Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Now That They're Together, Can Bernie Sanders's Volunteers Build a New Left?

(Photo: AP/Kevin Wolf)
(Photo: AP/Kevin Wolf) Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a town hall meeting at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, on Wednesday, October 28. This article originally appeared in The Washington Post . B ernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is different. He has refused to establish a super PAC. He shuns personal attacks. And, not incidentally, he proclaims himself a democratic socialist. But there’s one further way in which his campaign fundamentally differs not just from those of the other candidates but also from any in many years: While striving to win votes, it also has to morph into an enduring left-wing movement. When Sanders says—as he does in every speech—that he’s seeking to build “ a revolution ,” that’s not just rhetoric. What Sanders understands in his bones is that every period of progressive reform in U.S. history has come as a result of massive street heat, of energized movements that push policymaking elites to the left. Abolitionists...

The GOP Debate: When Ted Cruz Met Piketty and Saez

(Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill)
(Photo: AP/Mark J. Terrill) Ted Cruz, center, talks about the mainstream media, while Carly Fiorina, left, and Chris Christie look on during the CNBC Republican presidential debate on October 28. D oes anyone really listen to this crap? (I assume since Ben Carson characterized liberal beliefs as “crap” during Wednesday night’s debate, it’s permissible to characterize what the debate participants actually said as crap, too.) Consider Carly Fiorina’s response when asked about those Americans who aren’t offered 401(k)s: “There is no constitutional role for the federal government in setting up retirement plans.” Um—so what’s social security? To which, clearly on a roll, Fiorina added, “There is no Constitutional role for the federal government to be setting minimum wages.” To these observations, there were no follow-up questions from the moderators or demurrals from the other candidates. Did anyone actually hear what Fiorina said? Did she hear it herself? Or does the constant din of...

Why Democrats Need Both Clinton and Sanders

AP Photo/John Locher
AP Photo/John Locher Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, listens as Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, speaks during the CNN Democratic presidential debate Tuesday, October 13, 2015, in Las Vegas. This article originally appeared at The Washington Post . I n the fall of 1991, a Democratic presidential candidate I was covering as he campaigned across New Hampshire had a line in his speeches that surprised me. He commended to his listeners something called the “Swedish active labor market”—a program, established by Sweden’s Social Democrats as part of their full-employment policy, that trained unemployed workers at the government’s expense and linked them up with available jobs. That candidate was Bill Clinton. On Tuesday night, I was forcefully reminded of the then-Arkansas governor’s unanticipated endorsement of Scandinavian democratic socialist policy by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s takedown of Senator Bernie Sanders’s invocation of Denmark as a model for progressive...

The Spanish Speaker on the Balcony

The pope's speech outside the Capitol conveyed a spirit of inclusivity and solidarity. 

AP Photo/Susan Walsh
AP Photo/Susan Walsh People watch Pope Francis on a large screen television from the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, September 24, 2015, as the Pope addresses a joint meeting of Congress. Pope Francis is the first pontiff in history to speaks before a joint meeting of Congress. I should, I suppose, begin with the pope’s speech to Congress, but his brief remarks on the Speaker’s Balcony to the thousands gathered on the Capitol’s west front impressed me even more. In remarks lasting less than two minutes, Pope Francis did two radical things: First, he spoke to this quintessentially American crowd in Spanish—to be sure, his native tongue, but far more than that, the native tongue of an increasing number of American Catholics and just plain Americans, the language of most American immigrants, the language which the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination has chastised one of his rivals for speaking in public. Second, the pope asked the crowd to pray for him,...