TIME politics

Gary Hart: Dare We Call It Oligarchy?

President George Bush, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter walk through the crowd during the funeral for Coretta Scott King at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. on Feb. 7, 2006.
Jason Reed—Pool/Getty Images President George Bush, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former U.S. President George H. W. Bush, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter walk through the crowd during the funeral for Coretta Scott King at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. on Feb. 7, 2006.

Gary Hart is a former United States Senator.

If the presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy

The lobbying/campaign finance/access matrix has corrupted American politics, divided our nation, and is well down the road to creating a system of political oligarchy.

Our Founders created a republic and, being keen students of the history of republics beginning with Athens, they knew that placing special and narrow interests ahead of the common good and the commonwealth was the corruption that destroyed republics. They feared this kind of corruption as the greatest danger to America’s success and survival.

By this standard, today’s American Republic is massively corrupt. Every interest group in our nation has staff lobbyists and hires lobbying firms. Thousands of lobbying firms now penetrate the halls of Congress as well as all State capitols and city halls. Those same lobbying firms collect funds for election and re-election campaigns. In exchange, they have access to legislatures and administrations, those who write the laws and make the regulations.

Worse still is the fact that, upon leaving office, Senators and House members are now becoming lobbyists and using their friendships and contacts to make millions of dollars. There are at least four hundred or more who have done so in recent years. Few if any of the Senators with whom I served in the 1970s and 80s ever became lobbyists.

With its monumentally wrong-headed Citizens United decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has now sanctioned this corruption and eliminated any chance for control of campaign contributions.

We have created what came to be known in late 17th and 18th century England as a division between the Court and the Country. The Court is composed of networks of political office holders and insiders, their lobbying and finance contacts, the policy centers which they inhabit between administrations, the offices they rotate in and out of, and a deep sense of shared entitlement, power, preference, and prerogative. The Country is all the rest of us.

It would be comical if it were not so tragic that the fashion of the day is to decry the evil of “Washington” by those already there and desperately seeking to stay in the middle of it.

The net affect of the money machine — lobbyists, fund raisers, and campaign consultants — is to severely narrow the field of those who can compete for office, especially national office. If the national presidency were to pass back and forth between two or three families in any Latin American nation we would call it an oligarchy.

But if those families can use carefully built political networks to raise a billion, or perhaps it is now multiple billions, of dollars to seek the presidency, what hope is there for the new voice, the fresh ideas, the innovative policies to address new 21st century realities?

If the corruption of our Republic by interests groups and their money, governance by a Court of rotating insiders, and fresh blood strangled from the political process is the ultimate product of a deck stacked against the Country, we are in for a precarious time in American history.

We will have created a political system and some form of government new in our history. But it will most surely not be the Republic of our Founders hopes and dreams.

Gary Hart, a former United States Senator, is the author of the The Republic of Conscience to be published July the 4th.

Read next: Chelsea Clinton Gets Ready to Take the Stage

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TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME politics

That Moment When a Senator’s Phone Plays ‘Let It Go’ at a Hearing

Even members of Congress can't let it go!

While Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was testifying in front of the Senate Finance Committee Thursday, he was interrupted by Sen. Pat Roberts’s ringtone, which is “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Vilsack stopped talking and smiled while the 78-year-old Republican from Kansas tried to quickly turn off the device during this “Congress and U.S. Tariff Policy” hearing.

Looking at the cabinet member, Roberts said “just let it go,” prompting laughter from others in the room.

He tweeted that the ringtone is for his grandchildren, while also digging the current administration:

 

TIME remembrance

Why It Makes Sense to Pair Lincoln and Mandela

Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865), April 1865.
Print Collector/Getty Images Last photograph of Abraham Lincoln, (1809-1865), taken April 1865.

They called him the Lincoln of Africa. It is little wonder that modern journalists would make such a connection

History News Network

This post is in partnership with the History News Network, the website that puts the news into historical perspective. The article below was originally published at HNN.

When Nelson Mandela died in 2013, news headlines called him “the Lincoln of Africa.” It is little wonder that modern journalists would make such a connection. Even today, 150 years since his untimely death at Ford’s Theatre, Abraham Lincoln’s legacy still looms large throughout the world. The comparison of these two men is an apt one. Both fought to bring freedom to their respective countries. Of equal importance, both sought to bring healing and unity to populations that were viciously divided over matters of race and social inequality.

