• The Act of Voting and Democratic Deficiency

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    I recently voted by mail in Switzerland and the United States. Historically, less than half of registered Swiss voters actually vote, although the number was higher this time. In the United States, the percentage is slightly higher depending on whether the vote is for the president, vice-president and members of Congress or only for members of Congress in mid-term elections. In both Switzerland and the United States, supposed beacons of democracy, the percentage of eligible voters actually voting should be higher. Beyond the obvious analyses of the Swiss results on September 27 or the U.S results on November 4, there remains the question of why more people don’t vote.

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  • Watching Sports While the World Spins Out of Control

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    Confined and anxious because of the pandemic? Fearful for your home and having trouble breathing because of smoke from raging wildfires? Overwhelmed by high winds and floods because of Hurricane Sally?  Afraid to go out because of violent altercations between police and Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrators? Worried that your partial employment checks will run out and that your job will disappear in the near future? Ashamed at how many child migrants your country will accept from the devastation on Lesbos? Distraught that Trump might win on November 3 and not sure if a Biden victory would make a significant difference?

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  • Wolves and immigrants: Votes expose our fears

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    I was once asked to give a talk on security in a town in the Swiss Alps. I began by telling how many locks I had on my door when I lived in New York.  I told stories about how fearful it was for me to ride the subways late at night. My stories were met with quizzical looks. Most people in the town didn’t lock their houses or cars. They had no subways. Two different worlds. 

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