How Poland’s Opposition Won an Unfair Election

The Civic Coalition Is Proof That a Highly Motivated and Well-Organized Campaign Can Win—Even Against a Ruling Party That Cheats

On a blustery day in early October 2023, half a dozen volunteers stood outside a street market in Łódź, Poland’s fourth largest city, handing out flyers, stickers, and cherry cakes. We were campaigning for Aleksandra Wiśniewska, a 29-year-old former humanitarian aid worker and political novice, who was running for parliament from the Civic Coalition (KO) list, the largest Polish opposition party. I was her campaign manager.

Unexpectedly, Zbigniew Rau, the Polish foreign minister and a member of the nationalist-conservative ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), appeared. He interrupted the event and …

Top Gun Is Too Dumb for San Diego | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Top Gun Is Too Dumb for San Diego

A Thoughtless Film Sequel Reflects Today’s America, But Not America’s Finest City

Watching Top Gun: Maverick made me feel sad—for San Diego.

San Franciscans have Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a classic film of cinematic heights and existential falls, to define their city by the …

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Civil War Chaplains Who Shaped Modern American Patriotism

In Prisons and Hospitals, Clergy Tended to Fighters While Stoking Familiar Strains of Nationalism

Chaplain Henry S. White, of the Fifth Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, was a devout Christian—and so when he was captured by the Confederacy, he naturally led a service for his …

How the NFL and American Politicians Politicized (and Helped Merchandise) Pro Football

In the ’60s and ’70s, Gridiron Fans Like Richard Nixon and Bobby Kennedy Embraced the Sport That Wanted Their Attention

In January 1942, as the United States committed itself fully to World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt decided that baseball, then the national pastime, should sustain civilian morale during the …

Why Poor Americans Are So Patriotic

Even in Hard Times, Pride in Country Offers Comfort, Security, and the Hope That Life Will Get Better

Why do the worst-off American citizens love their country so much?

Patriotism may be defined as a belief in the greatness, if not superiority, of one’s country relative to others. Depending …

Why San Diego and The Donald Are on a Collision Course

United by Patriotic Spirit, Divided by Trump, the Border City Could Become a Battleground

If you wish to inspect the front lines of the conflict between Donald Trump and California, head for San Diego.

Yes, it’s true that the Golden State’s fight against the president …