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It is 4:14 am and we're heading to our hotel in Savannah, GA several days early after a disastrous and heated argument with my In-laws after dinner. The gist of the argument, among other things, was January 6, Trump's hand in it and how it was a lawful expression of true patriots. The straw that broke the camel's back was the repeated use of the phrase, "Why should/do you care?" whether or not those who attacked Capitol are held accountable? Or that voting rights are being throttled or that people are struggling. "You're doing fine, why do you care about anyone else?" And they mean precisely that.

I think if each of us on this page listen closely to family and friends who have been sucked into the void of Trumpism you'll find that they, too, simply don't care about anyone other than themselves. Their words and actions tell us that they don't care. My husband and I have gritted our teeth since Obama was elected listening to the bigoted, racist, hateful bullshit and have argued against the right wing crap they've dished out. Last night was the last straw. No more.

People who ask, "Why do you care?" that our democracy is in jeopardy have no interest in building a better society. Listen to them. They are telling you the truth. They. Do. Not. Care.

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I copied the following from a comment on substack. It explains the strange immunity to common sense that many Trumplicans seem to be suffering, in a way that I haven't seen before.

"Pam Smith (ME)

"I am in the field of psychology, and I want to nudge the focus of the perception of the type of power an authoritarian leader has over their followers. It is a form of identity grooming, extended to groups that are hungry for a positive self-identity. The self-identity offered by the authoritarian leader to their followers quickly gives them the status of being favored by a powerful person or party, of being special, and of being right. It is an intensely experienced sudden elevation of their perceived status, and contributes to their intense loyalty. They have not experienced such importance, and high regard, in their lives previously. That the extension of this positive identity is manipulative, dangerous and untrue is not visible to those who have embraced it until something happens to reveal the dishonesty of their leader. And even then, for the loyal followers, the betrayal of their loyalty is hard for them to believe. It is important to recognize, that the strong emotional bonds the follower has are not only to the leader, but also to the positive self-identity which the manipulative leader bestowed on them."

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Thank you. What comes to my mind is the writings of historian, Timothy Synder. In his book, On Tyranny, which is now also on video, in his first lesson, DO NOT OBEY IN ADVANCE, he states that most of the power in authoritarianism is freely given. Individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government would want and then offer themselves without being asked. A citizen who adapts this way is teaching power what it can do. He discusses the idea of what is normal. People, he spoke to who hid or helped Jews during the Holocaust described it as normal, nothing heroic. The other idea of normal is what other people are doing; what people more powerful than you are going to want. Each of us need to decide which kind of normal do we want to be.Synder says, "We have a good deal of power and the example we set matters a great deal." He discusses time and not putting things off. When you don't obey in advance, you are lying down a marker in time - I am not going along. The longer you wait to set down the marker and the longer you let things go, the more you will be tempted by the new normal. And we see this has happened to millions around us since 2016. People kept on go along with one thing after another and became morally, psychologically committed to it and the BIG LIE. They never asserted their own idea of normal and became committed to all of this. I think we saw and see it most clearly from all the elected Republicans going along with this. I am grateful to Heather for beginning her letters, her FB classes and Now and Then with Joanne Freeman and creating this venue for us. Take care everyone and have a great day.

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"The longer you wait to set down the marker and the longer you let things go, the more you will be tempted by the new normal."

I think this is such an important point! It's far easier to protest a wrong when the contrast with what is right is fresh and sharp and before habit, laziness, and self-doubt conspire against action, before your shout becomes a whine.

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I think all of us here have firmly set down markers already. Yes?

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Absolutely!

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Sorry, but for a lot of them, this doesn't enter into it. Those who vote one issue don't need any excuse except it's "murder" in their eyes.

And I am saying that in regards to the 100+ people I know very well who have and always will vote one issue.

To me, they are are worse than non voters.

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that one issue is being solved for them, after the over turn of Roe maybe they will be more aware

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The politicians tried out a slew of issues before they learned that anti-abortion brought them money and power. Expect to see more experimenting.

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They will move on to their next issue, or perhaps they already have. After they overturn Roe they will go after any religion except Christianity. Flynn has already started that for them.

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Flynn is such an odd story that hopefully will come out someday. Or perhaps I've missed the bio drama in the slew of books already put out on tfg admin. To have gone from respected military leader and family man to ideological contortionist is a promising suspense and psychic-ops story. Compelling and horrifying..

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Agree. After they get what they thought they wanted it is possible/hopeful they will see their "heroes" in a different light. Or maybe even better have no further use for them.

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Probably not. Especially if that is not their issue. Sorry.

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Or, most likely, not their current issue. Already will have moved on to the next single issue. Fundamental problem with low octane bandwidth.

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One issue a political mindset doesn't make, but when attached with a vote, it becomes a weapon. Next issue, I vote again. Never a thought given to the impact or consequence. I am sad for you Daria and feel the frustration. I am taken to arguing with thos robo callers claiming to be from Medicaire. Embarrassing as that is.

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So these people have never been made to feel special or important by family, friends, educators,or anyone. A formula for creating bullies. Makes sense and it is very sad.

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it is not that no one loved them, it is that they could not perceive that love, like a cracked cup no matter how much you pour in it leaks right out, you will never fill that cup

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Wait, wait.....it is not other peoples responsibility to make you feel special or loved. Is it?

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They have been taught to be victims and Trump and the GOP amplified it and still do. Their entire identity is wrapped up in being a victim.

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Kathy, I don't think they love themselves or their situation, which makes them vulnerable to anyone who comes along and offers love to them -- fake or not. Waffle House was my preferred place to eat, and I saw that happening over and over again. Nothing derogatory implied to Waffle House clientele. I feel very comfortable there. Not a lot of pretension or posturing, just people of all kinds being people.

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Thank you. What Pam states is certainly true. My in-laws have had wealth all of their lives so, for them, its not about gaining new found power it's about being able to lord their perceived superiority over those who are different, less economically or socially privileged. My in-laws consider those who have compassion and empathy for others stupid and advocate for equality stupid. We were specifically told that we are stupid for caring. Unbelievable.

