Countering Authoritarianism in the US and Elsewhere
Today, the very idea of diversity within a democracy has fueled authoritarian, ethnonationalist, and xenophobic movements in the US and across the globe. While all nations need a unified vision and narrative about who they are, the existential question of national identity is uniquely difficult yet momentous for diverse democracies. Read more >
Kendra Abkowitz: Finding Common Ground for Sustainability in Tennessee2023-04-11T11:22:36-05:00
Kendra Abkowitz has been an advocate for sustainable solutions to climate change, initially in the Tennessee state government and now in Nashville. In a state that has embraced climate denialism and attacks on democracy that are part of the national culture war, she finds ways to move with the current while still advancing the cause of sustainability and resilience.
“You do the math. You solve one problem, then you solve the next one and then the next and if you solve enough problems you get to come home.”
Access to Healthcare
Many Americans lack access to affordable healthcare. Access is limited by high cost, lack of insurance coverage, and a shortage of healthcare providers. Efforts in government to resolve these problems are deeply polarizing and typically provoke powerful industry interests that stand in the way of expanding access. Yet, the complex marketplace for healthcare services doesn’t always incentivize better care for more people.
Climate change is happening now, impacting us faster and sooner than predicted. The increasingly frequent floods, wildfires, and extreme weather events are causing damage in a growing number of communities around the country that are just now realizing the meaning of climate change. The specific damage varies by region, but recent reports indicate the costly impacts of climate change are no longer only predictions of the future. Whether or not you believe in climate change, those predictions are now also descriptions of the present.
The national debt has increased in all but four years since 1980. Its ongoing rise reflects an imbalance between tax and spending policies. The higher the debt, the greater the risks – to economic growth and stability and to our ability to address the next economic crisis when it occurs. While the debt may not be the most urgent problem facing the nation, it has the potential to undermine our ability to respond to those issues that demand action such as climate change and access to healthcare.
Threats to Voting Rights
The lie of a stolen election, the January 6 attack on Congress to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results, and the candidacies of hundreds of election deniers is putting at risk the very heart of our democracy – the right of all eligible citizens to vote and have their vote counted. Add in the volatile mix of Americans who now think democracy no longer works and those who no longer support the separation of church and state, and it becomes clear that we are in a struggle to preserve what President Ronald Reagan called “the shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.”
The American Leader offers an outcomes-driven journalism that goes beyond the endless conflicts and debates and focuses instead on what Americans do so well – solve problems. Often hidden beneath the surface of the 24/7 stream of headlines and attention seekers is a deep bench of American leaders who are attempting bold or innovative ideas to solve the systemic problems that shape our lives. Like noise-cancelling headphones, we’ll eliminate the distortions, distractions, and obfuscations of the news cycle, so that you can learn from these leaders, get inspired, and do something that makes life a little better for your community.