Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles

Trump’s Race-Baiting Bromance with Andrew Jackson

(Photo: AP/David Goldman)
To commemorate the 250th birthday of Andrew Jackson, President Donald J. Trump, never a subtle man, arranged to travel to Tennessee to lay a wreath on Old Hickory’s grave in Nashville, Tennessee. Applauded by history for having broadened the scope of the electorate and the politically engaged to include the ordinary white men who had heretofore been locked out of the democratic process, Jackson is often seen as the great leveler, a hero in the myth of American meritocracy. He is also the president who signed the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which led to the Trail of Tears march of Choctaw Indians off their land in the Southeastern states, on foot and often in chains, to Oklahoma. Thousands died along the way. During his presidency, a host of tribes were decimated in similar ways. Even before he was president, Jackson was an eager participant in the “removal” of Native Americans from their land. “As an Army general, he had spent years leading brutal campaigns...

James Comey’s Very Sad Day Without a Woman

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Poor James Comey. Having helped install Donald Trump in the White House, the FBI director should have been celebrating this International Women’s Day lionized for having shown women who’s boss. The president should be rewarding him for having helped prevent women all over the nation from celebrating the historical breakthrough represented by the nation’s first woman president. But instead of enjoying a power seat in the White House, Comey finds himself in the dog house, while workers across the nation stage something of a strike titled A Day Without a Woman . There is little doubt that Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress —less than two weeks before Election Day—had a significant impact on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. In that letter, absent any findings, Comey stated that the FBI was revisiting its investigation of emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton via her private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Less...

No, Trump’s Address to Congress Wasn’t ‘Presidential’

(Photo: Jim Loscalzo/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)
On Tuesday night, President Trump defied critics by proving he could read a teleprompter. In Trump’s hands, any evolution toward mastery of that skill could prove as dangerous as the improvisational oratorical bullying for which he is better known, for Trump’s reading style renders the articulation of evil into a banal-sounding sing-song celebration of resentment, greed, grief, and death. The consensus forming among political observers on Donald J. Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress is that the president seemed “presidential.” Well, sure, if your idea of presidential is an authoritarian maniac who can read a teleprompter. When speaking in his more customary off-the-cuff style, Trump’s “prime rhetorical instrument is percussion,” writes media critic Todd Gitlin . So true. All those short phrases and mini-sentences that follow declarative statements in your standard Trump speech—“so true,” “believe...

Milo and the Moral Corruption of the Conservative Movement

He may not be an ideological conservative, but the movement created him. Now it must own him and the hatred he spews.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Since the early days of its ascendance in the Republican Party, the conservative movement’s leaders have advanced their cause on two major claims that have shaped conservatism’s identity: moral rectitude and love of the Constitution. As it turns out, that was quite a sell job. The hatred espoused by Trump and the cretins he’s defended, such as Breitbart News phenomenon Milo Yiannopoulos, initially found its voice, often in more polite language, in the conservative movement. Milo and the Donald may not be ideological conservatives, but they are nonetheless creations of the conservative movement. As I’ve noted before , these are players savvy enough to understand that conservatism never was fueled by ideology; it was always fueled by contempt for everyone other than non-Jewish white men. Take the recent flap over the scheduled appearance of Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos to keynote the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which will take...

What Does Flynn Know About Trump?

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
In January, President Donald J. Trump learned that, before he ever took office, the man he picked as his national security adviser was making promises to a Russian diplomat, promises that intimated a lifting of U.S. sanctions against Russia in return for its apparent attempts to sway the outcome of the U.S. election. This was at worst dangerous and illegal behavior; at best, it was staggeringly unpatriotic. But it wasn’t until weeks later, after The Washington Post broke the story of Michael T. Flynn’s intercepted conversation with Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s U.S. ambassador, that Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation. Had Flynn’s friendly convo with Kislyak been a rogue operation, don’t you think Trump would have dumped Flynn sooner? The question here isn’t simply: What did Trump know and when did he know it? It’s more like: What does Flynn know about Trump? Since Flynn’s departure, a turbo-charged form of the usual Trumpian chaos...