TIME politics

Presidential Candidates Who Ignore Race Are Making a Mistake

Race-neutral solutions won't address the root of economic problems

Earlier this month, presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were booed and heckled by liberal activists at a town hall discussion at the Netroots Nation annual conference.

Why would attendees at a gathering of left-leaning progressives commandeer the microphone on stage and shout down Democratic White House contenders? Because Sanders and O’Malley, like the rest of the candidates, have built political platforms that largely ignore race.

The activists at the Netroots meeting were angry because Sanders and O’Malley have failed to respond to racial criminal justice issues, largely ignoring recent high-profile cases – such as the death in police custody of Sandra Bland – and police misconduct involving blacks. Instead, the candidates have focused on economic reforms. But those platforms ignore race, too.

Sanders eventually denounced the circumstances surrounding the Sandra Bland arrest and has called for police reforms, and Hillary Clinton now appears to have embraced the Black Lives Matter movement.

Still, none of the White House hopefuls has publicly discussed the role that demographics – particularly race – play in determining who will thrive, and who will struggle, in today’s economy.

Cookie-cutter platforms

Sanders, who is a socialist and the most progressive candidate in the presidential race, has characterized the well-documented wealth and income gaps as “grotesquely” unfair. His proposed solutions, though, are generic and race-neutral ones, like raising the minimum wage or creating jobs in low-income neighborhoods.

Likewise, Hillary Clinton’s recently announced economic policy platform largely steers clear of race and instead focuses on stagnating middle-class wages.

Few Republicans have discussed racial justice issues either, and Jeb Bush has now dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement as merely a “slogan.”

But, about eight months before he launched his presidential campaign, Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian-leaning Republican, wrote an op-ed that discusses the racial disparities in the criminal justice system. The opinion, written in response to the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, after the police shooting death of Michael Brown, argues that “[a]nyone who thinks race does not skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention.”

Since announcing his candidacy for president, though, Rand has largely avoided discussing racial criminal justice issues. While his official Web page refers to an “unjust criminal justice system,” his campaign has not focused on how the criminal justice system disproportionately harms black Americans.

Likewise, rather than focusing on police misconduct as a cause for the recent riots in Baltimore, he instead suggested that they resulted from a breakdown in family structure, a lack of fathers and the lack of a moral code in society.

While Republican candidate Rick Perry mentioned black poverty in a recent speech, his response was also a race-neutral one that focused on giving people at the bottom of the economic ladder a chance to climb.

For the most part, the candidates’ proposals to address income and wage inequality are generic and nonracial: raise the minimum wage, expand social security, tax the ultra-rich or increase the earned income tax credit. None of the proposals acknowledges that, because of the widening wealth gap, race and ethnicity have now become almost decisive factors in determining whether a family will thrive or struggle financially.

Who thrives and who struggles

The authors of a series of essays recently issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis show that race remains a powerful, if not conclusive, predictor of whether you will be a financial “thriver” or “struggler.”

After analyzing data collected in the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances from 1989 to 2013, the authors found that about a quarter of American families are financially thriving, while the other 75% are struggling.

Thriving families are middle-aged, white or Asian college graduates who have above-average incomes and have amassed enormous amounts of wealth. In contrast, strugglers are young, black or Hispanic, are less educated, have little or no wealth and work in low-wage jobs. The essays reveal that income – and particularly wealth – gaps among whites, blacks and Hispanics are staggering.

Average income for blacks and Hispanics is 40% lower than for whites. Even worse, average wealth held by Hispanic and black families is 90% lower. While the presidential candidates’ proposals to increase the minimum wage might help close the income gap, a little more take-home pay would do little to close the staggering wealth gap.

The essays also reveal that wealth patterns for racial groups have changed little over the last 25 years and, except for Asian families, may now be permanent. For example, from 1989 to 2013, white families have consistently held the greatest amount of wealth, followed by Asian, then Hispanic, and finally black families. Although Asian family wealth has steadily increased over the 25-year period because of higher college completion rates for young Asians, financial patterns have remained virtually unchanged for whites, Hispanics and blacks.

Race-neutral solutions won’t address the roots

Increasing college graduate rates for blacks and Latinos or making colleges free (as Sanders has proposed) are race-neutral solutions that could ostensibly close the wealth gap. But, even if more young blacks and Latinos receive college degrees, the wealth gaps won’t go away.

