791 Comments

Heather Cox Richardson, you are the best teacher I've ever had. Thank you.

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Amen! Let’s get to work, indeed!

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Stacey Abrams is a key leader in that awakening. She deserves every accolade she's receiving for her inspired, tenacious and pragmatic work over the past decade in bringing representative elections to Georgia. I'd say she deserves the Medal of Freedom for her efforts, but given that Devin Nunes was given one the other day, that honor is now diminished. Congratulations to all Georgians.

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I saw a Tweet last night that said, "if Stacy Abrams had been put in charge everyone would be vaccinated by Valentines Day!"

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I could not agree more. Stacey Abrams has demonstrated more courage, grit and smarts than anyone I can remember. I can't wait to vote for her for president one day. She is a true leader.

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I was fondly remembering Barbara Jordan recently, and wondering who could be this moments Jordan? Now I know; it's Stacy Abrams.

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Was thinking of her recently, too...she put the "n" in government!

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Agree. Abrams will go on to great things!

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President Biden can restore it's original intent "to recognize people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors", by giving it to Stacy Abrams!!

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And Heather Cox Richardson!

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Stacey came to Douglas County at noon on Saturday. She thank those of us who have worked for many elections to help turn GA Blue/Purple. She is our "Oprah" who constantly surprises us with her words of love and words of encouragement. So happy she chose to remain with those of us who have prayed for a leader like her instead of being attacked by Biden's well meaning White House job.

GA can lead the South out of bondage. Once we break our own chains.

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This is beautiful.

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I just finished reading Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. GA is the right place to begin!

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Quick, someone please nominate Stacey Abrams for a Nobel Prize!

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Heather, I have selfishly read every single one of your Letters for over a year now for free. I read them on Facebook and commented as a "Top Fan" and through the free email subscription. Tonight I signed up for the paid subscription as I felt it was only fair for the vast knowledge, research, time, and devotion you have given to us all. I have learned more from you about the workings of our government than anyone over my lifetime. I enjoy your podcasts when I catch them.

I donated to the campaigns of Ossoff, Warnock, Biden, and McGrath. A first for me.

Thank you for giving me hope when there was little. Thank you for opening my eyes to the value of our democracy when I took it for granted. Thank you for every word you've carefully written. You have educated and enlightened thousands.

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Just Jane: I just subscribed as well, and this is my first post. I love reading these posts almost as much as I love and appreciate HCR’s letters. I learn so much from her and from all of you.

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Welcome MaryB. Delightful having you.

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I too have been reading each morning for many months and finally did a year's paid subscription a couple of months ago. Also, gifts for my kids for Christmas. I like that the comments are thoughtful, insightful, and generate of "community". It is almost like being in a college class again but for the joy of it and no exams!

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I think the “exams” will be our responses to the education we’ve received from Dr. HCR. I believe it is incumbent on each of us to find ways to turn this knowledge into service to our families, our neighbors, our communities, our nation and our world.

While so many in this virtual community are utilizing or have utilized their talents and energies to make our circumstances better, it remains for all of us to do more, or to do something, to improve our lot in the world.

We have seen irrefutable proof that we cannot leave the fate of our civilization exclusively in the hands of politicians, or others that we have deemed “leaders”. It is not only the “right” of all citizens to take part in efforts to uplift our common condition, but it is our beholden DUTY to do so.

One of the aspects of our society today that is in dire need of attention is the dangerous division that exists between individuals, families and factions. The level of disunity we are experiencing is terrifying.

This “community” possesses the intelligence and the knowledge needed to bridge this chasm. We MUST find a way to reach out to others with whom we have experienced deep and emotionally charged differences.

We cannot allow ourselves to wallow in the suspicion, anger, rigidity and disrespect that often characterizes exchanges with those who hold opinions vastly different from our own. It is our responsibility to seek out common ground, mutually held beliefs, traditional connections, love...and any other healing attitudes that might assuage the brittle tensions that currently exist.

These are the “finals” we have no choice but to take. Just as every citizen-soldier is tasked with offering up her or his life for our beloved nation and world, so must we all offer up our pride, selfishness, and rage, to rescue one another from the fires of discord and division.

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Yes thank you so much.

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I subscribed a while back and value this intelligen and respectful group immensely!

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Welcome!

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Welcome Jane. Delighted to have you with us.

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Remember that we are seeing the transformation of society. We are seeing the marginalization of racism, sexism, anti-gay ism. We are seeing the disintegration of the Republican party which has been the vehicle of racism since LBJ and the voting rights act. Before that it was the Southern Democrats, which was an actual party at the time of Lincoln and was on the ballot with Lincoln. The good doctor can correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not the historian here.

