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Information is power. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. Every day we search hundreds of sources to connect you with the most interesting, striking and useful material. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Please help.




A Path to Power for the American Left

Ethan Young The Indypendent
The left’s role is to move opposition in the direction of politics — enabling working people to apply pressure when it can change the situation in their favor, building their (small-d) democratic strength. This is our mission inside and outside the Democratic Party, in social movements, in unions and in intellectual settings.

How Can Democrats Win - Who is the Base; Problem of Working Class White Voters; Building a Winning Coalition; Learning Lesson from Ossoff Defeat

William E. Spriggs American Prospect
Why the white worker theme is harmful. It’s a mistake to racialize an economy that harms the entire working class. What has happened to more whites now is that the market has moved past them as well. It took almost 40 years to get to this point, in the near term no recipe of policy fixes will sufficiently remedy the effects. Democrats need to focus on reversing those long-term trends, but also must have something to offer workers now.


Reclaiming McGovern

Tom Gallagher Los Angeles Review of Books
This first of two projected volumes of a new biography of the South Dakota Senator and 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee takes his story to the end of 1968. It offers some surprises about this significant, and some would say underrated, politician.

Trump's Victory Is a Wake-Up Call to the Left; Lesson for Democrats: Back to Class

Lynn Koh; Jeff Faux In These Times
Did we do enough in 2016? And how can we build a broader electoral movement? I don't believe the Left bears the brunt of the blame for Hillary Clinton's defeat, and I reject arguments that try to score political points through guilt-tripping. Both long-term and short-term factors worked against a Clinton victory. Trump is not Reagan; 2016 is not 1980. But both elections were lost by tone-deaf Democratic elites who dismissed the economic anxieties of the working class.


A Solid Trump Exposé That Gives Hillary a Pass

Michael Hirsch New Politics
A new book on Donald Trump is as revealing of the foibles and dangers of this reactionary, mysogynistic megalomanic as any honest and brutal piece of opposition research can be. It's also a latent warning of how a future hard right candidate might succeed absent Trump's egregious vulnerabilities. The reviewer faults the book for what it doesn't offer and some readers might expect; any indication that centrist Hillary Clinton is no sure friend of working people.

Booked: When Slaveholders Controlled the Government, with Matthew Karp

Timothy Shenk Dissent
Historians are so accustomed to viewing slaveholders at the top of a complex pyramid of class, racial, and gender hierarchies in Southern society that we forgot that they were also the nation’s most powerful political leaders, and the world’s most powerful slaveholding class. Only in the past fifteen years or so have historians begun to look more systematically at slaveholders as leading national and international actors, as well as Southern social elites.

Thinking About the Election

Michael Albert and Stephen R. Shalom The Real News Network
As the U.S. election season proceeds, there is contro-versy, confusion, consternation, and sometimes re-crimination. Below, in a question and answer format, we present our views on these matters, hoping to contribute to the discussion.


Democracy, from King Hammurabi's Time to Tomorrow

Stephanie J. Smith New Politics
Democracy briskly and transparently recasts traditional world histories and world populations frequently left out of the narrative into a consideration of how different political alliances, including those of repressed and typically underrepresented groups, demand democracy through use of language and direct action. Democracy connects the local and the global, as well as the past and present, in understanding the complex and shifting notions of democracy.

Trumpism In The Context Of American History; Why Some Union Members Vote Against Their Own Interests

Van Gosse; Mark Pazniokas
Trump's strategy and campaign is to appeal to majority white, working class voters who have economic anxiety and fear of demographic change. Trump's candidacy viewed in the context of historical continuity - nativism is a primary political discourse in American history. Trump has shown us that it is just as powerful now as in the 1850s or the 1920s. Indeed, "Make America Great Again" recalls the 1920s Ku Klux Klan's appeal for "100% Americanism."
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