The Fed researchers considered whether education, rather than race, was the main cause for the wealth gap. They found that age and education play only small roles in explaining the gaps. Racial and ethnic differences in financial well-being remain even after accounting for the age and educational attainment of the head of the family.

In the last decade, the U.S. population became more racially and ethnically diverse than it has ever been. If political leaders continue to ignore widening wealth inequality, the gaps may become permanent, and that could be destabilizing both politically and economically. It will be harder to boost the economy in the future if blacks and Latinos are permanently relegated to an economic underclass that has little wealth.

It is not particularly surprising that the presidential hopefuls shy away from saying that race may determine a family’s financial well-being. Though a recent New York Times poll now shows that most Americans think race relations in this country are generally bad, making such a statement in a political climate that purports to be colorblind might quickly end the candidate’s presidential aspirations.

Until politicians are willing to admit that whether you thrive or struggle financially may be influenced by your race, however, the United States will remain racially split into groups of a few haves – and a lot of have-nots.

This article originally appeared on The ConversationThe Conversation

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.


When Spousal Rape First Became a Crime in the U.S.

A statement by Donald Trump's lawyer has highlighted continued misunderstanding about the concept

Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen quickly apologized on Tuesday after he said—in response to an old allegation against Trump—that it’s impossible to rape one’s spouse. Cohen said that he did not actually believe what he had said.

His original statement also happens to be inaccurate—spousal rape is a crime in the U.S. today—but that wasn’t always so.

English common law, the source of much traditional law in the U.S., had long held that it wasn’t legally possible for a man to rape his wife. It was in 1736 that Sir Matthew Hale—the same jurist who said that it was hard to prove a rape accusation from a woman whose personal life wasn’t entirely “innocent,” setting the standard that a woman’s past sexual experiences could be used by the defense in a rape case—explained that marriage constituted permanent consent that could not be retracted.

That idea stood for centuries. Then, in 1979, a pair of cases highlighted changing legal attitudes about the concept.

Until then, most state criminal codes had rape definitions that explicitly excluded spouses. (In fact, as TIME later pointed out, it wasn’t just the case that saying “no” to one’s husband didn’t make the act that followed rape; in addition, saying “no” to one’s husband was usually grounds for him to get a divorce.) As the year opened, a man in Salem, Ore., was found not guilty of raping his wife, though they both stated that they had fought before having sex. But, even as the verdict was returned, a National Organization for Women spokesperson told TIME that “the very fact that there has been such a case” meant that change was in the air—and she was quickly proved right.

The case believed to be the first-ever American conviction for spousal rape came that fall, when a Salem, Mass., bartender drunkenly burst into the home he used to share with his estranged wife and raped her. It’s not hard to see how this case was the one that made the possibility of rape between a married couple clear to the public: they were in the middle of a divorce, and the crime involved house invasion and violence. As TIME noted, several other states had also adopted laws making it possible to pursue such a case, though they had not yet been put to the test.

By 1983, when TIME devoted an issue to “private violence,” 17 states had gotten rid of the rules that made spousal rape impossible to prosecute. In 1991, as part of another cover-story package about rape, the question came up again, revealing another change in attitudes that had yet to occur: A governmental committee the previous year had estimated that about 15% of married women would experience marital rape, and yet few of those rapes would be reported. Though the oft-cited joke about spousal rape—”But if you can’t rape your wife, who can you rape?”—no longer described mainstream opinion, an activist told TIME that many people still thought that marital rape was not real abuse but rather “she has a headache and doesn’t want to have sex and she gives in.”

And yet, when incidents were pursued, the charges tended to stick: the vast majority of cases brought in the first years after 1979 led to a conviction.

Today, spousal rape is illegal throughout the U.S.

TIME politics

This Is How Politically Inferior Women Were After the American Revolution

Abigail Adams
MPI—Getty Images circa 1775: Abigail Smith Adams (1744 - 1818), from a painting by C Schessele

When an American woman married a foreign man, she lost her American citizenship altogether

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.