Voter suppression is 99% the enforcement of racist policy, the marginalization of non-whites. As voter suppression tactics become common knowledge, those tactics become less and less effective. You put light on it, and everybody sees it, and it becomes a hell of a lot harder to get away with it.

American society, and global society, is undergoing a fundamental change that is so fucking long overdue that I have to use a profane word to emphasize it.

So yes, I am super excited because I’m in my 60s and I’ve been waiting for this for decades. Fucking decades. If I have to hear even one more person say that the demographics are moving in the right direction and then eventually there will be change, I will stick my finger down my throat and upchuck. I’ve been listening to that bullshit since I was a teenager. I have been listening to Georgia and Atlanta becoming blue for decades. We are now seeing ACTUAL CHANGE. Trump is their last desperate attempt to hold onto the past. He has failed. He is part of ancient history and he knows it.

These losers will concede, they will change because they have to. Equality is here. Equality is here to stay. The new standard for American society is EQUALITY. The stupid assholes who think whites (males, straights, etc.) always come first are being relegated to the dustbin of history. FUCK THEM.

And this is coming from a straight white male. A straight white male with Nazi family history. It is time for CHANGE.

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This is why I want Stacey Abrams put in charge of initiatives to make certain our Voting Rights are secured at the state level.

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You rock, Roland 😊

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Why thank you, Monet, that’s very kind of you!

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I don’t share your disintegration of the gop comment! They won additional seats in the house! Red states are stripping powers from governors who are Democrats! 6 Federalist society SCOTUS seats...what counts in the census is still in their ‘hands’!

Each of the basest anti-democracy policies that now exist in the gop will continue to exist no matter what the name of the group!

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It always feels like two very very slow steps forward and then a sudden giant step backward, so damn frustrating. I hear Roland's impatience. I'll be 60 this year and have never been able to understand why equality is still taking so long to manifest. I mean, I understand intelluctually but not emotionally.

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I'm 72 and still waiting for reality to catch up with principles.

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You're absolutely right of course. I did not mean to suggest they are getting weaker, if anything they are becoming more desperate. Trump is the face of it, the entire society of racists is getting crazy. I just meant to say that the GOP is splintering and fracturing. They have weakened dramatically in California, but nationally the society of racists is healthy and strong.

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Except, NOT healthy....

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Yes to everything you said!!!

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cue...Leonard Cohen's "Democracy is Coming to the USA"

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Right On, Roland...

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Thank you for the profanity. I sometimes feel I have no more fucks to give, but your post is very positive and encouraging.

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Lanita, I too am outraged and I don't have enough of those to give. But we must call our Representatives and our Senators. We must demand the removal of DJT as dangerous and as insurrectionist. This is his responsibility.

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I'm sitting here in Georgia, breathless, and afraid to jinx everything if I say the words. Instead, I'll thank Stacey Abrams from the bottom of my heart for turning lemons into lemonade and creating a miracle, and will give due credit to Raffensperger and Kemp for protecting the voting system they put in place and it's reputation from the Menace, but remind both of them that the gerrymandering and voter suppression that they sponsored, while looking innocent, didn't work! It failed because even the disenfranchised can work together to overcome their tactics. Take that!

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Big THANKS to all who turned out to vote Blue in Georgia. You saved this country.

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...and our sanity. I totally agree.

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Hear here!

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President Biden's first act should be to give Stacy Abrams the Medal of Freedom!! Restore it's sacred intent "to recognize people who have made 'an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.'"

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Hear! Hear! Stacey Abrams is truly a National Treasure.

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Yes, Stacey Abrams deserves to be recognized for her tireless work against voter suppression tactics and for the embodiment of what true patriotism means. She’s an inspiration for so many folks, me included, who were beginning to think, “what’s the use?.

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"Restore its sacred intent" after Trump sullied it." Wonderful!

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Thomas Friedman wrote an excellent opinion piece in the NYT Jan. 5 beginning with the words “Never let us forget the names of those attempting a coup” (if not exact it’s close). He considers what might have happened if all three branches of the government were controlled by these sorts and that if this election-steal had happened, those of us whose votes were stolen, himself included, would fill the streets and protest at the Whitehouse and Supreme Court until we were heard. That gave me hope. He doesn’t allow that just because this election will not be stolen this time, that the actions of these elected officials should be disregarded.. to the contrary, he thinks that a picture of their faces should be on the front page of the Times with the caption describing them for who they are. They should be remembered for all time for attacking our country and it’s democratic principles.

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I am taking names.

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Exactly! We have been warned. They have shown us who they really are. Let’s never forget!

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Friedman? "Sixmonths" Friedman? Has he apologized yet for his role in ginning up the Iraq War?

That said, he's bang on about THIS issue. "Blind pig..."

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Excellent piece for sure. We should say their names every chance we get. SAY THEIR NAMES!