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The wealthy know very well that things are not good and especially in terms of climate change, they believe their wealth will somehow save them. They don't have to care because they can get on a plane for an abortion, fly everywhere in their private jets, have their minions kowtowing to them, let the peons fight their battles and die, donate huge sums to causes that undermine, eat lavishly while people starve, and of course, take a phallic rocket into space.

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And all the while the people who do their scut work end up with less and less. It's disgusting.

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Yes, they do. And if you want to leave during a tornado warning, you'll be fired. And it is disgusting. Remember how Bezos thanked the Amazon serfs when he climbed out of the phallus.

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"And to all the little people out there who made this possible..."

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It was repulsive. I could not help to think how many of them lacked decent health care, decent employee benefits, and assorted compensations.....

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Michelle, I wonder how they or their descendants will feel when their minions are all gone, no one to pilot their jet, and their holdings look like a Kentucky candle factory? Probably blame those damn democrats....

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Exactly. Did you see Peter Doocy try to blame Biden for the arson at the Fox Christmas tree. He asked Jen Psaki if it was good governing? Suddenly homeless, mentally ill, drug addicts fall under Biden’s governing responsibility. Yet Republicans don’t want any social programs that would get these people treatment. Fox didn’t blame it on the arsonist, they blamed it directly on Biden. We could say the same for 1/6. Let’s not blame it on the terrorists, let’s go straight to Trump because it was his governing that caused it.

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I have wondered about that too. I was talking to an ex-student not long ago who has plenty of money and she observed that there is really no place to move that doesn't suffer from climate change. Right now she is living on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge to avoid Oregon and Portland taxes. She does care about social issues and climate change.

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My sympathies for having to deal with this. Extremely difficult. Trump even now is accomplishing what no other president has: turning families against each other. In my larger family, we just don't discuss these matters, which also makes no sense. Everyone knows the issues are roiling just below the surface.

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My husband's parents constantly bait until there's a breaking point. It's a lifelong habit for both of them, their meaness was/is exacerbated by the orange menace and his klan. I truly believe they were waiting for the day they could "be themselves" out in the open. 85 & 95 years is a long time to live with hate in one's heart.

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My father has long passed, but we used to argue about politics every time I visited. I hope he would have seen through death star, but he was already listening to Rush.

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Rush did a lot of damage.

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It is painful to deal with. I'm sorry for your loss.

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It has to have been much simpler (I wont say easier) for you & your husband to be out of the country & somewhat "walled off" from listening to this garbage. I agree with Pete - hard to like that!!

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It was much simpler. I really think we believed that being together after close two years separation would be helpful. Boy, Maggie, were we wrong!

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Okay. I can't put a like on this. I'm sorry you must deal with it. We have a few trumpistas in our tribe too.

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Oy and ugh. Stay well!

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Thanks for this- we need to understand more about why so many are willing to drink the cool-aid.

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I saw this when Pam posted it a week or so ago and agree that it is so important to try to understand the psychology behind it. How else can we change minds?

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and when they are betrayed their anger is great and hopefully directed at those who betrayed them

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A very powerful anger at being betrayed! However, if they are not able to disengage from the betrayer, they find someone else to blame and direct that rage to.

Meaning US....yes indeed.

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What happens to the cult followers of this authoritarian figure when he/she is toppled, disgraced, and/or dies. I think of Hitler, Jones of the Guyana Kool Aid killings, and, of course, Trump. Is the positive personal status that someone associated with an authoritarian father figure (Stalin) so intertwined that some people are simply unable to disengage? The thought that association with Trump-like figures provide individuals with ‘positive self-identity’ boggles my conventional mind.

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GREAT question.

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Hitler is still admired all over, we are evidence

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Pete, thank you for posting this illuminating and helpful comment.

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That is helpful and makes sense.

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That’s the effect of demagoguery.

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But demagoguery couldn't work on people who have a strong self identity and self love.

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I'm not certain on that. Of course self love and strong identity are critical factors, but its not a 100%. We are social animals and need a connection to a group to feel secure, accepted, loved back. Does that make sense? I think we have to accept that any person alone can get sucked in. Think about cults. How do they recruit? They isolate the mark as much as possible and seek to replace close relationships with only cult members. If I was really on my game, I would have a paper or link to attach here.

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Ted, completely agree. In fact, I have noticed that I experience dis-individuation by getting approval on this forum. I do love myself, love my life, have few desires or expectations; yet, when you're alone in your house all day, a little approval from other folks is very attractive. So yes, self-love is not a perfect shield, at least in my anecdotal case. Multiply that by people who don't have any self-regard or self-love, and someone like TFG has a target-rich environment.

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100%. Did you see HCR interview Rebecca Solnit last night? It was awesome! I thought it would be more on the discussion here today.

Solnit's book is about Orwell's life and times and about him as a person and how that influenced his writing about fascism of the 20's, 30's, and 40's. I'm thinking of his characters in Animal Farm and 1984 and how they eventually succumb either willingly or by force. Solnit explains how to be defiant amongst authoritarianism, to remain a person, and not be made just a thing that consumes and doesn't have a say. I don't think we can afford to under estimate the power of demagoguery. While it is a total cheap shot and immoral for leaders to deploy. It works. Its effective. When all else has failed, going full demagogue will get enough votes to stay in the game. While it is a Hail Mary pass of the politically desperate (and other things), it still has the potential to win the game. Remember, Hitler and Mussolini never got more than 40% of the vote.

Of all the concerns about losing democracy, I am also worried about how you get it back? or if you can. I hesitate to say this here in an open forum, so before I say it, here's the Epigraph in Orwell's Roses by Rebecca Solnit, "In fact, the very act of trying to look ahead to discern possibilities and offer warnings is in itself an act of hope." -Octavia Butler. My biggest worry is what if TFG is reelected and nationalizes Facebook and operates his entire pollical power strategy with FB's algorithm. Basically, it would be a return to the Joseph McCarthy era with the Roy Cohn/DJT playbook, but with A.I. and reaches into every facet of our lives. This could happen, as there is enough apathy here, and we have to prevent it.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/607057/orwells-roses-by-rebecca-solnit/

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

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Yes, This.

