510 Comments
Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

As a UDP delegate who voted in today’s Utah State Democratic Convention, I’m proud of my vote. I am an American, first. #TeamMcMullin

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Eleanor, First, my thanks to you and your fellow delegates for collectively prioritizing the preservation of free and responsive government by popular consent over issues that could have divided your caucus. Despite our party’s failure to pass nationwide voter protection safeguards, were other Democratic State Committees to follow your example, Dems could have a real shot not only at picking up 2 Senate seats but also retaining control of the House.

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McMullin really does sound like a decent guy.

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I’ve had the chance to talk with him several times, already. He has worked HARD. So hard. His poor young staffers were weepy after the results were announced—they all need 36 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

He is willing to answer a question in a way that will disappoint the asker, which is refreshing. He is passionate about Democracy. He is more conservative than I am but he is courting environmental scientists, LGBTQIA+ support, and promising to declare support (and work to support) down ballot Dems.

I’m truly impressed. If I lived in a different state and these were different times, my vote would have been different, but I am genuinely happy with today’s results considering the reality we live in. And I can say I would be happy to have him as my Senator in normal times, even if he might not be my first pick.

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Eleanor, Picking up on your remark, “If I lived in a different state…my vote would have been different,” were your caucus to counsel its counterparts, especially in swing states, to unify around the candidates who represent the interests of the broadest range of voters, 2022 could look quite different from current projections.

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I'd be happy if the Democrats in MO just united around one candidate for Senator and ran against the Republicans instead of each other. My personal choice is Lucas Kunce who is leading but if the beer company heiress is really a stronger candidate, so be it; I just don't care to be represented by an abusive blackmailer who is all in for the failed insurrectionist.

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I'm with you Dave. But I hope the beer heiress get rejected because I think she's a deliberate spoiler. Kunce seems to be a good candidate with a potentially broad base of support. The inert Blunt is replaceable--and I think that the wife abuser is one of those "be careful what you wish for" candidates: the base might think he's a skinny Drumpf but in fact he's a poison pill.

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Dave, I presume you’re referring to Greitens. As for the Dems, the primary season presumably could help voters to rally around the most electable candidate in the general, regardless of whether the person’s policies are in alignment with their own. My understanding is that the sole criterion is that Democratic candidates must support filibuster reform.

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Your assumption is correct Barbara Jo, he continues to get more publicity than the others and the only positive about that is that the gun toting property defender appears to have dropped out. I don't share your confidence in the primary process, more often in recent years the primaries have cost a lot of money while allowing the oppo research types to destroy or at least damage all of the candidates. I'm not quite at the "smoke filled room" stage, but we have to stay focused on the main goal which is ensuring that the nut job wing of the GOP doesn't get anywhere near power.

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Amen Dave! I’ve met Lucas when he first announced his candidacy—the Dem group I attended had him speak to our group last year: all I heard was “he doesn’t have any experience.” He clearly is more than capable—I’m supporting him and hoping he’s our candidate 🇺🇸

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Of course this is true. We are hoping our example will stand for other states (and the nation) for a long time. The win was 57-43, so there is a large minority of unhappy Utah Dems who feel I have betrayed “my” party but we hope to win them over. Some are very unhappy that an unaffiliated candidate can come into the Dem Convention and “play games” to prevent a Dem candidate from making it to the ballot, but this is a feature of the Utah Democratic Party that I have always loved: we are not party-purity extremists. Diversity of ideas and healthy debate are what make democracy possible; with rigid mindsets and dogmatic beliefs, democracy dies. I believe there will be outreach from the McMullin coalition to other states, but I must admit to being completely unaware of the timing of any other state conventions. The push to make this happen has been all-consuming since February—and my mind is also occupied by the extremism of many school board races (local and state).

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Come on Dems everywhere unite...country first.

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Eleanor, Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reply. I perceive both your work individually and your party overall as a blueprint from which we all can learn to create conditions that could give Dems a real shot at capturing the dynamic of the political conversation in the country for the foreseeable future.

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Bravo, very well done.

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(Wikipedia) McMullen is a Mormon, with a CIA background and MBA from the Wharton School. (Although, many Mormons work for the CIA.) It’s interesting that his mother is now in a same-sex marriage. Reminded me of Cheney, who’s sister is in a same-sex marriage, which changed Cheney’s views on the issue. Hope McMullen does well. I’m not a fan of Mike Lee.

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He doesn’t have a Fabulous view on queer rights BUT I do believe he is coming around to be more than a supporter of existing laws, as he has said he is. He has one Utah state house candidate who is openly queer giving public endorsements because Evan is a decent person with a different opinion, religiously, who is not interested in creating restrictive laws against anyone—freedom is a core value of his. AND, we all understand that we will have no freedoms to exist outside a right wing hellscape if democracy dies.

My dad is a closeted gay man who has been married to my mom for 55 years. They are both deeply unhappy, for good reason, but they maintain public appearances because they live in an anachronistic time of restrictive laws and social norms. My 8 year old is a lesbian. Both of my girls are disabled (ADHD, autism) and need legal protections. I have preexisting medical conditions. And I don’t believe my family is particularly unusual (i.e. all families fall into more than one category that would place them at risk of loss of protection under permanent authoritarian GOP rule).

Identity politics is important—the LGBTQIA+ community would be right to intensely scrutinize McMullin but they have more to lose by Lee’s maintenance of power than by electing a queer-tolerant (≠ queer-celebrating) senator.

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A “Decent person” in government matters. I have a daughter who is in a same sex marriage. From the time she was as young as your daughter, I wondered and suspected she was gay. Just a sense from my mom radar. (We hosted their wedding reception last year.)Those issues are intensely important to all of us.

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Substack is my favorite form of journalism! Thank you for your personal story and thoughtful analysis of McMullin. I like the idea of dems using strategy over bone-headedness!

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You certainly have quite a number of issues in your life. Completely agree about families. Thank you for all your hard work and good luck

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Thank you for what you’re doing, Eleanor, and please wish Mr. McMullin the best at sending the seditious Mike Lee into retirement!

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My heat button wouldn’t work. Thank you, Eleanor.

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Stay cool, Suzette, and try the "heart" button.

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Way to go, Eleanor! As a naturalized citizen, I see it as my duty to uphold democracy first and foremost.

"I do not believe that a majority of Americans want a dictatorship in which a favored few become billionaires while the rest of us live without the civil rights that have been our norm since the 1950s, and no voting rights to enable us to change our lot."

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We just need to mobilize Americans who believe in democracy, and get them to the polls.

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“Just” lol. But yes, we do. I hope you’ll WORK toward this—it is important. If you don’t have time but have money, give money.

The hours worked by the McMullin staffers have been Herculean in a short period of time—“kids” (20s) with deep bags under their eyes—and will continue to do so. They cost money; it’s good they don’t get paid by the hour! People who do get paid by the hour are the poll-workers who conduct the high-quality internal data that allow candidacies to progress and succeed.

The polling process is a new (if fairly thin) understanding for me: there are professional polling firms (which I knew) who have workers call specifically identified voters (the granularity of this process was a revelation to me) to have detailed (lengthy this expensive) conversations with voters about their voting preferences in specific contests (Lee v McMullin, Lee v Dem, Lee v McMullin v Dem) before and after knowing certain specific platform or background information about McMullin. There are other factors added into the analysis (campaign fund availability, name recognition, additional demographic data, etc), as well. The result is finely tuned and “accurate” information that allows candidates to decide 1. Whether to proceed with a campaign and 2. on which *three* platform points to focus.