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I have not yet read this morning’s letter. I just woke up and saw that we have elected SENATOR Warnock! And to my complete and utter surprise tears started streaming down my face! I didn’t think it could happen. This is the best news in a long time and somehow feels even more monumental than Biden’s win. Georgia- we did it!!! ( Now hosing my breath for Ossoff!!)

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Of course I meant holding my breath... not hosing! (Typing before coffee...) 🙄

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Oh that's too bad. I liked you hosing your breath, somehow it goes along with tears streaming down the face. It's been an emotional night, I must be getting a little punchy.

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I liked the hosing your breath too. It made me laugh, and laughing has been difficult lately. 🤪

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Well, I'm glad I could entertain you guys! LOL!

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Haha. Yeah, I wondered what that meant!

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LOL re: the morning coffee . . . my mantra too!

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Elsewhere here in the comments I was following the news all night long. Very emotional night. Lots of emoji’s in my comments.

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Roland- I will seek out your comments!😊👍🏼❤️

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I was shocked too and took me a minute to comprehend. It is looking good for Jon Ossoff. A miracle for sure or democracy at work. Like Heather said, time to get to work.

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Same here! Tears of joy!!

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Ossoff has won by many times more than the margin by which Biden beat tRump. It is time to regroup, impeach tRump, arrest the identifiable insurgents as terrorists, and get back to having a country of laws.

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Thank you! I'm feeling the tears, too! Now I have to suspend this bracing discussion to check out my Guardian for more info about Warnock!!! So exciting!!!!!

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And then I went on C-SPAN to watch the Ted Cruz led effort to challenge the Electoral vote count - and all hell broke loose.

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Here in Georgia, as the votes seesaw back and forth and the percentages shift, I see the wealth vs. equality for all beginning to topple. If not this year, it will happen, but I'm hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later.

Thank you, Heather. You have no idea of your value to all of us.

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And town vs country differences disappearing a bit.

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Cobb Co had Democratic votes ?Did I hear Khaki Kornaki say that earlier?

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Cobb is definitely turning blue. Their votes aren't totally reported yet, but I'm optimistic.

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Amazing

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Cobb voted for Hillary and Joe and is part of the 6th district which has twice elected Lucy McBath to Congress.

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not when you look at the county by county results

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“Americans have finally woken up. Democracy is not a spectator sport, and people are now speaking up, demanding that our leaders listen to us, and insisting that officials as well as ordinary Americans answer to the law.”

So no one should sit on the sidelines. Be engaged. Be informed. Speak out. “Get in good trouble.”

Democracy and the Rule of Law are not inevitable. They can perish from nothing more insidious than distraction and indifference.

We will get the government we earn and deserve. So earn it!

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Yes! Be engaged. Be informed. Earn it. Was just having this exact conversation with my young adult son last night who asked me why I watch the news. And it’s all so negative.

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“ Let’s approach the future with the clear eyes it demands.

And now, let's get to work”

Thank you Heather. I second your proposal. 💪🏻

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Third!

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Fourth!

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Professor, this may be your best essay to date. I think the line, "Once you have replaced the principle of equality with the idea that humans are unequal, you have granted your approval to the idea of rulers and servants" is particularly cogent. It's one of those obvious things that are only obvious when voiced. Thank you for your work!

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I agree. I have recorded some phrases as of late I might answer with if I were to get in an argument with someone who supports inequality, and this is in them. Thanks for all those who speak clearly in this time.

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I'm glad you chose to write this evening. Watching the insanity going on is stressful. I was saddened by my representative, Cathy McMorris Rodgers say she would protest the vote tomorrow. Saddened, but not surprised. In the end, your words, as well as those of others have provided a direction for me. I will work to see that McMorris Rodgers is not reelected. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that there is work to be done.

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Please send a message to her office. She needs to get her ears burned for her anti American theatrics!

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Carole, I most certainly will do that.

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We need a "Seditious Candidate" fund devoted to getting every single one of the Representatives and the Dirty Dozen Senators out of office. I would donate monthly for 4 years to make sure as much money as is needed to make certain they get challenged (either by a moderate Republican who actually believes in democracy in a Primary, or by a Democrat) and taken out. They need to be firmly countered, their impact mitigated every time they try to do something anti-democratic, and then replaced and denied any route back into politics. These men and women need to be branded for life as anti-democratic. They do not share our American values and have no place in our government.

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It’s up to s to make sure we bring up their attempt at sedition when they run again. My new Senator, Hagerty, joined the Sedition Caucus BEFORE he was sworn in. And Marsha Blackburn ... Supreme Trump Sycophant ... there’s nothing good to say.

