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Five Pieces Worth Reading

5 pieces worth reading

Following the good example of our colleagues at the Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation, VTIPG will share five articles each week that we find timely, meaningful, and that address critical concerns related to the state of our democracy and civil society. We hope to offer pieces that illuminate the varied dimensions of our governance challenges and the status of social norms that sustain the possibility of addressing these issues successfully.

If you’d like to share an article - and we encourage all to do so - please send it to Billy Parvatam.

April 25: These pieces focus on the Republican Party’s continuing disinterest in governance and its potential ramifications for the health of U.S. democracy.

May 3: These pieces focus on inflation's effect on budgets, comparisions between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Hungarian government, Elon Musks's reported acquisition of Twitter, Emmanuel Macron's reelection as French President, and if American democracy is currently failing.

May 9: These pieces focus on the impact of the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, the danger of gaslighting COVID-19, and the role of higher education and unions in protecting democracy.

May 16: These pieces focus on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court following its leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, the importance of secretary of state elections in November, failures of autocratic governments across the globe, Presiden Biden's rhetoric to frame the Russia-Ukraine war as a struggle for democracy, and the European Union's legislation to control Big Tech.

May 23: These pieces focus on the Republican party's embrace of 'stop the steal', a growing lack of confidence in the inevitability of social progress in the United States, the failure of the U.S. government to sucessfully combat domestic terrorism, Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano's desire to embrace Donald Trump's 'stop the steal lie', and the ongoing persecution of Muslims in India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. 

May 27: These pieces focus on the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, specific reforms that could solve America's problem of gun violence, the failure of our government to properly respond, the impact of Georgia Governor Brian Kemp's GOP primary win on the state of our democracy, and how redistricting has led to Congress's inability to address America's most pressing needs. 

June 10: These pieces focus on the importance of the upcoming U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol televised hearings to fully repudiate the Big Lie, the executive and legislative branch's role in the decline of democracy, the failure of democratic institutions to pass legislation supported by the majority of the American people, growing job insecurity, and a fear to raise children in today's challenging times.

June 21: These pieces focus on Democratic Party officals concerns about a potential President Biden 2024 reelection campaign, a poll that shows that a majority of Democrats and Republicans believe American democracy will cease to exist in the future, how the Constitution has been a barrier of equality for Black Americans, a GOP-led comission in New Mexico has refused to certify the results of a June primary, and an opinion piece that argues how Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department should consider a criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump. 

June 28: These pieces focus on the impact of the Supreme Court's decision to officially overturn Roe v. Wade on both women and U.S. democracy, the lessons The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has learned from televised hearings of the past, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's opinion on the state of U.S. democracy, and what authoritarian leaders like Xi Jimping and Vladamir do not understand about the benefits of democracy despite how messy it can be.  

July 7: These pieces focus on the tragic mass shooting in Highland Park, IL on Independence Day, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's billion dollar goal to improve racial equity on the road, the GOP and Supreme Court's role in limiting the United States's ability to address climate change, the Black community's views on abortion rights restrictions, and small state bias in the U.S.

July 19: These pieces focus on a new poll that shows most Democrats not wanting President Biden to run in 2024, how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's resignation can be a lesson for Republicans, the G.O.P's lack of support for the Child Tax Credit and other pro-family policies despite promoting themselves as the pro-life party, questioning whether the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack is really saving democracy, and whether or not voting by itself can preserve democracy.

July 28: These pieces focus on allies of Former President Trump's plans for a second administration should he win in 2024, the need to prosecute him for crimes he has committed, how the institutional rules of the Senate are blocking progress, how Emmett Till's tragic murder is still an unhealed wound in our nation, and a report detailing the already large gap between executive and average worker compensation.

August 4: These pieces focus on Kansas voters' decision to protect reproductive rights, a growing disconnect between citizens and a share of their legislators over certain issues, President Biden's political benefit from the passage of the CHIPS and Inflation Reduction Acts, how America's democracy is slipping in the eyes of the leaders of some African Nations, and a profile of the life of basketball hall of famer Bill Russell.

August 11: These pieces focus on Former President Trump's relationship with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, how the Republican Party continues to debase itself in defending Trump following the FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago home, how this focus could hurt the Party in the Midterms, analyzing all aspects of the pending Inflation Reduction Act, and how some G.O.P. operatives are fighting against Trump allies and election deniers in their own Party.

