On Democracy

A collection of articles by Tucker Lieberman. Yes, these may evolve into a book. No, not yet.

The codes “DD” and “DMB” are just the names of two blogs. The code “BAOS” is a publication on Medium.

Apart from Medium’s paywall which may kick in after you’ve read a few articles, all of these articles are free to read online. You are welcome to read, share, and use the commenting features on each article.

Dialogue and Civility

The forces behind political polarization (DD)

Political parties are supposed to present positions and uphold principles. Ideally. (DD)

How does one gain political converts? (DD)

On public shaming of, and service denial to, political officials (DD)

Still waiting for a better answer on ‘How to Be Right’ (DD)

Use bipartisan energy to rein in power (DD)

When conflicting perspectives are opportunities to learn about oneself and others (DMB)

When We Disagree On Politics and I Lose a Friend (Medium)

Human dignity: Finding a secular justification (DD)

On Decency: Defending Transgender Rights (JewishBoston, August 2018)

“Undisguised Acceptance: Why I’m Voting Yes on 3” (Shalom Magazine, Fall/Rosh Hashanah 2018, p. 51)

None of us are ‘animals’ (JewishBoston, May 2018)

Societies have shared beliefs, not absolute truths (DMB)

On tolerating intolerance: Thoughts from ‘The Atheist Muslim’ (DMB)

Avoiding and correcting false beliefs (DMB)

Truth is a bully (DMB)

Are there correct answers to moral questions? Yes, says atheist Sam Harris (DMB)

Hobbes: Learn the “Rules of Civil Life” and Stop Civil War (DMB)


Trump’s response to the Christchurch mosque shootings (DD)

Reactions to unpresidential retweets of Britain First (DD)

Ways one oughtn’t respond to anti-Semitic domestic terrorism (DD)

“The Solidarity We Need: On Resisting Antisemitism” (Shalom Magazine, Chanukah 2019, pp. 30-31)

On Jewish, Black, and transgender hate crime statistics (DD)

Denying the denialists (DMB)

Anti-Semitic and white privilege strings that pull the ‘War on Christmas’ (DD)

Where you can donate to support anti-racist efforts in the US right now (DD)

Young people joining a violent group in a search for meaning (DD)

House Democrats Voted to Censure POTUS for July 14 Racist Tweets. Republicans Said…? (Medium)

Will Congressional Republicans condemn POTUS for sharing the ‘White Power’ video? (Medium)

U.S.-Mexico Border

Three weeks, no shower, and ‘Kafka By Way of Orwell’ (DD)

Psychological effects of separating kids from parents (DD)

What YOU can do to END concentration camps in the United States (DD)

Dispatches from the US/Mexico border (June-September 2019) (DD)

How the Trump administration plans to erect a border wall in 2020 (DD)


Rick Perry’s support for outlawing gay sex (DD)

Scott Lively’s candidacy for governor of Massachusetts: On LGBT issues (DD)

Roy Moore’s movement to promote the Ten Commandments in American civic life (DMB)

2017 U.S. Senate race in Alabama: Roy Moore’s candidacy and Doug Jones’ win (DD)

So-called ‘religious freedom’ order would allow discrimination based on sexuality and gender (DD)

‘This is Pride Month’: So simple, even a burrito can do it (DD)

Hurt me 15 degrees less: On cruelty, fear, justice, order, and challenging the conservative white evangelical worldview (DD)

Lessons in a ten-year-old NYT op-ed against same-sex marriage (DD)

Two major federal actions against transgender rights in the US – Nov. 23, 2018 (DD)

The latest screed against gender transition (National Review, Aug 2016) (DD)

10 failed arguments in 1,000 words: The latest anti-transgender screed (DD)

Logical errors in ‘Gender Identity and the Invisible Pasta God’ (DD)

Of course you can feel like a girl: Reflections on a recent anti-transgender essay (DD)

Jordan Peterson on gender quotas in politics (re: National Post article, Dec. 11, 2018) (DMB)

Gay political values examined in ‘Homocons’ by Richard Goldstein (DMB)

Human Rights Don’t ‘Trickle-Down’ (Medium)

How Trump scored himself 36 points on LGBTQ rights — and why that’s a failing grade (Medium)


Evangelicals disappointed in Trump’s character (DD)

Will organized religion ‘take ownership’ of the President? (DMB)

Van Jones: We are called to ‘a personal and spiritual accounting’ (DD)

