605 Comments

If Republicans think people aren't going back to work because they're getting too much pay in unemployment (Ali Velshi had the economist for the AFL-CIO on tonight, and he pointed out that even last year when people were getting $600/week more, it had no effect on their desire to go back to work), perhaps the Republicans might consider that most jobs in America today are shit jobs, the way they're managed, the atmosphere promoted in too many companies.

As to the Republican plans for 2024, anyone who thinks that somehow civil war got taken off the table with Biden's election, who doesn't think it's an even bet regardless of the election outcome, that a civil war could break out, probably still believes in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy.

The only thing that's going to derail what they're trying to do is the death of Trump. That's because all the would-be Trumpies just aren't evil enough to do what he does. It took the death of Hitler to put the final nail in the Nazi coffin, because none of the attendant gargoyles were able to be Chief Gargoyle like he could..

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A just and fitting demise would be a fatal heart attack while he is slyly moving his golfball out of the sand pit to a spot near the hole.

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While I appreciate the ironic - if relatively quick and painless - end you suggest, I would prefer to see him live out his days (and nights) in a shipping carton under a bridge in a large American city. Perhaps some kind-hearted homeless person would befriend him.

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Your imagined scenario, though full of sweet revenge, does not address the bigger picture of Trump's continued presence on the American landscape.

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True. I am assuming that the landscape will change and that Trump's presence will become microscopic once we manage to focus on real problems like climate change.

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There was a time I would have agreed with you David. But, after living more than a year in a global state of emergency with a deadly pandemic killing more than half a million US citizens, only to watch our divisions grow, I no longer believe we’re able to come together.

Climate change is treating us like frogs in a pot of water slowly heating on the stove. By the time the threat turns deadly, it’s too late to get out.

If we can’t come together to overcome an immediate, deadly threat, how will climate change unite us?

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We will unite to survive climate change or we will have petered our principle. The planet will not miss us.

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Well, I agree with you, Diane, we are definitely being tested.

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Diane, I am not convinced that our divisions are growing. Only that much of the mainstream and low-flow media is unable to let go of the manner in which they covered things while being manipulated by TFG, and so they continue to focus on anything that seems clickbaitish.

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Yes, I sometimes think people are about as smart as your average frog. That said, I have envied frogs as they float around in tepid ponds. taking the sun, munching insect larvae, oblivious to how short the future will be be. My not yet wife and I once spent a couple of languorous hours communing with frogs beside a Hindu temple at Ellora near Aurangabad in India. Almost missed the bus back to the hotel.

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Spot on Diane.

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That's an assumption I am not willing to make, at least in the short term (read 2022 and 2024 election cycles).

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Ah, the inscrutable future. All we can be sure of is that our words are not the last words.

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I prefer to see him in an orange jumpsuit dying in prison

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An evil troll (in the traditional sense) living under a bridge!!! Genius!

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Perfect!

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Steven, the problem is the Republicans have more than likely moved beyond him. There are many more "Trumps" to replace him as demonstrated by the workings of the current players.

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The other problem is that Republicans have been elected to every possible office at local and state levels so that they are able to initiate trouble at local and state levels. The Arizona "audit" is a prime example. Local and state Republican operatives are illegally tampering with ballots and there is no one to stop them. The issue of Republican malfeasance needs to be addressed from the grassroots level on up the line.

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Agree. Pretty sure Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley come to most of our minds, among others.

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Neither Hawley, Cruz or others waiting in the wings, have the slick ability to beguile people the way Trump does. I'm not sure what that "quality" is because Trump, his brand, his lifestyle/tactics have never appealed to me...but he finally managed to dazzle and sucker millions of people, despite dozens of failed business ventures, playing Donald Trump via The Apprentice. While I never saw the show, I do know that it was chock full of humiliation and denigration. People ate it up. What he's managed to do before, during, and after his presidency is leverage his "talents"...not unlike the Pied Piper who drowned the children in revenge.

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What we hate about him is what they love about him: he's crude, simple, rage-filled, misogynistic, and autocratic. And the mere fact that we loathe him endears him to many of his hate-filled followers.

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He was a çelebrity on TV. Just like faux news, he told them what they wanted to hear. He's a loud obnoxious bully but he does it in a slick type of way. So they think he is like the big boss man. And they think he is a smart rich business man, especially since he doesn't pay taxes.

And the pro birth people make up a big part of those people.

