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When I was in elementary school, every morning at the beginning of classes we, in a part of the U.S. where the student body appeared to be drawn from the United Nations, would stand at attention and, with hand over heart recite the pledge of allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." In none of this pledge do I see a reference to "Anglo-Saxon" nor do I remember many in my classes who would fit this description, including the Japanese American students whose fathers fought with the 442 Regiment across Europe, while their grandparents and mothers were held in interment camps, the black descendents of slaves, and the Hispanic students whose ancestors were here long before there was a USA. Yet, we were all loyal and good citizens. As a child, I thought that this was America. Now many among us tell us it was not and is not. Whatever happened to "e pluribus unum" and "with liberty and justice for all"?

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Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" ~Emma Lazarus

November 2, 1883

I'll take "the wretched refuse," thank you very much.

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Morning Lynell!! Up early again per usual. I'm retiring in a few mins. You can leave the lamp on, from sea to shining sea.

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Morning, TPJ!! Morning, FERN!! Reading a bit of the "Caucasian Caucus," I wondered if Sarah Palin was consulted. The detail is...amazingly shallow!

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Oooohhhhhh! Sarah Palin, the powerhouse of erudition! Good morning, Lynell! I'm going back to sleep now.

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Morning, Daria!! Just woke up for the 2nd time.

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Morning Again Lynell! I just woke up for the 2nd time. Heading downstairs for a cup of coffee. Have a Fab Saturday.

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Then she probably was in on it from the start.

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Thank you, Lady Liberty.

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Thanks, Lynell. I knew "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty but I had never heard of Emma Lazarus or read the complete poem. It's charming! I'm sorry the poet died so young.

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Morning, David!! Beautiful, welcoming words, to be sure. Thanks for reading.

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At the beginning of the T**** term, I remember some discussion from the right wing about removing this from the statue of Lady Liberty as those who don't like "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free" wanted to keep the little bit of remaining air of freedom for (white) Americans (the already here) only. Fortunately, that movement died.

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Except we as a country never meant it.

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I should think a majority of the people in this country did aspire to this vision, or else we wouldn't be where we are today. You can say what you want about our many failings, but overall we ALL descended from these immigrants at some point, except the indigenous. That's what gets me: these "American Firsters" don't want to accept that only in the very beginning of our colonies were we an "anglo saxon" nation. I think every one of them should take a 23andMe DNA test and show us their results. Racial purity may have been possible a hundred+ years ago, but not today and I think that's a good thing. Travel, education, commerce, etc all have broken our borders. I know that scares the crap out of them, but they are behind the eight ball of worldwide progress.

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Barbara, I had the same thought. How many of these "Firsters" could "pass" a 23andMe DNA test!

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I think a very few on this planet would discover any "purity" in their results. Migration has been a feature of humanoid life on this planet since we crawled out of the ocean, climbed down out of the trees, or left Eden (depending on your ideas about our origins). Sonia Shah's The Next Great Migration is very enlightening on the still ongoing circumnavigations humans have made around this globe. We are currently being encouraged to see migration as a purely contemporary problem. Shah offers a different view.

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I confess that I always remain silent on the "one nation, under God" part. I've never understood religion, although I long for the community it creates. The more I "seek" the more I say "no thank you." This language was added June 14, 1954.

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it is getting harder and harder to say "with liberty and justice for all"

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It was never true.

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And in National anthem ‘o’r the land of the free’

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The software is acting up...It's an aspiration. As for flags, they meant something in the past, as far back as the Romans. One would rally around the flag. I hate throwing the baby out with the bathwater, re our country.

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Yes, I get that. This particular flag though, for me, is beyond redemption.

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Agree! When the ex-president began using the red, white, and blue to communicate his evil, lies, narcissism, etc., the colors turned sour to me. I hope to let that go, and get back to admiring it again.

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I just don't think it's ever been an admirable symbol, at least not for me. It represents a history of genocide, slavery, racism, misogyny, and religious intolerance. Objectively, I also find it rather ugly. Just as with the anthem, I think we could do much better.

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I hate that the interpretation of our original "men are created equal" includes that "they didn't mean all men." What the hell were they thinking, and why didn't it show up elsewhere?

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It's not an interpretation, it's a fact. Only white men of substance were given the vote, in a revolution that was about no taxation without representation. What was unique about the "American experiment" was the opportunity to (white men of the correct religion) to make their own choices in life. Our history has been a gradual expansion of who gets to vote, who gets to count.

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"Under God" was added to the US Loyalty Oath in 1954, after almost 100 years of a separation of church and state that meant that such oaths did not include god language. I have not recited the pledge since I gave up oathtaking in 1968--I was kicked out of Girl Scouts because I wouldn't "love God and my Country".

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Haha! I was kicked out of Overeaters Anonymous because I called my higher power, "She."

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They didn't like facts.

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Zowie Hope.

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Oh, my! I do that, too. Not a very tolerant or loving leader in your group.