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This goes back a long way to pre-civil war poor whites in the south. They think that they will be on the winning side and they'll always be better off than the proverbial other. The sh*t will never happen to them! I've got news for them.....dictatorship doesn't work that way.

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LBJ said it best “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket… Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Sad, but true.

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Gee Wiz. Not as knowledgeable as you for certain. Amazingly I've said that since I was 15 years old. Almost 70 now. Are more folks listening? I have hope.

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I'm older and I wish older meant wiser but I've seen enough evidence that some just get old. The young may not be wise yet, but they have the energy and the passion. My grands give me hope.

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It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles "too tired."

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Look at all the donations to DJT - STILL!

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!!!! Yes!!!! Still!

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Do these people not understand they are giving HIM money? Or, sadly maybe they do.

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Amen, Stuart.

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Why do we care. That is a question that all of us need to reflect and gain clarity on. Obviously, we DO care. But why? I care for the same reasons I pray: for love. Love of self, family, community, nation, world, and the idea that all people are created equal and deserve unbiased protection under the law. It is painful to see good people not understand this. Painful to see large swathes of our population led away from respect and compassion for each-other.

Daria, I'm sorry you had that painful experience. I was likely no less painful for your in-laws. I hope at some point it is possible to repair those relationships. I hope.

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I have been debating whether to bring up the subject with my sister-in-law and have put it off. Maybe it’s time…. They are not anti-vaxxers and my bro has a sliver of sanity, but the church looms large, so wish me luck

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The question I want to ask my Christiian Trumper relatives is, " The core of all Jesus Christ's messages is 'Love thy neighbor as thyself.' So, is what you are saying LOVING?" That should underpin all discussions and actions. It doesn't. So I, lovingly (to myself) don't waste my breath.

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Have had to tell some of my hypochristian relatives who repeatedly evangelize their superior spiritual enlightenment that their brand of Christianity is very unattractive to me, that I prefer the kind of Christianity that asks, "What would Jesus do?" Yes, that's right, replied one of them, delighted. I just stared at them, gape-mouthed.

They really can't see, much less understand, their own actions. Very scary.

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Are they anti-abortion? If so, don't waste your time.

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Don't do it.

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Don’t do it. It won’t work.

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Jeri, be prepared for anything. Be safe

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try the "focus on the greater good" tactic. Doesn't the church say to help your fellow man? good luck!

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Steve, thanks. We have struggled, as a couple, with their lack of social decency for decades, 45 years to be precise. My husband even longer. We're not interested in having any future relationship.

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Dear Daria,

Seems pretty clear they have long chosen self alone. 45 years was a saintly attempt. 💙

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Daria, can’t imagine how hard that is to have to walk away from family like that. But I get it. My immediate neighbors were dumbfounded when a bunch of us stopped by after the tornado hit us last September to offer clean up help. In a private conversation later she asked me why I participated. In that moment, I knew. She never would have offered. Never, not no how. The chip on her shoulder that”she did not get hers, why should I help anyone else get theirs” is too big. They truly do not care. Sorry for your loss. Glad you are here.

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Reaching out to those in need is such seems so natural to me, Sheila. Being decent to another human is natural to so many of us. The "chip" is a terrible, ugly handicap. I'm glad you're here, too. 🌷

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I wish for a sad emoji beside the heart. 😢

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James Lane Allen, a late 19th century novelist, provides us with this quote, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” I remember hearing these words often from my Dad when young and I would grouse about some injustice, slight, or difficulty I faced. He knew whereof he spoke after spending 3 1/2 years overseas in WW II in virtually continual combat and dealing with challenges far beyond anything I faced in my own youth. We can see the truth of this in our leaders when observing their own behaviors when confronted with difficult challenges. Do they work to relieve the pain and suffering of others? Do they act in a way that lifts the lot of others less fortunate? Do they act in a way that makes us all more secure, healthy, and better off? Or do they hop on a plane and jet off to Cancun - just to cite one example?

I will not recount all of the recent character revealing examples here. We see or read of them everyday. Rather I urge us all to remember both James Allen Lane’s words as well as the Mr. Roger’s advice on facing difficulties, “Look for the helpers.” I also urge us all to be one of those helpers in whatever way we are able when we see opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those needing a bit of assistance.

We must insist on truth. We must insist on accountability for misdeeds and criminal behavior. We must also insist on Congress crafting and passing informed legislation that assures the American people our elections will be free, fair, and secure, and that the actual results of those elections will be honored. We also have a right to demand that any and all criminal referrals to DOJ will be investigated and if warranted full prosecuted and all miscreants held accountable regardless of whatever positions they hold or held previously. The concept of any form of “privilege” is inconsistent with equal justice under law for all.

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As Shakespeare phrased it “This above all to thine own self be true And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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This.

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BruceC, same-same my WWII-Korea father. He would say I was looking under a microscope and whining about everything. When I came back from Vietnam I knew EXACTLY what he was talking about!

Still got the microscope, not whining anymore.

I have a feeling a whole LOT of character is going to be revealed. By our children if not by us

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I served as a conscientious objector medic in Vietnam and while there were many grueling days there my service cannot begin to compare with what my Dad endured. I have come to understand that so many of the struggles we face today are multi-generational struggles and we should not anticipate or expect quick victories. It required almost a century of women advocating for the right to vote, the struggle for equal rights under the law and civil rights are now centuries old and continue today. We must educate, encourage, and support the next generation to continue efforts to achieve the "more perfect union" our founding documents proclaimed as a vision. They fell short and we will fall short as well. Let us achieve whatever progress we can and prepare the next generation to continue the fight.

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Bruce For me Congo was a life and death situation, personally and for many others. Subsequently I was capable of complaining but not whining. To loosely paraphrase Churchill ‘a whizzing bullet focuses one’s mind marvelously.’