The poll conducted by my former Utah Representative, Ben McAdams, last April (12 months ago) was over $50K. It was a shocking figure to me but that “small” investment let him know he didn’t have a chance in Heck in a 1:1 or a 1:1:1 race against Lee. His next decision was who to support, instead.

The poll don’t this January by McMullin was ~$65K. I was able to see a presentation of the 30,000 foot view of the poll (specific information is proprietary for obvious reasons: in the hands of Lee, the information would be weaponized) and the results were fantastic. McMullin can win this—but it will take $$$$$

I don’t have money, but I have time and am forming a coalition of Utah grassroots groups to support democracy and work, longterm, on local culture shifts.

Other people across the country need to do what they can to engage how they can.

This is a war, one that will only be (largely) bloodless if we succeed in preserving democracy in the short term so we can rebuild and strengthen it over the generations to come. The work will be relentless, just as tending a garden or keeping house is relentless.

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Hope to hear about your grassroots efforts, please keep us posted. My donations are small but I do donate outside my home state as I can.

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This is all very interesting to know, Eleanor.

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'Helping ordinary Americans' doesn't penetrate the racist, anti-abortion (forced birth) people. Thinking a compare and contrast could send the message, ie. Biden creates 6.6 million jobs while Republicans threaten our teachers with law suits.

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Thank you for supporting democracy.

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Thank you Eleanor 🏆🏆

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Those in favour of McMullin sound fiercely inspired. I’m only knowledgeable about him insofar as these comments go, but I am deeply behind anyone with anyone who could beat Mike Lee whose true colors are anti-democratic in the extreme.

Reading Heather today gave me this nagging feeling that America needs its own Vlodymir Zelensky. Ukraine is being invaded from without. The attack against America is just as real, but it comes from within. And of course it must be said unequivocally that Americans are not suffering in any way as Ukrainians are. Yet.

Joe Biden is no Zelensky. His accomplishments are as real and solid as Heather portrays them. His domestic policies have been intelligent and acutely sensitive to the needs of those who have been stomped upon by most administrations since Reagan’s.

In any normal time Biden would have the support of many, many more Americans. But at this moment he is deeply unpopular. His deep roots in the institution of American government have something to do with it. His age is a factor. His lack of soaring oratorical skills hurts, no doubt. I believe that many Americans feel they have seen too much for too long from Joe Biden.

This is a saddening fact for many of us. We believe in him and recognize his core of great decency. We see how he has built a government of principled, intelligent and highly talented Americans. And he lets them do their jobs unlike at least one recent President. He has championed diversity in visible, practical ways.

There are those among us, myself included, who would argue that there have been mistakes, but certainly not disqualifying. Afghanistan looks like a fiasco, although I believe history will be kinder to Biden than the present is. His delayed push to strengthen voter laws was inexplicable to me. I think his pick of Garland was a case of getting a good man at the exact wrong time.

Which last may be the epitaph on Biden’s Presidency - a good man at the wrong time. The Democrats are fighting scoundrels of the highest order, people who have no business being in government and who should, in many cases, be in jail.

Unfortunately the mood these would-be authoritarians have inspired is one of nihilism in the United States. There is recklessness afoot which is dumbfounding. It is a powerful, sweeping force.

Perhaps the times will get frightening enough that enough people will surge back to Biden and he will become his own Zelensky - defiant, clearly on the right side of history, Bunyan-esque even. But I rather doubt it. The judgment of history on Biden may well be that he was a good man unable to stand up against an inexplicably shocking end to American democracy. Enough people in America took leave of their senses to permit this grand experiment to fail.

More likely is that these times will throw up somebody who truly galvanizes Americans and swings the tide back to sanity. (S)he will be fierce and charismatic. (S)he will have clarity of purpose and use the power of the Presidency to its fullest extent in this desperate moment. We may not even know him or her now. But I am thinking that this is less likely for a new leader will need to have been tested before and passed with honor. (S)he will need to be comfortable in Washington and know how to use power.

My mind keeps turning to Jamie Raskin. I would love to see him run for President at America’s most imperiled time.

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Eric We need to stop equivocating on Biden. Under difficult circumstances he has done a terrific job. No one (including Raskin) is perfect. We can't forget the tremendous role media has shaping the public's perception (including the people on this forum) of Biden. They have no interest in presenting Biden's accomplishments as facts. They get more eyeballs and $ with horseraces and controversy. We lost in Afghanistan. Losers never get to orchestrate their withdrawal from conflict. I'll venture to say that with accurate hindsight, Biden's withdrawal will be viewed as making the best of a horrible mess, and don't forget a mess that the Doha agreement, made by tfg's administration with only the Taliban (not the Afghan government and military) set up.

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Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

I agree with you, GMB. Biden's record is just now starting to be honestly reported by the media. He has done a more than credible job on domestic issues. And as you noted, Afghanistan wasn't Biden's fiasco. I do not think that Biden is the right man at the wrong time. He is the right man, period, and the time is right, too. The problem is that too many people, both media and the rest of us, fall for the negative attitude that became normalized during Trump's administration (too many of us bought right into it and haven't dug out yet). No one is perfect, but that isn't the point. The point is that no one man can change the course of a nation that has come very close to going off the tracks.. It takes all of us looking for what we can contribute to the process, no matter how small, to create the change we need to get back on track. To keep focusing on perceived "deficits" as if they were known determining factors is to anticipate history. None of us are that prescient, and it is just plain arrogant to pretend otherwise.

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Annie, you've said everything there. (I'm so sick of reading about the "Afghanistan catastrophe". What America did then was miraculous, not catastrophic. Pictures of desperate people clinging uselessly to huge aircraft at the moment of take-off was hardly President Biden's fault - but they made big propaganda for his enemies. What would they have done - made a reassuring speech? distributed paper towels?

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(Played golf, maybe?) Thank you, Anne-Louise. I appreciate your observation that what Biden and our military (with help of people on the ground) managed to do in Afghanistan was pretty amazing. Especially given that Trump created that situation with his "negotiations" with the Taliban limiting their options. The media (even MSM) did point that out but our extreme white wing made so much noise that it drowned out the truth. It blows me away that even some Dems (or people who claim to be) bought into the falsehood that somehow Biden blew it. It was already blown.

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Standard practice for belittling the President. "our extreme white wing made so much noise that it drowned out the truth." Copying that, I've just realised that it says "white" wing, not "right" wing, as I'd originally read it. Nice economy!

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I’m going to jump into the middle of this because you (Annie) quoted my comment that Biden may be the right man at the wrong time, and so I am interested in how this conversation develops.

A small point firstly. The exit from Afghanistan has been widely been cemented in the media as a fiasco and I referred to this. However I did say that I think history will view it more kindly. The hot take version assumes an omniscience in the part of the American intelligence services that has never been present and Biden is unfairly taking the rap for this.

More importantly I am go smacked by your dismissiveness on the idea of the role one man can play in history - “No one man can change the course of a nation that has come very close to going off the tracks”.

I assume that you speak more broadly in this reference and do not refer simply to times when a nation is struggling. Off the top of my head: The British people cheered wildly when Chamberlain alit from the plane waving the scrap of paper that seemingly was a guarantee of peace. They cheered again when he appeared at the royal balcony later. In the end he had to be shamed into giving up leadership in Britain a short time later. Leopold Amery blistered him with his comment in the House of Commons. “You have sat too long for any good you might have done”.

Winston Churchill followed him and he led Britain to victory against seemingly impossible odds. No - he didn’t do it alone. But he cajoled, threatened, inspired, and set a magnificent example so that others would get behind him and do the unthinkable - defeat Hitler. He was the right man at the right time for the job, and the British people said as much when they voted him out after the war.