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It has also always struck me as very strange that we were pledging allegiance to a flag, of all things. I know it gets right into "and the republic for which it stands," but the U.S. flag strikes me as a blood-soaked symbol of white supremacy and Indigenous genocide (everyone of those stars representing displaced and murdered people). There are more potent, meaningful symbols than that rag.

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Don't blame the flag but the bearer.

Our rights and freedom are on a continuum and have never been truly absolute, but our duty is to strive forward and improve.

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I have omitted those words since the third grade. I'm 63.

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I've eliminated the pledge Ally, but I refused to say those words since about the same time--and I am a year older than you. Power to the Crones!! (I consider crone a compliment)

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We have a small Crones Club here - I’m happy to be a crone.

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Crones unite!

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Is it possible to be an honorary crone?

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I think that makes you a wizard.

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You betcha. All in the attitude.

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OH YES, my brother! You are SO there!

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Best compliment I can think of

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offering a definition

Crone: Great Hag of History, long-lasting one, Survivor of the perpetual witchcraze of patriarchy...Ex. Harriet Tubman, Ding Ling

Wickedary by Daly and Caputi

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You were precocious, and I'm impressed. I probably would have eliminated the "under god" in 4th or 5th grade, had my parents not started sending me to private schools were there was no reciting of pledge.

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I understand the struggle, Kelly. You might seek out a Unitarian Universalist congregation. I have found my family.

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As an active member of our local Unitarian congregation of committed social justice advocates, I agree. Although I also state, I seek to recruit or convert no one but only invite you to explore a local congregation if you have similar feelings. I have always believed that no one should rob another individual of the magic of self-discovery by recruitment or attempted "conversions."

The way in which Christi has extended an open invitation is consistent with this view and leaves the opportunity for that magic of self-discovery. We have members of our own Unitarian conversation that have come from a rainbow of religious traditions broader than most can even imagine. The most wonderful thing about that is that there is room for all of those in a Unitarian congregation without the need to surrender anyone's own views in order to conform with the views of others.

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Very well stated, Bruce! I view my time with the congregation as a safe and peaceful place to interact with all kinds of faiths and intelligent, caring people. Our focus on social justice has help me grow and bloom as a person. I never push any spiritual thoughts or actions on others. That pushing is what irritates me most about other religious practices. Thanks, Bruce.

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or worship in the wild ;-)

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Or check out UCC.org - open an affirming, progressive, social justice oriented denomination.

Congregations are autonomous and focus on community. Wishing you the best.

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I have wondered about that, too. I am not at all religious but have been grieving my lack of community. We have a very vibrant UU church fairly nearby. Once Covid allows, I might check it out.

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Here is a brief description of our own local UU Earth Day Celebration planned for this coming Thursday, Earth Day. It may provide a window into typical UU celebratory thinking and our nature of the shared community with each other and the interdependent web of all existence to which we all belong.

You will likely find similar Earth Day celebrations with most UU congregations. We always welcome others in our community any time we gather. No membership is required.

Our UU Earth Day Planting and Celebration

Everything takes place OUTDOORS. At 10 am we gather in a safely-distanced ceremony circle for a few words about Mother Earth and a blessing of the plants to be planted. Please let us know if you’re coming so the correct number of plants can be available for planting, but if you fail to RSVP please come anyway! We will be following CDC standards, working in pods of family or friends, wearing masks, 6ft distancing, no shared water or snacks (bring your own), we can’t go inside our building…in order to fully observe CDC guidelines. Children are welcome, but they must remain in their family pods.

If you have a shovel, trowel, loppers/clippers, or a rake, please bring them. You may also want to bring gloves, a hat, and sunscreen. Dress scrubby for gardening and be sure to bring water to drink. (Remember, the building will be locked and we won't be going inside for any reason.)

We’ll have a plant exchange table, so bring bulbs, cuttings, leftover seeds from your own garden and take plants from others’ gardens home to your own. And another big payoff in addition to beautifying our grounds will be to see many friends again for REAL, after a whole year of being separated by the distance of Zoom! WOW!

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Gardening -- my kind of worship!

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Good on you, Bruce; wish I could be there. Are the bluebonnets blooming yet?

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Absolutely. We live in a ranch subdivision in the Texas Hill Country and have wildflower meadows surrounding our home and several gardens surrounding my wife's art studio behind our home. Despite the Texas freeze this winter, the wildflowers and particularly the bluebonnets are quite prolific.

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Thank you for sharing this, Bruce. Sounds wonderful.

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Sounds wonderful, Bruce. Our congregation maintains a very large prairie on our land. I want to see fruit trees planted in the future to help sustain food pantries.

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Despite my lack of religion, and my family of origin's lack of religion, I was in a Mormon boy scout troop as a kid, because my older brother's best friend was a Mormon. They treated us well, didn't prosthelytize, and I've always been nostalgic for the sense of community they have. Had I had an ounce of faith I might have converted.