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Yes! Your last paragraph.

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Daria,

Yes I’ve come to the same conclusion. Many of my educated and well to do friends are in that fat bubble and resent that we care. It’s all about comfort for them. Democracy is an abstract term. For them it’s about protecting their racist, tax havened cozy bubbles. Not muc use trying to convince them otherwise when they can turn to their media channels spewing this point of view.

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Liz, yes, it is no use trying to change a heart of stone and a mind filled with hatred and greed. We're done.

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I'm so sad this happened.

However, as I've gotten older and especially as I'm dealing with my husband's disease, I've realized that life is too short to deal with B's and negativity.

I cut ties with my best friend of 45+ years after realizing how much harm she was doing not only to me but also my husband

And having lost both my parents at a young age, I know how agonizing it must be to deal with this and the struggle your heart must be going through.

Not going to offer any advice, I have none, I just hope what ever happens ends up being the best for you.

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Thanks, Beth. Take care of yourself. You have much to contend with.

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Ms. Wilber. Your reading of the terrain, so far as is concerned both your inlaws and the "family and friends" of the Letters cohort "who have been sucked into the void of Trumpism" is stated with conviction and passion. Thank you for sharing that reading, my thank you including regret that you and your husband have been subjected to the "bigoted, racist, hateful bullshit" to which you refer. I note, however, that your experience, and indeed your own post, suggests a variant conclusion to the one you draw, which is that "they do not care." This variant conclusion is that "they __do __care," but what they care about is the opportunity to further their manifestly "bigoted, racist, and hateful views" whether furthering their views means the act of voting for Trumpists up and down the line, more concerted activity (running for political office as a Trumpist, participating in the January 6 insurrection) or simply inflicting their views on their own family and friends such as you and your husband. From a slightly different perspective, and borrowing the now widely circulated summary statement that the Atlantic Journalist Adam Serwer advanced, "cruelty is the point," and Trumpists care a lot about being cruel.

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Cruelty is the point, how many times did I post that on FB

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You are right, they care for what benefits them. Cruelty is definitely the point.

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Pete

This describes the foot soldiers well, the actual attackers of the Capitol on January 6th. The hub of the attack, trump gave them a purpose in life which they followed without regard for their role in the conspiracy to overthrow the US government. They were not the enablers. trump paid attention to them in order to achieve his, "his" criminal goals.

From the hub come the spokes of conspirators who enabled trump desire to remain in office as a dictator president. The Jordans, Grahams, Cruzs, Meadows, Flyns etc. trump would have gone nowhere with his desire to reign forever if those who were the spokes of the wheel of conspiracy to overthrow the government on January 6th refused to do so. Without the spokes the wheel can not support the weight applied to it.

Whether you are afraid or not, you still have to perform the duties of office to which you swore an oath too. This is why I have such contempt for Pence. He knew, did nothing, and by his silence he becomes one of the spokes and a conspirator.

I am a nobody in the scheme of things here. I write with others on a small economics blog. Within the UCMJ, there is Article 81. The elements of it being the accused entered into an agreement with one or more persons to commit an offense under the code. While the agreement continued to exist, and while the accused remained a party to the agreement, the accused or at least one of the co-conspirators performed an overt act for the purpose of bringing about the object of the conspiracy.

You may not be the one who created the conspiracy, the hub; but, you are one of the spokes supporting the wheel enabling the conspiracy. This is serious and can result in a death sentence for attempting to overthrow the government.

Furthermore, a conspiracy does not necessarily terminate merely because the government defeated the object of the conspiracy. In other words, you can still be convicted of a conspiracy after it was defeated. Those who still defend trump, who is guilty, are a part.

After this long diatribe, I will address why they should care or why I care about this occurring. I served during the Vietnam era from 68 to 74. Fifty-eight thousand of us went to our deaths in what was thought to be a threat to the US. We served when we were drafted and when we enlisted. Some of us fled the country to avoid the draft and still did not try to overthrow the government.

We all made a fateful decision. To not care about what happens to this country is the same as not caring about all of those who died now, then, and pre-Vietnam in conflicts for which we had little choice. It is akin to calling us all suckers and holding all of us who served in contempt. They can care or not care because we made it safe for them to have a choice. trump would care what we thought.

There is not a day that goes by when I do not think of my friends and that is why I also care.

Sorry Prof. Heather, these are complex statements being made.

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Yes, this is a strong part of the answer to "Why should you care?"

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"The hub of the attack, trump gave them a purpose in life which they followed..." Do you think that a country that has largely deprecated or not given its citizens good purposes to follow is going to have a very easy time enlisting citizens to find worth in purposes that are destructive?

I do.

I look at the roles that our society glorifies as giving worth in rhetoric and role models. You achieve worth if you join the military; you can have worth if you become part of a police force. Both involve designating some group as enemies and dominating them with violence. The result is a nation with an unending involvement in wars, mostly undeclared wars, and we have the highest incidence of police violence and police shootings of any developed nation that purports to be "a democracy." We have maintained the status of both with great consistence through the governance periods of BOTH Republicans and Democrats. As this increased in intensity, we began to be taught to deprecate intellectuals, altruism, our teachers, our professors, our scientists, our health care workers and our journalists who dared to shine the light onto malfeasance, atrocities, apartheid and even war crimes. We even have foreign nations influencing the passage of laws to punish our citizens who would criticize such behavior and refuse to support it.

So, I do blame the operatives of BOTH political parties and their corrupt corporate media for doing this dividing of citizens into groups of imagined allies and enemies. The case that is discussed here is allowing the parties to do this to us to the degree we can even see members of our own families as "enemies."

This is a pathetic standard to choose as our culture. One way out is to agree not to continuing to ignore and tolerate this conditioning to hate and divide us from our families, neighbors, and community any longer.

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Directed to Daria also.

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Is this a law that could/should send these scurrilous conspirators to the slammer? So far almost all of them are singing the same Big Lie/1/6 song with carefree abandon.