Is the American soul sick? Differing perspectives in ‘The Left Hand of God’ and ‘Tempting Faith’ (DD)

‘The Good News Club’: Katherine Stewart’s book on evangelical Christianity in U.S. public schools (DD)

‘Unholy’: White American evangelicals’ reverence for Trump (DD)

How patriarchy lends itself to militarism (on Jesus and John Wayne) (Medium – BAOS)

American history to explain ‘How did we get here?’ (on American Rule) (Medium – BAOS)

Will Trump succeed in repealing the Johnson Amendment? (And why does he want to?) (DD)

Why do conservative American Christians feel discriminated against? A 2019 debate (DD)

Conscience and Religious Freedom…isn’t (DD)

Praying with the U.S. president (DD)

Ross Douthat’s “WASP nostalgia” NYT columns in Dec 2018 (DMB)

‘God Is Not One’: A book on acknowledging religious differences (DD)

Don’t believe everything the sacred book says (DD)

How many Americans believe the Bible is the ‘Word of God’? (DD)

When the Republican U.S. presidential candidates in 2008 were asked about the Bible (DD)

The long and misguided history of swearing in on Bibles (DMB)

The Bible may be worth studying, but it doesn’t contribute to science (DMB)

Where the Bible contradicts itself (DMB)

The ‘Evolution Academic Freedom Act’ and the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools (DD)

Kentucky creationism theme park is not to get $18 million in tax breaks (DD)


Nation, religion, language: Amin Maalouf on identity (DD)

Reaction to Mark Lilla’s ‘The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics’ (DD)

Another jab at ‘identity politics’: The anti-democratic sentence at the end of the Sept. 5, 2018 anonymous op-ed (DD)

Forming the cathedral (DMB)

On Harry G. Frankfurt’s ‘The Importance of What We Care About’ (DMB)

2016 election

Why no one should vote for Donald Trump (DD)

Meeting My Past Self While Rereading [The Trouble With Reality by Brooke Gladstone – in Medium – BAOS]

On the astonishingly morally impoverished character of Donald Trump (DD)

25th Amendment: ‘Unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office’ (DD)

Why people believe the president is mentally ‘unleashed’ (DD)

Nonsense tweets from November 2017 (DD)

James Comey: Trump presidency a “forest fire,” seen optimistically (DD)

I still don’t know why you voted for him (response to op-ed) (DD)

The moral hazard of working for a corrupt administration (DD)

Review of Cliff Sims’ ‘Team of Vipers’ (2019) (DD)

Highlights of Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’ (DD)

Fire and Fury: The role of Steve BannonTrump never intended to win the electionThe president’s odd behaviorTrump’s relationship with the media (DD)

Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen: One rejected myth, one persistent myth (DD) & A search for new language (DMB) & Why I Get My News about Trumpism from Late-Night Comedy (Medium)

Why Deal with the Devil? [It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump by Stuart Stevens – in Medium’s publication Curious]

Responses to the anonymous White House insider who wrote the NYT op-ed published 5 Sept 2018 (DD)

False claims by the Trump administration (DD)

Who ‘war’ it better?: Why it’s bogus to tweet about military prowess, especially with these numbers (DD)

Can the president use social media to promote other people’s books? (DD)

Revealing the Russian connections in the Trump White House [Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President by Michael Schmidt]

What is collusion? (DD)

The ‘quid pro quo’ in the Trump/Zelensky call transcript (DD)

Who will testify about Trump’s quid pro quo? (DD)

Is Trump’s time up? (impeachment 2019) (DD)

On the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (DD)

He Always Prints His Name on the Matchbook (Medium)

2020 election

What the Republican senator has asked Americans to do (DD)


It is not journalists’ job to vet political nominees, but…? (DD)

This is something other than condemning violence against journalists (DD)

On criticizing one’s country (DD)

Fascism and Democracy

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’: Vulnerability and American Identity (DMB)

How Big Brother achieves total control in George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ (DMB)

Is ‘Trumpism’ a cult? (DD)

On the risk of fascism in the US (DD)

Quotes: On why societies and groups trend away from democracy (DD)

Why do Americans believe they are exceptional? [American Exceptionalism and American Innocence by Roberto Sirvent and Danny Haiphong]

Simplicity and loyalty: The slide into authoritarianism [Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism by Anne Applebaum]

Democracy under bacterial attack! [Medium, re: “Power Corrupts” podcast]

