On St. Patrick's Day, 1968, Wallace Carroll, the editor of the Winston-Salem Journal , wrote a signed editorial entitled, "Vietnam: Quo Vadis?" Carroll's friend and former Secretary of State Dean Acheson hand-delivered that article to President Johnson. Two weeks later, Johnson announced he would not seek re-election and that he was reducing the United States' troop levels in Vietnam.
Today the situation is arguably worse. Seventy percent of Americans feel America is headed in the wrong direction. Our economy is dysfunctional and is spawning strategic and economic threats. If the problem is systemic, so must be the solution.
Quo Vadis is Latin for "Where do we go from here?" In this column, Senior editor Patrick Doherty regularly examines the big picture: where we are, where we are going, and how we get there.
April 8, 2005
Major announcements last week showed the danger of the centrist obsession with Islamic extremism.
February 24, 2005
Howard Dean has a lot on his plate. Patrick Doherty says the governor has to add something else: Democratic ideology. Liberal economists and historians agree that the conditions that enabled the New Deal, the Great Society and even Rubinomics have changed so drastically that they are undermining the foundation of the Democratic program. If Dems are to have a fighting chance in 2008, we need the debate to begin now.
February 10, 2005
While politicians are scrambling to address Iraq and Social Security, the nuclear power industry and the Bush administration are charging ahead with a dangerous plan. Patrick Doherty looks at the false promises of nuclear energy and the massive economic opportunity we'll lose if Bush has his way.
January 27, 2005
Criticism of the Bush administration policy in Iraq is easy to find across the political spectrum. TomPaine.com senior editor Doherty says it's time for a candid conversation about the strategic interests that keep America shackled to the Persian Gulf. Now is the time for brave Democrats to open a debate on the national security strategy that's responsible for the Iraq train wreck—the Carter Doctrine.
January 06, 2005
The Indian Ocean tsunami has spurred a debate about the "generosity" of the United States as measured by its foreign aid expenditures. Doherty argues that we should abandon the notion that our response to catastrophes like the tsunami are merely a matter of charity. To the contrary, the security of the United States is inextricably linked to the welfare of people in the developing world. With this assumption, Doherty lays out a plan for a strategic response to the tsunami.
December 16, 2004
Everyone agrees. The Democrats need to organize around a compelling worldview. Recently, Peter Beinart of The New Republic fired the opening salvo in the centrist campaign to make the “war on terror” the big goal driving the Democratic agenda. The rush to expose the flaws in Beinart’s reasoning was fast and furious. TomPaine.com Associate Editor Patrick Doherty goes further than any of Beinart’s critics and actually proposes an alternative “big idea” around which Dems—and liberals more broadly—could rally.
December 02, 2004
When the chief economist at Morgan Stanley says we have a one in 10 chance of avoiding economic Armageddon, one tends to take notice. When America's second-largest creditor tells us to get our economic house in order the same week, two points begin to determine a line. But the Bush administration has not so much as flinched. In the latest installment of Quo Vadis?, Patrick Doherty says that when GOP strategists ask, "Where do we go from here?" they answer, "toward an economic 9/11."
November 18, 2004
In the second installment of his column Quo Vadis , TomPaine.com associate editor Doherty argues that the United States is facing deep structural challenges that demand liberals' and Democrats' attention. Why spend our time finding better social safety nets if things are so bad that the majority of Americans will need them? We need a plan for overhauling our market economy so that it is aligned in a positive relationship with our social and strategic objectives. The time for tweaking is past.
November 04, 2004
A clean electoral defeat and four more years of Bush will force the Democratic Party to change. Launching his new bimonthly column, Quo Vadis , TomPaine.com Associate Editor Patrick Doherty looks at the big picture and sees both great threats and great opportunities.
Other Articles By Patrick C. Doherty
August 05, 2004
The commissions and the chaos have put the lie to the Bush administration's shifting rationales for war. What the media are not asking, however, is if these aren't the reasons, what are? TomPaine.com's Associate Editor Patrick Doherty says there are three interconnected reasons: oil, Israel, and military transformation.
March 12, 2004
So it's Kerry v. Bush. If the candidates deliver an honest debate on our economy and security, we'll be talking about energy this year.
February 02, 2004
First Paul O'Neill, now Andrew Marshall. Marshall has just blown the lid off another Bush administration can of worms, namely, its unwillingness to acknowledge and address the massive threat posed by global climate change.