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Thanks so much! Many, many of us were brought up in families in which the New Deal was held sacred. Our fathers left their homes to fight in a world war, an incredible thing to ask of young men who had grown up in the Depression. But when they returned to civilian life, the GI Bill provided many of them with paths to education and housing which would not have existed without the protections of the New Deal. Lots of us white kids who are now on Medicare grew up in homes built with GI mortgages, with Dads in good Union jobs, attending excellent public schools and enjoying what American freedoms were supposed to feel like. Unfortunately, these benefits were not for all Americans - black or mixed neighborhoods were redlined, de facto school segregation was rampant in the North, and the tremendous opportunities available to the white population were denied to Blacks. Interstate highways tore through minority communities, inner city schools were allowed to deteriorate physically and educationally, and a hopelessness reciprocal to the enthusiasm of us white kids embedded itself in at the lives of our Black citizens. So it is with great faith in the basic goodness of humanity that we approach Wednesday, when we can believe again that We the People - ALL of us this time - through our government, can attempt to rebuild what was right, and to correct the very wrong. Thank you, Dr. Richardson, for being such an incredible teacher, always prepared to lead the discussion and to prod us to something beyond this incredible anger so many of us hold in our souls.

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"We the People - ALL of us this time." Thank you, Jeff.

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Jeff, folks have complained that Democrats fall short on their slogans. In my opinion your words, "We the People - ALL of us this time," really captures what this country can become. With your permission, I would like to spread these words around wherever I can. Thank you, again, Jeff Cartwright.

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Ditto! Picturing this quote going viral and on my coffee mug.

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Nicely done, Jeff. I love the way you gave it a context that enlarges the meaning and makes it less a "slogan" and more a defined goal. I am not a person who cares much for slogans, because they so often substitute for actual discussion and meaningful action ("Look at ME: I am so woke!") But this one, with your artistic treatment, evokes something much more profound, and reminds us both of our history and what still needs to be done. Thank you.

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Thanks, Annie!

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I will be using this as my Facebook cover on Inauguration Day 🇺🇸

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Thank you Jeff! What a lovely surprise. Your work is beautiful! Thoughtful slogans are powerful tools. Quick reminders of what is important. This one is important... and now beautiful. I’ll be using this often.

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You rock, Jeff! Don't know where this is going but I already sent it in response to a Biden questionnaire I received. I will re-post on tomorrow's Letter from Dr. R, too.

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Outstanding! I shared this on Facebook, with thanks.

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T-shirts!

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Of course. Thank for your kind words.

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Just did! Thank you, Jim Cartwright!!

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(His name is Jeff!)

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Thanks for catching that.

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Bumper sticker!!!!

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Already used these perfect words for this moment at the end of a FB post crediting Jeff! Seriously, this will catch on!

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Wow! How would I find your post? (I am a Luddite, please explain it to me slowly)

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Are you on FB and Twitter? If so, I posted your words prior to the link to HRC's letter I shared to Twitter and again at the end of my post sharing HRC's letter on FB.

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Reminder: Unless you post to the Public, only your friends can see your posts.

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And on Twitter!

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Same question - but even slower, please!

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Go to HRC's FB page (I assume) which is public. And look on her twitter posts. You can also search using HCR's name on Twitter. Hope that helps.

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And melting pot, you don't hear much about this any more.

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I’ll repeat what I posted earlier about the Canadian use of “mosaic” vs melting pot:

Mosaic is brilliant. Each tessera keeps its shape and color but together they are transformed into a beautiful image which is far more than the individual pieces. Yet if one piece is omitted the image suffers

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Thank you. I missed that earlier (so many posts, I don't get to them all some days. Thank you for repeating.) It's quite a beautiful perspective. In melting pot, what bothered me was that the characteristics of the various elements disappear and everything becomes uniform, static. I do think that stewpot does suggest something that a mosaic is missing: the ability to accept new elements and allow them to flavor the whole, which can nourish us all. But like all metaphors, both mosaic and stewpot help us understand the potential of the thing we refer to. One: the beauty of the whole that is incomplete without every piece present. And the nourishment and richness of flavor of different elements mingling.

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I think melting pot concept is problematic and I'm glad to see it go. It meant that everyone became like the people already here. Stewpot: all the different flavors that together make something rich and nourishing and full of all of us.

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I don't think of cooking when I use the term melting pot. Rather metallurgy. Raw ingredients mixed together do not make a strong substance. Forming an alloy such as steel creates a much stronger product. Think e pluribus unum not a stew pot.

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Read further. Metaphors are useful in getting across the essence of something but they all have limits in how far you can stretch them. Each metaphor stands by itself, not in comparison.

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Can any of us truly imagine what is possible if everyone is supported and given opportunity? When you think of all the people left out to dry by the past ideologies but still found ways to create and succeed, what endless possibilities if they aren’t held down! George Floyd as a child wanted to be a Supreme Court Judge. Imagine if society had encouraged that, instead of putting a knee on his dreams. Broader more inclusive society has such a greater potential. Hope I get to see it!

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I’m amazed that so many are ignorant to the fact that educating everyone and equal opportunity equals a strong and happy nation.

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Agreed. I keep asking if anyone knows of a functioning democracy--present or historical--without a middle class. Doesn't democracy NEED an educated middlee class? Income inequality is killing democracy.

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I agree, Denise. One of the only positives I have seen come out of the Covid pandemic is the creativity that people have employed to do things in a new way. Imagine if that creativity was nourished by all society what could become reality for so m,any.

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"We the People - ALL of us this time," is brilliant, Jeff! Thank you for this emphasis on the "ALL", a small, three-letter word that encapsulates color, creed, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic standing, historical roots, completeness, and unity! My deepest gratitude to you for making me and others boxed off in similarly "othered" categories welcomed!

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Mosaic is brilliant. Each tessera keeps its shape and color but together they are transformed into a beautiful image which is far more than the individual pieces. Yet if one piece is omitted the image suffers.

