How bad is the COVID surge going to get?

I received this disturbing and heart-wrenching message from a worker at an Iowa healthcare facility: “We are fighting a battle that we just can’t win here. No matter what we do, no matter how careful we are, I know without a shadow of a doubt that all our people WILL GET this thing. It has taken on a life of its own. A third of our people have COVID and half of our staff has it. We are drowning!!!!!!!” Continue Reading →

52 conversations with Trump voters

In 2021, a key collaboration between the Fallon Forum and Bold Iowa will be “Fifty-two Conversations With Trump Voters.” Each week, I’ll have an hour-long conversation with someone who voted for Donald Trump. I’ll publish a summary of that conversation in my weekly blog and also interview that voter during my talk show.

This will, no doubt, anger some of you. “Ed, how dare you give any more coverage to those people!”

A key element of our way out of the current divide is through dialogue. I reject the rhetoric that most Trump voters are racists, misogynists, and “deplorable” — as Hillary Clinton so memorably referred to half of Trump’s supporters in 2016. Continue Reading →

Damn the Trumpedoes, we’re planting artichokes

Last month, I wrote that for Trump to win, he would have to pull it off in the courts. I thought then that a good old-fashion military coup wouldn’t work because so many high-ranking officials were anti-Trump. Yet with Trump tightening his grip on the various tentacles of national defense, appointing solid Trump loyalists to key positions, a military coup may be his backup plan if the judicial coup fails. Continue Reading →

Meet the next next president of the United States

If Joe Biden wins next week — and really, even if he doesn’t — the smart money says his running mate, Kamala Harris, has the inside track on being the Democratic Party’s next nominee, and quite possibly the next next president. While Harris wasn’t my first, second, or even third choice in the Iowa Caucuses, I’m cautiously comfortable considering her as president. Continue Reading →

Is the risk of fascism overblown?

The good Goldmans and I dig into the history of fascism and discuss whether concerns about America going full-out fascist are overblown, election-year, scare-the-voter hype. The short answer is no, such concerns are not overblown. The risk is real, and the parallels to 1930s Germany are too striking to ignore. The bottom line is this: Vote as if your life and our democracy depend on it! Continue Reading →

I won’t do what Biden told me to do

You might recall that, in a video captured by Kathy Byrnes at a campaign rally last January, Joe Biden told me, “Go vote for someone else.” Well, I’m not going to do that. I’m voting for Joe Biden because, even though climate leaders may disagree with Biden on specifics, we can work with him. The best I can hope from climate denier Donald Trump is to get thrown out of his rallies. Continue Reading →

At the polls or by mail — VOTE!

My column last week created some confusion, sorry. The title was Don’t Vote by Mail!, and if that’s as far as you got, you might have thought I was telling people either to vote at the polls or not at all. Never! Going forward, I’ll try to be more diligent in my selection of titles, remembering that’s are as far as some readers get. Beyond that, thanks to conversations with election officials last week, I’m now more confident that when Iowans cast their votes by mail or at the county auditor’s office, they will be counted. Continue Reading →

Grassley seals his legacy

“You’ll be remembered as just another career politician who buried his conscience deep in the back forty while succumbing to the flagrant partisanship of ambitious, self-serving men like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell — men who never had an ounce of integrity to start with. You, Senator, have become a hypocrite.” Continue Reading →

Are you checked in or checked out?

Perhaps the strongest voice for civic engagement is … Erik Hagerman himself. In that Times story, Hagerman says, “I had been paying attention to the news for decades and I never did anything with it.” Well, that’s your first problem, Erik. You should’ve done something.

Because as my friend Miriam Kashia likes to say, “Action is the antidote to despair.” Continue Reading →