This week in OtherWords, in our last package before Election Day, our writers take a hard look at the shape of our democracy.

Amid the bruising last days, marked by yet new hysteria over Hillary Clinton’s emails and yet more negative headlines for Donald Trump, our cartoonist Khalil Bendib wonders whether either candidate can come out still standing.

The stakes are certainly high. As Dr. Mary Frances Berry explains, whoever wins on Nov. 8 will have the power to re-shape an aging Supreme Court — and along with it every major civil rights decision for a generation to come.

Also this week, Jill Richardson looks at the ripple effects of one of the more distressing themes of this year’s election: Donald Trump’s outrageous statements about women. They’re having an unexpected effect, Richardson says  — ordinary women sharing stories they once would’ve suffered with alone.

Meanwhile, Chuck Collins has some excellent advice for anyone wondering how to stay engaged — or get refreshed — after this exhausting election. Democracy, he notes, is all about what we do between elections. This week he offers eight great suggestions.

Finally, Jim Hightower looks at another nasty element of the season — the culture war over our southern border — and points out that much of the real action is on our much longer border up north. Is walling off the world even possible?

This week I’d like to extend special thanks to my talented colleague Domenica Ghanem, our OtherWords coordinator, who covered editing duties and our newsletters while I enjoyed a spell of parental leave with my wife and new baby. We certainly haven’t heard the last from her.


The Final Round, an OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib.

  1. Eight Ways to Strengthen Our Democracy Beyond Voting / Chuck Collins
    The strength of our civic life depends on what we do outside elections.
  2. The Future of Civil Rights is Up To the Supreme Court / Mary Frances Berry
    A single court seat can change the landscape of our liberties — and this election could determine four.
  3. A Historic Election for Women — and Not Just Because of Hillary / Jill Richardson
    Thanks to Donald Trump, many women are speaking up about things they normally keep to themselves.
  4. Walling Them Out, or Walling Us In? / Jim Hightower
    Shall we wall off Canada, too?
  5. The Final Round / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editor of and the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies.

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