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These are great resources, thanks so much, Rachel! Also, I agree that the Canadian use of "mosaic" is far more beautiful and dignified ❣️❣️

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Jeff, you describe exactly my family's experiences, my upbringing, and my regrets about the ways in which whiteness has been privileged because of the lack of vision of the people (Truman, Eisenhower, LBJ) who developed some of the most ambitiously egalitarian programs ever in the US. With a tiny bit more imagination--such as Eleanor Roosevelt exhibited--we would have been in a much better situation in the 1970s to combat the white supremacist propaganda. FDR invented redlining; for all of his humanitarianism (my father, who fought against redlining and block-busting all his life, worshipped him) he was a racist. He should have listened more to Eleanor.

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Jeff, "We the People - ALL of us this time" is exactly what we need right now. Thank you!

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Okay, Jeff, you did it! My tears are flowing. I love the voices of HCR and this community so much in contrast to what we are seeing from the racist, hate-mongers. It manages to help me feel some strange sensation out of this five-year morass of quicksand--might that be hope? Love for our people and our ancestors and the future generations pulling one another out? Many, many thanks...

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“We the People - ALL of us this time” YES! Thank you 😊

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Yes, “We the People - ALL of us this time”

is the perfect slogan as we look forward to a more inclusive system of governance.

Thank you, Jeff..

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Jeff -- elsewhere I posted that your slogan "We the People - ALL of us this time" needs to go viral -- memes, t-shirts, bumper stickers, bill boards, TV ads, etc. (I see the iconic Uncle Sam surrounded by faces of every shape and color -- but I'm no graphic designer.)

Lynell Abbott suggested incorporating 2021: "We the People 2021 - All of us this time."

Penelope Simpson Adams replied that she would ask her artist friends...

What do you think?

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Going to do a caveat on this. If it is going to be accepted, let it grow on it's own. Let people adopt it as they feel moved. Otherwise, I am afraid it will simply become a meaningless symbol of wokeness. We don't need that. We need people who are willing to get together and do the work, not just wear T-shirts with a cool logo. I got invites from two of my favorite organizations to join in redefining what we need to do, and how to do it. I'm in. I love Jeff's logo: would love to see it on a flag, for instance. But we need to look at our communities and find other people who also want to see this become a reality, not just another slogan.

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With 2021 it is just a passing political slogan, so to speak. This is everlasting. Leave it as is.

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I beg to differ, Lynell. We don't want to place a limit on how long it should be We the People... I do agree that it's better (but not wrong) without the comma after "us."

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Here! Here!!

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Well said.

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Well done.

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Thanks Jeff. Eloquent about the New Deal AND those excluded. Your phrase needs to spread widely. Thanks for the perfect graphic you posted. Need to partner the

motto with the idea of a mosaic (suggested tonight as used in as used in Canada vs melting pot) —mosaic: many different individual pieces (tesserae) that combine to produce a beautiful image. And all the pieces are necessary for the image. Peace and Courage to all

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Are you sure you want to share space, literal or figurative, with a Deplorable?

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Wednesday was not a day for jubilation.

Wednesday was not a day for celebration.

One week after fomenting a violent insurrection, based on a completely false narrative, Donald J. Trump became the first US President ever to be impeached a second time. To those who opposed his four-year, vindictive assault on our democracy and its institutions, it could be viewed as a victory over tyranny, a cause for celebration. But it's not.

No, the final chapter(?) of the Trump presidency is a sad reminder of what we've become over the past two generations. The predicament which we find ourselves in today was birthed in the arrogance of the 1980's, when hippies morphed into Yuppies, when "Make love, not war" became "Make money, more money!", epitomized by Gordon Gecko's phrase, "Greed is good!"

It is said that the social and economic cycles are much longer than we imagine, from forty to eighty years long, a long wave rather than a seismic shift. The past four years have not seemed that way. the ground under our feet seemd to be moving. So when last night, when Joe Biden announced, "Come Wednesday, we begin a new chapter.", it soothed and reassured us.

But will it be only that, just a chapter? Or will it be an inflection point? Will it be the pendulum reversing it's motion and moving in a new direction. We yearn for it to be that. We are tired, of the virus, of the violence, and of the assault on our American values. When as a people will we feel joy again?

Three successive Wednesdays: Insurrection Wednesday, Impeachment Wednesday, and next week, Inauguration Wednesday. All three begin with "I", but Wednesday begins with "We". After forty years of the greedy "I", let's return to collective "We", as in "We the People".

Five days....

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OMG!! I love this last paragraph!!

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Agreed! Great summary of the past weeks, boiled down to the essence of our democracy 🇺🇸

Thank You!

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Beautifully put. Thank you for that post.

My reaction to Biden's speech, however, was mixed. "Come together" is a noble sentiment, and a necessary alternative to the fierce, open fascist white nationalism of the last four years. But before reconciliation, there has to be truth. And the truth is: over 70 million Americans are fine if Liberal Republican Democracy were to be replaced by an autocracy that caters to their economic interests and deep psychological need for being better than "those" people. We won't get there by singing "Kumbaya." We need to persuade the persuadable, but recognize that many will resist persuasion with the fury of a tiger. They want Civil War. If they keep it up, they will get it. Ask any Syrian if that's an endurable state.

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Hippies didn't morph into yuppies. People don't fit into such neat categories, and what happened was that some people became social activists, environmentalists, went into helping professions, became doctors, nurses, farmers. Sometimes people played at whatever was "in" at the moment, and then grew up and went on to become architects, create new businesses, invented things, became aides to politicians, became researchers and made discoveries that we are now relying on. Some others, misfits, became creators. Some other misfits lost their way and sometimes their lives.

Yes, social and economic cycles vary in kind and intensity. Sometimes based on natural cycles, but mostly, in our system, based on an inflexibility that is built into our assumptions about both people and economics. I think we need to make a close examination of those assumptions and question them.

I think we have begun that process again, as Heather pointed out.

Herb, I am tired of the virus, too. But I accept that what we are doing is necessary. I do what I can to help my community and my neighbors get through. And they are doing the same.

Yesterday I walked through my village to get to the PO. In recent years, we have been hit hard by one thing after another: a massive destructive flood, reconstruction that disrupted two years of commerce and jobs, alternate rains and drought that farmers struggled to contend with. We watched some businesses close or go into debt. At the same time, we worked together to help shops hang on, and shopped locally. Most of the shops are still here (with a little shuffling to new quarters), and some new ones moved in. The construction finally finished, and people could drive through town without impediment. Some buildings we thought were lost were reclaimed after all.