America was seriously off track by 1932 when FDR was elected. The hatred for the government that had felt balancing the budget was the cure for the Depression was exemplified by men who worked their way across America and then lived in shanties they derisively named “Hoovervilles”. Roosevelt was clearly the right man in the right place for the next 12 years.

The villains too can have an outsize effect on their country. Would any of the seemingly hundreds of Republicans who ran for office in 2016 left the mark on America that Trump has? Would Ukraine be in its jour of deepest peril had not *one man* decided to wage war on them? Both Trump and Putin are men who were in the right place at the right time to work their villainy.

So I defend my thesis that Biden is the right man at the wrong time. I praised him strongly for the good he has done in my original comment. But he does not have the core energy, freshness and implacability to stem America’s turn towards nihilism. A figure just as strong in an honorable way as Trump is in his evil way is needed to inspire all those people “looking for what we can contribute to the process”. That man is not Biden in my opinion. You may consider it “arrogant”, but you wrote nothing to deflect me from that opinion.

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I take it you subscribe to the "great man" school of historical analysis. I think that's pretty much debunked now. Every one of the examples you gave depended heavily on circumstances and the work of a great many people to bring things off. None of them did it him or herself. A quick example and then let's let this BS go: Could FDR have accomplished what he did without Frances Perkins and the collaborative structure she built? Nope. (And that's not even getting into the rest of the people who advised and guided FDR. But the "great man" school does not allow for that, because it blows their idea out of the water. Bye.

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Yes, in certain situations I do. I worked in a profession (teaching) which was heavily driven by teacher motivation, skill, and understanding of humanity. Good teachers inspire students to bring out the best in themselves. The odd truly great teacher changes many lives because (s)he communicates a vision that impels many to model their actions after those the teacher espoused.

I made the point that a great leader is highly dependent on thousands of people who follow. To take your single example, would Frances Perkins have emerged under another President? Would she have been inspired to go the extra mile and do the groundbreaking work she did? Would Dorothea Lange have been drawn to take her historically famous and heartbreaking photographs had FDR not communicated by his vision the worth of such a project?

The idea that people help, and in some ways even surpass, the great leader does not "blow their [supporters of the 'great man' theory] idea out of the water". You have in fact exactly made my point, which by the way I think I made in a previous post. Your wish is to demolish the point I made and "then let this BS go". I don't see how any meaningful discussion can be described as BS, assailed with an argument a person has already considered and then after its elucidation be concluding with a figurative wiping of the hands and a brisk, harsh "Bye".

Great leaders are not responsible for every moment/event of the movement they lead. If, in fact they were, they wouldn't be great. They'd be distracted from their unique view of the big picture.

All history depends "heavily on circumstances", but not all circumstances lead to the emergence of a catalytic leader. Donald Trump was a great leader, in the most malign, evil and reprehensible way possible - 'great' in the way that Hurricane Katrina has often been described as a great hurricane. And Donald Trump was the apotheosis of over forty years of historical trends, as Heather has so often pointed out. Would America be where it is now if Jed Bush or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz or John Kasich had won the 2016 election? Not even close. It took the evil genius of Trump and his megalomaniacal ability to deny truth to bring us to this parlous state. Like all would-be authoritarians, Trump attracted a certain type of people to help him achieve his goals. And he generated enough belief in his populist, mostly insane ravings to win seventy million votes in 2020. Circumstances helped put him there - enough of America was ready for a raw, unscripted, defiant politician that he sneaked out a victory over HRC in 2016, taking advantage of a bizarre electoral system.

I chose him deliberately because he is extremely near to our minds. Yes, circumstances were almost inevitably going to produce a type of leader such as Trump. Yes, he had tons of help, some to implement his ideas and popularize him, some to shield him from his worst thoughts, and eventually some to prop him up in his final insanity. But he was (sad to say) the man for the moment.

For this moment, when America has to derail a train barreling towards horrible outcomes, Joe Biden is not, in my view, the man for the moment. This is *not*, repeat not, to say that he has been a bad President or even a mediocre one. Biden has taken many progressive steps beginning with his first Covid bill. I believe that he has handled the extraordinarily difficult circumstances of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia patiently and extremely skillfully. He communicates a good example of what a President should be like, after the painful dose of Trump Americans got.

However, he and all those who serve him faithfully and nobly even have not slowed down Trumpism by an eyelash. This is a battle that requires a new face, unbounded energy, and charisma. Joe Biden has many qualities, but none of those.

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A good reply.

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Right on, GMB, many thanks for beautifully articulating for many of us.

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If what I wrote is discerned as equivocating on Biden, let me try to lay it out more clearly.

He’s the right man, but for the wrong time.

Pointing out his weaknesses while praising him for most of who he is and what’s he’s done is not equivocation. It’s an attempt to be balanced.

He does not need to be pilloried. If circumstances continue as they are unfolding now (something I consider a giant “if”), and a highly compelling candidate arises, I would hope Biden would recognize that and step aside in 2024.

He’s absolutely no Chamberlain, but equally he’s no Churchill. America may need, and may well throw up, a Churchill.

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Apr 25, 2022·edited Apr 25, 2022

GMB Eric is not equivocating. Instead he is using ambiguous language so as not to commit himself or worse yet to conceal the truth, that perhaps he may not be a strip miner but an excellent underminer. Biden is exactly who we need and he is here. In Hand. Underway. Furthermore he is giving us the gifts of perhaps his last best years just like most here.

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Exactly what has Biden done that has changed the tide of American feeling? His polling numbers are below Trump’s. That is rejection, writ plainly.

It is reported today that Democratic insiders are not planning further on winning the midterms, but rather on limiting losses. This is not inspiring.

On the other hand there is the 1/6 Committee. I believe that their work might possibly save the midterms, most notably after public hearings.

Biden is not a villain. He is a hard-working, honest President who will be like Truman in that appreciation for him will rise as historians assess him.

But he has not and will not stem the tide. He simply is not that man. That is not condemnation. He inherited a mess and has done a much better job than he is getting credit for.

But he is not inspiring Americans en masse. He is not striking fear into the hearts of the clowns who would sink this country.

Some man or woman, if given a chance in 2024, may lead America out of this terrible drift it is in. I have listed the qualities needed in other posts.

And, ad hominem comments like “not a strip miner, but an underminer” diminish your argument.

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When a pontificator pontificates his language seems to float above horse sense by a few degrees and he has a runaway. I handed you the exact definition of equivocating which you denied, denied and again denied. How long does it take until I resort to language you may actually understand. While the hominem I ate for breakfast tasted sweeter than that which you served up. I am only allowed on the bench in this forum. I usually just cheer for the varsity. I hope that your maybes don’t undermine the roadway we are building. Quit holding your breath and please use your abundant intellect more constructively. I know you are smarter than me almost everyone is, but pard I am one who can handle a team.

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I apologize for inciting such invective.

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Pat, I think you are on point on both your assertions. Thank you.

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Thank you….Annie.

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We are of one mind. The timing of McMullin’s senatorial bid positions him to run in 2030, but I hope he would rather stay in the senate—it’s a powerful position and winnable in Utah (for him). He is truly passionate about Democracy and will do what is best to preserve it, a role best carried out in congress.

One thing I learned through talking with him is that his 2016 run was ONLY as a spoiler. He felt like a spoiler, but that was his entire purpose. He had spent two months trying to find and pressure Republican challengers to Trump and found no one willing to go up against him; while talking with his gang of conspirators, one of them mentioned him—he didn’t want to do it but basically said “why not, someone has to.” So, he ran a rightward campaign trying to pull votes away from Trump.

