | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How ‘Automation’ Made America Work Harder

Computers Were Supposed to Reduce Office Labor. They Accomplished the Opposite

The world confronts “an epochal transition.” Or so the consulting firm McKinsey and Company crowed in 2018, in an article accompanying a glossy 141-page report on the automation revolution. Over …

Is America Ready to See Itself as an Orchestra? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is America Ready to See Itself as an Orchestra?

Cultural Pluralism Offers a Better Concept of the Nation Than the Melting Pot Ever Did

More than a century after Jewish American philosopher Horace Kallen developed the concept of cultural pluralism in 1915, it has never been more important. In the simplest terms, cultural pluralism …

America Isn’t Awkward Enough | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America Isn’t Awkward Enough

Our Anti-Social Social Norms Keep Us From Engaging in the Uncomfortable Moments That Lead to Real Change

Ever since vaccines became available, people have been joking that the return to normal life would be awkward. After more than a year of relative isolation, so the half-earnest predictions …

Is Independence Still Worth Celebrating? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is Independence Still Worth Celebrating?

Contemplating Dependence and Interdependence on the Nation’s Birthday in Remote Independence, California

Why do Californians celebrate Independence Day when we’ve given up on our independence?

That question occurred to me on a recent visit to Independence, California, a settlement of 600 people on …

Determining America’s National Myth Will Determine the Country’s Fate | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Determining America’s National Myth Will Determine the Country’s Fate

The Ethno-Nationalist Vision of the United States Will Not Just 'Slink Off Into the Night'

Alexander Hamilton had no illusions about what would happen to Americans if the United States collapsed.

If the newly drafted Constitution wasn’t ratified, he warned in Federalist No. 8, a “War …