As I walked, finally I saw how the entire community had made things come together. The "raw" look we had for so long is gone. We have a new community-owned bookstore. Old historic buildings with new paint and trim. Flower boxes ready to be planted come spring. My neighbors wearing masks and carefully distancing but still waving and saying hello. Instead of lonely, I remembered I am part of this community. And I felt joy.

It won't be five days. It will take a lot longer, and the lost souls will not stop being what they are. It will be up to us to recreate our vision of our society and to help each other make it happen. And to find joy in the process.

You are right about "we". Your last paragraph is beautiful, and whether you realize it or not, filled with hope.

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As a "Hippie", I don't think you can be a former hippie once you have experienced the things I did in the late 60's. Psychedelics changed my life and world view, in a profound way that animates it still today. I regret none of it, it still echoes through out our culture to this day. As an example the sensitivity to the balance of our planet didn't start with us, we learned it from the Native Americans who lived in harmony with it, and also used psychedelics to center themselves in their world. As a culture we have made a great many mistakes in the last 400 years, It's my fervent hope and prayer that we are starting to wake up to that fact and that we will be able to find the balance we do desperately need. May god bless out incoming president and all who are helping him with his herculean task.

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I watched a Marianne Williamson presentation and she pointed out that we all witnessed the killings of Dr King, Bobby Kennedy and all the other horrors of civil unrest during that time. Then the Kent State Shootings. She believes that many of us received a message that we better back off, go along, play by the rules. We may not have even been aware at the time that we had internalized this message. Certainly made a lot of sense to me. One thing I thank The Naked Emperor for is waking me the hell up

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Herb, I am often dismayed that the simplistic generalities of both the left and the right obscure cogent responses. The "Gordon Gekko", "Yuppie," "Hippie" generalizations only feed a sensibility launched by the right against meaningful protest and change. Historically, any group that augurs for meaningful change is branded by those who prefer to keep things in their favor. That we buy these generalizations is a problem of both the right and the left. But I agree, when we begin "a new chapter", we need to do it in solidarity.

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Unfortunately it's rare to find people who enjoy talking about the guts of these issues (or more pertinently, enjoy reading articles and watching videos about them) because marginal tax rates and market externalities are pretty dry topics. That they're crucial subjects for addressing everything from crime rates to the environment does not make them sell papers or draw clicks.

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Why the need to punch the Hippies???

"when hippies morphed into Yuppies, when "Make love, not war" became "Make money, more money!", epitomized by Gordon Gecko's phrase, "Greed is good!'"

Try being "We" together, without a scapegoat.

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Hippies are older (and wise) than Yuppies. We didn't morph, we got Reaganed and Trumped.

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I know. Hippies wanted to make people aware of the injustices in this country. I don’t think they were part of the problem.

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I prefer to think that the hippie culture went under cover, stealth operation. It certainly did not disappear. Environmental movement. Recycling pickup for every house. You get the drift.

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Having grown up in the 60s, I see two different groups- the early baby boomers and the late ones. Many of the early boomers pursued service careers like teaching and nursing. The late boomers who grew upon the mid/late 70s were more likely to be yuppies in pursuit of high paying jobs.

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I was/am a hippie and those were the most exciting and the very best years of my life!

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This is the problem with trying to divide people up into discrete "generations" with specific characteristics. It's an artificial way of looking at things, and a lot of it is due to shallow "journalism" looking for easy labels to explain things instead of actually doing news. The very definition of "baby boomers" has changed several times in order to accommodate this kind of lazy thinking. People vary in perpective not based on which decade they were born in, but a whole raft of factors, most of which we are clueless about. Everything I am involved in includes people of various ages and backgrounds, belief systems, experiences. The thing that binds us together is our common believe that we can help, in some small way, make our world better. If you were to divide my high school class up, you would find a wide range of people, very few of which would meet your narrow definition of who you think we are.

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I have often said similar things to Herb's statement on hippies. For me it is a disappointment that my generation started out with such high hopes and gave up so quickly. I started college in 1971 and at the time anyone on campus who was Republican or right leaning was absurdly out of place. I don't know what happened to us. Of course I blame the Republican Party, Reagan and a multitude of others, but am still so sad we let them roll over us.

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I started college in 1964. My experience with the counterculture blossomed around 1961 (lifer in nyc). We DID NOT "let them roll over us". We were surpressed and demonized. This continuing demonization continues to this day, thus my reply to Herb. Yes, we did have such high hopes, but DID NOT "give up so quickly". I continue to work for peace.

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No offense. I never gave up either. I was speaking more of the larger group of baby boomers who shifted from left to right. There are plenty of baby boomers who are actively liberal. Including all of my closest family and all of my friends. But these big blocks of right voting boomers I believe were largely liberal in their youth.

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Yes. This has been the biggest disappointment to me. We had vision of better lives but, as a group, rejected it.

Perhaps the next generation will embrace it.

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Count me guilty of something I was taught to avoid making: "hasty generalizations". I was a member of both. But the obsession with wealth, and the finger pointing toward government set us upon a path that led us to where we are today.

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Respectfully disagree. I don’t think the two are connected.

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Hey, Herb. Some of us want to change it to "We the People - All of us this time" inspired by Jeff Cartwright, on this post today.

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Herb Klinker I too love your last paragraph. Cathy thank you for emphasizing it

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Well said!

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Thanks Herb. Well said as usual. To We the People add Jeff Cartwright’s phrase: ALL of us this time. See his post at beginning of thread

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Brilliant points. And the last paragraph is historically poignant as a descriptor for these three incredible weeks. Thank you!

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WOW. May I repost your last paragraph with your name?

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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday. Here's one of his positive messages: “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

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Great quote. My favorite...

“It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.” Martin Luther King Jr.

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Not to mention it's physically impossible to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.

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It should be noted, I think, that what Biden proposes is only what most other developed nations are already doing. It's normal, not radical.

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Q for readers in the US: What are some effective ways to de-escalate crazy tribal calls to fight "socialism" at all costs -- in a context where many Americans don't seem to connect with what government care and safety nets actually are?

(I live in France, where there's an actual Socialist Party, plus universal health care, creches, public transport, etc. all as a matter of course, all supported by political parties across the spectrum. Even gilets jaunes demonstrations call for *more* gov action, not less.)

Apologies if this sounds naive, but the venom and rage as US populists spit out dire "socialist!" warnings is astonishing seen from here.