Talking with him makes it impossible (for me) to think he will lean right (much) once elected because he is not a right-wing “libertarian” (i.e. I got mine) conservative. He’s had young progressive Dems running his campaign for months and they are INSPIRED by him, his personality, and his message. He works hard. He listens. He cares.

I feel genuine hope at the idea of having him as my senator—and I believe he can pull Romney leftward.

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Eleanor, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and insights about Utah's politics. And for what you are doing. Much as I love Utah's geographical beauty, I admit I am cynical about the dominant culture there, for good reason- I have roots there that have been less than nourishing. But I am glad to hear you speak about McMullin's integrity and commitment to the democratic process. It helps me see Utah in a different light, a more hopeful one. I am grateful for that.

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He has helped me be more hopeful about Utah, too. My own experience with the dominant culture (as one of the great-great-great-granddaughter of pioneers on every side of my family, all the way back) has not been a healthy one and I would leave if this were not where I had met my husband and had my daughters. I grew up in Boston, MA; SLC, UT; San Francisco, CA; Silver Spring, MD; and Bloomington, IN (for college) and have wanted to move to Maine for 10 years, at least. My husband has never lived anywhere else and is reluctant to (read: will never) agree to move out of state. The climate, air quality, drought, social climate,and relentless march rightward of the political climate are too much for me; I feel I could die, some days. But this is the home of my children and their dad—and I want a stable youth for my girls that I didn’t have. There will be trade offs, for sure, but I feel the future is so uncertain that I want them to be grounded. And we travel to Maine every summer as a much-needed getaway for me (and summer camp for them).

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Oh, Annie - from sea to shining sea - so much of America is truly, astonishingly beautiful! If only the landscape could vote.

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That is fascinating - I appreciate the education from you in your latest piece.

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It was educational for me, too. Hearing him talk about the process to his nomination (10 days from first mention to launch) made so much sense but it had never occurred to me that he wasn’t sincerely running. I think it was because he WAS SINCERE, just not to win the race. He wanted to win for democracy. He was running for a Hillary win with every fiber of his being. Only sociopaths can fake sincerity and McMullin’s reputation is longstanding and consistent enough for me to believe him. He has the support of many people I respect, locally. He is adamant about answering honestly, even if it is a clear disappointment to the person he is talking with. He lights up when talking about democracy and a cloud hangs over his head when he talks about the authoritarianism and violence around the world. I had a 20 minute chat with him about the parallels between the modern GOP and Putin’s regime and the consequences looming if Lee wins—I don’t often talk with someone whose primary passion is democracy (most of my friends are most passionate about queer rights, the environment, education, or some other more local concern) so it was a real joy to talk with him.

I had the talk about democracy before I met with him (and a group of delegates) at another event and heard the story about his 2016 campaign. With the conversation about democracy in my mind, his tale about his campaign’s origin made perfect sense.

And the purpose of his campaign (allowing HRC to defeat DJT) allowed me to understand the right-leaning platform he ran on. It was an act, then, with no future political career in mind. There are claims that he will lurch right after being elected—and I am certain he will be more conservative than I prefer—but I believe who we see now is who he is.

Of course, time will tell. Regardless, he will be better than Lee (a very low bar, but still!)

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Me too, absolutely. (Is it still OK to say "me too"?)

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Of course. The meaning is in the context.

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Eric, I was most impressed by your penetrating and layered analysis seemingly triggered by today’s LFAA. I hope you have plans to place this piece in a space that will extend its access to a wider audience.

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Thank you. I deeply appreciate what you wrote. I have toyed with a book - never finished it and am now moderately interested in taking the last chapter and building on it, dropping the other one.

This would be on the theme at the intersection of 1. social media - especially Facebook and the smart phone emerging simultaneously like the perfect storm and 2. children, who have been flung down the well created by these forces.

Here I do know a bit more, being a lifetime teacher.

But I’ve acquired a dog and he eats my retirement time. :)

I’ve thought of Substack too.

Comments such as yours go some way to challenging my acute case of impostor syndrome.

Anyway, thank you again. It’s nice to talk to kind people.

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Eric, To be clear, my comment was not borne out of kindness. You are a perceptive, gifted writer with a profound understanding of the complexities underlying complicated circumstances.

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Do it ☺️

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This is off subject but you are quite a find. If you would comment on the validity of the book Under The Banner of Heaven, I would be very grateful. As an excommunicated Catholic myself having lived in various communities in Utah there are no agendas in my inquiry. Just a recognition that your take would be honest.

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Thank you for your vote and your support for democracy 💕

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He's a conservative though. Is no one afraid we will get the same nightmare with him as with Kyrsten Sinema?

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McMullin is actually more of a classic liberal and ran as a Libertarian a couple of cycles ago. He also doesn't come off being as self-focused as Sinema. Those who oppose Lee have picked the best shot available and that's a bit of practical politics that a lot of Dems have forgotten.

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Don't forget, Libertarian, Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Dave. I don't know anything about McMullin, so have no opinion of him. Koch's role in the party though, how could he not be the or a major power within the party? Withal, knowing more about the party is warranted, Also crucial is that Independents comprise 40% of the electorate - 10% more than Democrats and 12% more than Republicans.

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It would be hard to forget the junior Senator from KY, I lived there too long for that. I'm more supportive of libertarians than Libertarians, they also thought Mike Lee was one and we can never forget Rand's dad, Ron, mostly because he won't go away. The Libertarian 'brand' is really shaky and I don't use the term often in conversation because what it means in today's arena isn't what most of us mean by it. It's a lot like 'liberal' and 'conservative' these days, it means "what I want it to mean". My apologies to Lewis Carroll.

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Thanks, Dave. From beginning to end (Lewis Carroll) you do inform and entertain.

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Thanks Fern. The people who follow these Letters are, as a group, an inspiration to become better informed and rise to the level of the conversation. You make a considerable contribution yourself.

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Frankly, the libertarian bit scares me even more.

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I suggest you look more into it. The Koch organization has given libertarians a bad name in recent years. McMullin doesn't come off that way.

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At its core, Libertarianism is the law if the jungle. It’s not necessarily anti-democracy, but it’s something worse: anti-civilization.

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Libertarianism is the perfect form of government for entitled, established white men. For people who have *already* benefitted from systemic injustices, removing all regulations and claiming that all people should be free to succeed or fail according to their own merits, work ethic, and will is one step below the GOP’s oligarchic aspirations. The Koch brothers’ spin on libertarianism is libertarianism—they’re just rich enough to care (or not self-aware enough to know) that the full expression of libertarianism is genocide.

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Kochland by Christopher Leonard.

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Sinema votes with Democrats almost all of the time. That's what we need first. Not forgiving her for her obstructionism and anti-democratic position, but she’s better than any Republican would be. Practicality is everything right now. If someone primaries Sinema in 2024, fine. And McMullin would be better than Lee.

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Spot on Jon. Ruben Gallegos looks excited about the primary possibility right now and he seems to be a much more dynamic personage than Sinema. I'm sure she's got a nice consultancy lined up somewhere, maybe it's time she took it.

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Holly, In another comment, Eleanor, having spoken with McMullin several times, wrote: “He is passionate about democracy” and will “work to support down ballot Dems.”

In contrast, when Sinema (and Manchin) abandoned the 48 Democratic Senators who had agreed upon how the filibuster could be modified to pass federal voter protection legislation under regular order, Sinema defended the 60-vote threshold as “a critical tool that we need to safeguard our democracy from threats in the years to come.” She added that eliminating it would “worsen the underlying disease of division infecting the country.”

