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. Opinions expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

The Michaels Flynn and the Politics of Thuggery

John Taggart/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, President-elect Trump’s nominee for the position of national security adviser, traffics in conspiracy theories so detached from reality so as to be disqualifying for the position he is poised to occupy. But if that isn’t enough to cost him the plum that awaits him as one of the presumptive president’s top men, the violence his tweets—a combination of Islamophobia and sexualized sadistic fantasy—seem designed to incite bodes ominously for the security of the nation, whose Constitution he has sworn to uphold and defend. Consider the very words of his title: national security adviser. “National,” as in all of the people of the nation. “Security,” as in the safety of all of the people of the nation. “Adviser,” as in a title for a man in the West Wing who has the ear of the president. The promotion of false narratives by Flynn and his ilk in the fever swamps of the right culminated on December 4...

President Trump and the Triumph of Private Capital

(Photo: AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Charles Koch and Donald Trump may not much care for each other, but they share a common interest: a megalomaniacal desire for global power exercised through the unimpeded flow of private capital. That would explain why, despite Koch’s one-time description of a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as being as appealing as making a choice between having a heart attack or cancer , the Trump administration is expected to be stacked with members of the donor network helmed by Charles and his brother, David, and several veterans of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States. Other names on the shortlist for cabinet posts and high-level administration jobs include millionaire and billionaire principals of privately held companies who are not part of that donor network. But ultimately, a picture is emerging of a government in which private capitalists will have an unprecedented level of control. These are people unaccustomed to...

Donald Trump’s Calibrated Race and Sex War

(Photo: AP/Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
In the presidential appointments made so far by Donald Trump, the president-elect has signaled his willingness to feed his base of angry white people the race war they crave, if only thus far by means of posturing. But early next year, a race war of words will break out on the Senate floor, and there is little escaping the conclusion that this is what the next occupant of the Oval Office wants. For his chief of staff, Trump selected a talented propagandist whose specialty is fanning the flames of outrage through the use of incendiary themes. As chief executive of Breitbart News, Stephen K. Bannon oversaw a web empire which, he boasted, provided “a platform for the alt-right,” the Trump-loving white supremacist movement that the president-elect was finally shamed into disavowing on Tuesday by the editorial board of The New York Times . Trump’s national security advisor will be General Michael Flynn, who has claimed that Islam is not a true religion, and tweeted,...

A Government Of, By, and For the Deplorables

(Adele M. Stan)
The joke had long been that if Donald Trump won the presidency, the White House would be reappointed with the gold-plated kitsch so prevalent in his real-estate holdings. A better choice, it seems, would be wicker, for if there ever was a basket of deplorables, it’s taking shape in the West Wing. Most notable among them is Stephen K. Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief executive who will serve as Trump’s chief strategist. As Breitbart’s head honcho, Bannon told journalist Sarah Posner that he fashioned the website as “ the platform for the alt-right ,” the once-fringy movement that encompasses white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and hate-mongering conspiracy theorists. Bannon’s appointment won applause , according to The Washington Post ’s David Weigel, from white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, who is convening a conference in Washington, D.C., this weekend at the Ronald Reagan building. But Bannon is but one of a number of appointees,...

Trump Victory Exposes Weakness in Liberal Political Infrastructure

AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa
As the dust settles with the terrible news of the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency, there will be no shortage of analysis of just how the reality show king pulled it off, what with his lean campaign staff and ostensible lack of ground game. Most will likely be wrong. It was not Trump’s mastery of the media alone that won him the big prize, nor did he lack ground game. Trump’s triumph is as much the product of a political infrastructure built by right-wing operatives over the course of the last 40 years as it is the candidate’s prowess at manipulating the press. Liberals and the left have no comparable political infrastructure, and left-wing donors have shown little interest in building one. And so we have President-elect Trump, the ultimate backlash candidate to the barrier-breaking presidency of Barack Obama, whose ascendance to the White House was a feat built on Obama’s own knowledge of political organizing. Yet the work done to organize the...