Fun fact: my scoutmaster's wife, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, is the person who came up with "Well behaved women rarely make history". She is an expert on women in early America, and a University Prof at Harvard, and it was the title to an essay. Some entrepreneurial Oregonian made a deal with her about putting it on bumper stickers and the like, she was bemused by its success, and later used it as the title of a book.

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I was raised Mormon. Nice enough people, but I don't think you would have been happy there. Way too white, way too conservative.

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Amen.

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No, I would not have fit. Plus, I don't have an ounce of faith.

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That's my plan once we get past Covid and they meet in person again!

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Yes, COVID has shut us down building-wise. But, all UCC congregations have worked hard to stay involved with members through Zoom and regular "drive throughs" at the building. We are aiming for the beginning of September for our in-person goal.

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Sorry... UUC

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I have trouble with that part too.

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My father, a good-humored - if occasional - Unitarian and firm believer in science, never expressed his religious beliefs out loud, at least that I can remember, but I do recall that on one of my first days at public school in Pittsburgh PA he told me I did not have to say the "under God" part of the pledge just because the other kids were saying it. He didn't say "Don't say it!", just that I was free to decide for myself. I do not remember if I said it or not, but now when I hear the pledge I am intensely aware of those words, much more than of the others, apart from "freedom and justice for all" which still makes my heart flutter a bit.

Of course there were other times later on when I decided for myself what to do and pissed my father off no end. A week from today would be his 101st birthday, and I am sure he would be disappointed at our nation's lack of progress since his death in 1980.

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My Dad was a stauch conservative who loathed Trump. Had he lived long enough, he intended to vote for Hillary, which burned him up a bit, but he was never one to sit out a fight.

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My mother's younger brother Richard was a professional Republican (ran local campaigns) until he achieved his life's ambition of becoming a judge. Although he admired John McCain greatly, Uncle Dick voted for Barack Obama rather than see Sarah Palin one heartbeat away from the Presidency. If he had lived long enough, he would have been with your Dad, holding his nose while he voted for Hillary. He would have been 91 in February.

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He would have been 94 next month.

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My father was born 100 years ago today (not 97 as I mistakenly wrote a few days ago). He would have been dismayed at the condition of this country, how far it sunk in last six years. He also would be cheering on everyone doing something about it.

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I'm old enough to remember when that was put in (second grade or so), and I didn't like it then. But then I'm the kid who kicked the Sunday School teacher in the shins the first time I was sent, and called her a "liar."

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I remember coming home at some point feeling troubled. My mom asked me why and I said I thought that it was wrong to have to say a pledge to a flag "because it is just a piece of cloth", and now they wanted us to say America is under one god, and I didn't feel good about that, because I didn't think there was just one god. Mom told me that I didn't have to say "under god" if I didn't want to, and that I didn't even have to say the pledge, but that it would be a good idea to stand in respect for others. That's pretty much what I do to this day. I don't salute, either. It just feels wrong. My concept of spirituality has grown more sophisticated as I grow older, but my sense that a piece of cloth has nothing to do with either spirituality or patriotism has held steady.

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Kelly Sullivan, yes it was 1954. I remember well when that language was added. When I was in the second grade, our teacher announced that there would be words added to the pledge. So, we dutifully learned them and recited them not knowing why the words were added nor why they were important. We were just kids looking forward to recess.

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I identify with this and remember as a 12 year old kid in school wondering why when our historical roots were in escape from religious persecution.

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I'm with you, Fred, on the founding of our nation. To escape religious persecution. And, today evangelical Christians show distain and intolerance of other religious beliefs and practices. There is a lot of history that has totally flipped for our nation.

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The European settlers were indeed escaping from persecution, but they also showed intense disdain and intolerance for other groups who held beliefs different from theirs. The Puritans were especially bad about that. That's why actually only a small percentage of the immigrants were allowed in the church. They were there as laborors and skilled craftspeople to serve the settlements because basically the Puritans and other holier than thou groups were city people and did not have the skills to survive in their own back yards, let alone a continent they knew little about and were unwilling to learn about. Their goal was to shape it in the image of England, with themselves taking on the role of the aristocracy. The righteous right wing evangelicals are just continuing a centuries old tradition. By the way, not all people who consider themselves evangelical are intolerant and disdainful of those who believe differently. Our local interfaith group working for environmental, racial, and civil justice includes evangelicals, including a preacher. At the national level, Rev Dr William Barbur is one, and there are many others. (MLK was another- think about that for a while.)

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I agree that not all of any group represents the worst of actions and words. I have a great distain for Republicans right now, but I know for a fact that not all of them have followed the delusional ex president. Same with evangelicals and most white men. They hold hard to their intelligence and respect for everyone.

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It was the red scare in the 50s that led to the addition of "under god." https://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

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I was never scared, but then I was a redhead.

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TPJ- no kidding? I was too!

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There is no question that organized religion is yet another mechanism to control and exploit people for power and wealth. The concept of god is a creation of primitive societies; the continued extension of it represents the success this concept provides in manipulating the masses.