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I’m so sorry Daria. My under 30 next door neighbor just started flying his Trump as Rambo flag and installed a life sized cardboard cutout of Trump on his patio. In reply to some pointed ribbing by my husband his only reply was “I like the guy.” They have no insight, no real political knowledge and no foresight of the end game of the GOP. Both parents are cops. Their loyalty is purely emotional. You’re correct. They. Do. Not. Care. Did I forget the “Biden Sucks” banner? ❤️❤️❤️

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Oh my God.

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Check out the "Dunning-Kruger Effect." It's very true, even if it's difficult to determine sometimes which end of the graph oneself falls, since it can change with the setting/topic.

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Check out < https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/critical-thinking/dunning-kruger-effect-probably-not-real>. The "effect" in those graphs you are pointing readers toward are produced mostly mathematical artifacts and not qualities of human behavior. Lessons here are

(1) Friends don't let friends weaponize Dunning-Kruger;

(2) People should use evidence, not appeals to authority;

(3) Believe in yourself and your ability to learn.

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Erghhhh ughhhhh

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In my family's case (those who are Trumpers), they have the privilege of not having to care or even have certain things on their radar, sadly. I am not proud to say that I avoid them at all costs. It's the best I will do at this time when I have so much anger at how Trump has ruined this country.

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Kim, we regret making the visit. They have seen almost no family since Covid and we imagined that they might be less contentious. Silly us. At least our family dilemma has been resolved once and for all.

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Sometimes it is nice to get the answers, even if the answer is as nasty as this was.

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Precisely.

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The only good thing about Covid was that it "prevented" me from seeing family members who support TFG.

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Who knew Covid has its up side!?!

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How painful. So sorry it came to that, Daria.

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Ellie, I think it was inevitable. Thanks for caring.

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I find it perplexing the same parents who raised good children now criticize those children for their goodness. I’m not saying that very well but I hope you know what I mean. (Like when my mother, who didn’t got to college, like many women of her time, used to say “you think you’re so smart!” My sassy reply “don’t you want to get your money’s worth?”.)

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Marcy, it is very perplexing!

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Daria, I am so sorry you find yourself where you are. Know that you have a community here that can (at least virtually) love and support you, those who DO care, about things both great and small. Someone who posted earlier than me encapsulated this clearly: she offered tornado aid to a neighbor who could not fathom why she cared about someone other than herself. It seems to be a characterological flaw in some people that they completely lack any empathy for anyone outside their immediate bubble.

Find comfort and solace here. Safe travels, and calm emotional seas as you return to your home.

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Thanks, Ally. I am filled with gratitude for the kindness, love and support this group has shown me. As I write, Isaac the cat has crawled under the duvet and us snuggled at my feet. My husband is reading the news. We are de-stressing today and tomorrow before we travel on. I see a very "bad for me" grits, ham & egg comfort breakfast in my very near future.🌷. Oh yeah, and gravy.

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This community loves you, Daria! I always enjoy your comments. Sorry you had to go through this; I get it. My in-laws are the same, but our situation hasn't exploded--yet.

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Julie, thank you! I hope your family can weather this without the volatility. 🌷

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It's a chilly, windy, rainy day here in coastal San Diego so I treated myself to grits, over-easy eggs & bacon. If I had had scrapple (not available here to my knowledge), I would choose that over bacon. You're in a region where scrapple is often an option; try it if you haven't had it before.

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Judith, oh yes indeedy ma'am! I've eaten many a scrapple breakfast. I'm glad we shared a comfort breakfast together today🌷

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AND you have each other (and Isaac)! Big plus, right?

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The cult is well, a cult. Where logic, empathy and reason go to die.

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Daria, You do certainly care…and I care about you so grateful you hit the road and are setting boundaries. Stay well..

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Kathy, thank uou. Peace🌷

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I have noticed that for a long time, not only about the things that you mention, as long as it doesn't touch them the rest of the world can burn. Bravo for your willingness to no longer listen to the crap.

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It seems to me that Meadows' sudden refusal to cooperate with the Jan. 6th Committee only lends credibility to the material he has submitted, such as that quoted by HCR above. It also seems his actions point to the probability that the material he now chooses to withhold is even more powerful evidence of an overt conspiracy to overthrow the US government, a coup d'etat, at the very least abetted by the president.

Liz Cheney's courage and fortitude highlights the groveling cowardice, the supreme hypocricy, of her fellow Republicans.

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And puts her head and shoulders above many non-republicans in the courage and forthrightness stakes

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Wish Foxers could have heard it, but Rupert rules the fools. One of Goebbels favorite rules “propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident that they are acting on their own free will.”

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Liz Cheney's speech was powerful. https://youtu.be/pA7scwOVcrw

This confirms Donald Trump carried out his proposed shooting and killing of someone on 5th or was it 7th Avenue in broad daylight moment.

I agree that many who support Trump will not care anymore than those who attended a mob lynching, shooting or burning of black people ever cared about what happened to the black victims, black population, their own community, state or nation.

I am watching the news of the tornado destruction through the southern midwest and thinking how out of touch the people are with their own politics of small government, keep the Federal government out, no aid for NYC and NJ after hurricane Sandy as they seek donations and aid wherever they can. We are either independent individuals and states on our own or we are a united people and United States.all together. Which is it?

Humanity seems to have two kinds of people. Those who are generous and those who are exploiters. My reading of history is that those with the least are most likely to give the most of what they have to those in need. This seems to correspond with original Christian teachings about love and charity. Until we get our priorities back, we will struggle. Those destroyed by the tornadoes will be experiencing both generosity and exploitation. If only they realize where this comes from.

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The Golden Rule was a no-brainer in my youth. Greed and self-interest are always on the table, but the “prosperity gospel” legitimizes the worst of humanity.

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Thousands of years ago same old story, Eh!? Mark 12:41-44 NIV

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Thank you, George.

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Thank You.

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And a third type: those who are psychologically vulnerable to exploitation. These are the folks that both Republicans and Democrats have failed.

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The "psychologically vulnerable" are legion, and may rule soon. Who is more susceptible to propaganda?

