Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect. She is research director of People for the American Way, and a winner of the Hillman Prize for Opinion & Analysis Journalism.

Recent Articles

Twitter Abdicates Responsibility for What Appears on Its Platform

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Twitter Director of Public Policy Carlos Monje speaks during a roundtable on cyberbullying with Melania Trump at the White House on March 20, 2018. S ilicon Valley, with its “disruptor” culture, has long embraced libertarianism’s extreme focus on individual freedom, regardless of the cost to the common good. It is essentially a system that accrues additional power to those who already have it. And right now, the people with the power are neo-fascists whose speech is being protected by Twitter. There’s one in the Oval Office as I write this, and he’s coddled an even more noxious breed in the form of conspiracy theorists who are capable of directing violence at his opponents. Sure, they may not tell their followers to “go kill so and so”—but they don’t have to. If you tell people that there’s a ring of pedophiles among the president’s opponents, and that they operate out of a particular pizzeria, you don’t get to act surprised when a guy with a gun shows up at the...

Trump and the Rise of 21st Century Fascism

AP Photo/John Minchillo President Donald Trump speaks during the 2018 Ohio Republican Party State Dinner in Columbus, Ohio W hen Donald Trump, enemy of the U.S. Constitution, first came to power, we were advised by the sages not to throw that “F” word around—you know the one I mean, the one that ends with an “ism.” We’d never be taken seriously if we used it to describe him and his regime, we were told and, besides, its use in the current context was a disservice to those who suffered great horrors under Benito Mussolini and his ideological cousin and all-out monster, Adolf Hitler. But neither Hitler nor Mussolini committed their worst atrocities at the outset of their respective tenures as dictators of their nations. In fact, as Al Gore reminded us in his 2006 film, “An Inconvenient Truth,” “At first, even the truth about Hitler was inconvenient. Many in the west hoped the danger would simply go away.” Now, I don’t pretend to know whether Trump could evolve into a leader anywhere...

Trump Attacks Constitutional Freedoms as He Ratchets Up Authoritarian Corruption

(Sipa USA via AP)
(Sipa USA via AP Images) I ’m no fan of John Brennan—or of James Comey, for that matter. But President Donald J. Trump’s revocation of the former’s security clearance, and threat of the same for the latter, should be a matter of grave concern to even those who despise former CIA Director Brennan for his involvement in the “ extraordinary rendition ” program of the Bush administration, and his approval of so-called “enhanced interrogation” techniques on prisoners suspected of ties to terrorism. That’s because it wasn’t for those reasons, of course, that Trump revoked Brennan’s clearance; if anything, Trump would likely say Brennan’s brand of torture wasn’t “tough” enough. No, the reason Trump gave to The Wall Street Journal for his action against Brennan was this: the investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Trump’s behalf. As CNN tells it , “Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama, was one of the intelligence chiefs who signed off on the...

White Supremacist-in-Chief Goes Golfing as D.C. Prepares for Hate Rally

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Demonstrators gather at the White House on August 14, 2017, after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a few days earlier. T his Sunday, as racist, self-described “defenders of Western values” assemble across the street from the White House, the president who brought those hate-mongers to prominence will be golfing in New Jersey. Unable to secure a permit for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the first anniversary of the melee instigated there last year by groups from the far right, organizer Jason Kessler decided to bring his sorry band of white supremacists to Washington, D.C. Like the Proud Boys fight club with which he allies himself, Kessler is a Trump booster, no doubt one of “the very fine people on both sides.” You’ll recall that those words of the president’s, uttered in response to the violence that took place in the streets of Charlottesville last year, were spoken from a meeting room at the president’s New...

The Real Enemy of the People Sits in the Oval Office

Trump’s attacks on the press amount to an assault on democracy.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke) President Donald Trump at a campaign rally on August 2, 2018, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. I n a 2017 Freedom House report titled “ Breaking Down Democracy: Goals, Strategies and Methods of Modern Authoritarians ,” author Arch Puddington notes, “The rewriting of history for political purposes is common among modern authoritarians.” Though the line was used to describe the actions of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, it fittingly applies, as well, to Donald J. Trump, president of the United States. At a rally last night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the president characteristically whipped his supporters into a frenzy of repeated Two Minutes Hate rantings against the news media . What made it different this time, though, are the events that preceded it. First Daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump, earlier in the day, told Mike Allen of Axios that she does not view the press as “the enemy of the people,” an assertion her father has made...

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