Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Paul Booth, 1943-2018

Jobs With Justice
Six days ago, I was having an email exchange with the author of a piece I was editing on how Democrats can both turn out their base and reach out to voters outside their base in the 2018 midterms. We were going back and forth on three points in the piece—chiefly, on whether Latinos could be said to have realigned themselves more toward the Democrats during the 1990s (the author’s position) or whether so many new Latino voters came forth during that decade that their Democratic shift was more a surge than a realignment (my position). After dredging up the exit poll percentages from the California gubernatorial elections of 1990, 1994, and 1998, and doing the numerical calculations (candidate preference percentage times Latino share of the electorate times raw number of votes cast) to come up with the steadily declining number of Latino votes for the Republican gubernatorial candidates in those three elections, the author quietly and indisputably won his point. He then added...

Trump's Anti-Immigrant Racism Has a Long, Ugly History

Cheriss May/Sipa via AP Images
With each passing day, the Trump administration looks more and more like a replay of the 1920s racist, nativist far right. Trump’s latest infamy, his shithole sonata, almost faithfully recreates the Klan-fed sentiment that gave rise to the Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924, which created a quota system for immigrants that greatly favored those from northern, “Nordic” Europe. (It did this by admitting immigrants according to the national-origin breakdown of immigrants in the 1890 census—thereby favoring immigrants from the United Kingdom and Germany, and all but excluding Jews, Italians, Slavs, and other undesirables, while totally excluding Asians, Latin Americans, and Africans.) Representative Albert Johnson, the bill’s co-author, was a member in good standing of the Klan, but you didn’t actually have to buy a sheet to believe in Nordic superiority. The 1916 pseudo-scientific bestseller, Madison Grant’s The Passing of the Great Race ,...

Is Manufacturing’s Future All Used Up?

Though the efforts to revive our much shrunken industrial sector may seem quixotic, manufacturing still matters to the nation’s economy—and its psyche.

Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters By Louis Uchitelle The New Press This article appears in the Winter 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . Of all the titans of our new Gilded Age, the only one to attain the status of culture hero was—and still is—Steve Jobs. This wasn’t simply a function of his personal magnetism, though he certainly outshone such apparently amiable schlubs as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and the cipher that is Jeff Bezos. It was also because, unlike his fellow creators of cyberspace, Jobs produced the tactile, palpable portals into cyberspace. He made things—handheld objects that changed people’s lives. And yet, few of his fans think of Jobs as a manufacturer. Certainly, his biographer, Water Isaacson, doesn’t. In his lengthy 2011 biography of Jobs, there’s only one glancing reference to the massive Chinese factories where iPhones and other Apple products are assembled—a stray...

The First Thanksgiving, Trickle-Down Version

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
trickle-downers.jpg And it came to pass that in their second year in the New Land, the Pilgrims enjoyed a bountiful harvest. Some said that it was the Savage Indians who taught the Pilgrims which crops would flourish in the New Land’s Strange Soil, though others disputed that (see-eth below). And it came to pass that to celebrate the harvest, the Leader of the Pilgrims, Venerable Donald, also known to his Pilgrim Brothers as “the Shining Hairpiece on the Hill,” decreed a Feast of Thanksgiving. And both the Pilgrims and the Savage Indians brought heaping portions of food to Venerable Donald to distribute for the Feast. “Cook it well,” Venerable Donald commanded. “When I eat-eth turkey, I like it well cooked.” “And when thou grab-eth pussy, thou likest it rare?” piped up Goody Wiseacre, whom the Pilgrims burned for her Witchery the following day. “Heretical. Sad!” Venerable Donald replied. And he sat-eth down at the table...

The GOP’s Suburban Collapse

(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Three years ago, when he ran for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, Republican politician Ed Gillespie carried the big Washington, D.C., semi-suburban, semi-exurban Loudoun County by a narrow margin. Last night, running for governor against Democrat Ralph Northam, he lost it by 20 percentage points. The Loudoun result epitomizes the Revolt of the Anti-Trump suburbs, which not only yielded a surprisingly large 9-point victory for Northam but may even have enabled the Democrats to win a majority, or come damned close to it, in the commonwealth’s House of Delegates—which required a pick-up of 17 seats in the 100-seat house. No one was expecting that. To be sure, Gillespie won by Trumpian margins in Virginia’s rural southwest, but like most of rural America, this is a region that is losing population even as the suburbs and exurbs continue to grow. It’s a white working-class region, where Republicans still thrive, but in Virginia, as in most...

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