Our lead package in this issue turns attention to the most overlooked political species in America: the red-state liberal. We know all about blue-state liberals and red-state conservatives; and Lord knows, after last year’s election, we’ve read thousands of articles on those disaffected red Americans in erstwhile blue states.
That’s understandable—they turned the election. But we kept wondering, what about their opposite number? They exist. We want our (largely) blue-state readers to know that there are liberals like Mary Wolf, the Oklahoma writer who penned our lead essay, whose liberalism is rock-solid but is nevertheless different in some important ways from Cambridge or Williamsburg (Brooklyn, not Colonial) liberalism. We want our readers to know that there are people like Lydia Bean, Sue Malek, Alvin McEwen, and Jennifer Riley-Collins, trying to do progressive work in some tough places (Texas, Montana, South Carolina, and Mississippi, respectively). And finally, we’re thrilled that the package includes a very smart and specific set of ideas from former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the rural agenda progressives should pursue.
Also among this issue’s features: an engrossing excerpt from the new book by E.J. Dionne Jr., Thomas Mann, and Norman Ornstein on the new category of intellectuals—the “neomoderates”—who might help us survive the Age of Trump. Eric Alterman lays out the case that the anti-Israel “BDS” movement is discrediting the broad left and helping the right in Israel and elsewhere. Pew demographer Paul Taylor asks the pointed question of whether Baby Boomers are willing to do enough to support the younger generations. And Laura Rosenberger and Jamie Fly of the German Marshall Fund offer a richly detailed and informed assessment of the state of our cyber-security efforts.
We’re honored to welcome the distinguished Marcia Angell, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, to our pages, responding to the recent cover essay on health care by Harold Pollack. And in the books section, the journalist Sarah Wildman reviews an important new book on the refugee crisis, while the historian Marjorie J. Spruill explains the role played by women in sustaining white supremacy in the South during the twentieth century.