In his second inaugural address in 1865, Lincoln famously called for “malice toward none” and “charity for all.” But he also implored his fellow citizens to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right” to “strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds,” and “to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” In calling for adherence to “the right” and a “just” peace, Lincoln was demanding that Americans admit the wrong of slavery and turn away from their national sin. Only then could the nation be at peace with itself and the world.

Nelson Mandela echoed these sentiments in his own inaugural address in 1994. “We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace,” he declared. Moreover, Mandela hoped to build a “society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity—a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.”

Like Lincoln, Mandela hoped to offer charity and forgiveness for his adversaries—but they, too, had to repent of their wrongs. Rather than punish his former white oppressors in mass trials, Mandela established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Those who had inflicted the Apartheid regime upon black and Colored South Africans would confess their sins, and those who had suffered would forgive. There would be malice toward none and charity for all.

Mandela was not the first prominent South African to appeal to Lincoln. In the classic novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), Alan Paton employed Lincoln as a symbol of hope and equality, reconciliation and transformation. One central figure in the novel has four pictures in his study—one of Christ on the cross, one of Lincoln, and two depicting outdoor scenes. On one bookcase near the Lincoln picture are “hundreds of books, all about Abraham Lincoln.” The power of Lincoln’s speeches transforms several characters in the novel. If only more South Africans—in real life—could have read his words. In 1948, South Africa was careening toward Apartheid. Lincoln offered a better path, but the leaders in Pretoria ignored the better angels of their nature. Much bloodshed and injustice would soon follow.

As a young man in the 1940s, Nelson Mandela had his own unique encounter with Lincoln. While a student at the University of Fort Hare, Mandela joined a drama society that put on a play about Lincoln. The leading role went to another student who was appropriately named Lincoln Mkentane. Mandela played John Wilkes Booth. How strange to think of a young Madiba portraying one of the world’s most notorious villains! Yet Mandela took a particular lesson and inspiration from the experience. “My part was the smaller one,” he wrote in his memoir, Long Walk to Freedom (1994), “though I was the engine of the play’s moral, which was that men who take great risks often suffer great consequences.”

At first glance, Mandela could have been describing Booth—“the engine of the play’s moral”—who died twelve days after taking a great, if still somewhat cowardly risk, by shooting President Lincoln from behind in a dark theater. But of course Mandela was actually talking about Lincoln.

Lincoln took “great risks” to save the Union and free the slaves—to make the nation, as he once put it, “forever worthy of the saving.” On George Washington’s birthday in 1861, Lincoln declared at Independence Hall that he “would rather be assassinated on this spot than to surrender” the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Those principles, Lincoln said, gave “liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance.”

Lincoln would die for those ideals on April 15, 1865. A century and a half later he continues to serve as a symbol of America’s founding principles of liberty, equality and government by consent. But his modern connection to other great leaders like Mandela reveals how his legacy has spread, “not alone to the people of this country, but hope to the world for all future time.”

Jonathan W. White is teaches American Studies at Christopher Newport University. His latest book is “Lincoln on Law, Leadership, and Life” (March 2015).

TIME Opinion

Another Similarity Between Lincoln and Obama: They Polarized the Nation

Abraham Lincoln portrait
Stock Montage / Getty Images Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) posed for a formal portrait, mid-19th century.

Lincoln was a lightning rod—and Obama is too

Americans yearn for an end to political polarization and partisanship, and many today fault President Obama for failing to achieve consensus on his major initiatives: health care, immigration reform, foreign policy and so on. But consider Abraham Lincoln. From their state of origin to their legal backgrounds, the two presidents have drawn many comparisons, and here’s another: Despite his various efforts at outreach, our sixteenth president was, in life, an intensely polarizing and partisan figure, every bit as polarizing and partisan as our current president.

Lincoln’s presidency, which ended exactly 150 years ago today, sharply differed from the experience of his predecessors. Before Lincoln, five presidents had won a second term: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and Andrew Jackson. Each had carried both North and South in at least one of his presidential bids. By contrast, Lincoln was purely a regional candidate, despised by intense majorities in a large chunk of the country. In 1860, he received zero popular votes south of Virginia, and in 1864, none of the 11 states in Dixie held a valid presidential election, thanks to sectional war precipitated by Lincoln’s prior election. Even Lincoln’s assassination was related to regional differences: John Wilkes Booth was an intense southern partisan.