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Though this is also the conclusion that best fits with my world view, it is well to have the humility to recognize that many wise and well-informed people have a firm belief in God. Many use it for good. My brother is one, and his wife, who became an Episcopalian priest in midlife. I admire them both.

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The concept of sin is a direct means of controlling the actions of parishioners.

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It amuses me that I, of all people, should be standing up for religion. Nonetheless: while many of them are wrong about many things, sexuality and sexual identity in particular, don't you think the concept of sin can and often does reinforce a sense of morality within people, inculcating kindness, charity, compassion, and understanding? Depends on the religion, of course, and how its leaders interpret teachings, but it can be a force for good. I have a bigger problem, actually, with the transactional nature of the concept of sin: god saying, you do something for me and I will do something for you. It's a pretty low level of morality if one is doing the right thing in order to reap a reward or avoid a punishment.

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I guess I don't like the controlling aspect of sin by many heads and ministers of religious practices. To instill deep guilt in many to control the many. I guess you can't have people questioning every spiritual belief you tell each week, so they focus on all the ways to go to hell versus the goodness of treating everyone with respect and kindness and caring.

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Indeed. That certainly turned me off to organized religion. On the other hand, my sister-in-law is an Episcopal priest and would no sooner threaten people with sin than she would jump off a cliff. I can't hang with the divinity of Jesus (beyond the idea that we're all divine) and I'm an atheist, but her take on the world as a place that can be made more perfect with kindness and love does have an appeal.

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I hear you Kelly. My husband and I feel the same way. Some kind of community of people is important, especially if you have kids.....but maybe not if we look at the current state of affairs surrounding Republican politics that seem to harness Christians into negativity and creating otherness "it's them, it's their fault" from bigotry to anti immigration, it's always someone else's fault and THEY are the enemy.

We are so not the faith type of people we can't even be described as atheist because that would be joining an ideology too. I was raised at a Buddhist Zen Center. I can say if you are going to hang with a "community" that's a good one, but as all organized religions, it comes with some stumbling blocks.

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I think it's really important not to lump all Christians together. It is largely EVANGELICAL Christians (and not by any means all of them, either) who back the racist, sexist, misogynistic, anti-immigrant rhetoric. Most Christians are horrified by what is going on in this country.

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You are absolutely correct Reid! Did not mean to lump all together.

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I know, and I certainly understand your frustration and ire. There are some truly evil people out there masquerading as Christian. Christ would repudiate them.

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Bravo, Manuel. Keep the comments coming.

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I would stand for the pledge but I wouldn't recite it.

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My parents would call me the president of the Blame America First Club.

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It's called wanting the country to live up to its ideals.

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Badge Of Honor

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This is a powerful perspective. Thank you. Your immersion in diversity and an honorable life of a "loyal, good citizen" is a moving memory and a tribute to an American "kindness" that needs to be reimagined.

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My first youthful political action was to stop saying "under God" while we saying that pledge each morning in primary school. My parents (evangelical Christians) were always talking about separation of church and state - primarily to make sure that the government did not charge churches tax or prohibit them from worshipping how they chose - but I early on made my own independent assessment that I should not be asked by the government to either pray in school or to say "under God". I'm not sure whether my rebellion was against my parents or the government, but I continued this protest later on in junior high school by standing but not reciting any of the pledge because during the Civil Rights protests in LA and elsewhere, I did not see liberty and justice for all being practised - and finally, in high school, by refusing to stand at all in protest against our involvement in Vietnam. It's been many years since I've been to any function where the Pledge of Allegiance was performed. If I ever go to another ball game, I plan to take a knee during the National Anthem until there are some serious changes to policing in America. It's not a lot, but it's something and it is a public, symbolic act.

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When I was in elementary school in the 1950s, we all said the same thing, except for the fact there was no "under God" in it back then. That was added later by largely 'Anglo-Saxon descendants so that their white God would be included in the pledge. I'm a white descendent of the May Flower on my father's side, and on my mother's side, I'm from Liverpool, England, and Hamburg, Germany. I think my ancestors who came America, or at least most of them, would disagree with this America First Caucus.

Also, on October 30, 1968, my Boeing 707 landed at Stapleton Field in Denver, Colorado, which enabled me to join fellow volunteers from all over America to train to become Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA). We looked like descendants from many parts of the world. About a week later, we watched the Presidential Election on TV. That's the night Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey. We all had wet eyes that night, for we knew how Nixon stood on the Office of Economic Opportunity, the big Kennedy/Johnson program to make America better for poor and disadvantaged people. Over the years, Nixon and his followers have managed to destroy nearly all of what we and America stood for back then.

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I'd say that the inmates have taken over the asylum, but that's maligning people with mental illness. It will be interesting to see if Republicans such as Liz Cheney can rescue something from the wreck of the GOP.

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Let’s hope so because WOW - that’s the clearest the line’s been drawn in a while. No more polite, just..squeaking ...under the surface kinda racism. They’re gonna show themselves in the light of day.