Have I allayed your concerns?

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43% of Utah Dems did not vote to support him. Of course people are worried, but not a single person I know (many many) who have spoken to him and discussed concerns with his campaign—run almost entirely by progressive Dems—has walked away concerned about him. The loudest complaints are with the (totally legal) process of allowing an unaffiliated candidate to hijack the convention. I understand their concerns, but the bylaws of the party are a separate issue. Me? I like that we are not extremists and I hope that our party never approves a closed system akin to the GOP’s. I, myself, am a democratic socialist but have no political home other than the Democratic Party. I consider the DNC to be too conservative. Neoliberal economic policies have gutted American households. Evan is more conservative than I am in almost every way, but he is a genuine independent, not a libertarian.

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She’s not a conservative. She’s a morally bankrupt, money grubbing, attention seeking hypocrite. She was a social worker and teaches at ASU. Can you imagine what taking her class is like? She’s had lots of complaints about her ethics and teaching. She got het 15 minutes of fame by being elected and turned her back on the people for money. I don’t see McMullin doing that. He’s secure. The majority of Mormons are really good people and tolerant of other races, religions and sexual preferences. I lived in Mormon Mesa, AZ for 6 years. My daughter went to school with them. I went to college and worked with them. There was mutual respect for beliefs. People like Mike Lee give them a bad name. Notice how he never criticizes the FLDS that he represents and they’re pedophiles and polygamists. Those girls are so abused and trafficked and nothing is done. The boys are sexually and physically abused. They get 15 minutes in the media and then are left alone to continue. Nothing is ever really done to save those kids.

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Most Mormons may be decent but that is not their Mormonism, it is their own personal decency. The Mormon church is not progressive or particularly tolerant; it is a grotesquely wealthy institution that provides relief aid costing less than the interest on its holdings while building extremely expensive temples to a god that demands paperwork, tithing, and Borg-like assimilation of followers. In Utah, the Mormon culture is toxic; even the “good” Mormons sustain a church that allows the bad Mormons to pass laws endangering the lives of queer children. I don’t doubt that you’ve had good experiences with Mormon people (I have, too; I used to be one) but I don’t want Mormonism to get off the hook. Mike Lee is not a good representation of most Utah Mormons, but it should be noted that he has not been excommunicated from the church while women who are outspoken about wanting the priesthood or wanting more gender equality of other forms within the church are. The true nature of the church (and the system regular people uphold through inaction? Agreement?) can be seen by looking at people who have been excommunicated and considering their “sins” relative to the free and fully expressed lives of politicians in Utah who remain in good standing with church leadership. A decade ago, I had my name removed from church rolls with emphatic sincerity: I cannot and will not associate myself—even as a name in a database—with that organization. Never. AND I feel sincere disappointment when I think of my kind friends who stay on. Having faith that things will be sorted out when we’re dead does no good at all for the living; it is a cowardly, lazy, and self-soothing position to take.

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Thank you for speaking the truth out loud, Eleanor. I have at times too, but it is really hard for people not exposed to how things are done in Mormon culture to grasp how deep their hold is on the inside. I am grateful to my parents for getting the hell out of Mormon country, but it took me years to be able to speak about it, out of fear of either retribution from Mormons (got it), or dismissal by skeptical non-Mormons who simply couldn't get it. Reading your post validates my experience.

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Hoo, boy. And how! I have been disowned by my mom (a few times) and shunned by church women (I was a child who asked questions, nothing else—I was not the daughter of Young Women’s who was sleeping with the whole basketball team, I was just SERIOUS about the lessons and wanted answers—and didn’t come to weekday activities). And that was in Maryland where Mormons are “nice”! The total control is intense. My parents are tied to the church in such self-destructive ways that their example helped me see the need to leave. The time commitments (church, lesson prep, callings, activities, temple visits, home visiting, meal trains, service projects, helping people move, baby showers, funerals and on and on and on keep people too busy to truly think about life, the gospel, or life on earth. There is only time to react—and so we have a dominant culture in Utah that is almost entirely reactive. Being reactive is a defensive position, so no wonder Utah Mormons align with the fear-mongering GOP—they can identify with the uncertainty and fear being sold as a problem the GOP can fix.

It’s fascinating to me because I know so many lovely LDS people who would never swear, raise their voice, wear white past Labor Day, or comment truthfully on the 30 pounds I’ve gained this week but they will happily vote to cut funding for education and homeless shelters. Such sweet-toned, gentle speakers—somehow, when they sing-song about the need for the “right” kind of kids to be protected, it still sounds terrible.

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Having others validate your comments and sentiments strengthens them for people like me who haven't any measurable contact with Mormons. However, I know how cults operate having lived in a Catholic Charismatic one very similar to the one Amy Coney Barrett is from in South Bend, IN. It's a brainwashing environment which the people have succumbed to, imo. If one isn't free to leave a group, it's cult. When there is retribution by the group, it's clear sign of a cult.

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I thought she pretended to be a Dem

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Worse, Sinema ran as a progressive Democrat. It looks like big money turned her head.

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Leigh McGowan, Politics Girl, is also an American, first. Her latest podcast.

https://youtu.be/zC_NLNRKcxY

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She's stunning.

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Just listened to this. I particularly liked the last 5-10 minutes.

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Admire her so. This is something everyone can do as well.

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I listened to the whole podcast - and it was very good. I wonder if she is being considered to replace Racheal Maddow?

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Setting a critical example. Thank you

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As a Utahn I was glad to see this support. McMullin has my support and I'm doing all I can to encourage others to not support the current treasonous senator (Lee).

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Eleanor, is the thinking, in general, that it gives people embarrassed with MJT and Lee type Republican representation, an easy off ramp because they will never vote for a Democrat? I think that is a win win as long as Nancy keeps her gavel and Moscow Mitch is never in charge of the Senate again. Does the math work? I'm thinking OH, PA, maybe NH and NV should consider a similar approach? For it to work D's must hang on to GA and AZ....which seems a bit risky. Nevertheless I like the philosophy.

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That is 100% the path to winning

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Who is truly the majority in the US? Is it those who follow the GOP, the "GQP", Independents or Democrats? The only voices that get media attention are the ones that create the loudest noise, that get the most sound bites.

What I would love to see in the news? Thousands upon thousands of postcards arriving at the White House, with the the words "I SUPPORT DEMOCRACY" hand-written on them. Wouldn't that be a heartening news story? Wouldn't you love to see the news deliver bags upon bags of them?

I have read stories about various people reaching out for mail--kids with cancer, a story once about a lonely veteran, where thousands of cards arrive--could we make this go viral? Can you do it? Can you post it on your social media accounts? Got no postcard? Write it on the back of a sealed envelope.

The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20500

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I would also recommend that everyone consider joining the Union. jointheunion.us which is a organization sponsored by the Lincoln Project which is trying to get all those who are fighting for democracy to join together. They don't want any money; they want people of action. We need to unite to get the job of saving democracy done!

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Just joined! This sentence from the website got me "No, the biggest threat to our democracy and the American republic is that too many people are giving up."

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Thank you for the link and for all that you do, Cathy!

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I did a few weeks ago on your suggestion. Thank you. I've given them areas where I can be of help.

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Done.

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Thank you for This Cathy!!

I just Joined!! I just moved to Florida, and I know It Won't Be Easy!!!

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thanks, I've signed up

it's going to take all of us together to preserve democracy and human rights

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I just joined and signed up to volunteer. Thank you for supplying the link.

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Joined and posted on Facebook. Thank you, Cathy!