In the ensuing century and a half, many of America’s most successful presidents have managed to achieve considerable popularity in both North and South. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton all outdid Lincoln in this regard. But our current president won, twice, by following a more emphatically Lincolnian path to power—that is, a distinctly northern route: Of the 11 states in the former confederacy, Obama lost eight twice, and lost a ninth (North Carolina) once, prevailing twice only in Virginia and Florida.

In our era, as in Lincoln’s, regional polarization is on the upswing. Prior to 1850, the winning presidential candidate typically carried both North and South. But that pattern broke down in the 1850s, even before Lincoln rose to national prominence; and a similar fate has befallen Obama. At the presidential level the North and the South have backed different candidates in every one of the six most recent elections; and many states are becoming increasingly red or blue, presidentially. In 2012, only four swing states—Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia—were close enough to be decided by fewer than five points.

If we shift gears from regional polarization to political polarization, Lincoln and Obama once again appear as political doubles. Both made efforts to reach across the aisle. For example, Lincoln, a Republican, chose a former Democrat, Edwin Stanton, to serve as Secretary of War. Democrat Obama has symmetrically chosen Republicans Robert Gates and Chuck Hagel to fill the same slot, now renamed the Secretary of Defense. Still, Lincoln’s signature executive accomplishments were at risk in a judiciary dominated by appointees of the opposite political party; the same remains true for Obama. Shortly after Lincoln’s death, every single congressional Democrat voted against the Fourteenth Amendment, which codified Lincoln’s dream of birthright equality of all citizens; almost never before had America seen such 100% polarization. In our era, every single congressional Republican likewise opposed Obama’s signature health care plan.

But even on the topics where his proposals were most radical, Lincoln’s opponents’ arguments have not aged well. Shortly before his death, he signed a proposed constitutional amendment providing for an end to American slavery—immediately and with no financial compensation to slaveholders. Nothing like this had ever happened in any American jurisdiction where slavery was widespread. In 1860, less than 1% of America’s black population voted on equal terms. In 1870, all racial disfranchisement was constitutionally forbidden, building on another suggestion made by Lincoln himself in his last public speech, just days before he died.

That level of equality had been a new public stance for Lincoln, a break from his more cautious early views, much as Obama has only recently evolved to a position of open embrace of same-sex marriage. If the Supreme Court later this year constitutionalizes this egalitarian vision, following the lead of the latest lanky lawyer from Illinois to occupy the Oval Office, the decision will likely trigger howls of protest. These howls are likely to be loudest in those regions that hated Lincoln and all that he stood for when he was still standing. But Lincoln’s example should remind us that contemporary controversy does not necessarily mean that the judgment of history will be equivocal. Lincoln’s vision of racial equality has been vindicated by posterity; and the same seems highly likely for Obama’ vision of sexual-orientation equality. As Mark Twain is said to have noted, history never repeats itself—but it sometimes rhymes.

The Long ViewHistorians explain how the past informs the present

Akhil Reed Amar is a professor of law at Yale and author of the newly released book, The Law of the Land: A Grand Tour of our Constitutional Republic.

TIME politics

Abraham Lincoln’s Lesson for the 1960s

Lincoln Cover
Cover Credit: ROBERT VICKREY The May 10, 1963, cover of TIME

Was the 16th President the ultimate Organization Man?

In May of 1963, when TIME devoted a six-page, 6,600-word essay to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president — who was shot on April 14, 1865 — had been dead for nearly a century. The Emancipation Proclamation was a century old. The nation he led, TIME noted, would have been unrecognizable to him — the suburbs, the cars, the skyscrapers.

But that didn’t mean Lincoln had nothing to offer the America of the 1960s.

The central concern of the unbylined essay was the rise of the Organization Man, an idea that was at that point about a decade old. So-called after a 1956 book of that name, the Organization Man was — for better or worse — the American businessman devoted to his company and striving only for the comfortable conformity of post-war suburban life. The opposition of the Organization Man was the capital-I Individual, of which Lincoln was held up as a shining example.