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Absolutely. At first I was shocked and repulsed at the surgical theater lighting on this document. The next second, I was appreciative of the bandage being fully & completely off the infected wound. Gotta see the pus in order to treat it.

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And smell it.

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As leRoi Jones (later Amaru Baraka) put it: I'd rather deal with a Klansman than a white liberal, because at least I know to keep my eye on the knife.

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Well now that motives are clear, we have some major work in front of us.

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I just keep wondering: where are the Republicans with guts? So many of them must find this rhetoric utterly repugnant, but I actually find McCarthy and Cheney's rebuttals rather mild in response to the white supremacist hatred spewed in this statement. They should be denouncing their colleagues and calling for their removal. Saying, "naughty, naughty" is not enough. While we're on the subject, what's up with the fact that Mitt Romney seems to have entirely lost his voice?

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You can find them at places like The Bulwark, where daily I find myself completely shocked and awed to discover I agree with Bill Kristol about so much. Who knew? At least he seems to have had a moral compass even if he let it wander afar, but he discovered it before he became a boiled frog in the pot.

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I am always shocked how often I agree with George Will and even, though less often, with Ross Douthat. At least they are articulate and somewhat thoughtful, though they reach entirely different conclusions than I do.

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George Will is as conservative as ever, but first with Shrub, then with 1/45, he's increasingly appalled by GQP admins and their outrages. He's among the best wordsmiths, sometimes making him more dangerous than the semi-literate dolts. Still, he's been more refreshing in recent years with so much to deplore.

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I agree! Also, David Frum... He also has a moral compass, I think.

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The difference with both Kristol and Frum is that neither is an elected official, so they're not as affected by the MAGA megaphone.

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Lord only knows what kind of threats Mittens hears behind closed GQP doors.

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I have trouble imagining what it would be like to be Romney or Liz Cheney in this Republican party, but maybe they feel they need to save their political capital for heavier stuff?

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Rmoney's "backbone" is made of overcooked angel hair pasta.

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The rusted iron shaft of a political weathervane.

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Very poetical.

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I don’t think there is anything heavier at this point in time. This is where all the violence and police abuse is coming from. Trump and his base are the root of the problem.

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They're AT the root of the problem, but it long predates either one of them. I think it's important to remember that, lest we get sucked into the notion that it's mostly a personality cult.

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While I agree with the weightiness, I think the root is much older - which the language of the document announcing the new America for White People Only Caucus shows.

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Saving our Democracy is more important.

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This is what we have to fight to save our democracy. This shows exactly what we’re up against.

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Or a John Thune who may or may not be running this year. He hasn't declared. Good heavens he's number 2 in the Senate.

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Well, there is a wikipedia entry on those anti-trumpers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Republicans_who_opposed_the_Donald_Trump_2020_presidential_campaign

It make take time for some folks to cultivate the biota in their guts, but assuredly, there are those who are appalled that white, Eurocentric ideology is becoming normalized.

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An interesting cross-check would be to find out how many of them subsequently publicly signed on to the Big Lie that T**** won.

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Does anyone have a clear idea of how many "Republicans" are "American First" white supremists, and how many are, well, just Good Old Republicans? When the party splits, what percent can Liz Cheney count on in her camp?

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The problem is this: the Good Old Republicans stoked the fire box which allowed the America First Train to leave the station. Every single time Republicans refuse(d) to act on behalf of all Americans and turn(ed) their backs on taking the high road, including impeachment x 2, Biden vote certification, sticking by the Big Lie, the RNC continuing to prop up Donald, etc., they enabl(ed) the America Firsters to increase their footprint. They birthed a monster under Reagan, Gingrich fed it steroids, Trump "legitimized" it. Good Old Republicans sat on their rear ends and let it happen. Ye reap what ye sow and they sowed choke weed.

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Yes, exactly this, although as Heather points out, the beginning was with Nixon. He birthed the monster and Reagan bottle-fed it.

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I think Heather would show that the link for this thinking comes from the Confederate States manifestos. Nixon and many others, particularly the radical right, embraced it for their own political ambition, as the Am 1st group is now.

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Nixonm, as history showed, was willing to do *anything* to win. And thus we got the Southern Strategy and initial employment as professional scumbags for a young Karl Rove and Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.

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The southern strategy is now associated with the GOP, but it certainly was used by FDR in his concessions to southern Democrats by allowing and supporting segregation in public housing and other government programs where whites were always given preferential treatment.

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Good point. Which also means it goes back further yet to those Europeans who redefined worthiness as whiteness in order to justify slavery and African colonization and exploitation.

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Nixon was only the guy who put it to use. Read Richard Hofstadter "The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt" (1954) or recall that President Truman back in 1948 said "The only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies." These guys have been scum since they sandbagged President Grant.