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Joined although money may be my only contribution at this point

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Proud member of SEU 1984 since 2005!

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I just joined, too. Thank you, Cathy.

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Done☮️💟

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Done and shared on my Facebook feed.

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Done

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Done. Thanks, Cathy.

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Done 👷

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To encourage the Committee directly, contact them in writing or by phone (no email).

The phone number is (202) 225-7800 Their mailing address is:

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol

Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

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Thank you for this. If we all wrote to thank them for their work. If we all posted a video on social media thanking them for their work.....

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yes, will do. Thanks.

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Thank you. I hadn't thought of this. May those of us who can get to work!

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Two things need to happen. The Biden Admin. needs to use Social media more to get out the accomplishments. And Convictions of those involved in 1/6.

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We still have those around here in Salem who actively encourage people to speak against Biden and those termed establishment or corporate Ds. Yes, we have Kirk Schrader, but he is now in another district. We here in Salem are in a new district which has many people running. One of them is Carrick Flynn financed by a young Arizona billionaire and stupidly by the House committee to help elect D reps. i don't think Flynn will win because his campaign has irritated nearly everyone...."enough of his flyers to build a house" for example. I have my choice down to a couple, both women. One is a doctor and the other is a Latina. This is a heavily Latinx district, so the latter might win.

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The majority is the coalition that voted for Biden in 2020. The coalition that voted for Trump, the “family values” coalition that favors empowering whites, males, straights, etc., is smaller and is dwindling. That 7 million margin from 2020 is rising over time. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is who shows up to vote. Four years of Biden’s administration is going to bring tons of reactionaries out of the woodwork.

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The "family values" is really a dog whistle for white supremacy... not moral values!

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I took it to mean the crazy "christian" fundamentalists who pick and choose and misinterpret certain passages in the Bible.

Crazy Bible thumpers, whose "faith" can't be discussed.

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Progressive pastor Jim Wallace, in an interview about “Christian” fundamentalism, said that anything that harms the poor is heresy. Period. As a believer, I hate the term”Christian” because the people to whom that term is applied don’t act in ways that line up with the teachings of Christ. Just because a person goes and sits in a church on Sunday does not make them people who do what is right, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

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Trying to vote this up. I can't, but agree totally.

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What is strange about the new Substack is that it will record your ❤️, but won’t show it to you. Sometimes if you scroll away and come back, or refresh the page, Voilà! there’s the ❤️.

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The true pure-heart Christians are here, like you Jenn, and like the rest of us who wouldn’t dream of using that term.

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AMEN Jenn from NC

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Always has been for repubs

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What matters is WHO is able to vote.

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Roland, would that what you say is true. In 2016 Trump got 63 million votes. In 2020 he got 74 million votes.

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Yes, but how many of those votes were by dead people or people who registered a mobile home address in other states? I do not trust how these insurrections have infiltrated our systems to rig them. The Great Projectionist, tfg, always shouted that if he did not win, the system was rigged. So, you know he and his comrades rigged the system and we have watched them "fixing" for themselves ever since.

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Pensa, let’s not fall victim to conspiracies like the other side does. The 2020 vote was the most-audited, double-checked election in decades. The vote tallies were accurate. Trump gained 11 million votes. Real votes. Luckily for us, Biden gained 16 million over Hillary’s 2016 total.

It’s true that Republican states are working to suppress the Democratic vote in 2022 and 2024. And they’re gerrymandering districts like crazy (Democratic states are doing the same). The threat to free and fair elections does not come from dead people and mobile homes. It comes from Republican legislatures passing voter suppression laws and the Republican Supreme Court approving them.

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Amen!

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The latest trend I see from the right is “The US is not a democracy, it is a republic”. First off, this is nonsensical, because even a pure democracy is a republic. So saying it is a republic adds nothing. But it is a sinister way of deprecating what we call a democracy.

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I have made the comment that the irony of the Republicans zest and zeal to be all powerful has been the using ( abusing ) of Democracy to Kill Democracy.

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And while we are at it, let's send the same post cards to each member of the GQP [especially the members of the “Freedom Caucus”]. Their's are the offices I would like to see flooded with this message. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_Caucus

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I’m in. Stamped postcards cost 45 cents at your local post office. Some of us have stacks of colorful ones already, to send to voters. Promote this on twitter with hashtag #proDemocracy.

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Joan A postcard political avalanche would have been a lot cheaper when I was a kid—1 cent for stamped postcard. Coke 5 cents (until 1953). On my newspaper route the paper cost 3 cents and I got 1 cent—had to hustle on Lancaster Pike with my leftovers from my Haverford College route.

Got my nose rearranged when I was collecting 18 cents from a blind customer and his seeing eye dog got agitated. I was asked why would a blind prof get a newspaper. My concern was the 18 cents (no Sunday edition).

Ah, the good ‘ole days.

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Ah yes. Around 1970 eggs were 30 cents a dozen, gas was 30 cents a gallon. A few friends, a compact car, and three days would get me across the country. Also there was war in Viet Nam, and the CIA busy wiping out democratic governments in Central and South America. We thought if we made enough noise, the country would right itself.

I still think that, or at least I act as if I believed it, since that's better than the alternative. What I miss, is that then I had the energy to stay up all night just for fun. Now I leave massive demonstrations to the young, and use my political energy to write postcards.

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Joan In 1950 I experienced the start of the Korean War in a Westinghouse industrial cafeteria in West Philadelphia. I was thrilled at being paid 80 cents/hour, a nickel above minimum wage (non-paid overtime, but some satisfying meals.)

My boss was a Mr. Bligh, clearly related to Captain Bligh of the Bounty.I was stunned to receive my first check—$24.57 out of gross $32. I have never recovered from all those grasping hands taking ‘my money.’

The affect of the Korean War on my summer dish-washing/table clearing, ammonia cleaning of refrigerated rooms was the immediate sugar shortage—chains around the sugar cans and watching our for stealing of sugar shakers.

In the early 70s with the Arab oil boycott after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, at times there was no gas. A call at 5:30 am that a station actually had gas was thrilling. Later that decade, another gas shortage—odd-even license plates were the open sesame to getting gas. This was a gasser!

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Hey, hey - a quick word on behalf of Captain Bligh! Very tough, but always within the law. His mistake was compassionately allowing the crew to live ashore during the months it took to get those breadfruit plants ready - they shacked up with the local girls, got very comfortable, and then didn't want to leave. Bligh got every man in that longboat to safety (apart from the accountant, caught on the beach of the Friendly Isles as he ran to cast off the mooring) by personally dealing out the tiny food ration, and a sip of rum if it had been a very cold night. I've read his logbook.

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Anne-Louise I found Clark Gable more captivating than Charles Laughton. The real Bligh and Fletcher were in their early 20s.

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Damn, a use for some postcards I have had for 40 years,

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Same here including many from my parents' travels as well!

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Great idea and I will do this! It is sad that the organizations like VoteFwd.org will only permit bi-partisan pablum in their outreach to people who don't vote or vote occasionally. And, the letters and postcards are going to Democrats who are apathetic. It seems a waste of paper, postage, and time if we cannot insert a sentence or two concerning the importance of their vote to having a Democracy rather than an autocracy. I've asked. They've said NO.

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At the bottom of the supplied messages, I usually add a line from the Postcards to Voters site: “History is made by those who show up — and VOTE”

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PTV is my fav organization to help move voters to the polls.

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Check out Field Team 6. They openly work to elect Democrats. All modes available, including postcarding.

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Great idea!

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⬆️ This! ⬆️

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Me too🤗

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Thanks. I'll do it.

