DONALD TRUMP AND THE POLITICS OF PERSONALITY:
To Understand Trumpism, Look Abroad!
Richard E. Rubenstein
Despite the deluge of articles, tweets, photos, and jokes about Donald Trump, there has been very little discussion of the obvious parallels to Trump and Trumpism in other countries. Perhaps, this is because it’s easier either to idolize Trump or dismiss him if one considers him a uniquely American character – a modern P.T. Barnum, or a Jay Gatsby. The Donald is an American product, of course. But we will never understand him or appreciate the seriousness of his campaign unless we look at similar figures outside our own boundaries and traditions.
Here is a quiz. Who am I talking about when I describe an … read more...
FROM CULTURES OF VIOLENCE TO CULTURES OF PEACE: THE PROBLEM OF VIOLENT SYSTEMS
SPEECH TO PRESIDENT’S FOUNDATION ON THE WELLBEING OF SOCIETY
SAN ANTON PALACE, MALTA, MAY 11, 2015
Richard E. Rubenstein
[Note: Prof. Rich Rubenstein was invited to address the President’s Foundation on the Wellbeing of Society by its director, Dr. Ruth Farrugia, an expert on family law and human rights on the Faculty of Law of the University of Malta. The President of Malta, H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, spoke first about the Foundation and its work on behalf of children, the disabled, and other marginalized groups, and its strong interests in gender equality, interfaith dialogue, and peace. Dr. Farrugia then introduced the speaker, whose remarks follow.] … read more...
Prof. Rich Rubenstein speaks on “Alternatives to the War on Terror” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 12:15 pm at the Temple Baptist Church on Nebraska Ave., N.W., on the American University campus. All are welcome to attend. … read more...
Here is an article that I wrote for the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution Newsletter, March 2015 issue. Comments, as always, are welcome.
THE ESCALATING “WAR ON TERROR”:
IS THERE A ROLE FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION?
Richard E. Rubenstein
University Professor, S-CAR
Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated film, American Sniper (2014), the most profitable war movie ever made in the United States, encapsulates the problem of thinking about America’s “war on terror.” Most of the film’s crucial scenes are shown from the point of view of Chris Kyle, the heroic Navy SEAL sniper. From the very start, the visual and moral field narrows down to what Kyle sees through the scope of his high-powered rifle: an Iraqi mother hiding an anti-tank grenade … read more...
Here’s an article I wrote on Pope Innocent III, the most powerful pope of the Middle Ages, as both an inspiration and a warning to Pope Francis. I wrote about Innocent in my book, ARISTOTLE’S CHILDREN, and think of him often now that Francis occupies the Holy See. I think Francis does, too.
A MODEL FOR POPE FRANCIS?
INNOCENT III AS AN INSPIRATION AND A WARNING
Richard E. Rubenstein
There is a natural tendency to compare Pope Francis’s attitudes and actions to those of his sainted namesake from Assisi. The first Francis was also a vehement critic of clerical luxury and power seeking, a partisan of the poor and outcast, a lover of all God’s creatures (including His animals), an … read more...
DAN SNYDER, THE REDSKINS, AND THE CURSE OF THE CHIMARIKO
As I sat before my TV set watching the Washington Redskins lose again, this time suffering an ignominious shutout at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals, I decided that enough was enough. Whatever innocent sports fans may think, the disastrous Redskins’ performance of the past few years is no accident. Before a poor season gives way to something worse, perhaps even to some lethal “accident,” it is time to tell what a few other scholars know about the real source of these shattering defeats.
I am an old man now – a college professor near the end of a long teaching career. But in my younger days I … read more...
Here’s a brilliant analysis by the basketball legend. The question is: how to turn these insights into political organization?
The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race
from Time Magazine
Aug. 17, 2014
Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?
The answer can be found in May of 1970.
You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine … read more...
John Judis’s judicious article on Gaza is well worth reading (as is his recent book on “Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict”). You may wonder, however, whether his concluding pessimistic paragraph doesn’t miss an important point. The U.S. Secretary of State is not the best person to negotiate a truce between Israel and Hamas, unless he is willing to strong-arm the Israelis. A facilitator independent of all governments and parties would have a better chance of helping both sides to reassess their basic needs and interests.
In any case, here is Judis’s take on the conflict:
July 25, 2014
Who Bears More Responsibility for the War in Gaza?
Like almost all conflicts that have occurred in … read more...
Rich and Susan in Israel/Palestine, June 2014: A Shortish Report
July 18, 2014
We returned recently from a memorable trip to Israel/Palestine and wanted to give family and friends a relatively brief report on our activities there. It would have been briefer if Rich could have foregone making a few observations of his own prompted by the experience – but the leopard cannot change his spots.
The world changes so quickly! Since returning from the Middle East, Rich has had his cardiac plumbing reconfigured, Susan has become a grandmother again, and Israel and Hamas have gone to war in Gaza. None of these events is included in this report, although they cannot help but shadow it. Our thoughts this week … read more...
The posting below is from my clear-sighted son, Matt, in Berlin:
It’s always 700:1 for Israel.
We’re only at the beginning of another horrendous Israeli military assault on Gaza, and already the Israelosphere, including people I know and respect, is trotting out all the familiar tropes: Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”; Israel is the victim of a “double standard” in the media; “no Democracy on earth” would just sit by and let its people get attacked by terrorists; and my favorite new addition to the litany: Israel loves gays, the Arabs hate them. As usual, this can pretty much all be boiled down to a single claim: “we” are better, so our violence is acceptable, regardless … read more...