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Yes, they will want us to forget. We need to put them on notice that this act is so heinous that we will not forget. Then when the next election cycle ramps up, we need to inform each candidate, R or D, that we will not tolerate this type of behavior. In my area, getting a Democrat elected is darn near impossible. But I can put CMRs successor on. notice.

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I like your style. I also think that now is the time to look at our leaders and begin to pinpoint who WE WANT to elevate to higher office.

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My representative, Doug cardboard-cut-out LaMalfa, is also one of those losers. I live in one of the last Republican Congressional districts in California, CA-1. We’re working hard on changing that.

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Let him know what you think of his position!

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You have inspired me - I will work to see that my turncoat U.S. Rep is not re-elected, and our superb Democratic candidate is! Two years!

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Wonderful! I believe we need two strong parties but we do not need anyone in office that advocates for sedition.

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In November, we had 66.7% voter turnout - the highest since 1900! It is so heartening that this is how people have responded to the events of 2020 - rather than give up and turn away from the democratic process, we got engaged. I hope it lasts!

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California voter turnout for the November 3 election was over 80%. Crazy good.

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Vote by mail works!

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Which is why GA wants to ban it, a recent action.

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Assuming Ossoff holds onto a .5% lead we're looking at two new Democratic senators. Imagine the twinkle in Kamala Harris's eye the first time she is called to the Capitol to break a tie vote! And imagine the pain that McConnell will have to endure losing his seat as the most powerful majority leader. I smile as I drink my cup of coffee knowing that once the circus of certifying the electoral vote is over we may be finally turning a page. Maybe I'll start sleeping better.

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It will be even better if a couple of Republicans show some grit and vote for what they know is right. Harris won't have to work!

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I was awake all night for work. Truck driving all night from L.A. to Sacramento, listening to MSNBC and CNN on satellite radio. What an awesome night following the sublime developments. Last night was one of the few advantages to having this job, I was glued to the news as it came out.

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Roland, wanted to reach out. Substack is not allowing me to easily find your last posts without going through the entire list here. I wanted to let you know I will engage again but right now am absorbed by the chaos at the Capitol which is under siege right now by 45 supporters. Will be back when this is over!

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I am so amped up! I haven’t had but 2 hours of sleep.

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Same here. My intention was to go to bed, listen to my audio book and not obsess over Georgia. That's not what happened. After Warnock was declared I stayed up waiting for Ossoff to be declared. I am so grateful to all those who poured the hearts and souls into the Georgia run off. (Being in Mexico there was little I could do other than text and donate.) I am exhilarated by the turn our democracy took in just a few short hours.

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The funny thing is that many of us have worked very very hard to educate by writing postcards, writing letters, calling people in other states, and by calling our representatives in Congress. I have attended virtual town halls plus marched for Black Lives Matter and have gone to the Women’s Marches. I will continue to fight like hell for equality but I am exhausted! Any suggestions to relight my engines?

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You really have fought hard and I admire and thank you! I know what you mean. I have heard that you need to take a break for some rest and to refill your tanks and let others carry the load for a bit. Then re-join when you feel refreshed. You have to take care of yourself. Thank you for what you have done and are doing.

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Even if you need to be less directly active for a bit, you can self-affirm that you HAVE made a difference and cultivate a self-compassionate and resolute faith that you will continue to do so... in ways that are revealed day by day and based on your capacity and the need and opportunity that arise. There isn’t a universal yardstick of what is “enough”; keep listening to your heart AND what your body and brain tells you is the right balance for you. I will attest that you have made a difference to me, just through learning about your passion and commitment. It is inspiring, Marlene, and I thank you.

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May I thank you for all the wonderful things you have done!!!

And now, take a deep breath and find ways to restore your spirit...Americans like you are a blessing, a treasure.

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Marlene, thank you for all you have done, are doing, and will do in the future. There are many, many names seen in these comment sections and yours is one I always look forward to reading. You are an inspiration and a motivator. I second Lynell’s suggestion that you would make an excellent guest speaker. If you ever need help putting together a PowerPoint presentation to share with a local group, I’d be happy to assist. I worked as a graphic designer for over 20 years and have been giving free community service presentations at local libraries (pre-Covid) for years. Keep “taking up oxygen” and remember to be as kind to yourself as you are to others.

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Consider where we are today ... your actions worked.

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Thank you for all your incredible work and your inspiring comments on these pages. Take heart in knowing that you HAVE made a difference. I love the suggestion that you present to student classes about your political activism! They rarely hear about the nuts & bolts of democracy. I used to present to nursing classes about my advocacy work, from trying to get seat belts on school buses (still don't have them 37 years later), to lobbying for legislation. The students wanted to know "but what can I do?" You know.

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Yes, Marlene, you would make an excellent guest speaker. Here's your intro: "This is what democracy looks like!"

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I used to do that years ago but that’s an excellent idea. Thank you so much.

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