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Sometimes I wonder who is hiding in the shadows who actually pull the strings on who wins, what is banned, what money will be spent on which item, etc. I wonder if those hiding are even politicians. For centuries elites ran the direction of a given country. I read that elites may have added or changed words in the Bible to suit their principles. I am not trying to stir resentment, there is no reason to read many different items and critical think without my own possible conclusions. I think it is fun in a way.

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Good questions with potentially very scary answers Holly but we won't go there today because, at least here, the weather is far too nice and gives rise to new hope for the future. In respect of the Bible, there is an excellent book by Bart Ehrman called Misquoting Jesus that addresses that issue in some fairly scholarly detail. No spoilers, but it's a very good read.

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Wow, Heather’s angry. Great Letter! Grrreat Letter! Okay, on to my Twitter post of this one. And I must be running with the wrong crowd because I’m seeing tons of agitated voters who are fully aware of the danger we are in, and this LFAA and several other voices are making a huge difference. Keep spreading the word, folks! We can’t stay quiet for fear of annoying others.

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Totally agree Deborah! What's niggling at me is the Republicans are divided into more than the two parts Heather describes. It is something like the Republicans who fear losing their privileged place in our society. ... and the ones who have so much fear that they are vulnerable and are manipulated by conspiracy theories.

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Yes, this duality I see as well Cathy. But, I see way more of the "ones who have so much fear that they are vulnerable and are manipulated by conspiracy theories".

The guy who lives across from me has been fearful since I first met him. He has a gigantic dog living inside and answers the door with his hand on the huge dog's leash while it tries to bite the person at the door. The the postman will not deliver up to his door, period.

Fear. He is afraid of his own shadow. But, I am not sure why? As far as I know, in 17 years of living here, there has been only a couple cases of petty crime (somebody parked their car in the street with the windows down overnight and their phone laying in the seat of the care and it went missing).

IF we could understand the origin of Republican middle class fear, we would be well on our way to messages countering it. But, I have no idea their fear origin.

But, again, I ahve no idea Cathy.

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I apologize for the following...but Mike, your question about what the radical repubs are afraid of made my mind wander to some strange perimeters of wonderment: Perhaps, they are afraid of the tinted-skin people, and the many who have mammary glands, who are also rising to the top. Does this not petrify the racist, sexist narcissists who think their skin-tint and sex are superior to all others? Fearfulness. Loss of power-over others. Fear of equality. More fear and shock of looking down to see they may have tiny, little cajones? Maybe they fear that tinted-skin people and mammary glanders will eventually be so equal they will enslave white, lying radicals (and their mam-gland consorts), pay them a pittance for forced labor on solar, wind, marine, compost and agri farms. Not pay them enough to buy houses or shop in certain neighborhoods, force them to attend educational Institutions of Historically Accurate Truth and Enforced Empathy. Enforce power over their bodies — this is a big one...what is their biggest fear here— I cannot even go there. Guns, hmm, yea, that all their guns will be replaced with ping-pong air-guns— true cajone-shrinking inflictions. Gerrymander them to hell, force them to listen to PBS and NPR, hug trees, re-purpose their yachts for immigrant and refugee relocation...and vacations, re-purpose all their coporate and personal offshore businesses and accounts, install the dreaded campaign finance reforms, safe elections, demand qualified, intelligent people to governments across the land (Ahhhh!!). Oh, and force them to pay fair share of taxes share in our horrible "socialist" democracy. Just some weird, meandering thoughts this morning on what the radical, white supremacists/fascists might be having panic attacks about...

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You forgot that one about fear so great that when reaching for their cajones they end up scratching their tonsils. Cowgirl?

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Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

Rupert Murdoch, I watched smart friends become rabid from the stench of Fox early on. And, of course, the lure of power over the evil libtards.

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Fear of being “replaced,” the world is a bad place and one must be vigilant, ppl are out to get you so remain on your toes, black ppl are all criminals so keep your eye on them. There is no joy anywhere for perpetually frightened ppl.

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Fox "news" seems to stoke their fear and conspiracy theories

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Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

Speaking of Twitter.Autocrats use being a ‘Victim ‘ or acting like they are on the side of ‘ Victims ‘. We can’t just keep ‘Dogging ‘ the ‘ R’s, because you see it keeps them ‘ Needing ‘the ‘Autocrats ‘. We need to list Biden’s benefits to all Americans Non -Stop ! I’m going to make the effort because when I read this it made sense. What former President has told us “ He Loves Us “ ? That is so ‘Text book Narcissism and Manipulation ‘. He started out telling them “ They were The Forgotten Ones “. We can do this if we know the rules to the game.Ppl need to use Social Media and if they attack say “ Biden Loves You “. You can’t fight fire with fire.You need water . Be water everyone.

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Apr 24, 2022·edited Apr 24, 2022

When McConnell posts something on his Twitter, I reply on his posts with Thank you President Biden for..... and share things our President is doing.

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That’s perfect ! I read this and the Bells and Whistles went off. TFG started with the dividing of us and we all jumped in. I’m as guilty as anyone. But there still needs to be accountability for 1/6.

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Excellent, Gailee! Shoot straight back, point blank. Thanks and simple truth, a good clean shot.

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Thank you 💕

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Don Winslow recommends that every one of us on twitter, post daily some good that Biden has done.

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And LFAA is a great source for that info.

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What I think he means is to commend President Biden w/out the mention or acknowledgement of anything toward the Republicans. Separate. You know “ Just The Facts Ma’am “. But for sure post LFAA as well.And do not engage with them if they attack your Post’s. It gives them the fuel for their ‘Macho ‘ fire.( the women also )😉.

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Yup. That's what I meant by a good, clean shot.

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Oh fore sure. I've already done some and plan to do more.

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I think firemen do use fire to fight fire when the blaze is absolutely out of control. That is what we have with these zealot cultists. I think we need to have the hard conversations and address the racist nazis head on.

WHY are they OBSESSED with our southern border right now as their leaders seek a dictatorship?

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As a former Conservative Republican who, tragically, voted for Trump in 2016, it was people who communicate like Heather who got through to me. I would have flipped sooner, but the hypocrisy of the Left pissed me off. I still cannot look at Hillary without contempt especially after her idiotic irredeemable deplorables comment. The Left preaches tolerance but too many on The Left can be very intolerant and hateful toward people with opposing opinions. Empathy goes a long way. Empathy is NOT endorsement. Empathy serves others and not our ego so it is really hard to show, but the results are astounding.

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Thank you for sharing your perspective, RUF. The 2016 election was horrific and our choices were not great. I am an independent because I see shadows on both sides of our dominant, two-party system. Hillary is owned by the corporations, and tfg is nothing BUT a corporation. Despite everything, some deeper part of me knows that we need the buffoon of trump to rip open America's wounds and pour salt into it. It was time that the shadows of America's white supremacist foundations were aired, exposed, and finally looked at very seriously. As well as how to lose a democracy via apathy and lack of education. While I hate all of it, there is something of LOVE that is needed from all of us to re-create our Democracy to fit this century, these kinds of people and wars. It is our turn to deal with our demons of the past and hone this Great Experiment. We need to do it together. I am so glad you are here. And, hatred will not win.

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Pensa, what powerful words! Thank you for your post. Love is definitely what we need. As I mentioned in another post, you can't shame and berate someone out of a cult. And, to me, that's what I was in - a Cult of Conservative Christianity. As much as I despise tfg, I don't know if I would have ever broken free had he not been in power. And once I started to break free, life became so amazing and beautiful. I got sober after 30 years of drinking. My depression disappeared and my anxiety lifted. I want everyone who still supports tfg to someday experience this awakening. It's given me a feeling of peace beyond words. I know many of them are like me - they're suffering, they hate themselves, they don't want to live but are afraid to die and the only thing that keeps them going is the power of connecting with others just like them by picking a target for all that is wrong in their life and hating it with all that they've got.