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Will Congress act to expel those members who are complicit in the insurrection? Will the military remove the benefits of Flynn and Waldron (and others) and court martial them? Or will everyone forgive and forget as Andrew Johnson tried with Confederates after the Civil War?

On another note, I hope Liz Cheney is well protected. She has shown incredible courage and tfg’s followers are conscienceless.

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I expect she will run for President in 2024...that will be a mixed bag

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That will also be our salvation: The Republican Party will split, and the Democrats will win, as has happened before in our civil war history (except the souls of our political parties were the opposite of what they are now).

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So hoping you are absolutely correct, MaryPat.

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If so - depends on who Dems run - Cheney has collected some fans in this moment!

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Here we are once again. Another "avalanche" of criminal evidence on the doorstep of the White House and in the Oval Office of Donald Trump. If this isn't treason, I don't know what is . . .

And yet no comment or movement from AG Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice. The only way to stop Trump and his cronies is to INDICT them immediately and prosecute them with all deliberate speed. Were Trump to be convicted of just one of the scores of felonies he committed while in office, he would be barred from holding Federal office ever again.

We sit here day-in day-out, months go by, even years, dazed by the enormity of a bona fide sociopath and what he has done to destroy the institutional fabric of our Republic and Democracy. If the rule of law, so fundamentally critical to our Republic, is not going to be enforced, then we are witnessing the fall of Rome all over again . . . .

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The only way to win at poker is to not show your hand until you have all your cards in place. I have full confidence in DOJ and AG Garland.

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THIS, MaryPat

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Well, not your "hole" card, unless you have more than one. Bluffing can involve some pretty strange behaviors, even turning over a hole card or two. Works better when everyone's stoned, however. Not for the faint of heart if you're betting more than your monthly rent...

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DOJ will not comment on an ongoing investigation. James Comey grossly violated that norm to disasterous effect.

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Right, Peter. The writing has been on the wall at least since the Coglione in chief began trying to wall out immigrants and referring to "shit-hole countries". He does not do democracy, and he has convinced the GOP not to care about democracy. Our glorious country still thinks it is a democracy, even though the potential for minority rule and eventual dictatorship is written right into our Constitution, the interpretation of which has been left up to a group of partisan moral midgets. All of this horror should surprise no one.

Could this be the beginning of the final battle of the Civil War? Will this story have a happy ending? Hard to be sure, but it is safe to say our world will be nearly unrecognizable very soon. I used to think I wouldn't live to see it, but now I think I just might. Bummer.

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I thought I wouldn’t live to see the worst either, now not so sure

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The rule of law depends on the good character (for the most part) of those whose job it is to execute or enforce the law. Now the R’s say, “So what? Who cares?”

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Nailed it. The couple, Stockton and Lawrence from the Rolling Stone/Politico articles are obvious in their quest for power and social media status and their angst in being denied.

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Tonight we can be proud of Dick Cheney’s daughter. Liz stood against Wyoming racist base fascism without speaking a word about race or Wyoming or Mormons. She is not her father. She is better, but she won’t turn on him, only on Trump. To get all this, The Cruelty Is The Point by Adam Serwer is the book to read. Carefully. This once very angry young man has come to talk about what matters. He understands what. He has work to do to understand why. But he feels it. He really feels it. Why may take him another decade. Why is complex. Heather Cox Richardson understands what, too. She gets what. Her antiseptic dry fact based historical approach is powerful - now and then. She does not concern herself with why. She knows her limitations. Historians, some, are triumphant with what. “The Past, Present, and Future of Trump’s America” by Adam Serwer will shine light where darkness rules: right here. “The negro still hopes that some day the United States will become as great intellectually and morally as she is materially to protect and honor all her citizens regardless of “race, color, or previous condition,” and thus make her professions a living reality.” - Ida B. Wells, May 28, 1894

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Well said, Sandy. I think it takes all kinds; the passionate who know the emotion of why, and those who investigate and document the information of the why. Both perspectives are important; we cannot let the message/information get lost in the passion.

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The Ezra Klein Show had Serwer on the show a couple of weeks (months?) ago. It was really good.

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Pam B

just now

Pete Hall's post Re: Pam Smith (ME) was spot on. I have said from the beginning that Trumpism is a cult. Being a person who has no capacity to care about others, and who believes that the only thing that matters in the world is him, Trump follows in the path of the world's past fascist leaders, who also created a dangerous cult. The difference however is that cults we know about, like Jim Jone's, or Moonies, did not entail taking down an entire country. "De-cultifying" is a long and arduous process and there isn't any other way to reattach the followers to society and its norms. There is no logic, fact or anything else to change their minds. The cracked cup analogy is incredibly accurate. The thinking being "Who are you to tell me differently! I'm better than that!" It's a personal affront. In fact, EVERYTHING is a personal affront, which is why every social issue has become a personal issue. Now there is nothing on the Right that is NOT an issue. Secondly, and as a retired teacher, I say this sadly, Our education system has failed on many fronts. Years ago (and of course this is not every single teacher) geography (as a whole), governments (around the world and ours)and exactly how they work, history (not edited history) were not taught or not taught thoroughly. But most importantly, deep, even difficult discussions and close discernment of information was not practiced. I believe the sheer decline of liberal arts focus in the college contributed to this. Narrowing education to a particular field and basically that field only, took away, what used to be a solid two years of exploring other points of view, being exposed to things we might never have looked at or learned, which allowed us to have a different and a more honest perspective on the world. Retreating into our own bubbles, retreat of broader based education, lack of understanding of how even the basics of Democracy works (which is key to understanding what the Right is doing to our country) has caused an epidemic of isolationism within our country and within a large portion of the population. Those who scream most strongly about their loss of privileges and rights have NO understanding that destruction of this government will make sure they never have those rights and privileges again, How can you if you don't understand that breaking every norm, politicizing every office and branch of government to one's own ends, results in destruction of what we hold most dear.