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Trust me, it's astonishing to many of us here, also. Sadly, many have no real understanding of what they profess to hate. "Socialism" is an ugly word because it instills fear that somehow their rights (which best I can tell for most refer strictly to their rights to own and carry as many weapons as they want to while also maintaining their beliefs that these guns are ordained by God) will be taken away. It's a fear that immigrants will steal their jobs and take all their tax dollars through entitlements. It's ignorance because our education system has failed them.

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Not only the guns.....the 1% have managed to replace a symbolic image of "Socialism; the Ideology and Governmental System" with an imposter. They have placed the word "socialism" in juxtaposition with all their fears, anxieties, "suffering" and failures...that the system is rigged to favor someone else... and have promoted the masquerade as being the same thing; their "fears" etc have been put in the place of the reality of a little social democraticy....which only works to their benefit, but not to that of the 1%.

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Not just the 1% Stuart: it is a dog-whistle term used to promote whiteness as supreme and it is adopted by the Right universally as a term to condemn programs that are seen to provide equal opportunity for non-white people.

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Let's face it...the 1% organized it, paid for it and have tried to embed it in the "national psychy" . The idea was to sell this to the white population through the GOP. Racism was the lubricant that greased the wheels.The program worked and created 74 million benighted, mesmerized sheep. Fortunately not enough ...this time.

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It confuses me that the very down trodden back woods rifle carrying MAGA people think they have anything in common with the 1%. Aside from fear, Trump has really sold them a bill of goods about his being just like them.

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Actually, in my experience living for 17 years in what can only be described as Northern Appalachia, they were already fully on board with being racist, misogynist, and white supremacist. The values of white supremacy were established long before Trump.

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But the 1% is who they WANT to be. And the American spoken promise for centuries that they “can” be.

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Aside from the fear and insecurity of white men, I am also confused by that "mob." If it was not such a bad time to look up more about the origin and profile of white nationalists, I'd do more research. FBI is so focused on finding these folks-I don't want to be confused as a possible joiner.

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May I recommend this book to you, Vickie, and all here. It lays out the resurgence of White Supremacy in the US from Vietnam to the Oklahoma City bombing well. Revelatory.

https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674286078

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Having spent about one-third of my life living and working in The Netherlands, I saw first-hand how European-style democratic socialism actually works. People here in the US are simply clueless about life there. It's funny when American friends and family would come visit (if you live in Amsterdam, you come to expect visitors!) they were always gobsmacked at the infrastructure (trains, highways, public transportation, etc.), not to mention the many perks we had for citizens (child-care and support, healthcare, pensions, etc.). Yes, we had high taxes, but what we got back in services and infrastructure gave one the sense that we were protected. I felt more peace of mind and security in the years I lived there, not to mention REAL freedom, that coming back here I was smacked in the face with realities of life here. I did NOT feel safe with guns everywhere. I did NOT feel like medical needs were taken care of and that I was one incident away from financial ruin. I was NOT prepared for having to pay out of pocket for SO many things that had hitherto been taken care of. I ate better there. I had a generally VERY good life. Hearing Americans bang on about how much better everything was here was laughably off the mark. Trust me. It's not. Because we're over here largely isolated from the rest of the world, we don't extend our worldview beyond the oceans that surround us, or to our Southern border (too many brown criminals in Mexico, so build a wall), or the north (horrible socialist Canada). It is terribly frustrating. One of my favourite mental past-times these days, obviously, is imagining what would've happened if I'd stayed in Europe...

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Bruce, I've lived in Munich since 1961 and I can second everything you say here. As an 80 year old woman, I am deeply grateful for my reliable German health insurance and the freedom to choose which doctors I want to go to, and I've always felt safer over here than in the States. - and freer.

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I don't think I've ever really felt safe here, except as a child on my grandmother's farm, surrounded by other small farms on which mostly other relatives lived. And again, oddly, when I traveled by car across the continent numerous times by myself, camping in remote places.

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The short answer is that Socialism is just the tag. Haters scream: "I hate niggers", "I hate Jews", I hate Hillary", "I hate Socialism".

"Socialism" in this screed has no meaning to them. It is just the target of their hatred.

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Absolutely true. My favorite is the depth of anger toward Antifa, which is an idea, anti-fascism, not an organized movement. It is cited constantly as a problem with the Left. But to my mind if you're not anti fascism, you must be pro-fascism. I don't see a lot of middle ground there.

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I believe it’s a misapplication of the word. To many, it means you mean I can’t amass all the money I want any way I want; you want me to support lazy people with MY money?; your regulations impede my ability to make and hoard money at any cost. It’s like when I managed an employee (self)insurance plan I heard “oh, the insurance company pays for it.”

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I used to hear that, too, Marcy; mostly when I was in a doctor's office getting some test: "Don't worry, the insurance company will pay for it." I am not the brightest star in the sky, never have been, but even then when I heard that, I thought, "Huh?"

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I wonder just how many of the mob of protesters were either on Social Security or disability payments? Don't they realize that these are "socialist" programs, according to their definition?

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There is a HUGE disconnect there.

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Exactly

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I agree, Chris. In America, we tend to oversimplify. It's not an "either/or" question. A Capitalist/Socialist mix is what has worked best all around the world. Each country chooses the amount of mix they're happiest with. Under Trump, we've moved (been pushed) too far right.

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I agree, but that started with Reagan, who reprised the so-called "Golden Era" of the 1800s. Get rid of regulation. lower taxes for the rich. Fewer services for the poor, disabled, etc. Reagan dismantled social programs within 3 months of taking office and began serving corporations. Since then, both parties have leaned further and further right. Dems thought that's what people wanted, when what they really wanted is a party who would work for the kind of society that citizens could thrive in, regardless of who they were. I have hope now that we are back on that track. For the last decade I gave up on the Dems and joined the Progressive Party (yes, in Vermont, an actual third party). The two parties often share candidates. I am back with the Dems for this year, then I'll see. Vermont was gradually working toward universal health care, but we got a Dem governor who lied to us: right after he was elected to his second term (2 yr terms here), he announced he was dropping universal health care when the main reason he was reelected was because of his previous promise to get universal health care through. Outcry was tremendous; many called for him to withdraw. Even before he took oath for his 2nd term, he announced he would not run for 3rd. There were other messes he got us into. I have no idea where he is now but his name rarely comes up in VT. Now, ironically, we have a moderate Republican governor who is not shy about his disdain for Trump and freely admits he did not vote for him in either primary or main elections. He supports social programs in this era of covid and recession, though he could be defined as an Eisenhower Republican on economic issues.