Hillary Rodham Clinton might become president just a few years short of the hundredth anniversary of the nineteenth amendment, which gave American women the right to vote. But it will have been more than twice that long since this nation in its founding years missed the opportunity to include women in its governance. Images of early twentieth-century suffragists marching for the vote in their long skirts and beflowered hats can give the impression that women’s political power gradually grew from the distant past through today, but American history has not been a constant march toward broader political rights. Although we might finally have a first female president in 2017, by 1776 three women had actually ruled over the British colonies of North America: Queen Elizabeth I, for whom the Virginia colony of Roanoke was named; Queen Anne, who ruled England from 1702 to 1714; and her sister Mary II, who ruled alongside her husband. Yet the founders of the United States created an independent republic that decreased women’s political participation and delayed their inclusion in the governing of this nation.

Of course European and colonial American women did not have equal political rights with men. The fact that the new country had founding fathers reflects women’s political subordination. Regarding legal rights, Britain’s system of coverture meant that married women had no legal identity of their own. As dependents of their husbands, they could not own property or businesses, serve on juries, write contracts, sue, or be sued. (The British and American custom of a wife taking her husband’s last name represented women’s loss of legal identity within marriage.)

Yet colonial women’s inequality to men was part of a complicated hierarchy. Women were dependent on their fathers or husbands, but everyone but the monarch was dependent on someone. Most men did not have voting rights. Common people’s political rights often lay in street protests, and women were part of the crowd. Widows were not subject to coverture and could own property and run businesses.

The founders of the American republic dramatically changed American political life, but they decided not to advance women’s political or legal rights. Women played a vital role in the protests and the war against the British empire. Women were in the crowds protesting the Stamp Act. Because women were in charge of most household consumption, the Revolution depended on their enthusiastic support of boycotts against British goods. Philadelphian Esther de Berdt Reed raised thousands of dollars to support the Continental Army. Countless women contributed and solicited money, sewed shirts for soldiers (each embroidered with the name of the woman who made it), prepared food, and made bullets. Both the Continental Army and the British Army enlisted women as cooks and laundresses. Other women unofficially accompanied the army to stay with their family members, protect themselves from invading armies, and take advantage of the economic opportunities a large army provided. Countless women managed farms and business when their husbands went to war. Not all critical contributions to the founding of a nation take place in a convention hall or on a battlefield.

Some women urged that the United States include women as it expanded political rights. Judith Sargent Murrayargued in the Massachusetts Magazinethat women, too, had the right to self-govern that the Enlightenment declared for men. It made no sense to assume that nature had “yielded to one half of the human species so unquestionable a mental superiority.” The new country should ensure that “independence should be placed within their grasp” as well. In her valedictory address to the Philadelphia Academy in 1793, graduate Priscilla Mason argued that men “denied us the means of knowledge, and then reproached us for the want of it. . . . They doomed the sex to servile or frivolous employments, on purpose to degrade [our] minds, that they themselves might hold unrivalled, the power and preeminence they had usurped.” She hoped that her generation of women would gain access to the professions, including government.

Instead, Congress left coverture in place and let the states decide voting regulations. All of the states eventually explicitly defined voting citizens as male and white. New Jersey’s state constitution initially granted the vote to “all inhabitants” who were adult property-owners, so some white and black propertied widows (as well as some black men) voted in the state’s early years. Female property-owners’ participation was uncontroversial enough that New Jersey’s 1790 election law explicitly referred to the voter as “he or she.” But as elections became more hotly contested in the early nineteenth century, the political parties accused each other of taking advantage of women or even dressing men as women in order to commit voter fraud. In 1807, New Jersey joined the other states with a new state constitution that restricted the vote to free, white, adult male property owners. Some districts in some states allowed women to vote in school board elections, figuring they had particular expertise and concern over children’s education. But generally, as the states dropped the requirement for property ownership to vote or hold office, they increasingly defined political participation as the purview of only white men. Coverture remained the law. When an American woman married a foreign man, she lost her American citizenship altogether.

When regions that had not been British colonies became states in the union, women there lost ground. The colonies of other empires, including France and Spain, had not had coverture, so women had legal rights and usually greater economic opportunities. In most American Indian nations, women owned the farmland, but many of them also fell under coverture as the United States expanded west.

Hillary Clinton’s career is an important milestone in the history of formal female participation in government, but women have been crucial to the founding and the development of the nation since its beginning, despite their lack of recognition.

Kathleen DuVal teaches Early American history and American Indian history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her latest book is Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution (2015).

TIME reproductive rights

Why I Donated Fetal Tissue After My Abortion

Katie Lyon is a mother and a supporter of Planned Parenthood

I was able to turn my pain into something that could benefit someone else

Nine years ago, my husband and I were newlyweds, eager to start our family right away. We figured, why wait? So I started taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid. I made sure I was eating right and doing all the things you’re supposed to do to ensure a healthy pregnancy. When I became pregnant after two months, we were overjoyed.

