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Goldstein: The Erasure of Martin Luther King, Jr.

(01/16/18 5:30am)

What, in your estimation, is the most widely-shared quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday each January? Is it “I have a dream”? “Hate cannot drive out hate”? An excerpt about content of character, perhaps? It is certainly not what King wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: That “it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts ... because the quest may precipitate violence.” Your most conservative friend on Facebook will never post that freedom “must be demanded by the oppressed.” King’s declaration that America is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” will not appear on any banners.

Goldstein: Press 1 for English

(10/19/17 5:30am)

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball wrote in September 2017 that many Americans “resent having to press 1 for English when they call customer service.” One might note that the mere motion of “pressing 1” is an odd action to complain about, but then, the complaint isn’t truly about phones or any number on their keypads. Instead, the objection to “pressing 1” is about the idea that, as an American, one should not have to undertake any effort to indulge in using the English language or indulge the outsiders coming in to hear — shock! horror! — Spanish.

Goldstein: Single-Payer? It’s Already Here

(09/28/17 5:00am)

If the Biblical sacrifice of Isaac were written today, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell might stand in for Abraham, and instead of the voice of the angel of God above, the faithful might read of the cries of disabled activists dragged in flex-cuffs from Congressional hearings. And our progenitor of nations, spared from certain death, is not Isaac but the Affordable Care Act. After the congressional GOP’s third abject healthcare failure, this is not the least apropos comparison, though it may verge slightly into the poetic.

Goldstein: The Better of Two Evils

(05/18/17 4:25am)

In 1944, one year before the end of World War II, the British Special Operations Executive — a secret wing of the British military formed for the purposes of espionage and sabotage behind enemy lines — devised a plan to kill Adolf Hitler. In its design, a German-speaking marksman fluent in the dialect of the Bavarian district of Berchtesgadener Land would parachute in and assassinate Hitler from afar as he walked to his morning tea at the Berghof, his Alpine retreat in Bavaria, Germany. Using information provided by one of Hitler’s personal guards, captured at Normandy on D-Day, plans were drawn up for Operation Foxley, which would be the third attempted execution of the Fuhrer. But those plans, and the operation, were never realized.

Goldstein: Populism Will Survive Macron

(05/12/17 4:25am)

If French president-elect Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election can be called a landslide, then the column inches hyperbolically trumpeting it as the wholesale rejection of global populism can rightly be called a tsunami. The authors of a Washington Post piece on the election couch the French people’s decision in mythological terms, saying that “France ... shrugged off the siren call of right-wing populism.” CNN asserts, in heroic language, that Macron defeated populism in the “great political battle between globalism and nationalism that is underway in Western democracies.” The Huffington Post calls Macron’s victory “somewhat comparable to Napoleon Bonaparte.”

Goldstein: Not Quite Free

(04/20/17 4:35am)

Universal suffrage is arguably the most fundamental privilege accorded to American citizens. However, the grasp the United States has on the helm of global electoral freedom may be slipping. In 2015, the United States ranked 20th in the world in an Economist report on democracy that factored in “electoral process and pluralism,” but persistent unjust features of the American voting landscape caused Freedom House to rank the U.S. behind at least 61 other countries in electoral process in 2016. Gerrymandering, voter identification laws and the role of money in elections round out the pantheon of the most pressing threats to Americans’ abilities to shape the course of their nation. Despite the popular conception of America’s place at the forefront of international democracy, these patently anti-democratic laws and processes infringe upon freedoms that, per the rhetoric of U.S. exceptionalism, Americans ought to have.

Goldstein: Uneducated, Unfree

(04/06/17 4:30am)

The first installment of this series posited a divide between freedoms the United States purports to afford its citizens and the actual ways in which pervasive, structural features of American life restrict opportunities for those citizens. Perhaps the most important manifestation of this divide is in the American education system. Vast inequities in the quality of primary and secondary education across district lines, stemming from the fundamental ways the United States has understood the burden of educating its youth, beget vicious cycles of poverty. The rising cost of a college degree, necessary for any job that might propel one to a higher socioeconomic stratum, means the rich benefit while the poor grapple with either debt or ignorance.

Goldstein: Liberty and Justice for Some

(03/30/17 4:35am)

People in America care — or profess to care — about freedom and personal liberty, perhaps more than any other group of people in recorded history. The Declaration of Independence speaks of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The Constitution, the fundamental document from which each statute and protection in American law stems and whose tenets it must not violate, putatively exists to “secure the Blessings of Liberty.” Political and patriotic rhetoric, generally purporting to speak for “true” Americans and “true” America, centers on the freedoms that Make Us Special. United States foreign policy from George F. Kennan to Donald Rumsfeld has held the liberation of oppressed places and people from the chains of tyranny into the warm embrace of capitalism and democracy as its guiding ideal.

Goldstein: Trump’s Dunce Hat

(02/16/17 5:40am)

If lies, untruths, falsehoods, mischaracterizations and alternative facts were removed from a transcript of everything Kellyanne Conway has said since President Donald Trump assumed office, all that remained would be a picture book-length collection of her saying “good morning” to Sunday talk-show hosts. And even that might be rated less-than-true by the legions of fact-checkers this administration has put to work, because few mornings have been good to the young Trump White House. If the narrative driving the day’s news cycle isn’t the administration and erstwhile campaign’s connections to Russia, it’s Conway’s ethics conflicts stemming from her on-air commercial for Ivanka Trump’s clothing line. If the scandal du jour isn’t a botched executive order that is most likely unconstitutional, it’s a shutdown of national parks’ Twitter accounts over an obsessive insistence on the size of the crowd at the inauguration. Critics of the administration have labeled it evil, but even that gives Trump’s team too much credit. America is not being led by a savvy comic-book villain; the highest levels of our government are a clown car with nobody at the wheel.

Goldstein: Safety is Not Trump’s Concern

(02/07/17 5:35am)

Many contemporary Republicans — and in particular the proto-fascists in President Donald Trump’s administration who label themselves “Republicans” for no reason other than to ingratiate themselves with the current American political system — seem to chart a single-minded course pursuing what they call “national security,” or the safety of America and her citizens, and are now implementing measures ostensibly to that effect. But the safety of Americans, insofar as it means avoiding maiming or death, extends far beyond issues of immigration and terrorism. The administration’s singular focus on this issue belies its rhetoric on national security, because if it were indeed committed to the safety of American people, it would pursue other policies that it has not broached and has even actively suppressed.

Goldstein: Do Not “Hail to the Chief”

(01/31/17 5:25am)

“Hail to the Chief” is the worst song in the United States’ patriotic oeuvre. “America the Beautiful” tells us of “amber waves of grain” and “purple mountain majesties,” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” evokes our pride in the broad stripes and bright stars of that red, white and blue beacon of freedom. But “Hail to the Chief” implores us to pledge cooperation with and salute one person. The tune suggests blind acceptance and adoration of a man, not an ideal.

Goldstein: The Dearth of News

(01/19/16 12:30am)

If one of our goals as a student population is to receive consistent, complete, ideologically neutral and change-making news, we are failing miserably. There are, right now, two sources of news on campus: The Dartmouth and The Dartmouth Review. Neither is consistent — one in publication, the other in quality. Neither is complete — both are missing vital features a vibrant and informative newspaper should have. Neither is ideologically neutral. Neither changes the world around it. Today is the day we must hasten the end of this trend, and forge a new path forward in campus news.