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Heather addresses this in her ‘History Chat’ yesterday, 14 January 21, on Facebook.

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Yes!! This is exactly what is needed. Push back against the brainwashing propaganda from the Koch brothers & ALEC for decades, poisoning people’s minds against the golden rule all the while pretending the pomp of organized religion would keep them in God’s graces

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I continue to offer my greatest respect to Dr. Richardson. Her analyses and contextualization of where we stand as a nation and how we got here are a balm for my mind in these fractious times.

It is hopeful to hear Joe Biden's words laying out an inclusive vision of shared prosperity and responsibility. But my hope is tempered with the understanding that saying the right words is only the first step on a difficult road. That said, it's a tremendous relief to think we finally (almost) have a leader who is holding the map right side up!

I am still worried by all those many people who found in trump an answer to the problems they see in our nation. The inability to even define reality and understand the root causes of these problems, let alone find solutions, is troubling beyond measure.

I am convinced we are seeing the effects of a "big lie" strategy played out over the last 50 years at least. The lie being that poverty is the result of defective people not having the discipline or ambition to survive by their own means and are solely animated by looking for handouts from hardworking "patriots." This dovetails into racism, since centuries of structural and institutional inequality have put people of color disproportionately at the bottom of our economic ladder. But, since there are plenty of white people down there too, it gives plausible deniability to condemnations of racist intent behind bad policy choices.

The battle ahead will be about exposing this lie to the light of day, and making those who defend it fully explain their logic, while forcefully refuting the distractions, half truths and shifting of blame they will inevitably deploy in their defense.

This is why I value this newsletter so much. Thank you.

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Syd, your skepticism about steps toward government for 'all' is warranted. In addition to the many millions of citizens who bought into Trump's big lie, 'fraudulent presidential election', the money (donor class) and business biases of the Republican Party; state governments, which have been Trumpified and the people's vulnerability to the accusations by the right of democrats being radical leftists, socialists and communists and 'Dimocrats' are powerful, long standing obstacles. The weaknesses of the Democratic Party to amply support and execute policies on behalf of the working class as jobs and unions were decimated by the Republican Party, businesses employing and moving overseas and technology and its lack of local organizing all add to the mountain that needs to be scaled.

The truth in the USA has been overwhelmed by lies, small and large. Getting to what is real and creating a strong safety net for all Americans are the means to rebuilding democracy and substantiating the promise of our country.

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Syd, I applaud your 4th paragraph. I have heard this big lie from my conservative friends for years.

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Okay, okay. Loved everything else you said, Syd, but you gotta admit "...holding the map right side up" is a real attention-grabber; thanks.

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Government needs to operate from a moral base. If Trump had just followed CDC guidelines about the pandemic tens of thousands of people would still be alive.The damage to our economy would be mitigated. Can you imagine if he had worn a mask in public, encouraged everyone to practice social distancing and mask wearing, and promoted competent policies; And provided reassurance that we’re all going to get through this? Instead destructive tweeting of lies and a malicious disregard for science has led us to the worst domestic tragedy since the great depression, and maybe since the Civil War. Difficult times require leader ship a kin to Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Let’s all pray that Biden and Harris can return America to a sense of civic morality and shared commonwealth.

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While Biden was behaving like a national leader, Trump staffers were carrying "mementos" out of the White House, including what looked like a bronze bust of Lincoln. I'll look for it on eBay.

Take what you want if you must, just get out.

Thank you, HCR, for the history lesson and the insight into current affairs.

Another widely popular, and incredibly successful, "socialist" government program started in the FDR era was the GI Bill; millions of soldiers returning from WW II went to college more or less for free and then got a cheap, government-backed mortgage with their diploma. Speaking in cold-blooded capitalist terms of dollars and cents, the return on that investment was likely on the order of 1 to 100 in tax dollars invested and tax dollars returned from higher incomes and the increased economic activity that results from higher incomes. (Why is this simple economic principle so difficult to get across to some people?!!) The social benefits of expanded middle class wealth, though more difficult to measure, were more profound.

So, back to reality, we have a new national leader with a rational, thought-out plan to get the nation out of the ditch, and an opposition party, literally wrapped in the flag, screaming "radical socialism!", digging in to to do what they can to make the plan not work, so they can put the man who drove us into the ditch back in power.

Sigh.

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And this time, Biden’s plans will not leave out benefits for Black Americans (and other denigrated “racial” groups) in order to get the measures passed. “While the GI Bill’s language did not specifically exclude African-American veterans from its benefits, it was structured in a way that ultimately shut doors for the 1.2 million Black veterans who had bravely served their country during World War II, in segregated ranks.”https://www.history.com/news/gi-bill-black-wwii-veterans-benefits

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I did not know that, but why does it not surprise me? How about other minority soldiers? I saw a rather large group of very elderly Native American vets on Pine Ridge rez, during a funeral, and they looked like sadness eternalized, yet they were strangely identified by their old uniforms. Still, to this day, I think I made that vision up. I wish I went against the protocol of my chaperone and went over to speak with them. A huge regret in my life.

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Many Native Americans are enthusiastic warriors for the United States, despite everything.

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Largest per capita military enlistees by ethnicity in the US!

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"...it was structured in a way that ultimately shut doors for the 1.2 million Black veterans,,,"

The doors were shut on a lot of things for Black Americans in those days. That must have been a bitter pill for Black soldiers to come home to.

Thank you for the reminder.

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Answer to your parenthetical question: Greed

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Short-sighted greed. Playing the long game, fatter paychecks pay off better. Henry Ford understood this when he gave all his workers a pay raise so they could afford to buy his cars.

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Last summer, I listened to Doris Kearns Goodwin's book No Ordinary Time. The section about preparing the country for the end of the war was quite interesting. The GI Bill was a big part of that section

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What? You mean planning ahead? What a concept!

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I know!

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I am going to have to read that book. I was just old enough to begin to understand some of the dynamics going on around me, and I think a lot of that shaped my interest in social history. (And here I am...)