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Saw the show for 5 minutes once - totally disgusting and disturbing. I want to agree that the "current guys" cannot match the former one's evil spell. But a charismatic scumbag is born every election cycle.

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Yes, a charismatic scum bag is born every election cycle.

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This is very true.

And you are correct about the “would-be’s and “wannabees!”

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Yeah,the food fight would be interesting. But my bet is that they will trip over each other in their eagerness to get in front and the rest will squash them. (Cranky this morning, don't even care how crass that sounds.)

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Although I do not wish the death of anyone, Trump's possible passing has crossed my mind. He LOOKS unhealthy so anything is possible.

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Let us wish him a happy death. Who can argue with such a sentiment?

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Nahhhh

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I thought he was in “perfect health” perfect everything? Keep sending him Big Macs.

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🤣🤣🤣

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As a golfer 🏌️‍♂️ I think you are right on, he’s always had a reputation as a cheater, golf ⛳️ is a game of honesty, once a cheater always a cheater, just ask Patrick Reed. As too his demise, it can’t happen soon enough, if you believe in hell, Satan is surely licking his lips, if you believe in a balanced universe he’s going to spend a very long time correcting for the in balance that his time on the planet has caused.

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Book recommendation: Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, by Rick Reilly

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I'd rather see him have a brain aneurysm while on stage at one of his rallies.

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Dang! I dunno if We want a martyr. I’d prefer a fair trial, bring light on everything, and a lonely death in prison.

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You are right, of course, Ted. I was having a savage moment.

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I was just about to confess I have fantasies of TFG keeling over on the golf course (Ted, that should eliminate the martyr factor). And I don't even feel guilty. My thoughts can't cause. But right now I wish they could.

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Daria, I have them too.

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I would be happy with a stroke that doesn't kill but brings on aphasia, loss of function on one side of his body, incontinence, altered consistency diet and a good ten years in a nursing home.

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A nasogastric tube would add to the fun.

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If he dies of an aneurysm at one of his rallies, that isn’t necessarily martyrdom.

I kind of like that scenario.

But one thing I want is tRump OFF the scene. Any which way‼️

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Truly just and fitting.

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Brutal, Steven, but just!

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I’m having visions of Scrooge.... I hope he’s dragged down some horrible nightmare witnessing all the cruelty and greed that he has lived by.

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Yup. I listen to some financial programs and these people who got wealthy with the tax cuts and stock market are foaming at the mouth about the people welching on the government, not going back to work. Makes my blood boil. They have zero understanding of what it’s like to work at a job you get paid next to nothing to do, that doesn’t pay your bills and rent. Plus, people are rightfully still scared of the virus. Do you want to serve food at a restaurant or stand in a store all day with mask-less people coming in? I know people working two and three jobs and barely making it. Time for wages to go up so that people can make an honest living. And there are huge numbers of jobs that just aren’t going to come back. We are in the midst of an enormous shift in the economy and people who have lost jobs in retail and elsewhere where automation is replacing them will need to be supported as they/we are transitioned to other jobs, The heartless souls who don’t understand this should just “get a job” and see what it’s like out there.

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The other rarely addressed issue with the “unemployment is cushy, so they won’t go back to work” argument is that a lot of the jobs being offered are part time. Not only does the unemployment supplement raise their income above minimum wage, that’s full time income. Once you accept a part time job, you lose unemployment.

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And you still have to pay childcare and transportation, no insurance, no sick days.

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In Vermont most of the non-hospital jobs for nurses are all part time so that they don’t have to pay benefits

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He will more likely be indicted before he dies. Don't we all wonder whether this will trigger the insurrectionists? Imagine a trial and what that would mean.

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I do fear that and I think Biden and staff do too. Perhaps that is why things are going slowly and methodically to hopefully quieten down the insane masses. This is a crowd who needs a lot of simplified education. Believe me, I do think there are those waiting in the wings who are crazy enough to try and start something, however.

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Hi Marlene. I'm not sure fear has much to do with it. Things are going slowly and methodically because there are not enough Democratic votes in the Senate to make them go faster. And the "insane" masses (they are still less than 50% of the whole mess.., oops, I meant mass) may not really be educable short of epiphany and then catharsis, at which point our public health crisis would require massive interventions from psychologists and psychiatrists and the rapid dissemination of free, injectable THC. About 70,000,000 doses should do the trick. But no drive-throughs.

