The Man Behind Montana’s Contradictory, Confusing, and Occasionally Crazy Political Culture

In the First Half of the 20th Century, US Senator Burton K. Wheeler Was Deeply Independent—and Often Confrontational

There is an old line that “Montana is really just a small town with a very long Main Street.” It’s a state with 147,000 square miles and just over a million people, yet everyone seems to know everyone, or at least everyone knows someone who knows someone you know. The six degrees of separation in Montana are rarely more than two degrees.

Montana’s small-town dynamic, combined with sprawling geography and a rich and often-rough history, have shaped a political culture that is highly independent, even by the standards of …

Why California Will Matter More in the 2020 Election

With an Earlier Primary Date, the Golden State May Sway National Debates and Even the Presidential Contest

The California presidential primary traditionally has taken place in June, often well after the presidential candidates for all parties have been decided. But next year, California will join 12 other …

The Philosopher Who Coined the Term ‘Nationalism’ Also Preached Inclusivity

275 Years Ago, Johann Gottfried Herder Imagined Nations Forming Around a Common Language and Culture, Not a Common Enemy

Since the French Revolution, a brilliant cast of ideologies has starred on the world stage, ranging from conservatism to liberalism to communism. Yet the -ism that has been most resilient, …

For California’s New Governor, Big Mistakes Will Lead to Greatness

Gavin Newsom Can’t Make Meaningful Progress on Health Care or Housing Without an Appetite for Risk

Gavin, screw up. Please.

Make mistakes. Big ones. Because the state you’re about to start running needs more screw-ups.

The transition now taking place in the California governor’s office feels both historic …

Preaching Civility Won’t Save American Democracy

Only by Learning to Communicate as Citizens, Not Propagandists, Can We Avert Political Tragedy

It’s obvious that our political discourse is broken. People don’t just yell at one another on cable television, they also do it in restaurants, and on social media. Our communities …

The 1958 Governor’s Race That Launched a Dynasty

An Internecine Fight Between Two Republicans Opened the Door to Ambitious San Francisco Democrat Pat Brown

As Jerry Brown nears the end of his record fourth term as California governor, his final months are swathed in nostalgia, superlatives, and retrospectives on a remarkable five decades in …