The only three "good" Republican presidents were Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower, and each was privately detested by the party. Lincoln was derided as an "idealist", TR had been put in the VP to shunt him aside, and Eisenhower was nominated over their favorite "Mr. Conservative" Robet Taft, because they'd been out of power for 20 years and figured he was the only one who get all the former GIs to vote against their interests.

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Funny thing. I just woke up with that very thought...Apologies to Heather for mis-stating the genealogy. Thank you for correcting my error with the absolute correct step in development!

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When there were so many at fault, you can be pardoned for leaving only one out, Daria.

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Shrub was the bastard child of Nixon and Reagan. Don't expect me to explain the biology, but it's true.

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🤣

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And Poppy was the figleaf of legitimacy.

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So right on! I never got over Reagan's whining about his own tax rate, or his sneering at 'welfare queens,' nor Gingrich's contract 'on' America, as I called it. Trump didn't legitimize anything; he just had a bigger, louder microphone than Gingrich. People seemed to whitewash Reagan's dementia even before he left office. Since then, the so called Reagan Republicans have run a canonization campaign.

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When it was publicly announced he had Alzheimers, I asked "How could they tell?" I once met the Ray-Gun when he was governor here. James Garner's two-word review was right: "amiable dunce."

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True story. In his last year in office, Reagan kept saying totally inaccurate things (people kept track back then) and his aides prepped him to correct them for the next press conference. I was at Ebbitt's Grille in DC when the Gipper came out for a touted press conference. A couple of his aides were at the bar watching and listening carefully to the tv. Apparently, they were two of Reagan's preppers for this presser. One of them let out a howl, stood up and screamed, "I don't believe it! He fucked it up again!" Then they both dashed out of the bar presumably to try to do some damage control. The man couldn't keep two thoughts straight, and there he was again, screwing up something he was supposed to be correcting. I often thought of this scene during the last four years when the latest demented Republican president ranted and raved at pressers.

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I kept telling everyone that he had dementia before it was being whispered. As for Failed45, add evil, ignorant, and stupid to the mix.

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I sometimes have the same problems, but then, I'm not president.

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Please, let me remind you that Reagan was elected President. That is a big thing......

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Never saw the man's charm, neither as third-rate B actor nor GOP politician. My esteemed parents voted for him every chance they got - from governor to POTUS.

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Great tune about Reagan. "Sweethearts" by Camper van Beethoven

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLt4e-l4DxQ&list=RDdLt4e-l4DxQ&start_radio=1&t=0

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But how many of us have to “choke” on it?

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Sadly, all of us unti more people flip to the Democratic Party and/or Republicans intervene, slash and burn the weed patch and kill all of the weeds and pests.

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A little Roundup should do the trick.

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Yeah, but its poison.

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Yesterday, Nicole Wallace described herself as a "Biden Republican." I wonder how many are in that camp already and how many more will be joining it now that this white supremacist manifesto aka "America First document" is public. If I were a halfway intelligent Republican, the likes of Greene (who is more than a few cards missing a full deck), Hawley (unabashedly KKK) and those others (whom I just think of as the "elected dummies") would send me running as fast as I could away from that party: the TQP "America First" racist party.

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Geoff Duncan, Georgia's current Lieutenant Governor, has announced that he was planning to build/join the "Republican.2" party. He's been showing his discomfort with the current hot mess for some time now.

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I'd say depending on non-elected party machinations to control government is what has created the mess we now endure. Let's dismantle party politics altogether and focus on people who want to govern.

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Particularly those appointees who have zero credible experience OR they have a deep seated financial interest is the sector they've been appointed to govern.

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We do this in some places especially at the local level of government. It works.

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Republicans have  done us the favor of making it more clear than ever what the party stands for . So the question becomes what can we do to push back on their insanity.  Check out Movement Voter Project,  (movement.vote)  , an organization that has successfully strengthened progressive power at all levels of government by raising funds and then supporting the best and most effective local , grass root, community based organizations that are doing the door to door and face to face work necessary to turn out voters and organize and empower their communities. These already existing local  organizations are successfully working in underrepresented communities consisting mostly  of people of color and youth. I ( and many) are convinced that this may be the most effective way to help  usher in a progressive decade.

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We know members of Congress were part of January 6th. I also know Justice takes time, but it would be so helpful to have all of those traitorious Republicans removed before the next election.

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... and filled their wallets, feeling nothing but richer under the thumbs of Trump and Putin.

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You're so right. They all started the fire, and now that the flames are out of control, they all share the blame.

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147 House Republicans voted to overturn the presidential election results. All potential members, either publicly or quietly, of the American First caucus.

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BINGO!!!😡😠

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Ayyyy. Like when we asked how many Republicans would support trump for President? How many Republicans would support trump when they saw how ridiculous he was as President? How many Republicans would support trump when they witnessed his absurd Big Lie? How many Republicans would support trump when they were THE TARGETS of his insurrection?!?!?

Actually, hope springs eternal, reason reigns, even though "Good Old Republicans" is becoming an oxymoron.

