Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac is James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His books include: Democracy in Dark Times (1998); The Poverty of Progressivism: The Future of American Democracy in a Time of Liberal Decline; and Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion.

Articles by this author

The manifest danger that Trump poses, as epitomized by this terrorist plot, needs to be highlighted. (Photo by Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Friday, October 09, 2020
Donald Trump Must Be Held Responsible for the Michigan Terrorist Plot
“Liberate Michigan!” Thus Tweeted Donald Trump on April 17, as armed militia groups and so-called “patriots” assembled outside the Michigan capitol building and then occupied the capitol itself, denouncing the pandemic response of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer as “tyranny,” intimidating...
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The only thing that matters politically is the decisive defeat of Trump next month, and his expeditious removal from office by January 20, 2021. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) Views
Friday, October 02, 2020
Whatever Removes Donald Trump—a Miserable Bastard—From Public Life Is Good
“First and foremost, I pray for a speedy recovery for President Trump and the First Lady.” Okay. I got that out of the way. The honest truth is that Donald Trump is a miserable bastard, and indeed a sociopath, who routinely demeans and debases others in his personal life and in his public...
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Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is flanked by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) while speaking to the media about President Donald Trump's Proposed FY 2018 budget May 23, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Views
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Democrats, It's Time for Constitutional Jiujitsu
The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is devastating, and represents the loss of an extraordinary human being and woman who was an icon of gender equality and the intellectual and moral center of the Supreme Court's diminishing core of true liberal democrats. The handling of the Merrick Garland case...
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There is a  "need to seek proactive and public assurances from responsible local authorities that our constitutionally-protected rights to vote and to peacefully assemble will be protected by local law enforcement agencies," writes Isaac. (Photo: Scout Tufankjian / Polaris) Views
Wednesday, September 02, 2020
We Need to Prepare for an Election Crisis By Proactively Seeking Assurances from Responsible Local Authorities That They Will Protect Our Constitutional Rights
It is now pointless to argue that the Trump administration is a menace to constitutional democracy in the U.S., that it threatens the fairness and legitimacy of the November election, and that working to defeat this administration is the most urgent imperative for everyone who is not a Trumpist and...
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President Donald Trump walks with Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, and others from the White House to visit St. John's Church on June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Views
Saturday, August 22, 2020
We Must Be Prepared to Nonviolently Defend a Democratic Election in the Streets
The U.S. is suffering from numerous biological and human plagues. Trump is an autocrat whose role models are Putin, Bolsonaro, and Duterte. He is now doing everything in his power to obstruct a free and fair election in November, and there is great danger that he will refuse to leave office through...
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"Welcoming the efforts, and the support, of 'Never Trump' Republicans, does not mean celebrating their moral rectitude or embracing their policy positions or even liking them as people," writes Isaac. "It means welcoming their willingness to support a strong Democratic victory in November, and acknowledging, as I argued back in January, that while they have an agenda of their own, they are allies in the defense of democracy." (Photo: AP/Getty/Salon) Views
Thursday, August 13, 2020
Trump and His GOP Enablers Are the Enemy: The Case for Unity Now
In politics timing is everything. All intelligent political criticism proceeds from this premise. Unintelligent criticism not so much. The next three months will be crucial for the fate of democracy in the U.S. And the outcome of the November election will determine whether the American system of...
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Travon Brown, with megaphone, leads the Black Lives Matter Protest march through Marion, Virginia on Friday, July 3, 2020. (Earl Neikirk for The Washington Post via Getty Images) Views
Monday, July 20, 2020
In Praise of a Young Black Lives Matter Leader With His Eyes on the Prize
This Thursday’s Washington Post features a compelling piece of reporting on the power of racism and the struggle against it. “ A teen led a Black Lives Matter protest in his small town. A cross was burned in his yard .” The article tells the story of Travon Brown, a seventeen year-old black high...
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Protesters marched in Manhattan in May of 2017 to protest a presidential visit. (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
The 'Letter on Justice and Open Debate' Should Be Seen as a Stance Against Trumpian Authoritarianism
The “ Letter on Justice and Open Debate ” that was published last week at Harper’s Magazine has generated a firestorm of controversy. I’ve already weighed in, explaining why I would have signed: because Defending Freedom of Inquiry and Debate is Always Important, And A Proper Focus on the Danger...
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AOC symbolizes integrity, the courage of her political convictions, and the kind of passionate egalitarianism that the Democratic party must nourish if it is to have a future. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc) Views
Friday, April 24, 2020
Why the Democratic Party Must Support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Since Super Tuesday, it has been clear that barring some completely unexpected development, the Democratic presidential nominee will be Joe Biden. And in the past two weeks, there has been an extraordinary public display of political unity behind the Biden campaign, with Bernie Sanders, then Barack...
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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden tries to calm his supporters as demonstrators disrupt his rally at Renaissance High School on March 9, 2020 in Detroit on the eve of Michigan's primary election. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images) Views
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
The Promise and the Peril of the Millennial Left
It has been a long time since I’ve considered myself to be a socialist or even a “radical,” and longer still since I’ve even remotely approached being “young.” Yet I’ve watched with amazement as young people have mobilized behind the Sanders campaign and behind broader efforts to transform U.S...
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