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We'll do drive throughs, no problem! I do want to point out that things are deliberately going slowly in the U.S. and state Departments of Justice to insure tight, unbeatable cases and clear verdicts when these democracy rapists are brought to trial.

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Key Words Marlene!!! SIMPLIFIED EDUCATION!!!

😮🙂😣🤔🙃

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We are likely to see that here in Georgia sometime this summer, I believe that the DA has seated a grand jury to look 👀 at his election interference, it’s all on tape 😎

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I expended much fury in my comment yesterday about the state of politics and civil life in America. It felt to me that the country is sliding downhill more and more rapidly in a tragicomic fashion and that intervention seemed curiously far off. Those interventions should come from the law, the federal government and an enr(g)aged citizenry.

Today’s comments are of the “hair on fire” type, at least as far as I’ve read. If the bad guys are going to win the day, then it certainly appears to me that they will first have an enormous fight on their hands.

I asked myself whether Canadians would respond so forcefully if our national unity was threatened. At first I thought that we wouldn’t. But then I remembered the referendum in 1995 when one province (Quebec) threatened to secede from Canada. The “Yes” campaign fell behind by 7 points or so in early politicking. But a near-messianic figure, Lucien Bouchard, took the helm and swung the momentum decisively towards a majority YES vote. With just 3 weeks to go, the NO forces were panicked. The Prime Minister of Canada, a Francophone Quebecer, spoke forcefully in favor of the integrity of Canada being maintained with a NO vote. President Clinton gave a statement urging Canadians to keep Canada whole.

But what viscerally turned the tide was a Unity Rally hastily organized in the waning days before the vote. It was held in Montreal. A massive crowd came from across the country to demonstrate love for Quebec and appeal emotionally for them to vote against secession. The picture of ~100000 people holding a gigantic Canadian flag aloft became an iconic moment in our history.

The rally no doubt tipped the scales. The vote was nail-bitingly close, but just over 50% of Quebecers voted NO and Canada remained intact.

It took clear and present danger to rouse Canadians from their (usual) state of bland indifference. The lateness of this great outpouring was gravely dangerous. Quebec was at the very edge of cleaving Canada in two with a sovereign nation in the middle.

I have a sense that America is in a strange period now long before anything decisive will occur. America’s internal enemies are busy, busy, busy taking one vindictive action after another, seemingly wearing down democracy on a state by state basis. Activity is always noteworthy and the Republican outrages are certainly provocative. On the other hand, there appears little that America’s defenders can do at the moment and this contrast is inspiring fear, perhaps even panic, in some fervently patriotic Americans.

Are the current actions of Republican legislatures birthed in a spirit of confidence, or do they represent a sort of last ditch stand? I used the word tragicomic above because I believe what is happening is truly weird. It would be quixotic if the cause was noble. But it has the air of near farce in some places (Arizona would be one). If reduced to a sound it would be the scurrying of rats.

I believe that there are great forces aerating in support of democracy. I do believe that HR1 will pass and render null and void much of what the state legislatures have been doing. I do think that there will be a drumbeat of action in our courts that will reach as far as Trump. I think that sheer good governance will put the insurrectionists at a disadvantage. And I think corporate money (or the lack of it) will be an added weight in defusing the crisis.

America will survive the actions of its most nefarious citizens. But it may be a close run thing, and develop momentum at the last moment. I share your impatience.

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From your pen, Eric, to g-ds ears; may it be so.

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I agree with must of this and appreciate you sharing it. But HR 1 is going nowhere, sadly.

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This is something about which I feel conflicted and uninformed. HR 1 will not be passed through Reconciliation. Do you believe that when push comes to shove the filibuster will not be trashed or amended for lack of Democratic Senatorial votes?

I have no feel for how this will play out whatsoever.

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The filibuster is not going away. Even Biden is reluctant. Will it be reformed? It's a toss-up, but I doubt it. Even then, not a single R is likely to vote for HR1, so it will go down. You're right, reconciliation can only be used for budget bills, so HR1 doesn't qualify. Also, Joe Manchin has made it very clear that he will not vote for a reconciliation bill again. He might be persuadable, but I doubt it. That's my take on the situation. We are in a sad state. Best solution, of course, is to elect more progressives and hang on to the House and Senate. A long shot, but it's possible.

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This is grim indeed. I had thought that a pressure campaign of sorts would be going on behind the scenes and that ultimately Manchin et al would succumb to the blandishments of Biden. Thus would be set up another 50-50 vote, broken by Harris.

