Roundtable Overview

by James Fallows

Conclusion   [Nov 6] 

Harold Meyerson
"Unless you're viewing this election from somewhere beyond Saturn, the differences are perceptible, large, and important. Big enough, certainly, for progressives to vote for Al Gore." Read on...

E. J. Dionne Jr.
"I'd like to suggest that there is good reason for the country to be guardedly optimistic about the future, and progressives especially so. And I say that without any illusions about the current boom continuing forever." Read on...

Christopher Caldwell
"Barbara, it made me despair to see you tooting the horn of proportional representation. It's poison, just a way for radicals to turn an inefficiently working (but generally decent) political system over to fascists and Bohemian weirdos." Read on...

Barbara Ehrenreich
"A war on drugs replaces a war on poverty; the prison population surges while the welfare population sinks.... I keep hoping for a candidate who truly believes and prophetically proclaims that government can be put to better uses. This time around, only one candidate came close to doing so, and he of course never had a chance. " Read on...

What Do You Think?
Join the debate in a special conference of Post & Riposte. We'll highlight selected readers' remarks as the Roundtable progresses.

Round Two   [Nov 3] 

Barbara Ehrenreich
"If Gore were to pass over the subject of welfare reform with the appropriate stammerings and mortified blushes, maybe I wouldn't be feeling so bitter. But he actually takes credit for it." Read on...

Christopher Caldwell
"Claim, if you want, that Bush's agenda 'surpasses anything that Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher even dared to suggest.' But remember that Bill Clinton has enacted stuff that neither Reagan nor Thatcher even dared to dream of." Read on...

E. J. Dionne Jr.
"No, this is not an election between a libertarian and a socialist. That's the case not because party bosses or big capital imposed this choice on us but because the vast majority of the voters are neither libertarians nor socialists." Read on...

Harold Meyerson
"Progressives have to choose between the man and the movement. They have to choose between a third party whose electoral strategy is to set the left against itself, and a labor movement without which no progressive American future can even be envisioned." Read on...

Round One   [Nov 1] 

Christopher Caldwell
"This election matters less than any in our lifetime. There are no important issues separating the candidates -- none." Read on...

E. J. Dionne Jr.
"Conservative activists understand how high the stakes are in this election. What's odd is that so many on the liberal and left sides of the debate insist that the election doesn't matter." Read on...

Barbara Ehrenreich
"It's painful to watch Gore struggle uphill against the silliest Republican candidate in about two decades, and even more painful, in a personal sense, to watch Democratic loyalists blame Nader for their troubles." Read on...

Harold Meyerson
"Ever since Ralph Reed signed on to the Bush campaign and told his conservative compadres to hold their tongues, it's been clear that W could call for collective farms and no one on the right would bat an eye." Read on...

Previous Roundtables

We're All Environmentalists Now. Right? (September 13-20, 2000)
The state of the earth's biosphere ought to be a major issue -- perhaps the major issue -- of the 2000 presidential campaign. Yet, thus far, it is not. Eileen Claussen, Gregg Easterbrook, Mary A. Gade, and Bill McKibben join us for an interactive discussion on environmental priorities and political necessities, hosted by The Atlantic's Jack Beatty.

Picking a Good Fight (April 6-17, 2000)
After Somalia, after Haiti, after Bosnia, after Rwanda, after Kosovo, after East Timor, after Chechnya, does "humanitarian intervention" have a future? Robert D. Kaplan, Edward Luttwak, David Rieff, and Benjamin Schwarz join us for an interactive roundtable hosted by The Atlantic's Cullen Murphy.

Does Clinton Matter? (January 26-February 9, 2000)
How long a shadow will Bill Clinton cast over the 2000 presidential race? An interactive discussion featuring Jack Beatty, David Brooks, David Corn, and Sean Wilentz.

My So-Called Generation (August 11-25, 1999)
Can there be such a thing as a Generation X political agenda? Who are these Xers, anyway -- and who speaks for them? An interactive discussion featuring Tucker Carlson, Farai Chideya, Andrew Shapiro, Scott Stossel, and Ted Halstead, the author of The Atlantic's August cover story.

More Roundtables.