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I am sure Liz is on her way to be President, at least in her mind. I like her Hutzpah right now, but her blood thirsty ancestry is chilling. I don't think she has fallen far from the family tree.

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I'm not going to guess whether she has any presidential ambitions or not. (I doubt Jamie Raskin has presidential ambitions, although I think he'd be excellent, as I suspect he's too family oriented.) She DOES have a belief in our system of Democracy and a good sense of what takes priority (our system over her party's positions) and with that in mind, her ancestry doesn't worry me.

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I feel that chill.

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Liz Cheney in the White House means Dick Cheney back in the White House. Thanks but no thanks.

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Polls show that 60% of Republicans want Trump to run again, which is a good place to start to count the Racist Firsters. The problem for Cheney and the other non-deplorable Republicans is that they’ll never win another national election (nor most state-wide elections) if the GOP splits. This is the hold the deplorables have on the rest of the party.

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We have to get rid of gerrymandering!

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It is a central problem. In many gerrymandered districts today, even if every single Democrat voted, the Republicans would win. That's the power of gerrymandering.

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Yes we do. And we have to look hard in the mirror and ask why so many of us did what we did in 2010, which was not vote because we had been "disappointed" by Obama (I felt disappointed, and I will be happy to point out why, but I still voted). It turned out 2010 was the most consequential election of the past 50 years.

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TCinLA:

Dems are fools at times and it showed up in 2010. Would trump had been elected if the "anybody but trump or Clinton" vote had not occurred? We would have had Clinton. That vote in three states which voted Dem in previous presidential elections since 88 in PA and WI and since 92 in MI put trump in office.

My opinion and others (including yourself) may disagree, 2016 was the most consequential election during my 50+ years of being eligible to vote. I am not well liked by Dems in Michigan and the Repubs dislike me even more when I start to talk economic policy.

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2010 led directly to 2016, and is why Democrats in office represent more people than Republicans do, which is why we can't have good things. Without 2010 and the results it had, there wouldn't have been a 2016. Both are important - 2016 was the election that educated anyone with a brain to what is really important that we had been taking for granted, and also illuminated the damage done in 2010.

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Yes, as noted elsewhere, these nutjobs have cornered the market on small-donor Republican donations. The activist 40% or so of the white supremacy electorate are opening their wallets; McConnell and friends can see the writing on the wall. And Rs with even a shred of dignity left have left politics altogether, but they are mostly not speaking out because they want the perks that come along with being a former member of Congress (Heritage Foundation, anyone?). What a bunch of cowardly anti-patriots.

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"Racist Firsters"

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"Good Republican" - the guy who watches the scumbags kicking some poor old person in the street and turns away, thinking "she probably deserved it." And remaining silent.

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Excellent question

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My immediate neighbors are good ol' GOP and they despite Trumpet. Further afield we have people flying his odious flag.

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Methinks we may be seeing the emergence of a third party. The Republican Party may be tearing itself apart. The "America First Caucus" is but one step away from the "America First Party". (I would not be surprised to see the Stars and Bars as their ensign.) The Mitch McConnell/Lindsey Graham wing of the party may no longer be able to go along to get along for the sake of the judges and their own political future. They may have to choose between the AFP, led by the likes of Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, or, God help them, even Ted Cruz, and the Lincoln Brigade.

I see this as good news for Democrats, and hope they are wise enough to not interfere as the opposition is committing suicide.

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The problem being that splitting the party means losing presidential and senatorial elections. Which every Republican knows. The real power that Trump holds over the party is his implied threat to take his deplorable base and form a third party. That’s why toadies like McCarthy are so reserved in their criticism, and so eager to kiss Trump’s...um, ring. MTG and her fellow fascists are, like Trump, little beholden to the GOP, because she can win her House seat no matter what label she runs on. It will be interesting to see if any senators join MTG, or if any Republican leaders really condemn her caucus and strip them of power. I’m betting yes on some senators signing up (Hawley, Cruz, maybe a few others) and no on any Republican leader showing real spine.

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That is why the R's are trying to grab power for the gerrymandered state legislatures to decide the outcomes of senate and presidential elections.

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Fait accompli

They've moved on to incredible voter suppression to prevent another Georgia.

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I think this analysis is precisely (sadly) correct.

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I also wonder if this is the beginnings of a third party. If so, it's good news for Dems. Let the retuglicans splinter and implode while Dems become that much stronger. Makes 2022 look a little more like Dems can hold onto slim majority in the House, and maybe get some new Dem senators.

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But the whole point of this is for trumpites to get rid of, or subjugate, the GOP members that are sitting on the fence and they feel they can control the State parties and thus participation in primaries and ensure that they get control of elections. This is the beginning of the GOP civil war..

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"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Napoleon Bonaparte

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He too had his Waterloo...he forgot his own very important maxim.

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But watch "The Rise of the Nazis" on PBS. Eery parallels. "A look at how Hitler and the Nazi party rose to power in Germany during the 1930s. It is a powerful and resonant portrait of the greed, manipulation and frightening underestimation of Adolf Hitler's ambition."