Eighteen and a half weeks into the pregnancy, I had an ultrasound. Even I could see on the screen that something was wrong. It looked like there was a hole in my daughter’s back. The technician and genetic counselor in the room got real quiet. It turned out that our daughter had myriad problems, including spina bifida and a tethered spinal cord. We didn’t want to rush into such an important decision, but we did eventually decide we wanted to end the pregnancy. Then, we had to wait for an available appointment. We had an abortion at 22 weeks.

It was the right decision for us as a family. It was a decision we made with our doctor — which is how it should be. When lawmakers try to ban abortion after 20 weeks, or restrict access in any way, I know that they just don’t get it. It’s not their right to make this decision for anyone else. Unless someone has been through an experience like mine personally, they really have no idea what it is like, and no idea what they would do in our shoes.

It was horrible for us to have to end a much-wanted pregnancy, but we made the best of it by donating the fetal tissue for research. We contacted our genetics counselor, who coordinated the donation with a spina bifida research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. We figured that donating the tissue could perhaps spare other families the painful situation we found ourselves in. It was clear to me and my husband that the question of what caused the spina bifida needed to be studied.

I feel fortunate that I had the chance to donate the tissue — I was able to turn my pain into something that could benefit someone else.

I want people who are politicizing the option to donate fetal tissue to think about the implications of removing this option. I want them to think about people suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and sickle cell disease — and to consider those people’s family members who no doubt want their loved ones to live longer, fuller lives.

Why would anyone want to destroy the chance to save another person’s life?

Recently, a group began releasing secretly taped videos of Planned Parenthood employees, in which doctors discuss fetal-tissue donations for research purposes. After the videos became public, I decided to advocate for Planned Parenthood by telling my story, so people can understand why fetal-tissue research is a good and important act. (It is also a legal act.)

I’m concerned that as a result of the current ongoing attack against the organization for making fetal tissue available for scientific research, anti-abortion-rights lawmakers will try to defund what is an incredibly important healthcare organization. Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has said he will push a vote to cut funding. His fellow candidate Texas Senator Ted Cruz has also called for defunding, and an investigation into Planned Parenthood. Other prominent Republicans, including Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Rick Perry have made similar statements.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would be a huge mistake. It would mean taking healthcare away from millions of women like me who rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, Pap smears, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI diagnosis and treatment, sex education and — yes — abortion. It would mean going backward, not forward, with scientific research that benefits society at large.

After my abortion, I was able to become pregnant again. I gave birth to a healthy son, who’s now eight years old. I am grateful that I was able to make my own decision about my reproductive health, and plan my family so that my son can grow up with the resources that every child needs. And I will continue to fight to make sure that these rights are not taken away from me and other women.

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 Barack Obama

See Scenes From Obama’s Trip to Africa

President Obama spoke proudly of his Kenyan heritage on his third trip to sub-Saharan Africa, visiting Kenya before traveling to Ethiopia

TIME 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton Pledges to Install 500 Million Solar Panels if Voted President

“We are on the cusp of a new era”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday made tackling climate change one of her key goals were she to enter the White House, pledging to have more than half a billion solar panels installed nationwide by the end of her first term in office.

Clinton also called for a major increase in other renewable-energy sources, saying she wants every U.S. home to be powered by clean energy within a decade, reports Reuters.

“I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency,” she said at a weekend rally in Iowa. “And I’ve got to tell you, people who argue against this are just not paying attention.”

The two goals were unveiled in a video posted to Clinton’s campaign website Sunday, and are part of a comprehensive agenda on climate change that will be laid out over the next few months.

“We are on the cusp of a new era,” she said in the campaign video. “We can have more choice in the energy we consume and produce.”

According to the former Secretary of State’s campaign, her climate-change agenda will increase output of solar energy by 700% by the end of the decade.

On Monday, the presidential candidate will explain her clean energy plan in more detail at a tour of an energy-efficient transit station in Des Moines, Iowa.


TIME Donald Trump

You Can Now Buy Your Very Own Donald Trump Baseball Hat

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Tours U.S. Border In Texas
Matthew Busch—Getty Images Donald Trump in his baseball hat.