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Thanks for this piece on the education system. It really does fill in some missing links for me as to how we got from the education that I got (I started school in 1964) to what I see today, having traipsed through the debacle of "no child left behind" and onto where we are today.

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You're welcome! It's interesting because I had many conversations with my.mom who passed away last year at 97 about her studies in geography and political science, languages and history. She was well educated and went to college during world war Il, which was unusual for her generation. I am 70. I too studied political s ience, geography in HD, and world rigions, philosophyand e xtensiveUS and World history in college. thw la k of k owlege of even the basics these days appalls me. Peoe throw around socialism. And communism having o idea whT they are. Believing they are just the big bad boogy man Coming to get their freedoms. McCarthizm reincarnated.

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I agree with the dumbing down of our educational system. And, the right currently demanding we dumb it down further by not teaching critical thinking skills, and never presenting anything that might hurt my child's feelings.

Another look that these people are demanding is to study the current Russian community. Due to the oligarchs syphoning the money out of the country into their bank accounts and foreign country investments for so long, the actual middle and lower classes are living in a shell of a functioning community. Schools, libraries, services, etc. are all now weak or nonexistent.

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“Who are you to tell me differently! I'm better than that!" It's a personal affront. In fact, EVERYTHING is a personal affront, which is why every social issue has become a personal issue. You are on to something here, I think, the predisposition to take offense as a means of protecting one’s fragile ego.

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Totally agree!

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I contend that a lot of colleges have become nothing more than expensive vocational technology schools. There are exceptions. However, I also wonder if sending a greater per centage of our kids to college has anything to do with this seemingly dumbing down of education.

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100% think the same way

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My concern is that the people who believe the Big Lie are not hearing any of the findings from the committee. They are only hearing over and over from Fox News and other right wing media sources that there is a witch hunt going on. I wish I could believe that there will be some new people that realize how complicit Trump was in orchestrating the insurrection and what that actually means for our democracy, but I think the committee is only preaching to the choir. How do we stand up to the right wing propaganda machine when they have the complete and total attention of so many people?

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How do we stand up to the right wing propaganda machine?

1) Don't credit them with having more numbers than they do.

2) Don't credit them with having more power than they do.

3) Keep asserting truth everywhere.

4) Spend your time and effort more efficiently on influencing the Independents in the middle, who comprise 40% of voters.

5) Join organizations such as Common Cause who have action groups for identifying and neutralizing disinformation in social media.

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Yes Ellie. And make all of the above a daily effort. Have at least one conversation each day supporting OUR democracy. Have faith in the pace of justice. Each of us, be a beacon of one ray of light. As can. As noted in several Letters, Light is finding its way into the cracks of darkness. There is no opposite.

🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿

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Hi Christine! Ready to check out

heathersherd@gmail.com

Add to the wattage!

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Thank You Ellie! May I repost?!

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Of course. Synthesizing Timothy Snyder, HCR, and Joan Gavin!

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❤💙💚💛💜

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Good, Ellie.

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Change the laws to require "news" reporting agencies to report news accurately, or be fined a specified amount for each piece of distorted or inaccurate "news." It is going to continue until there are consequences for distorting information or fabricating misinformation. If they can get away with broadcasting propaganda that helps their political ends, why change? There is no incentive to be honest.

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Exactly, dishonesty has been extremely profitable. It’s why ATT funded the right-wing OAN. Ditch ATT

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Did so months ago, and when I did, AT&T employee asked me why I was leaving. When I told him he was shocked. Seems people should go to their local AT&T store and tell all there about the politics of the company.

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I did that a month ago after I read about their involvement with OAN, I had been with them for over 20 years, I have friends who have done the same.

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Did so. Was very satisfying. Asserting oneself usually is.

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Rupert Murdoch, ($21,000,000,000.00) controls a media empire that includes cable channel Fox News, The Times of London, and The Wall Street Journal. Take away a few zeros from old “Rupe-Te-Do-Da” and voila, Presto-change-o no more fake news, Eh!?

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Yes. I guess any fine would be a mere slap on the wrist. Require jail terms for those who follow instructions and intentionally broadcast misinformation? Or maybe it's time to break up the news monopolies.

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Love that last one. Rupert (with Ronnie’s presidential power) has effectively changed America from (somewhat) United to the mess it is today.

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have bben disgustedly watching Succession...loosely based on Murdoch

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That old devil will rule and destroy forever. As Ayn Rand said, "who will stop me."

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Plus "The Australian", and "Sky News".

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"My concern is that the people who believe the Big Lie are not hearing any of the findings from the committee." I agree that this is the problem. They have chosen to be blind to anything negative about their leader, either by dismissing it, finding an excuse for it, or not believing it. lt's an interesting psychological deficit. I see it as a psychological deficit.

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They are a cult and have been strategically brainwashed and mind-controlled. Thanks to the media, Robert Murdoch, the Kochs, and the Mercers who fund anti-American activities and the "alternative" news (propaganda). Meanwhile, they kill their own voters with anti-vaxxing and anti-masking propaganda. This is a republican genocide committed on the (vulnerable) American people led by Donald. J. Trump and Fox propaganda.

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Exactly and it’s done right before our eyes. Do you believe your lying eyes!?

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I see it as a cult, they don’t deprogram themselves

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You forgot asking “why do you care?”.

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Fox and their ilk are dishing up nice-tasting mush that's easy to swallow, makes them feel good. Too hard to follow all that precise, educated language. Handsome Tucker will tell them what they need to know.

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he really is not handsome, he looks like a moron

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Rich, spoiled, emboldened moron magat

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Er, yes. I was characterising him as they perceive him.

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He reminds me of a kewpie doll.

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Exactly, Rupert rules the fools, hopefully a few heard the news. MSM must blast as loud as Fox and clones

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Liz Cheney should receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more women should be elected to bring some sanity to the government.

Thank you for including links in the notes.

I hope for an avalanche of indictments, convictions, and LONG prison terms.

Maybe now people will see the Emperor had no clothes.

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Unfortunately, the devoted Rs think trump is telling the truth, and accuse Cheney of lying.