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Okay, a little breakfast helped. First, I would like to welcome you to this incredible community, RUF. Your experiences and journey are so valuable to share with others. I admire your courage, your hard-won journey to find peace and your willingness to join this community. Your voice will be very powerful in helping us to understand and what works in moving forward. If you can, I would love for you to help us understand what exactly happened that you broke through, was it reading Heather? Or others like her? If you could help us with the kinds of messaging that can be received, many of us on working very hard to help, using love and kindness, whilst still speaking truth.

Again, welcome to this community and thank you for your journey and willingness to share. We need you here!

warmly,

Penelope

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OMG, RUF. I have goosebumps and tears reading your response. I need to collect myself and get right back...

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Distraction, distraction, distraction. It’s why the repubs will never again support immigration reform (after Ronnie’s fiasco in late 80’s). It’s the weapon with which they flay Dems, over and over and over

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Yet, unless they are native American, their ancestors were immigrant/asylum seekers

= Hateful, hypocrisy.

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👍👍👍👍👍👍

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Just retweeted.

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This has been the most hopeful bit of news I have read in a while. Now those that have been named must be held responsible for their crimes and capitulate to justice. No more hiding and denying and lying. Thank you Heather. I look forward to your posts every night. I feel comforted while under your watchful eye, your brilliant recitation and explanation of facts and your not giving in or up to the liars. Thank you.

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Thanks for this excellent piece. In my view, the primary driving force underlying Republican efforts to undermine democracy is the undeniable reality that our country will no longer be majority white. The Republican base cannot stand this and the base is willing to do everything it can, even at the expense of democracy, to prevent any exercise of power by non-whites. Racism is the historical curse infecting every aspect of our country's history and its present. The Republican base is now hysterical that, as the non-white numbers grow, a non-white majority is inevitable and will ultimately end white rule. To the base, America is and must always be white. In my view, all other issues are side-shows to the racial issue.

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You got it, Irving. 👍👍

And then after race comes male supremacy, and, in no particular order, heterosexual, moneyed, and Christian supremacy.

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My! You get a lot out of driving a truck! ❤️

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Lots of time to think critically!! How is that book coming, Roland?

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If they had any sense from the perspective you describe they would push for massive easing of immigration rules for Europeans to try to redress the balance....and the most assuredly haven't! There is a little more to this than meets the eye immediately as the Planter Nation of the Deep South accepted to live in fear of a slave revolt when the massive majority of the population were Black Slaves....because they could create a climate of fear and had a monopoly on the use lethal force to control the people. This is not only "White Supremacy" but a continuation of the use of this ideology to maintain oligarchic rule over the "poor".... black, white, red, yellow or whatever.....the fears of the "poor white" to lose his/her status is used to further the oligarch's control over everything..

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"create(ing) a climate of fear" - the primary and perpetual "tool" of the Republican Party - for years and years. Create a base of people who will believe something (anything) is a threat to them (i.e. caravans of rapists, murderers, etc. moving up through South America to the U.S. southern border; pedophiles in the basement of a pizza shop that doesn't have a basement; masses of people demonstrating under the banner of Black Lives Matter against the murder of a black man by a white, male cop, etc.), make them afraid of it, and then lead them off the cliff by blaming the Democrats and non-existent organizations.

The other one, that Trump perfected, is 'distract and divert' (don't look at the number of COVID cases/deaths increasing daily and the lack of a vaccine or plan to administer it and then delegate the responsibility for that to the states, call a pandemic a hoax that will disappear over night, etc.) - but NEVER actually solve or come up with a structurally sound, workable plan. Best to use the Democrats as the responsible party for the problem; call facts and photos of freezer trucks for the overflow of dead bodies fake news; create splashy White House lawn events promoting an "Infrastructure Week" that never happened. It's like the 'plan' Republicans and Trump kept promising (never delivered) to replace the ACA as they campaigned 77 times in the House to defeat and couldn't.

It's still better to feed the illusions of poor, white supremacists than to admit the the rights and existence of educated and successful POC. Play to that cultivated base's threat of losing the long gone power it still wants and believes it is entitled simply on the basis of its race and "culture."

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And the sheep follow!

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Stuart Ah, immigration. America has been equivocal about immigration since the Alien & Sedition Act of 1798. The American Party (‘Know Nothing Party’) in the 1840s was anti-immigrant and eventually morphed, with the remnants of the Whig Party, into Republican in 1850s.

Chinese were banned, after an influx brought to construct the transcontinental railroad. Japanese a bit later. The Immigration Act of 1924 was designed to favor Western Europeans, with other areas given short shrift. Also, then and later NINA (No Irish Need Apply) signs were common in Boston.

Old comers tend to ignore that we are an immigrant nation—-Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans…up to a recent influx of Asians who have been vital in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. As for those ‘dreadful but necessary’ jobs such as farming, home care, and landscaping, without recent immigrants our economy would smolder.

How many and from where is the owning issue. Simply opening our gates to all who are poor and/or face bloody oppression at home is the the answer. However, without sustained immigration America will rather soon be experiencing the population loss that is already affecting some countries.

The issue is, perhaps, ‘fear’ juxtaposed to real-facts sensibility. Today the ‘fear’ of sn immigrant onslaught seems a popular Republican bleat. My grandmother was born in Cuba, her son graduated from Annapolis and was career navy, her two sisters had careers teaching in Philadelphia public schools….

Enough for now—except that Trump managed to manipulate immigration laws to obtain ample staff at Mar a Lago and elsewhere.

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People from where i grew up (NE England border country) formed the backbone of the Appalachian population

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Stuart, great post. "because they could create a climate of fear and had a monopoly on the use lethal force to control the people".

I am not sure this is true anymore, but, I am not sure a leader can emerge and knit together "minorities" into a cohesive group.

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Despite ardent attemps by the wokists and intersectionalists.

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Not sure what a “wokist” is. Scared to ask. Stuart always makes my head spin and leaves me wondering if I need to go back to school…

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Wokism is a movement aiming to "deconstruct" society (see origins in Jean-Paul Satre's existentialism) where everybody, everywhere except the white heterosexual male is a minority abused by this group. You can add into this the intro of "inclusive" language, the genre taking over from biology and the like. The intersectionalists are those saying that the abused minorities must get together to kick the sh*t out of the society as it currently exist and all such as yours truly in the process.

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Ah! There is a word for the fear of the white supremacists--from those whom they preside over: Intersectionalists.

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I appreciate your asking, Jeri, and also Stuart for answering. You weren't scared to ask after all, or not enough to stop you. That's what age does to many of us: makes us less concerned with what others might think of us if we get the result we want.

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Very true!

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I think this is true, BUT I also think that most of the Trumpistas allowed themselves to be brainwashed over 1-2 decades. Thus they would swear that their radical views are based on better morals, protecting freedom, protecting life, fighting socialism, honoring our great heritage, etc. How do we get people who have enjoyed being riled up by these justifications, and stories of how they’ve been mistreated victims, to question all that misinformation? IMO, the Left isn’t guilt-free on this, but the scale of it is far less there. Witness Jan. 6!

The other consideration with brainwashing is that it says “these are not bad people, but they made a major mental mistake years ago, got hooked, and now the terrible logical outcome of that is endangering the nation most of them once loved.”

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