Except, the essay explained, that Lincoln was also, in other ways, even as he was devoted to freedom and to change, the ultimate Organization Man. His company was the United States, and he was as loyal to it as any gold-watch-earning executive could be. He also knew that his loyalty would be worthless if he was the only one who felt it.

The lesson of Lincoln, then, was not that Individualism — though one of American culture’s most treasured values — was best. His lesson was that life was not really about the collective versus the individual. Rather, one could not exist without the other:

Abraham Lincoln’s life connects colonial America with modern America; Jefferson died when Lincoln was 17, Woodrow Wilson was eight when Lincoln died. While America was fighting its war, the greater battle of the modern world was already joined.

John Stuart Mill had finished his essay “On Liberty,” in which he expressed the horror with which 19th century liberalism regarded the state, and enunciated the magnificent principle that “if all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion,” mankind would still not be justified in silencing him. Yet at that very time, Karl Marx was writing Das Kapital, striking back at liberal individualism in the name of mankind. For the industrial worker, argued Marx, had been “reduced to a mere fragment of a man, mentally and physically dehumanized,” and only collective action, state action, could redress his wrongs.

Thus began the long Marxist offensive that eventually led to Communism and fascism. Just as the U.S. had succeeded in tempering and transforming the forces that became the French Revolution, it tempered and transformed the Socialist Revolution. America had its age of ruggedly individualistic businessmen, when popularizers turned Darwin’s theory of natural selection into a doctrine of economic predestination, according to which the damnation of the weak was a law of nature. But out of this era grew the sometimes uneasy partnership between business and government that in effect built a capitalist welfare state and an almost universal middle class society.

This is the central fact about the individual today. The life now led by Americans (and to a great extent by Europeans) was made possible only through industrial, and organized, civilization. Hence what is often denounced as regimentation of the individual is the price paid for giving virtually every individual a chance to live a wider, longer, richer life.

Read the full 1963 essay, here in the TIME Vault: Lincoln and Modern America

TIME politics

How Hillary Can Win Black Women Voters

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Washington on March 23, 2015.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Washington on March 23, 2015.

Women of color are ready to make noise at the polls

One thing 2008 and 2012 taught us: Black women are the voting bloc to watch. According to the Center for American Progress, “In 2012, Black women voted at a higher rate than any other group—across gender, race, and ethnicity—and, along with other women of color, played a key role in President Obama’s reelection. The following year, turnout by women of color in an off-year helped provide Terry McAuliffe (D) the margin of victory in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election. Notably, in both of their respective elections, President Obama and Gov. McAuliffe lost a lion’s share of White women voters, but overwhelmingly captured the votes of women of color.” It’s true that Black women are becoming much more involved with the political process, flexing their muscles by engaging in the issues and making their voices heard. But are these voters a guarantee for Hillary Clinton?

“I think Black women are ready for Hillary,” Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams tells Essence. “She represents not only the first woman president, but a continuation of policies that have been geared towards lifting women, communities of color, the poor—those demographics that have too often been left behind by Republican policies. I think her candidacy reflects the needs of Black women, in that she is going to talk about the issues that will help better their lives.”

Black women voters present a unique opportunity for Hillary, because, according to CAP, “[a]s their numbers increase and their participation grows, women of color will increasingly have the chance to sway electoral results, influence which candidates run and win, and play a greater role in shaping the policy agenda. Again, this new reality becomes apparent when one considers that women of color are the fastest-growing segment of the country’s largest voting bloc: women.”

Though the historic nature of her candidacy may put Hillary in a position to deliver another transformational moment for America—this time for gender equity—there is much work to be done before she can win over any constituency. First: showing she has a vision for tackling their greatest concerns.

Anti-violence activist and writer Wagatwe Wanjuki says that while a lot of people are excited about the prospect of a female president, she has some reservations. “I am waiting for evidence that she gets how we women of color are affected by issues in ways that are different from our white counterparts,” says Wanjuki. “What are her thoughts on the Hyde Amendment? [The amendment that prohibits public funding for abortions, making the procedure inaccessible for low-income women of color.] As president, how is she going to use her bully pulpit to address the high rates of gender-based violence in our communities? What plans does she have to reduce our unique barriers to achieving quality health care?”