I suppose that delay (or what seems to me to be delay) in introducing the bill is a bad omen for its success.

It seems pretty ballsy for Manchin to effectively set himself up as enabler for the weakening, if not slow death, of a Democratic superpower.

Standing up for the filibuster hardly qualifies him as being principled. It’s a Senate rule only. Compared to the debacle that is now taking place on a rolling state basis in which these entities are trying to outdo one another in the strangulation of hard won voting rights, vamping for the filibuster smells like appeasing the enemy.

Thanks for your explanation and analysis Reed.

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I agree. As I said elsewhere, it is a self-serving position. He seems to not realize that he could go down in history as the person who singlehandedly allowed this country to be flushed down the toilet (though we do have to include Kyrsten Sinema in this discussion, too). I find it hard to believe that he believes that bipartisanship is truly possible. Two things are still possibilities, I think: 1. they may get offers they can't refuse, like specific help for their states; and 2. they are just biding their time to give the Rs a chance to play nice before they declare themselves heroes and vote to end the filibuster. Sadly, I think both are unlikely.

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This requires a second glass of wine

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For me, a second cup of coffee this fine northwest morning.

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I agree TC. I imagine when tRump dies (soon I hope), all the rethuglicans who have been happy to say out loud that they support him, will suddenly find spines and decide they didn't really support him. And, Joe Manchin will miraculously agree to get rid of the filibuster. We can only hope that tRump dies sooner rather than later.

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Oh, my, I wish I could agree with you. Trumpism is here to stay and, if anything, Trumpist Republicans see Trump himself as an albatross they would just as soon see consigned to the grave or prison. Being able to rally his base without having to deal with the man himself? I have to think that's the sweet spot for this particular brand of Movement Conservative. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are positioning themselves to be the next leader of this group of fascists. I think it's always worth remembering that, while Trump brought the white supremacist coalition together, he also was responsible, especially through his actions around Covid, for them losing the presidency. He is personally responsible for at least 400,000 unnecessary deaths and he STILL almost won. A more competent autocrat would be our president right now.

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I agree. CSPAN just now showed a clip of Gaetz speaking at the Villages in FL last night. His message was pure Trumpism and corrupt, immoral opportunists like him will have no problem carrying on once T***p is in the ground.

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Hi Gina. Gaetz claimed victimhood on all fronts. Then he pulled the Florida "homeboy" card and chameleoned himself into a hero. And they applauded!!!!

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Yes, despicable.

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Well, a whole lot of miserable haters live in the Villages!

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I agree with everything you said.

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Reid, you're the first person here today I've seen mention the prison option! Slap the darbies on him, I say!

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Pam, why would tRump’s death lead Joe Manchin to be more agreeable to getting rid of the filibuster?

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The war was lost before Hitler died. Just sayin'.

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It was, but his death put the spike through the Nazis managing to find some way to organize afterwards. The rump that did was never a threat.

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I said as much yesterday...if Republicans are trying to outrage everybody that people aren't going back to work because they're staying at home, the outrage should be shifted to the REAL outrageous fact: wages are WAY too low in certain job sectors. THAT is what is wrong. Stop paying people for "sh!t" jobs, taking advantage of people all too willing to do the work and paying them what is tantamount to "slave wages". And, even MORE criminal, the big corporations profit from this cheap labour force and continue to make money hand over fist. Societies in the past have experienced this before, and all came to the same end. It cannot sustain itself. The end ain't pretty.

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Bruce, Thank you for explicitly and cogently writing what was in my thoughts. Too many people around me have drank the kool-aid on this one....people who I thought would know better.

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Lucky for us that this particular Sauron is a lazy leader. If he had the drive of a Steve Bannon he would already own us.

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The death of Trump will not end the current rightwing situation. He'll still be a big presence in his absence (think martyrs, saints, antichrist, etc.) The cult will continue, for that is what it is now......

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(1) Sometimes Heather writes something that sounds the alarm.

(2) Sometimes Heather writes something to remind us that the government is us, so raise our voices to make them heard.

(3) Sometimes Heather writes something that makes us feel like everything is going to be okay.

(1) + (2) = (3)

With tonight's LFAA as another alarm, leave a Reply if you are interested in joining fellow HCR Substackers in making our voices heard in service of democracy.

