Future of the Free World: Yes, that’s at stake on tomorrow’s ballots, but not just in the U.S. presidential race. Instead, when it comes to climate change, some of the most important policy decisions will be made at the state level—both as a sidebar to other questions of market and government reform, like in Colorado and Nevada, and also on energy-focused ballot initiatives like those in Florida and Washington. That Washington debate, over what would be the first carbon-tax measure in the U.S., is particularly interesting: Despite its groundbreaking possibilities, it’s opposed by many environmentalists. Meanwhile, if you need more motivation to save the planet, a new documentary, Planet Earth II, presents a gorgeous celebration of the world’s wildlife. Read a review here—and, if you’re a U.S. citizen, remember to vote tomorrow. You know where The Atlanticstands.
Marian Cannon Schlesinger, who was 8 when women gained the right to vote, reflects on her mother’s feminist activism and what it would mean to see a woman in the White House.
Graham Allison, a nuclear proliferation expert, considers the prospect of a nuclear threat during a Trump presidency. “Our commander-in-chief is the only person who stands between us and the possibility of getting blown to hell,” he says. “Whether [Trump] would be impetuous, or impatient, or not know the material, we just don’t know.”
The crisis figures are familiar, but remain unfathomable—one in 113 people displaced “by conflict and persecution in 2015;” and 54 percent of 21 million refugees from just three volatile countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. It’s easy to be numbed by the numbers. Or even actively repelled—across Europe and the United States, 2016 has seen a surge of anti-refugeeprotests and rhetoricconflating refugees and terrorists—sentiments that influence elections and produce significant legislative and societal results. In a sense, the refugee crisis has helped generate a corresponding crisis in empathy.
But if national and international political solutions seem sluggish or even impossible, what hope is there for refugees in the meantime if not for the empathy of individuals? Where there is a confluence of human suffering and nationalistic backlash, can empathy be taught, sparked, or successfully deployed?
An investigation into whatever happened at the FBI is not simply a matter of punishing the director for his error/malfeasance, but actually investigating a disturbing series of events at the nation’s national largest law enforcement agency. It wasn’t just Comey. Credible reports indicate that (1) Comey acted in part because he knew an anti-Clinton faction at the FBI would leak it first; and (2) that there is a rogue faction at the FBI that was pushing against FBI and DOJ orders to investigate a public candidate for office and to leak damaging information and innuendo at a critical time in the election season. At the very least, the director is unable to control his bureau. What happened absolutely needs to be investigated, and whatever bad actors responsible need to be rooted out. If there is a larger cultural problem at the FBI, that needs to be exposed and fixed.
Otherwise, this will continue. And not just in elections.
Now, we’re hoping to bring you, our readers, into the conversation. And we’d like to hear your stories from your own working life. What does it mean to make it in America? Have you managed to climb to the top of your industry? Or, despite your best efforts, have you struggled to make ends meet? Please send us a brief note via email@example.com, and we’ll post some of the responses as part of an upcoming project.