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Will it make me feel better? (Love her work)

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Yes! Great book!

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I'm optimistic, even in the climate of divisiveness. We should press for subsidization and restoration the US POST OFFICE's operation, and Biden understands how government infrastructure programs is a good jobs program, and can be funded or promoted with public private partnerships and loan programs to tamp down private sector opposition, where repayments of the loans can be loaned out again for new projects.

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"Save the USPS!" is what I write on every envelope I send.

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I got. Christmas card from a friend in South Georgia...I live in the next state up, TN. The card took one MONTH to get here. DeJoy did his job well.

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Yesterday (January 14) received a card from his employer. The card, postmarked December 10, was mailed form the same city in which my son lives. DeJoy followed his marching orders well.

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I still have not received a Christmas card from my sister-in-law in Virginia and she mailed it mid December.

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Excellent

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Excellent Idea!

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Yes, the post office needs a lot of help. Dejoy crippled it enough so that last mile role is being taken over by private carriers. My neighborhood has Amazon vans visible often. Meanwhile, a book I ordered that left Pittsburgh at the start of January has been on its way to Boston for 2 weeks now.

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I had similar experiences with packages. Incredibly long. And my Christmas card from friends in Western Australia has never arrived yet.

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The bookseller told me that they are seeing these super long delays a lot, mainly on the East Coast.

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I just wrote my Congresswoman with a reminder to fix the post office, along with everything else. :~

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Just a reminder, that besides mismanagement from the top, the pandemic has also taken its toll especially in the densely populated coastal cities. Our postal carrier has been down for weeks with COVID. New carriers have replaced former infected carriers. The replacements are slower and less sure. I continue to received the mail for the house four doors down! This has little to do the human efficiency. It's a measure of COVID chaos.

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Fascist always decay institutions from within. This always precedes their destruction of democracy as a whole.

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Great letter, as always. Two observations:

First, for me the difference betwen the incoming Biden administration's vision, and the vision (if you can call it that) of Republicans from Goldwater onwards, is summarized in this paragraph:

"The Democratic defense of an active government was popular—people actually like government regulation, social welfare programs, and roads and bridges. But Republicans continued to be determined to get rid of the liberal consensus once and for all, insisting that true liberty would free individuals to organize a booming economy. Trump’s administration was the culmination of two generations of Republican attempts to dismantle the New Deal state."

This Republican attack on the "liberal consensus" identifies "liberty" with "a booming economy". Liberty is, basically, getting MORE of what you WANT. This deification of the economic has done untold damage to the American, and indeed the human spirit over the past 500 years. Gross Domestic Product is not anywhere near a complete measure of a meaningful human existence. This should be obvious, but isn't even to many who claim to adhere to the Democratic vision of a juster, kinder society (e.g., the Clintons). The "more" you are wedded solely to the pursuit of what Hobbes called "felicity" -- i.e., getting "more" of your wants satisfied -- you may find yourself attaining not felicity but a kind of misery. The more you chase after goods and things, the less time you have to enjoy them and goods that aren't things; the more you engage in social practice as a winner-take-all event, life becomes a draining, dehumanizing battle which everyone eventually gets to lose on their deathbed. This is alienation, not freedom. There are many defects in the social theory of Karl Marx, but as a social critic he was spot-on when he observed that capitalist society "fetishizes" money, changing it from a socially-constructed medium of exchange-value to a kind of luminous false god. It "re-enchants" a disenchanted world, but does so by promiting a kind of idolatry. And as a result we collectively become Jacob Marleys, chained in purgatory to the symbols of economics, whether we prosper from the market or merely dream of prospering. Biden does give hints of a moral-political vision where economics is given its due attention, but is not idolized. I hope he follows through on this.

Second, I think you are also right on target when you observe:

"The idea of a government that supports ordinary Americans rather than the wealthy was first articulated by Abraham Lincoln in 1859 and was the system the Republicans first put in place during the Civil War."

IMHO it was with Lincoln that an America worth our allegiance actually began. The Founders spoke eloquenty of Liberty and Equality and the common good, but their political deeds compromised their words. Until Lincoln, the Republic seems to me to have been a competition between competing oligarchies: the financial oligarchies of the North and the slave-holding oligarchies of the South. (And as you point out in your book, the Southern oligarchy disguised itself, moved west, and snuck back in with the failure of Reconstruction.) Lincoln had no patience for oligarchy. He was honest in his loyalty to Liberal Republican Democracy. Any American History worth venerating begins with him, and has been brought back into vision by the likes of the Roosevelts, Obama, and hopefully Biden. They were all fallible creatures, morally and politically, as is everybody. But when they spoke of liberty, equality, and (let us hope) solidarity, and what these ideals require of us as citizens, they meant it. Unlike the scoundrels of the last four years.

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Somewhere in our recent history, the liberals stopped explaining what the "liberal consensus" is, how it supports ordinary people, cares about everyday life, fights for workers, regulates the overpowering business world, maintains our infrastructure, and so on. It's a "caring" philosophy of governing. My theory---I don't mean to be simplistic but I want to keep it simple---is that the influx of private money into the very foundations of governing has catastrophically distracted all elected officials from their constitutional roles and obscured the effective purpose of government. Until the millionaire Democrats get down on their knee and rededicate themselves to the essentials of Lincoln's philosophy, until Biden tells the likes of BigAg, BigPharma, BigFinance, BigManufacturing to step back and let the people through, we will be in the same old same old, every single day.

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Yes. I also think we need to change our "loaded" rhetoric. The "liberal conscensus" screams "socialism", and while both are healthy economic concepts, they are showstoppers. "Building Back Better" is cumbersome. Somehow we need to normalize an assurance of meeting basic needs and stimulating success. No big deal (or "New Deal"). Just the Anerican Way.

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The Real Deal has been popping into my head lately.

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Perfect!

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copyrighted, I bet...

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The American Way has baggage, too. Lots of it.

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Jan, I like your "simple says it" point of view, all of it. Thank you.

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Amen. (BTW, the block where I lived growing up, was "Angevine Avenue"!)

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NO! (Smiling) It's a name steeped in French history and means one-who-lives-in-the-Province-of-Anjou. My father's family settled in a french enclave in Bayonne, NJ. I'm curious as to how it was pronounced. Properly, it is pronounced, Ahn zh ven ah, something like that. Thanks for the handshake.