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Margaret, yours is a really good comment. Thank you.

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Ralph, the idea that the opposition is "commiting suicide" has been a protective notion since the beginning of Tea Party's absurdities, which have now morphed and grown, through social media, into the Am 1st Caucus. Am 1st is deeply indebted to the "suicidal" movement of QAnon. As we casually call these groups morons, luddites, suicidal, ignorant, yaa-hoos, they grow stronger, more violent, and more institutionally threatening.

"To be clear: QAnon’s ideas are far more extreme than the Tea Party’s ever were. Tea Party supporters objected to Wall Street bailouts and the growing federal deficit; QAnon adherents believe that Hillary Clinton and George Soros are drinking the blood of innocent children. While Tea Party supporters generally sought to oust their political opponents at the ballot box, QAnon supporters cheer for top Democrats to be either imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay or rounded up and executed." https://nyti.ms/3tybJZq

Methinks they are not tearing themselves apart but are becoming an unimagined political force. Failing to acknowledge the potential of the merging of Tea Party/QAnon fills me with dread. The only thing that seems to me to be "suicidal" is the failure to understand the inherent brutality that is the expression of this movement.

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74 million votes for Trump plus the Electoral College, gerrymandering, and a Sentate controlled by 17% the electorate of provide plenty of power to put the federal government in the hands of proud white supremacists. They already dominate most of the state governments.

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It's 17% if counting voters represented. But those senators only represent rich donors well. That % is so small, a microscope is needed to read the number.

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This is a good call for trepidation and one folks should heed.

However, I suggest we end the political party system influence in the US, first, by eliminating use of public resources to conduct primaries that only assist the two major parties.

Public primaries should be about choosing candidates from a variety of political views not selecting the candidates from just two parties, which are private organizations. I think the primaries ought to be about choosing from the slate of candidates, each of whom represents a distinct party or none at all.

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I think you would appreciate Simone Weil's essay "On the Abolition of All Political Parties." And, as Dr. Richardson has emphasized, the founders never imagined political parties and considered them an unnecessarily divisive. Of course, they only considered educated, white, male property-owners to be qualified for office. So there's that.

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Interesting that the former Traffic cone of treason never wrote anything down like planks to platform, this provided him shape shifting and deniability. The American first caucus, writing it down, makes their ideas concrete. Which will be much easier for all the people to break it apart.

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"Traffic cone or treason" - lol & +1.

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I like your predictions, Ralph. Thanks.

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God, I wish you were right, but fear you are not. I think McConnell and company believe they can clutch their pearls when the extremists speak and still maintain control of the party, at least until they gerrymander their way into a majority in the House and perhaps also a majority in the Senate. McConnell in particular always, always thinks in terms of the long game. He is not worried about the Gaetz coalition because he knows that in five years the Rs will be back in control, Gaetz will be out of Congress, and in reading the tea leaves believes there will at that time be a Republican president. Because of this, he and his allies will not allow the party to split. They will treat the extremists as outliers without actually alienating them, hoping to keep those dollars and congressional votes in their camp. It is an evil, toxic, cowardly, and potentially very successful plan.

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"[McConnell] and his allies will not allow the party to split."

It may be beyond their control.

Maybe McConnell et al can keep a foot in both wings of the GOP and hold on to the reins of control, but I'm thinking, hoping, the split may be becoming too wide; they'll have to declare for one or the other.

At this point, we're all guessing; your guess is as bona fide as mine.

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Well, it's happened before, that this level of anti-democratic extremism has forced a collapse of the power, the momentum, of those ideals. In fact, it's happened every time in this country. I imagine each time felt -- was -- as perilous as today.

We don't know what's going to happen, which may be the hardest part of all. That uncertainty can be almost unbearable. But it's not naive or unreasonable to believe that these people will fail.

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Naomi, the difference is that in today's world electronic communication allows planning down to the n-th degree.

On a smaller scale I can remember being at a Town Meeting when a member of the Budget Committee sitting with other members in front of an audience of over 200 having his phone in his ear as he listened to advise from members of his group out in the audience. He took in as much information as he could and controlled the meeting from the middle seat of the Committee with fresh information and ideas from at least 5 people that were in touch with him.

It was more than interesting and a harbinger of things to come.

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Yes, true. But we have the same technology.

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There lies the problem. Who is to lead us????

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True enough. And I like your version better.

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Yes, truly. And I kept hoping McConnell and his gang could keep iDJT from becoming the nominee and then president. Maybe they’re not so powerful.

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I honestly think they will this time. He was a disaster for them in many ways. Not enough to abandon him (cowards!), but sufficient to angle for a different outcome. But I don't think we are going to like President Rubio much better. 🤪

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Do you really trust those guys? I have absolutely no faith in anything that rhymes with trumplican.

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Alas, Reid: I too am pessimistic.

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I have to agree with those who have already commented. This is the true beginning of a New Hitlerism in the US.

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