They’re available in red, white, and blue

Donald Trump is making waves again. This time, it’s because of a baseball hat he’s selling.

The Republican presidential contender, who currently sits atop the polls, made a speech in Texas recently, and hiding his signature, wispy hair (which has been lampooned by The Simpsons) was a white baseball cap emblazoned with his campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” Naturally, the Internet went crazy and social media lit up with memes of presidential proportions.

Business Insider reported that, yes, the cap will be sold to the public. They’re on sale currently at Trump Tower in Manhattan and a person from his camp confirmed the items are “coming soon to DonaldJTrump.com,” according to the site. The aide also told Business Insider that the caps are “made in the USA.”

The hats cost $20 and are reportedly available in red, white, and blue.

For more about Trump, here’s what winners of his reality television show The Apprentice said about his leadership qualities.

Earlier this month, Trump announced that he enjoys a net worth of over $10 billion.

And if the hats don’t sell well? They can join the Donald’s list of failed ventures.

TIME politics

The Danger of a Celebrity President

It's a problem when a president becomes a personality more outsized than the office of the presidency itself

Once upon a time in America, it was believed that the president of the United States should have the gravitas and proper sense of priorities to distance himself from the triviality of showbiz. Then along came television, and Nixon poked fun at himself onLaugh-In, Clinton played blues sax on The Arsenio Hall Show, and Obama slow-jammed the news with Jimmy Fallon. Now anyone who aspires to occupy the White House is expected to show that he or she is just as comfortable hanging with celebs as mingling with heads of state. Welcome to the era of the pop culture presidency.

In his recent book Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom, presidential historian Kenneth T. Walsh argues that celebrity is an indispensable part of the modern presidency, and that presidents who handle celebrity better are more successful. While what constitutes “successful” is arguable, it’s true that a comfortable engagement with pop culture has become an important selling point for presidential candidates.

Walsh’s book was reviewed recently by Tevi Troy, who traced the interaction (or lack thereof) between our presidents and the pop culture of their time in his own book on the topic, What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House. Troy argues that pop culture is the most influential arena in which to connect with the American people—especially the politically coveted younger generations—and for capturing their imaginations. For example,

The most astute presidents of the cinematic era, such as Clinton and Reagan, have understood that movies tell stories about themselves and about the country that can reach voters with no interest in political speeches but who hold great interest in what is taking place on the silver screen.

There is an obvious political advantage for the president or candidate who not only has his finger on the pulse of the culture, but who can manipulate it through the gravitational pull of his own charm and charisma.

Troy believes that presidents who distance themselves from pop culture and focus on reading can show a seriousness of purpose that some voters appreciate. But the truth is that Americans have a healthy suspicion of bookish intellectuals as leaders—and rightly so. Leadership is primarily about vision and charisma, not intellect. Throughout our history it’s been more important to Americans for our presidents to have the common touch than to be well read or well educated, and today that means a president who understands pop culture.

And no president understands it like Barack Obama, a man “shaped by popular culture more thoroughly than any other president in our history,” says Troy. Obama has won two elections in no small measure because of his shrewd understanding of, and what Walsh calls “his constant and unusual” engagement with, pop culture. He chats on late night talk shows, hangs with Jay Z and Beyoncé, and jets out to Hollywood periodically for fundraisers. He has successfully appropriated the hipness of movie stars and rappers, and raised the bar of presidential cool to heights Bill Clinton could only dream of.

Is that a problem? What’s wrong with a president who “gets” young people, who is relatable and cool? In an era in which singer Bono is out there doing the work of a world leader himself, why install some boring old fart in the White House who probably doesn’t even listen to U2?

The harm is not in having a president with personality and a sense of humor, and it’s perfectly understandable that he or she would take advantage of the platforms pop culture offers to reach voters, including the vast swath of the American public that might not otherwise pay attention to politics.

The danger is that a president who takes time out to trade comic barbs with Zack Galifianakis on Funny or Die, or be interviewed by a YouTube star best-known for bathing in Fruit Loops, not only diminishes the dignity of the presidency but unwisely gives both our allies and our enemies the impression that the American people and the Leader of the Free World are fundamentally unserious.

The danger comes when voters are seduced into the orbit of a leader or candidate not because of his or her character and positions on the issues, but because of a shallow aura of cool.

The danger comes when a president becomes a personality more outsized than the office of the Presidency itself, when he or she not only hangs with celebs, but becomes one.