Read the rest of the post at Essence.com.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME politics

See Photos From a Secret Service Fitness Test in the 1960s

On the 150th anniversary of the agency’s creation, a look at how agents stayed sharp for duty

In what may be one of the biggest coincidences in presidential history, Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, just hours before he was assassinated. But the agency he created wouldn’t have done much to save him had they been around sooner. The original purpose of the United States Secret Service was to tackle the country’s burgeoning counterfeit money problem.

By the time LIFE covered the Secret Service more than a century later, it had taken on a dual mission–protecting the country’s currency and protecting the President, other high-ranking officials and their families from bodily harm.

In 1968, five years after the assassination of President Kennedy, and in the month after Martin Luther King’s death and before Robert Kennedy’s, LIFE dispatched photographer Stan Wayman to shoot the men as they practiced their shooting. In this monthly qualification test, which agents had to pass in addition to biannual physical exams, agents were tested in marksmanship, motorcade etiquette, defensive combat and life-saving techniques.

Agents practiced shooting at the National Arboretum, which was, according to notes accompanying the photographs, “one of the few places in the District isolated enough to shoot guns without passers-by thinking another riot is taking place.” “Another” here refers to the six days of rioting that took place in Washington after King’s death the previous month. But everything that took place on this spring day was just a drill, and the few tourists who did spot the agents “were sadly disappointed to find out the president wasn’t along for the work out.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME social justice

Why Tweeting Can’t Replace a Civil Rights March

March2Justice demonstration calling for criminal justice reform, Staten Island, New York, America - 13 Apr 2015
MediaPunch/REX Shutterstock March2Justice demonstration calling for criminal justice reform, Staten Island, New York, April 13, 2015.

Erica Williams Simon is a cultural critic, speaker and media maker. She is also a deputy editor for Upworthy.com and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

"March 2 Justice" activists embark on a 250 mile march from New York to Washington, DC. But do old-school demonstrations do any good?

It sounds like a scene from the movie Selma.

100 plus people are marching across a bridge chanting and holding signs that demand justice. They are activists, artists, ministers, young mothers and fathers, children, students, the formerly incarcerated and everyone in between. They are black, white and brown, Christian and Muslim, atheist and agnostic. They have been meeting in the evenings, after full days of work at their respective jobs, in conference rooms and church basements and schools for the past several months. They’ve carefully planned their route, they’ve trained their bodies and thought through their response to any opposition that they might face on their journey, some of which has already come from local officials decrying their march as for no other reason than to “make a scene.”

But this isn’t 1965. It’s 2015. The bridge isn’t the Edmund Pettus but New York City’s Outerbridge Crossing in Staten Island, the borough where Eric Garner was killed on camera by police chokehold just last year. They aren’t wearing hats and suits but instead hoodies and jeans. And they aren’t marching from Selma to Montgomery. They are walking the 250 miles from New York to Washington DC to take a stand for justice and deliver what they are calling a “Justice Package” to Congress: legislative proposals that aim to end racial profiling, demilitarize the police force, and invest in community based alternatives to incarceration for young people.

MORE TIME’s cover story: In the Line of Fire

Led by Justice League NYC, a task force of juvenile and criminal justice advocates, artists and formerly incarcerated people brought together in response to the non-indictment of Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner, the diverse group of overwhelmingly young marchers began their walk on Monday morning. Over the next week, they will stop in Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and finally Washington DC on Tuesday, April 21st. Their arrival will be marked by a march through the city, a press conference to present their proposals and a stop on the West Lawn of the Capitol at 5pm for a rally and concert.

It all sounds lovely. And inspiring. And…oh so dated.

At least, that was my first thought months ago when hearing about the plans for this “March 2 Justice.”

Why are “we” (those of us who care deeply about civil and human rights) still marching in 2015? What good does it do? With all of the other modern, technological, creative avenues that we have for change, why march?

Sure, there is precedent for Millennial marching that makes a difference. In 2010, four undocumented immigrant students walked 1500 miles from Florida to Washington during the “Trail of Dreams,” to support the passage of the DREAM Act and many credit their trek as a turning point in the fight for and 2012 end to the deportation of young people as outlined in the Act.

But in a 24 hour news cycle where no single story can hold the public’s attention for more than a day, and in a climate that has gotten all too used to seeing peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters, no longer finding them particularly disruptive or worthy of special consideration, I still wasn’t convinced that this march, as well intended as it is, would actually serve a purpose.