August 18: These pieces focus on how President Biden's achievements have often been overshadowed by former President Trump's post-presidency antics, what Representative Liz Cheney's defeat in the Wyoming GOP primary means long-term for the Republican Party and state politics, how Trump's brazen lies and cynicism are undermining democracy, the American system of government incorporating undemocratic features, and the fact that many incarcerated people have no money despite working long hours in prison sentences in order to purchase many of life's necessary services. 

August 25: These pieces focus on former President Trump's continuing impact on the decline of American democracy, race as a central issue of the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack hearings, mass surveillance on citizens as a potential threat to democracy, Dr. Anthony Fauci's legacy in light of his upcoming retirement, and how India's democracy is in decline due to the authoritarian politics and policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

September 1: These pieces focus on how a potential re-election for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could mean for a future presidential bid and American democracy long-term, President Biden's successful August, the legacy of the last leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, the arguments for and against President Biden's decision to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loans for select higher education students, and why a Harvard economist now supports targeted student loan forgiveness.

September 12: These pieces focus on complicity from Christian Evangelicals towards former President Donald Trump, how Jackson, Mississippi ran out of water, Republican Party state legislatures impact on Trump's rise, how the unveiling of the Obamas' official White House portraits is no longer a bipartisan ceremony, and how the Covid pandemic impacted two decades of progress in math and reading for America's school children.

September 22: These pieces focus on Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin's decision to campaign for election deniers within the GOP, Republican Governors Abbot and DeSantis's ploy to send innocent migrants to locations in the northeast, Democrats letting Republicans off the hook by postponing a vote to codify same-sex and interracial marriage until after the midterm election, why longtime journalist Dan Rather continues to speak out forcefully on the danger that former President Donald Trump poses to United States governance and democracy, and examining the popularity and impact of Queen Elizabeth II and the long-term questions her passing poses for the United Kingdom. 

September 29: These pieces focus on former President Donald Trump and GOP voters embrace of conspiracy theories and how that impacts the midterm elections and beyond, Congresswoman Liz Cheney's forthright criticisms of Trump, Democratic Party voters believing the state of the democracy is the most important issue on the ballot this November, The United States losing sight of its traditional humanitarian commitments especially in the wake of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's decision to use asylum applicants as a political gambit, and how conservatives tied social-emotional learning to critical race theory as part of a series of orchestrated attacks on educators.

October 20: These pieces focus on Senator Catherine Cortez Masto's reelection campaign in Nevada, how the U.S. political culture has long evidenced a strand of authoritarianism, the GOP shift from traditional figures such as Congresswoman Liz Cheney and towards extremists such as Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, Democrats not doing enough to make democracy a central issue in the midterm election, and Christian Livermore describing growing up in poverty and the lingering effects the experience has on her identity. For the first time, we also share a podcast former President Barack Obama participated in to discuss the state of the country as the elections approach. 

October 27: These pieces focus on the radicalization of rural voters, economists stating that Republican policies will not reduce inflation, the critical gubernatorial and senatorial races in Pennsylvania, Democrats needing to tie democracy and the economy together as midterm campaign issues, and how the peaceful transition of power in the United Kingdom shows governance in democracies is far superior than that of autocracies.

November 3: These pieces focus on the upcoming midterm elections. They discuss today's "swing voters" who are not interested in politics and their importance in the election, President Obama's comments that Democrats protecting reproductive and same-sex marriage rights serves as the Party's best closing message, state election ballot measures that could impact the conduct of the 2024 national elections, Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter and it's impact on the spread of disinformation, and analyzing the potential outcomes of the elections on President Biden's legislative agenda. 

November 10: These pieces focus on the aftermath of the midterm elections, although votes are still being counted. They discuss Democrats enjoying a much better than expected showing, Ron DeSantis as the GOP frontunner in 2024, the challenges that leaders of both parties will have to address when the new Congress convenes in January, possible warning signs for President Biden as he ponders a potential 2024 reelection bid, and the historic character of Governor-elect Wes Moore's victory in Maryland.

November 17: These pieces focus on former President Trump being politically finished despite announcing a 2024 run for the White House, a former administration official declaring he will not support Trump in 2024, President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping's recent meeting, systematic racial bias in home appraisals found in a recent national study, and the groundbreaking efforts of the Freedom House Ambulance Service. 

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