We live in dangerous times. Nothing would make them worse quite like an American Ppresident empowered not by the trust and respect of what Jefferson called an informed electorate, but by a corrupting cult of celebrity.

This article originally appeared on Acculturated

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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

When Khrushchev Said No to Pepsi but Yes to Peace

Nixon Argues With Khrushchev
Howard Sochurek—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Richard Nixon makes a point during an argument with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Moscow,, July 25, 1959.

July 24, 1959: Nixon and Khrushchev spar at the opening of an American exhibition in Moscow, in what becomes known as the “kitchen debate.”

Nikita Khrushchev was not impressed by the color television. He took what TIME described as a “skeptical sip” of Pepsi. And when he and then-Vice President Richard Nixon made their way into the “sleek, gadget-stocked” kitchen of a model American ranch house, the Soviet Premier’s irritation came to a head.

“ You Americans think that the Russian people will be astonished to see these things,” he said. “The fact is that all our new houses have this kind of equipment.”

“We do not claim to astonish the Russian people,” Nixon retorted. “We hope to show our diversity and our right to choose. We do not want to have decisions made at the top by one government official that all houses should be built the same way.”

On this day, July 24, in 1959, while Nixon was in Moscow for the opening of the U.S. National Exhibition, he and Khrushchev bickered about communism and capitalism, arms and ultimatums, hypertension and détente — everything, in short, except the kitchen sink, although they did discuss the merits of washing machines.

The exchange, which was videotaped and later broadcast in both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., became known as the “kitchen debate,” and it brought Nixon a reputation as a diplomatic master, capable of disarming Khrushchev’s bluster without ever backing down. As TIME reported:

…within what may be remembered as peacetime diplomacy’s most amazing 24 hours, Vice President Nixon became the most talked about, best-known and most-effective (if anyone can be effective) Westerner to invade the U.S.S.R. in years… [H]e gave sharp point to the glittering achievement of the fair because—on Communism’s home grounds—he managed in a unique way to personify a national character proud of peaceful accomplishment, sure of its way of life, confident of its power under threat.

While the hour-long conversation was tense at moments — as when Khrushchev told Nixon, “You know nothing about Communism except fear” — it led to “laughs, finger-shakings, and more argument” later in the day, according to the New York Times.

And while Khrushchev expressed disdain for the technological wonders of the American model home — “Don’t you have a machine that puts food in your mouth and pushes it down?” he asked “with heavy sarcasm,” per TIME — the pair agreed, importantly, on one thing.

Standing in an American kitchen in Communism’s capital city at the height of the Cold War, Khrushchev declared, “We want peace with all other nations, especially America.”

“We also want peace,” Nixon agreed.

As they left the kitchen, Nixon put an arm on Khrushchev’s soldier and said, “I’m afraid I haven’t been a good host.” According to TIME:

Khrushchev smiled and, underscoring the weird aspect of the whole performance, turned toward the American guide who had been standing in the model kitchen and said: “Thank the housewife for letting us use her kitchen for our argument.”

Read more from 1959, here in the TIME archives: Foreign Relations: Better to See Once

TIME politics

How Donald Trump Became Donald Trump

Jan. 16, 1989
Cover Credit: NORMAN PARKINSON The Jan. 16, 1989 cover of TIME

In 1989, TIME declared the idea of Trump running for president 'farfetched'

Donald Trump’s visit on Thursday to the U.S.-Mexican border is sure to present another opportunity for the presidential candidate—whose trip comes on the heels of divisive statements about Mexican immigrants—to say something incendiary. But, though Trump has recently turned up the volume of his outrageous comments, notably his statements about John McCain’s war record, nothing that he could say should come as a surprise. After all, saying outrageous things is how he got famous in the first place.

And that makes sense. Trump rose to fame in the go-go 1980s, and he was the perfect symbol of that ego-driven era. His outlandish statements about himself were so central to his persona that when he made the cover of TIME, in January of 1989, by which point the real-estate developer had become a celebrity, the article opened with a series of Trump quotations:

“Who has done as much as I have? No one has done more in New York than me.”

“Those who dislike me don’t know me, and have never met me. My guess is that they dislike me out of jealousy.”

“I love to have enemies. I fight my enemies. I like beating my enemies to the ground.”