At least not until last week, when I saw the video footage of Walter Scott being shot in cold blood in North Charleston, South Carolina.

I sat staring at my screen and for the first time in over a decade of activism as a policy advocate and youth organizer, I felt no anger, only numbness. I didn’t read any articles. I didn’t tweet or update my Facebook status or sign a online petition. Instead I did what countless others have done far too many times throughout history and that which our spirit often longs to do in the face of repeated, sustained trauma: I turned away.

I didn’t want to see anymore. I didn’t want to be reminded of how dangerous and unfair our beloved country is for me, my future children and for people who share my skin color. I wanted to do… nothing. I wanted to be still and hope that magically, somehow, things would get better without me having to exert any more emotional energy.

And then it hit me:

This too is why they march. To physically move when even the most passionate among us long to be still and to turn away. To fight inertia. To walk through the pain towards freedom. To remind the nation that while everyone else goes to work, takes care of their families, sleeps and turns away, someone must keep moving. Their march is a reminder that if we commit to continued, sustained, unglamorous forward movement, our activism can truly be a disruptive force for change in American life. But we must walk the walk — long, slow and steady.

To be fair, the leaders of the march have their own strategic reasons that have nothing to do with my symbolic analysis. Their reasons can be found searching the hashtag #whywemarch on Twitter. And the Justice League NYC is doing everything right to make sure that there are tangible, political outcomes. They have clear legislative asks in their Justice Package and have done a tremendous amount of work to garner the support of over 124 organizations, elected officials and media figures. And, of course, they will be registering voters all along the way.

But for me, the value of the march isn’t dependent upon how much media coverage they get, how many voters they register or how well the bills they propose are received on Capitol Hill.

The meaning is the medium. The gap between those victorious civil rights champions who came before us and those who walk today is closed a little with each step — and so is the distance between us and justice. At least, that is what we hope. So for the rest of us, I send them gratitude, wish them safety and promise this: We will all, in our way, keep marching.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Goes Unnoticed at Chipotle

Yes, she'll pay extra for guac

Hillary Clinton has had to make a lot of important decisions recently. Black or pinto beans? What kind of meat would she like? Does she want salsa? Most importantly, is she willing to pay extra for guacamole?

The answer to that last question is apparently yes. Clinton, who launched her presidential bid on Sunday in a long-awaited announcement, visited a Chipotle on Monday during a stop on her 1,000-mile campaign kick-off road trip, the New York Times reports. Charles Wright, manager of the restaurant in the Toledo suburb of Maumee where Clinton stopped, said she ordered a chicken burrito bowl (with the guac), a chicken salad and two drinks.

Clinton, joined by longtime aide Huma Abedin, went mostly unrecognized by Chipotle staff and customers. Wright wasn’t even aware that Clinton stopped by until he checked the security footage after a Times reporter called about a tip. “The thing is, she has these dark sunglasses on,” Wright said. “She just was another lady.”

In a way, that’s just the message Clinton is trying to send with her campaign.

[NYT]

Read next: Hillary Clinton’s Main Obstacle: Her Own Inevitability

TIME World

A Sword-Wielding Polish Prince Just Challenged a U.K. Politician to a Duel

"I’d like us to meet in Hyde Park one morning, with our swords, and resolve this matter"

The son of a celebrated Polish cavalry officer has formally challenged an English parliamentary candidate to a duel.

Polish prince Janek Żyliński challenged UKIP leader Nigel Farage to a 18th-century-style duel in a video posted on Youtube. Janek is the son of Andrzej Żyliński, a Polish officer who led a charge against the Nazis in 1939, according to the Independent.

“I’ve had enough of the discrimination against Polish people in this country,” Żyliński said before brandishing the sword his father used in World War II. “The most idiotic example I’ve heard of has been Mr. Nigel Farage blaming migrants for traffic jams on the M40.”

“What I’d like to do is to challenge you to a duel. I’d like us to meet in Hyde Park one morning, with our swords, and resolve this matter,” he continued.

“It is an impressive sword,” Farage said in response to the video, according to Sky News. “I don’t have one but I’m sure we could find one if we had to. But I’m not intending to accept the offer.”

[The Independent]

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