About Claire Snyder-Hall

Claire Snyder-Hall writes popular and scholarly texts on issues of concern to democrats, feminists, and progressives. She is the author of Gay Marriage and Democracy: Equality for All (2006) and Citizen-Soldiers and Manly Warriors: Military Service and Gender in the Civic Republican Tradition (1999), as well as numerous articles and essays on democratic theory, feminism, and right-wing politics. From 2000-2012, she served on the faculty of George Mason University, where she taught political philosophy. Snyder-Hall is a progressive Conservative Jew by choice who lives with her spouse in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Their marriage is still not recognized by the federal government.

Post-Election Agenda for Progressives: Top Ten List

When I awoke on the morning after the election, I was not completely overjoyed. Instead, I felt battered and exhausted. This was partly because the candidate I supported in a local race lost to a homophobic good ole boy. But it was also because as happy and relieved as I am about the reelection of President Obama, we on the Left simply cannot rest on our laurels. We have elected a center-left president, when what we really need is a left-wing president. Continue reading

Let’s Move the Democratic National Convention Out of North Carolina!

Many of us are very disheartened that the people of North Carolina chose to amend their state constitution to read “that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” This amendment was totally unnecessary, since same-sex marriage was already illegal. Now, however, there can be no civil unions or domestic partnerships for lesbians and gays either.

It is my belief that legalizing discrimination goes against what the Democratic Party should stand for. There need to be consequences for what the people of North Carolina just did. Consequently, the Democratic National Convention should be moved to a state that supports equality.

Even if President Obama refuses to stand on principle, the Party should — or at least its progressive members ought to demand that is does.

Plus, North Carolina is also an anti-union, “right to work” state, which makes me wonder why it was selected in the first place.

In any event, if you think the Convention should be moved, you can sign a petition at change.org. Even if we don’t win on this, we can at least make a stink.


“Adult Clubs Prepare for RNC”

As the person who works the Christian Right beat for Tikkun Daily, I am very accustomed to reading about how morally superior the Republican Party is and how much they support “family values.” Thus, it was a bit of a shock to see this headline in the local paper, when I was visiting my family in Florida: “Adult Clubs Prepare for RNC.”

I am very glad I brought a copy of the article home with me because for some reason, it is not available on the Sarasota Herald Tribune‘s website, although one “letter to the editor” mentions it. Continue reading

Thoughts About Losing Hope and Checking Out

I came across something unusual yesterday on one of the Christian Right websites I visit regularly. On the American Family Association (AFA) homepage, there was a link to an article that sounded intriguing: “25 Signs That Middle Class Families Have Been Targeted for Extinction.” At first the article sounded progressive, then populist. As it turns out, however, it was a Christian survivalist article. Continue reading

The Approaching Threat of Libertarianism

Watching the Iowa caucuses last night, the rising popularity of libertarianism really struck me. Although Ron Paul came in third place, he had near majority support among Republican voters under 30. If we are not proactive, libertarianism could be our future.

If you do not find that scary, check out the Tea Party plan to destroy the government and any sense of collective responsibility for societal problems.

Let’s hope the religious impulses on the Right will continue to temper the threat of radical individualism, even as they pose their own threat to democratic values.

Better yet, let’s hope the religious Left and the Occupy movement are able to turn things around and revive the values of fairness, accountability, and respect for human dignity.