Just a few short paragraphs after those quotations, the writer, Otto Friedrich — describing interviewing his subject aboard a helicopter that had “TRUMP” emblazoned across its hull — notes that he asked the tycoon: “Have you ever thought about psychotherapy?” (Trump replied that he didn’t have time to think about his problems.)

It wasn’t always like that. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the coverage of Trump news, at least in the pages of TIME, was strictly about real estate. He had gotten his start in his father’s relatively modest real-estate firm, before creating The Trump Organization, his own real-estate firm, in 1981, when he was 35. (Before that, he was well known locally as a Manhattan socialite, but he had yet to make a national splash.) Several TIME articles from the era refer briefly to him as among New York developers involved in various high-priced deals around town.

The first TIME article that dropped any hints about what was to come was published in July 1981, as part of a survey by J.D. Reed of the emergence of high-end, luxury developments around the country:

The ultimate Xanadu may well be the Trump Tower, now abuilding on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The top 40 floors of the 68-story building will be given over to condos, some of which will come with private swimming pools. The triplex penthouse apartment will be priced at $24 million. ‘They’re in demand,’ says Developer Donald Trump. A slight understatement. The 263 apartments in Trump Tower will not be completed until January 1983, but there are already 17,000 applicants from all over the world.

By 1983, Trump was being referred to as a “tycoon,” always a sure sign that someone has made it. (The even surer sign, “magnate” would be applied to him more regularly in later years.)

The next year, Trump finally merited his own story in TIME. By then he owned $1 billion in New York real estate, including Trump Tower (where celebs like Johnny Carson and Sophia Loren owned condos). He was still thought of as a tycoon, and not yet as a “personality,” but that was starting to change. TIME noted that his wife Ivana, the first of his three spouses, was a former model; that he wanted to organize a football game bigger than the Super Bowl; that he could not remember ever having failed at something. In surveying Trump’s burgeoning empire, TIME’s John S. Demott wrote that he had attracted some critics—including the lawyer for the city planning commission, who observed that, “Whatever Donald does is absolutely designed to serve his self-interest.”

In 1985, Trump proposed a giant Manhattan project called “Television City” that would have included the world’s tallest building. The project was eventually curtailed, but not before it made news. When plans were submitted, Kurt Anderson — while not outright panning the project — wrote in TIME that Helmut Jahn’s design concept gave the project a “freakish size and glamour that plays well these days only in Las Vegas.” Anderson would go on the next year to co-found Spy magazine, which regularly made great sport of Trump, bestowing upon him the memorable epithet “short-fingered vulgarian.”

The Television City project, and all the others Trump was building or planning at the time, made for perfect vehicles for the developer to brag and promote himself, and to spell out his own name in buildings in gigantic lettering. And, what’s more, it worked: the more out-there he was, the more the media bit. He feuded with politicians like Mayor Ed Koch, and he even made a feint at a presidential run in 1987 while demanding that Japan and Saudi Arabia pay for American defense operations in the Persian Gulf. The following year he invited Mikhail Gorbachev over for dinner, conferring on himself what TIME called “the head-of-state status he has been seeking since he publicly implied in 1985 that his premier dealmaking skills were what the strategic arms reduction talks were missing.”

Trump as we know him had arrived.

He’s continued to evolve, through his rise as a reality-TV star and as he’s stomped his way into national politics. He’s taken to latching onto conspiracy theories and lashing out at others at least as often as he brags about himself. But, even after the culture had largely moved past making automatic heroes out of Gordon Gekko-like business figures, his ’80s-style cockiness never faded.

If anything, it intensified—even though by 1989, when that Trump cover story ran, enough time had lapsed for an assessment of whether his ego and his celebrity matched his real-world accomplishments. That year, Otto Friedrich concluded that they did not:

At 6 ft. 2 in., real estate tycoon Donald J. (for John) Trump does not really loom colossus-high above the horizon of New York and New Jersey. He has created no great work of art or ideas, and even as a maker or possessor of money he does not rank among the top ten, or even 50. Yet at 42 he has seized a large fistful of that contemporary coin known as celebrity. There has been artfully hyped talk about his having political ambitions, worrying about nuclear proliferation, even someday running for President. No matter how farfetched that may be, something about his combination of blue-eyed swagger and success has caught the public fancy and made him in many ways a symbol of an acquisitive and mercenary age.

It might be just as farfetched now for him to be running for president as it was then. The difference today, of course, is that he’s actually doing it.

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