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EDITOR’S NOTE

MAKE IT MAKE SENSE

The Champagne bottles ringing in the new year weren’t even dry yet when the mainstream media’s horse-race coverage of the 2024 presidential election was off and running. Apparently, cable news outlets and some legacy newspapers have learned nothing from the 2016 presidential election fiasco, as they continue to amplify a deranged, lying, would-be dictator who is facing ninety-one felony charges.

Lost in all the reporting about how many counties Trump won in Iowa is the deeper issue that voters must face this November: Elect a tyrant and a mobster who will drive the final nail into the coffin of democracy while continuing to criminalize reproductive rights, as well as ending the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and Social Security; or vote for an incumbent who has achieved an impressive array of firstterm policy victories, such as national infrastructure funding, eliminating large amounts of student debt, promoting green energy, supporting unions and job creation, and lowering both unemployment and inflation.

Under normal circumstances, this would be a no-brainer in terms of get-out-the-vote efforts. Sadly, President Joe Biden has placed all of those achievements at great risk with his unwavering support for the ongoing genocide in Gaza, and his unconstitutional bombing of Yemen. In just 100 days, nearly 25,000 Palestinians—most of them civilians—have perished, and what was once an open-air prison is now being transformed into a vast wasteland.

Israel’s relentless bombing campaign and ground assaults— with U.S. backing and U.S. bombs—have created a new generation of orphans, who, with missing limbs and broken hearts, face the very real likelihood of starvation, disease, and famine. Pro-peace protesters have dubbed the President “Genocide Joe”—a moniker he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

Things undoubtedly would be worse under another Trump presidency—except, of course, for the Palestinian families of those who have already died.

In his unbridled support for Israel and its war on Gaza, Biden is making a geopolitical calculation based on U.S. notions of the Middle East as a strategic necessity. It has much less to do with a desire to free the Israeli hostages captured during the brutal attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023, in southern Israel.

Biden has only a few months to change course now that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear in public statements that he is unwilling to stop the bombing, to work toward a two-state solution, or to accept anything beyond the elimination of the Palestinian people from their homeland. Netanyahu seems to be already looking beyond Biden’s presidency. That, in turn, makes Biden and his White House and State Department mouthpieces look like fools.

In this issue of The Progressive, we look at several factors that will influence the 2024 elections, both domestically and abroad. Samer Badawi notes that Arab and Muslim Americans could be a deciding factor in November’s presidential race. These voters, Badawi writes, have “no choice but to vote against Biden.”

Norman Stockwell speaks with Sherif Mansour, of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), about the appalling number of journalists killed in Israel’s war in Gaza. That includes Bilal Jadallah, of the Press House-Palestine, who was helping the CPJ investigate and document journalist killings in Gaza before he was also killed in an Israeli airstrike. Mansour warns of the “chilling effect” of this despicable strategy “because of a lack of accountability” for the deaths.

Rann Miller reminds us of the full scope of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights work, which cautioned against the “three evils of society”: racism, excessive materialism, and mil-

itarism. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of selective memory regarding King’s work, Miller observes, with those on the right manipulating King’s words to extol colorblindness, and those on the left overlooking the late civil rights leader’s ideas on war, colonialism, and foreign policy.

Michaela Brant chats with historian Heather Cox Richardson about how the United States arrived at this fragile point in history, and how we as citizens, voters, and activists can win democracy back.

Sharon Johnson explains how health care unions plan to champion the fight to re-elect Biden. According to one union leader, health care workers “cannot sit on the sidelines [this election cycle], because health care is an issue that transcends the red-blue divide.”

Bill Blum dissects Trump’s long-game legal strategy to avoid going to prison, which relies on the tactic of delay, delay, delay— by pushing back court trials and other legal proceedings just long enough to be elected President, at which point he could quash the federal cases and even try to pardon himself.

John Nichols gives the electoral lay of the land in the battle for control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

And, as the world races to beat back climate change by converting to electric vehicles, Amelia Rayno reports on the devastating environmental effects that mass-scale lithium mining will have on sacred Indigenous lands in northern Argentina, in the effort to meet the demand for electric vehicle batteries.

It is a lot to process, and difficult decisions will have to be made in coming months, as well as in November and beyond. It is our hope that this issue of our magazine will help you make sense of it all.

David Boddiger Managing editor

THE PROGRESSIVE | 5

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