WarGames (1983): Forgotten Classic of the Cold War Era
Blade Runner: Still Boring After All These Years (1983)
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and the Joys of Overacting (1982)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: The Importance of Curiosity and Compassion (1982)
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Trump, Hitler & Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) [available on Disney+]
The Politics of 1980s Movies
Could Franklin Roosevelt’s Playbook Work for Joe Biden?
Mark Zuckerberg may have solved a major problem for Joe Biden. This week, a Wall Street Journal report revealed that Facebook has largely failed to act on internal research suggesting that its algorithms are helping to drive people apart. One Facebook researcher, Monica Lee, even found that “64% of all extremist group joins are due to our recommendation tools.”
And then, in an interview that aired on Fox News on Thursday, Zuckerberg criticized Twitter for fact-checking one of President Trump’s tweets, remarkingthat “Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online.”
Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout will probably shape the presidential campaign. But while Biden has criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic, he has struggled to reach Americans with his vision for the country.
The 1932 campaign of Franklin Roosevelt, which took place amid the Great Depression, might offer Biden a playbook for navigating a presidential race in a time of crisis. Indeed, he might be able to use Zuckerberg’s controversial management of Facebook to rectify this problem. The then-New York governor chose not to attack President Herbert Hoover directly and almost never referred to him by name. Roosevelt instead let the administration’s slow response to the economic crisis speak for itself, while relying on emotional messages condemning the overarching unfairness of the United States’ existing economic structure. But he knew that he still needed a boogeyman to make his campaign effective.
Is Donald Trump Following in the Ruinous Footsteps of Calvin Coolidge?
His inactivity has a historical parallel, one that should concern all Americans: Calvin Coolidge and the tumultuous, ultimately disastrous economy of the 1920s.
Could bicycles help save the planet and improve our cities?
Joe Biden’s Biggest Flaw: We Need Big Constitutional Reforms.
Joe Biden spent most of last night’s debate on his positions from years past. But none of these attacks touched on one of his most troubling beliefs: his insistence that our constitutional system can , helping us forge consensus and check the abuse of power so rampant under President Trump. This belief puts him out of step with his party and the times.
Other top Democratic contenders, particularly Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, have disagreed, forcefully backing constitutional reform. Shortly after announcing his candidacy, Buttigieg , “I think the first thing you have to do is move on democratic reform….We are living in a time when we’ve got to fix the engine of our democracy,” suggesting structural reforms that included replacing the Electoral College and eliminating the Senate filibuster.
Warren and Buttigieg are right to call for these reforms. After all, the Constitution was the result of numerous compromises designed to ensure that all 13 colonies, slave and free, small and large, would acquiesce to the governing system. The resulting structure, never particularly equitable or democratic, has been exposed as fatally flawed. Agreed upon more than two centuries ago, it has allowed deep political polarization to flourish as huge ideological disparities grow between white, predominately rural voters and those in more diverse suburban and urban areas.