Harold Meyerson

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

Recent Articles

Follow the Money Laundering

Just how good is American liberalism's inner ear? Defending an open society in the wake of September's attacks demands that we strike the right balance between security and liberty, between the first of the Declaration of Independence's inalienable rights and the second; and that we remind our countrymen that in a battle of ideals with a closed society, liberty and tolerance can be the most potent weapons in our arsenal. Even so, we'll also need some more conventional weapons along the way. This insistence on openness, on the primacy of liberal ideals, stands in clear contrast to those, within the administration and without, who see the conflict as fundamentally military. And it is largely beside the point to those on both the right and the left who view the attacks as less an external threat to us than a divine or historical judgment upon us. As both Jerry Falwell and various left-wing activists and critics see it, America truly is the Great Satan, and our current course of action...

Bombs and Butter

By night, we drop bombs; by day, we drop peanut butter and jelly. Our daytime rounds, at least at the outset of the campaign, seem more symbolic than our nightly ones; the amount of food we're delivering from the sky does not make up for the amount of food that no longer can be delivered on the ground now that our counterattack has begun. Still, the operational side of the U.S. offensive in Afghanistan looks, in its first few days, about right. The facts on the ground there--the relative absence of the kind of infrastructure to which our air force could lay waste--have precluded a Curtis LeMay, bomb-'em-back-to-the-Stone-Age offensive. The need to build an anti-Taliban coalition, and to keep the Middle East from a further turn toward militant Islamic fundamentalism, has impelled us to target our strikes carefully--though any claims to surgical precision are ludicrous. For the same political reasons, we are scattering our happy meals from on high. Plainly, we need to do a lot more...

Without DeLay

Nothing divides the labor movement like a good city election. To watch the calculus of narrow self-interest play out in the scrambled union endorsements of candidates in this month's New York mayoral primary is to be grateful that all politics isn't literally local--that at least rudimentary concerns of ideology tend to loom larger in state and national contests. In the several recent presidential elections, the national labor movement has gone to great lengths to unite behind a single Democratic candidate early and to stay unified. Though some of these candidates were not everything labor might have wished, a look at the fragmentation in many local elections gives one a new appreciation for the unity-above-all strategy. To be sure, the four-way contest for the Democratic nomination, culminating in the September 11 primary, hasn't exactly been a rousing battle of ideas--or one, for that matter, of contesting political forces or charismatic candidates. "So far, this is a race where...