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"Bayonne" would be like "bayou" only with "-onne" at the end

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My maternal grandfather was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ, Jan!

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No kidding! Was her maiden name French?

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No, Scottish. But my grandfather’s maternal grandfather had a French Huguenot ancestor who immigrated to American after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes in 1685! Crocheron was the name. 💙🇫🇷

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I absolutely love your post Laura! I particularly appreciate your discrediting the GDP as a barometer of health and happiness, at the societal level. Europeans have an alternative barometer of success, the Genuine Progress Indicator, which accounts for the health of the environment, amount of leisure time, and levels of happiness. I don’t think Americans are the most content people, but perhaps the most burdened, of advanced societies.

I fondly recall time spent in France and Italy, mostly in cafes and enjoying the company of locals. I found their lives to be incredibly simple with material wants, but very rich with personal time. Many Europeans live with a bicycle, and rent a (little) car for a weekend journey.

We have a skewed sense of worship, when our societal alter is filled with objects and debt, while our spirit allows for so many to struggle for basic essentials.

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Thank you!

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Laura, have you an understanding of the income need to maintain a healthy life in America? I know, as an aggregate, we are the richest, but also with the highest poverty levels in Western Societies. This tells us a lot!

You presented such a through critique, I sense you may have studied or worked with factors pertaining to income and general well being.

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Well said.

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“The more you chase after things ...” Wasn’t it the industrialists who created, or promoted, materialism in this country? By that I mean the use of advertising and subliminal promotion of “keeping up with the Joneses”. I’m not probably going to articulate my thoughts here well, but seems to me I recall watching a great miniseries about this very thing. The “haves” creating the artificial need (want) for the “have nots” for things, or stuff, they didn’t even know they wanted. Your comments reminded me of that which gets one thinking. I believe the documentary I’m referring to is “The Century of the Self.” My 20-something son had brought it to my attention a few years ago. Anyway, thanks for letting me chime in!

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Laura, have you an understanding of the income need to maintain a healthy life in America? I know, as an aggregate, we are the richest, but also with the highest poverty levels in Western Societies. This tells us a lot!

You presented such a through critique, I sense you may have studied or worked with factors pertaining to income and general well being.

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Fetish? How about False God?

Conservatives have used organized religion as a shield of piety to protect themselves as they worship one false God after another (money and power most explicitly). God was only ever intended to be nothing more than a symbol of our LOVE for each other. It has been perverted beyond recognition

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Some quibbles, but overall I concur. Too tired to write anything meaningful, though. For a couple weeks I got used to staying up almost all night and this morning for some odd reason woke up (wide awake!) at 5:30. When I was recovering from Covid I slept all the time, now my body is confused. Anyway, thanks for all the stuff to think on tomorrow.

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Yes to your observations. On target. How much we owe to Lincoln a true leader.

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Once again Heather nails it ... today’s situation within historical context. Right now it feels like we are crawling to the starting gate while simultaneously being pulled back. Leadership always matters and that is the starting point come January 20th. It is such a relief when Biden speaks and not have to run for cover. He, Harris, and the administration they are putting together have incredible challenges. But, with their leadership, the light at the other end of the tunnel is not another train!

And, I have no doubt Congress will be able to handle the responsibilities of carrying out the dual tasks of approving Biden’s cabinet choices and impeachment proceedings. After all, two highly skilled, multi-tasking women hold the gavels in the house and senate! 😉

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What a wonderful community! So many excellent ideas! This is what's great about America.

Jeff Cartwright's slogan "We the People - ALL of us this time" needs to go viral -- memes, t-shirts, bumper stickers, bill boards, TV ads, etc. I see the iconic Uncle Sam surrounded by faces of every shape and color.

Who's a graphic artist? Who has the time? Perhaps funds raised can support a cause?

Not too long ago, a FB friend posted that she finally understood "We the People" means all people. More than a few of her friends had to remind her that when written, the phrase referred only to white men who owned land. As a 3rd gen Mexican-American woman, I'm grateful that "We the People" has grown to include others; but there's still more room to grow.

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Thanks for your thoughts. I am glad folks are sharing this. People may do with it want they want - that's very flattering - but nobody should make a dime off of it. Not even me. So I'm putting it officially out there in the public sphere. No copyrights or junk like that.

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There are others in another part of this page who are on board with this. Also, I received an email questionnaire from the Biden team asking me to relate in my own words my experience with COVID-19. At the end I suggested Jeff's words. Who knows whether it will grab their attention, but I had to try.

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I just posted to your original. I agree -- no copyrights.

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Hey, cig. I suggest the slogan incorporate 2021. Maybe: "We the People 2021 - All of us this time."

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Excellent addition!

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Really great idea Lynell! The original slogan was suggested by Jeff Cartwright in his post. I'll add this to his original post (which I should have done in the first place...)

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And the script he used gave it such context. I really honestly would love that exact design on a flag.

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Cig: I saw Jeff's post. His/these words are quite a hit!

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I will ask my artist friends...

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I read opposing views from mine in an attempt to understand the misinformation being shared. I watched a video on Oann.com which stated the proof of election fraud is growing and cited the usual “dead people voting, election numbers not adding up with numbers of registered voters, more young people...ad nauseum” raising questions by those reading this insanity. Has any public, nonpartisan site literally taken and listed these raised concerns to systematically address them? We all know that those seeking proof of “fraud” truly believe the election was rigged and the division is actually appearing to escalate. Comments about “Corruptocrats” (Democrats OR non-Trumper Republicans) who are focused on 1/6 to deflect from the “blatant election fraud” accompanied by “we must fight” are getting more persistent, not less. We all know humans tend to surround themselves with people/news/resources that support their views and in this era of social media targeting, they (we) get fed more of the same. Even if such a site was available, they wouldn’t frequent it. “The Cult of Trump” (Dr. Steven Hassan) addresses this reality. I wish there was an Easy Button to push here. Sigh.

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We have clearly seen the result of the loss of the Fairness Doctrine or something like it in “news” reporting, where any organization can call itself “news” with none of the accompanying responsibilities.

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Try the Washington Post - they were tracking individual lies and misstatements by Trump, although they are running MONTHS behind at this point. (I think they gave up to cover the election.) But they have also annotated a number of election lies, and much of their election material was not behind the paywall. If I find a link this morning, I'll circle back and post it here.