Why the American president is a ‘Despot’s Apprentice’ (DD)

Four books on the strengths and frailties of democracy (DD)

What’s ‘the paradox of voting’? And why do people bother to vote? (DD)

Trump administration broke the ‘We the People’ White House petition website (DD)

Sharpiegate (DD)

Brink Lindsey’s essay on small-r republicanism in National Affairs (DD)

Quotes: Is capitalism just a phase of history? (DD)

On capitalism and compassion (DMB)

Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden’s philosophy in ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’ (DMB)

What is neoliberalism? (DD)

Understanding individualism and collectivism: Rick Perry on liberalism (DMB)

How to end violent motives, according to ‘Virtuous Violence’ (DMB)

Quotes: On the rise of militarism and the need for compromise (DD)

Primo Levi’s insights into psychology at Auschwitz (DMB)


‘Agnotology’: The study of ignorance (Episyllogism)

The effect of conspiracy theories (Episyllogism)

When to wager that a conspiracy theory is false (Episyllogism)

Is a ‘political lie’ different from a garden-variety lie? (Episyllogism)


There was no good reason for the US to invade Iraq in 2003 (DD)

The beginning of the Iraq War in 2003 (DD)

The impact of Blackwater’s 2007 shooting in Nisour Square (DD)

A look at the Blackwater controversy in Iraq (2007) (DD)

There is no good reason for the US to invade Iran in 2018 (DD)

US backing off Iran strike (June 2019) (DD)

War is still about power, not truth (DD)

For states, talking to rogue militants is a difficult choice (DMB)

North Korea nuclear policy

‘A River in Darkness’: Masaji Ishikawa’s escape from North Korea (DMB)

We regret to inform you that the world may have to be destroyed (on Trump’s cancellation of June 2018 talks with North Korea) (DD)

Twitter reactions to the North Korea/US meeting on Day 1, 12 June 2018, on Day 2, 13 June 2018, and on Day 3 and 4, 14 and 15 June 2018 (DD)

January 2020: Misrepresentations of North Korean denuclearization (DD)

No one, no matter how good, should be able to end the world (DD)


Over one century of the science of human-caused climate change (DD)

Did you ignore climate change today? (DD)

December 2017 energy news: Bail out coal, let oil and gas keep releasing methane (DD)

Eye-popping climate headlines from 2018 and 2019 (DD)

U.S. on trial for responsibility for climate change: ‘Juliana v. United States’ (DD)

Climate change will reduce U.S. GDP by 10 percent by the end of the 21st century (DD)

Nature seen as apart from humanity (DD)

Nature: matter or mater? (DD)

When ‘nature’ symbolizes life itself and human existence (DD)

Quotes on the human attempt to dominate nature (DD)

When the planet is “cognitively trapped” as “the environment” (DD)

Quotes: We need to be space age ‘crew’ who ‘think like an ecosystem’ (DD)


Being the change for peace you which to see in the world (DD)

What we all must do to make a more peaceful world (DD)

“Unplague the World” (Shalom Magazine, Spring/Passover 2018, p. 16)

“A Balanced Hope” (Shalom Magazine, Chanukah 2018, pp. 44-45)

“Your Menorah is Not in Your Window” (Shalom Magazine, Chanukah/Winter 2017, p. 22)

Liberating Foreigners, Together with Our Sisters and Brothers (Keshet, October 2006)

Taking a stand for peace: Inside or outside the tribe? (DD)

How the have-it-both-ways “moderate” can begin to break out of the armchair (DD)

Four ways philosophy can fail to point toward a better future (DMB)


Willie Parker’s ‘Life’s Work’ is informative as a physician’s perspective on abortion (DD)

Seeking a replacement ethical analysis of support for a replacement healthcare plan (DD)


Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s defense attorneys, receives $65 million in charitable funds (DD)

A new presidential directive to ‘go shopping’ (DD)

Outside the US

Fallout from Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (DD)

“Despair in the desert: Waiting for a peace agreement” (Shalom Magazine, Spring/Passover 2014, p. 42)

In 2014, Uganda decrees life imprisonment for gay people (DD)

LGBT people struggle to survive a purge in Tanzania (DD)

Tanzania requires bloggers to register with the government for exorbitant fee (DD)

The 2017 persecution of gay men in Chechnya (DD)

Hollywood celebrities protest hotel owned by the Sultan of Brunei (DD)

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