Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of The American Prospect. His email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Parties Trading Places

The GOP has taken on the Democrats' characteristic divisiveness and infighting. Will Republicans be able to rally 'round their nominee?

As the first actual voting in this year's presidential contest is finally about to begin, the two parties have swapped places. The Democrats, by tradition the party of irreconcilable factions, are, for all their election-eve squabbling, more united than they've been in decades. The Republicans, by tradition the party that submerges its differences to rally 'round the front-runner, have become a collection of distinct, disconsolate camps. Barack Obama and John Edwards are just now having at it, and each is touching distinct themes in the final appeals to Iowa voters. Obama seems more in the tradition of the early-20th-century progressives, middle-class reformers who sought to clean up politics to restore a functioning democracy. Edwards is more in the tradition of the early-20th-century populists, railing at the monied interests that really ran the country. But Obama is a rather populist progressive, a onetime community organizer who understands the power of organized popular protest...

Hard-Liners for Jesus

It's Christmas, a holiday that couldn't be better calibrated to expose the Republicans' rank, fetid hypocrisy. How is the party of "moral values" also the party of torture and xenophobia?

As Christians across the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, it's a fitting moment to contemplate the mountain of moral, and mortal, hypocrisy that is our Christianized Republican Party. There's nothing new, of course, about the Christianization of the GOP. Seven years ago, when debating Al Gore, then-candidate George W. Bush was asked to identify his favorite philosopher and answered "Jesus." This year, however, the Christianization of the party reached new heights with Mitt Romney's declaration that he believed in Jesus as his savior, in an effort to stanch the flow of "values voters" to Mike Huckabee. My concern isn't the rift that has opened between Republican political practice and the vision of the nation's Founders, who made very clear in the Constitution that there would be no religious test for officeholders in their enlightened new republic. Rather, it's the gap between the teachings of the Gospels and the preachings of the Gospel's Own Party that has widened past...

The Long and the Short

Covering the unfolding presidential race while also looking ahead to the challenges that will face the Democrats if they win the White House.

This month, the Prospect goes both long and short. In the print magazine, we address what the Democrats, if they win both the White House and Congress next year, should do about the profound, long-term challenges confronting America. Online, we are providing continuous reporting and commentary on both parties' primary contests, to which end we are dispatching our reporters to all the key early states. You can find all our election coverage at www.prospect.org/election . Should the Democrats take the White House next year, the new president may well have to begin by facing the kind of problem that we're not accustomed to thinking of as long-term: a recession. Economists are now giving even odds that a recession will soon be upon us. My own wager is that if the recession comes, it won't look like any of the recessions we've had since World War II. Indeed, ending this recession may require the kind of far-reaching economic reforms we've not seen since Franklin Roosevelt tackled the Great...

Labor Goes Global

The new Council of Global Unions seeks to do what the labor movement hasn't yet accomplished: grant workers access to the new global prosperity.

"We haven't been reacting quickly enough," says Guy Ryder, who heads a newly merged global union federation, the International Trade Union Conference. "That's a fair criticism." What labor hasn't reacted to quickly enough is simply, and hugely, the globalization of the economy. Over the past three decades, virtually every major business has become transnational, and the world labor force has doubled in size, chiefly because of the entry of the Chinese and Indian workforces. The share of the world's workers represented by unions, accordingly, has dramatically declined. So has the bargaining power of national unions with global employers. Which is why a series of meetings this week at the AFL-CIO's conference center in Silver Spring is, one way or another, historic. In a kind of counter-Davos (the annual gathering of world business elites in Switzerland), union leaders from 64 nations gathered under the umbrella of yet another new group, the Council of Global Unions, to begin what they...

The Obama Newness

In politics, being the fresh face on the block isn't always the key to victory. Can Obama's promise to free us from identity politics overcome his outsider status?

The economy may be slowing, but the stock of newness is on the rise. The crises that the administration found and made and exploited for political advantage do not loom quite so large; the public's eagerness to move past the Bush wars, both foreign and domestic, is palpable. In this election cycle, newness, I think, will have its own distinct appeal, and advantage goes to the candidate who can most clearly signal a break from those controversies and idiocies of our public life of which most of the public has wearied. Andrew Sullivan, in the current Atlantic , argues that Barack Obama, by virtue of his age, his outsider status, his faith, his against-the-political-system rhetoric, his race and his very identity, is the first credible candidate who promises to move the nation beyond the cultural-political wars of the '60s. To Sullivan, Obama is a candidate who transcends our 40-year conflict over cultural identity -- if not absolutely, at least by contrast with such figures as Rudy...