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I am a regular WaPo subscriber. As of October, the lies were over 25,000. I suspect that they are trying to play catch-up.

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Can you even imagine, one person uttering 25,000+ lies in a 4 year period? I’m sure many were the same ones repeated over and over in an attempt to make them true. No wonder 75 million people that were not paying attention and looking for the truth, got duped. The corrosive effect of the lack of truth on our body politic was made crystal clear on 8 January. It’s been evident to me ever since I witnessed the crowd size lies 4 years ago, that something was seriously wrong with anyone that was fixated on that. Magnify that by many thousands and you get to witness what we all saw happen at our capital on the 8th, it was a sad day indeed, underpinned by the lack of truth.

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Slight correction, the riot occurred on the 6th, if that is what you are referring to. But to your other point about the crowd size lie, I watched Sean Spicer in horror as he perpetrated that. It was a glaringly obvious shot across the bow in the assault on truth that was coming. That it was so brazen, lying to America's face from the White House podium, with photographic evidence of its utter falsehood, was shocking to me. It laid down a neon bright line, because everyone who refused the Kool-Aid was screaming about the impropriety of it, to no avail. The true believers slurped it down with a smile and asked for more. Which they've gotten in spades. And here we are...

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Thank you, I was just going to put in a correction and I saw that You had already done it. I must have been still sleepy as I was typing it on my iPad this morning. You are absolutely right, here we are......

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Georgia election implementation manager Gabriel Sterling got on TV and went point by point debunking the claims made by President Trump in his call to GA Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. It was instructive because it called out the blatent lies (no underage voters cast votes, because you can't register to vote unless you'll turn 18 before the election) and went into great detail on the scope of actual infractions (70 cases of felons voting, with that number expected to go down as research revealed name mix-ups and stale records for people who have completed their sentences).

The news conference also had a spectacular ASL interpreter.

Gabriel Sterling is a Republican and urged Republican voters to show up on election day. If Republican voters are the only ones with no faith in the validity of our election processes, the party will have major trouble winning elections.

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This is, in part, why it is necessary for the Republicans to stand up and state unequivocally that the 2020 election was fair and untainted, with scant evidence of any election fraud. They are not only destroying the GOP, but also American democracy.

I resort to that FACT that in court -- before a judge -- scant (if any?) evidence has been presented of election fraud. Why? Because lawyers know that to lie to a judge is perjury, for which lawyers can be disbarred. Yet, those same lawyers can stand before microphones and lie to the media with little accountability.

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Oh! We need the Fairness Doctrine reinstated and amended to include Congress!!

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Great idea. And, put anyone who speaks in the House or Senate under oath!

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My representative in congress is a trump sycophant who tied his fortune to his man-crush very early on, even though he himself was voted in 2 years earlier, in 2014. He has dutifully repeated all the lies and specious accusations etc etc that spew from the orange menace daily. He of course signed on to the Texas lawsuit, which was the previous last ditch effort to overturn the election. Remember that gem? And hours after the attempted putsch he added his vote twice to object to the electoral ballots, for Arizona and Pennsylvania. But we are a swing district, not at all bright red. I live in one of the bluer parts, and the letters to the editor pages of our weekly local paper have been on fire for weeks about our congressman's poor judgement and lack of moral clarity. So the paper this week devoted 4(!) pages to debunking his false arguments and weak logic. It's incredibly gratifying to see these lies refuted, carefully and one by one. It really is amazing to read. The only sad thing is how bad it had to get for this counter-narrative to happen. It takes so much time and work to unravel the strands of these self supporting logical curliques, it needs to be a constant effort. Regardless, I am very impressed by my paper for taking that on.

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It will take many hands to bear the burden of undoing the lies being spread. I'm glad to hear your neighbors felt compelled to pitch in and your local paper is helping amplify the message.

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As we all seem to hold our breath waiting for next Wed or for the next shoe to drop or both we need to remember something that many of us, my self included at times, seem to perpetuate. The MAGA people are not all bubbas or gun-toting women. Sadly many of them are well-educated and well-spoken individuals who have gone down the rabbit hole of trumpism for whatever reason. We fashion our changes at our own peril if we do not take that into account and work tirelessly to overcome that mindset.

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I think that you need to find a better phrase than "well educated". These are poorly educated people despite which schools they attended.

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Perhaps willfully ignorant?

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Poorly schooled rather than "ddeeply educated". Put the onus of responsibility on our inadequate, empty-hearted, and biased system.

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Deeply Educated

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Psssst: Am I correct that you were to be taking a little vacation from all this? If so, looks like your political vacation lasted as long as mine these past 5 yrs (feels like 5,000 years) era! No rest...

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I see unaware people and on the other end, people who have and want to KEEP their money. Ie, my sister, a land baron on cape cod. Hypothetically I have never encountered anyone in the middle. Just sayin.

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I have several friends and one family member who are well-educated and well-spoken who voted for trump.

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Two friends, two brothers, two children all of whom are well-read,etc, but all in love with Fox News

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Oh wow! That must be so hard...

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I think a significant contributing factor to our current divisions comes from the inherent shame felt by “bubbas” and “gun toting women” when the “well-educated” point out their perceived inferiority.

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There appears to also be a very large group of "one-issue" voters--I know people who very clearly disliked Trump but voted for him as he "supported" anti-abortion. These are many of my Catholic friends and they voted for him for this one reason. They refer to themselves as pro-life, but they are strictly anti-abortion as they support capital punishment, etc. Being Catholic myself, I have heard this thinking from my family as well as people I've known all my life. There was/is a lot of push within the Church to vote the Republican way and there is also some level of threat of being excommunicated if you vote Democrat. Some very minor publications came out that said that it was OK to vote your conscience, but unfortunately this anti-abortion issue is strongly embedded with many practicing Catholics. My husband a little broader view on this--he feels that many people voted for Trump for the following elements: pro-gun, anti-abortion, and anti-Hillary.

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I don't mean to completely jump the track, but I quickly read an article today discussing Trump's move and it mentioned something about gathering his "Library". Say What? We know he didn't read, so what would be in a President Trump Library?

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It would be like the spoof by Trevor Noah. The Hall of Tweets

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