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facts don't matter when you've made up your mind

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This

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Because Rupert says so

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Beverly, I would urge we take note that the highly effective Vice Chair of the Investigation has opposed passage of federal voter protection legislation each time some version of it was brought to the floor. When asked some time back to explain her repeated opposition, if memory serves, she uttered some nonsense about each state’s unique circumstances.

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This is the standard response used by republicans. Some Texans I know support the dismantling of freedoms by claiming that Texas knows what's best for its state.

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Texas is full of MAGAts with pockets of sanity.

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I haven’t forgotten who her Daddy is. She wants a rejuvenated Republican Party that she runs. Better than chump, but the Chaney’s have their own agenda.

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Accountability for Jan 6 will be adjudicated in the courts, and ultimately in the Supreme Court. I am very interested in the nexus of The Federalist Society, the Republican Party, and the Supreme Court. And their involvement with former president Trump and the Trump White House. What did individuals in these groups do to incite the Republican mob and what did they decline to do to dissuade it? (I have purposely left out the Fox mob capo di tutti i capi and Murdoch consiglieri.)

I am particularly interested in religious extremist activists Ginni and Clarence Thomas, who are as thick as thieves with the Federalist Society and the Republican Party; of course Clarence sits on the Supreme Court. The Thomases had extraordinary access to and involvement with the Trump White House - with Ginni consulting regularly in an advisory capacity (notably in providing Trump with a hit list of Executive branch and agency officials to fire or hobble) and the couple often dining with Trump. Justice Thomas has never recused himself from cases where he might reasonably be judged to have a conflict of interests.

Congress had its chance to hold Donald Trump accountable, including by preventing him from running for office again. But despite formidable work by Democrats in the House and by the House Mangers before the Senate, and the support of Senate Democrats, the effort failed before the legislative tribunal. It failed despite meeting the burden of proof in production of evidence to bring the charges and in burden of persuasion to establish the preponderance of evidence, and even it can be reasonably argued, proof beyond a reasonable doubt. (I am using these terms in the context of standards set by Congress and not those of the courts.) It failed because of obstruction of justice by Senate Republicans, most significantly by GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and notably by the 'Federalist Society Caucus' including Texas Sen.Ted Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.

Well, we know what Hawley was doing on Jan 6 - fist bumping his maga hat, armed militia, and camo cos play co conspirators on their way to sacking the Capitol to overturn the election, while he was on his way to join Cruz in using procedural violence to accomplish the same goal. In fact, once the self appointed Trump incited mob was cleared from the Capitol and the Senate reconvened, in fealty to Trump the elected Republican crew continued to obstruct certification of the Electoral College vote, even after all they had witnessed. After a forced recess of over 5 hours to accommodate violent Republican physical obstruction, Cruz et al kept their procedural obstruction going for over 3 hours before voting against certification.*

So now it goes to the Federalist Society packed courts, and the Federalist Society dominated Supreme Court.

We know what Federalist Society honcho John Eastman was doing leading up to Jan 6 - making conclusory

assertions about election fraud and scheming a legal argument, without legal or factual basis, to overturn the election. And of course, on Jan 6 Eastman was a featured speaker at the Trump rally . We know Ginni Thomas was broadcasting on social media her support for the rally at which Eastman incited the protestors to violence.

There are sins of commission and sins of omission. So I am interested in Trump whisperers and Trump amplifiers who may have privately contacted Trump but, despite having privileged access to public platforms, did nothing to dissuade either Trump or the Republican insurrectionists from sacking the Capitol to overturn the election.

*As a note, Republicans like to point out that House Impeachment Manager and House Constitutional scholar, Maryland Rep.Jamie Raskin raised objections to certification of the 2016 vote, but Republicans fail to mention that Raskin and other House Democrats made their objections for the record, knowing full well that no Democratic senator supported them and so their objections would not impede Senate certification of the Electoral College vote. Of course, in 2021, GOP objections were in service of overturning the vote.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?507744-1/rally-electoral-college-vote-certification

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIKdGhVhbR8

https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/blog/context-texans-roles-obstructing-counting-electoral-college-votes

https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2021/01/06/house-section/article/H76-4

https://www.c-span.org/video/?507698-5/senate-rejects-objection-arizona-electoral-votes-93-6&event=507698&playEvent

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/no-trump-electoral-college-challenge-233294

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/07/ginni-thomas-groundswell-conflict-interest/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/24/us/politics/trump-purge-ginni-thomas.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/ginni-thomas-apology-clarence-thomas-clerks-trump-rally/2021/02/02/a9818cce-6496-11eb-8c64-9595888caa15_story.html

https://web.law.duke.edu/video/federalist-society-insurrection-how-lawyers-group-contributed-violence-capitol/

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/leonard-leo-federalist-society-new-deal-trump-judges.html

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Whoa, nicely supported comment, lin. (Not that I've checked your references . ...)

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Your excellent comment of this debacle parallels my knowledge and memory of events exactly. It has all been documented in the public eye, yet it seems to be a well-kept secret. Thank you for the links. Your post needs to be shared far and wide.

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We had to lug them into the revolution

We had to lug them out of slavery

We had to lug them into suffrage

We had to lug them out of the McCarthy era

We had to lug them into civil rights

We had to lug them into gay rights

Now we need to pull them through climate, guns and autocracy. It's nothing new, we just must do everything we can to keep pushing this country ahead with liberty and justice for all. This is what many generations have done before us and now is our time.

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Is education not possible for these people?

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No. No amount of logic or reasoning will work. They are emotionally and psychically attached to their identity as MAGAts.

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Oh, it's too late for them. I was thinking of education from the ground up. Young children.

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In the states that are taking the accomplishments of POC and women out of the curriculum and taking books off the library shelves?

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Today, I am speechless ... No words can begin to describe my disgust and disdain for TFG and his ultra treasonous toadies-cum-bootlickers.

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I am constantly amazed at how much I root for Liz Cheney. And how afraid I am of those who who are trying to tear down our democracy. We must keep telling the truth and telling the truth and supporting those who do.

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