We had been working on this double issue of the magazine for quite a while when Election Day arrived, halfway through our editorial deadline week. What a difference a day makes. Our theme--uplifting stories about progressive activists who are fighting back against the bad guys--was swamped by election results in which the bad guys won. An optimistic, progressive vision of America was swept aside.
November 9 was a dark day.
But if there is one bright spot in these last days of 2016, it is the sense of coming together that we progressives now have.
Pakistani American journalist and playwright Wajahat Ali, in an interview with our publisher, Norm Stockwell, compares the current political moment to the aftermath of 9/11. We are shocked and hurt, and we are dealing with a terrible turn in American politics, but we are also galvanized as a progressive majority.
For indeed, we are the majority. As John Nichols points out in this issue, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by a historic margin--nearly two million votes when we went to press.
It is also helpful to remember our history. This magazine has stood up to bullies before. Our editors and writers were early opponents of Joe McCarthy. McCarthy went on to win election to the U.S. Senate anyway, amassed huge power in Washington, D.C., and led the witch hunts that initiated one of the worst chapters in American politics. But McCarthy died in infamy, and progressive gains from the civil rights movement to the Great Society followed.
Today's activist, progressive base is no less determined than were the civil rights marchers of the 1960s. In a lovely essay on the history and future of the environmental movement, our online media editor Mrill Ingram describes her river trip with her father and a handful of other storied warriors for conservation, along with a young generation of climate activists who are picking up where the monkey wrenchers and Earth defenders of...