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You bet! I saw a couple of "Trump 2024" signs I wanted to vomit. I am participating in a Vote Forward letter campaign for the special election in New Mexico. This is my personalized message. "I vote because I want to plant seeds that I may not see bear fruit. I have two adult nieces, an adult nephew, and a great nephew. I want them to live in a democracy, have economic opportunities, good infrastructure, clean water, and fresh air. Elections matter! Please vote!

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I have written many letters through Vote Forward over the last few years to potential voters in GA, FL, TX, AZ, PA and now to NM. Keep up the good work Sharon and Pamsy and may many others join us, please. Research shows that people open a letter in a handwritten envelope and read it, where postcards can too easily go in the trash without being looked at. All it costs is for the stamps and printer ink. As Heather says, "put skin in the game"! Take some action.

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Yay for you! I saw that vote fwd email and will look to join their efforts.

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I certainly want to be in. That said, I can possibly write letters. Sorry for the tepid reply, but the four years of the previous administration gave me two different heart arrhythmias, had me passing out (I couldn’t even drive), and put me in the hospital. I’ve had it corrected now, but the stress of all of this makes my heart start jumping again. Heather’s Letter is my one source for news these days. My senators don’t listen; Hawley and Blunt. Ugh. There is a local Indivisible chapter, but I haven’t kept up with them lately because of the heart issues. It’s time to find a low-key action. My greatest fear is not for myself, but for my grandchildren.

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Take care, as we all navigate through this wild time, there is surely no need to be sorry for your "tepid" reply. In case it interests you, I've been exploring how ones breath can ease stress, one of the few things we do both consciously and unconsciously. For me, it's a helpful practice.

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Sorry about your heart problems and my condolences re your senators, ugh! Vote Forward makes a difference and is low key. It will help your morale. Votefwd.org !!

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Thank you for the link! I just signed up.

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Hi, Sean...can you give us a little more information about Vote Forward? Perhaps others would also like to partner with them.

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Thank you Sally; I just signed up.

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Hi, Arnette.....can you tell us a bit more about Vote Forward and how we can work with them? Thanks.

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Thank you. I will check it out.

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Hi, Cheri......have you checked out the Vote Forward group, and if so, what additional information can you give to us? Thanks.

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I have signed up and been approved to write letters. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. There’s an instructional video to view, then start writing. It’s been a busy couple of days, but should have time tomorrow. It seems very well organized.

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Hi. For further info, please email heathersherd@gmail.com with your name and issues of interest. Thanks!

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Sally Thank you! for the link!

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I just signed up too! Thanks so much!

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Hi, Sally....can you give us a bit more information about Vote Forward? How do they work and would it be good for us to partner with them?

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Annette, I'm not quite sure what you mean by "partner with them" (?) Certainly it would be great if many join them in their efforts. If you "adopt" the folks' names they give you, it IS a commitment, they won't give those names to anyone else. The volunteer group searches (legally) for potentially Dem-leaning people who haven't voted recently or need help registering and so on.

All that's required of us is to hand-write a paragraph that follows on from... "I vote because" on their template letter, sign our first name. Then hand- write the address on the envelope. The return address is written (e.g. Sally R, Vote Forward). When one "campaign" is fully done, they offer more that need our letters, i.e. they don't just flood everyone's mailboxes!

Here is a link: https://votefwd.org/instructions which says "Before you get started, please note that Vote Forward letters use nonpartisan language to encourage voting because research shows it is more effective than partisan messaging for increasing voter participation. Partisan language is one-sided, and in this context it means strong support for a particular candidate, party, or cause. When adding your handwritten messages to the letter templates, do not mention candidates by name or political parties (this includes terms like “red” and “blue”), and do not assume that the voter receiving your letter agrees with you on issues or policy. For additional messaging guidance, please see our “What should I write?” FAQ."

They have never asked me for a donation in 2.5 years, my only cost has been for the stamps and the printer ink. You can start with 5 letters and they will offer more, if you would like. It's all VERY simple, if I can do it anyone can! I ended up wiriting hundreds last year, and some get together and have a writing party. I'd find that too distracting, as you do have to get the right letter in the right envelope :) to ensure peope feel like individuals.

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Cheri, I’m sorry for what you went through. If it helps to know - you weren’t the only one. I had problems with my blood pressure from Jan 2017-Jan 2021. It’s slowly getting back to normal. I’m trying to find ways to help without bringing about more stress caused medical problems. It looks like some of the commenters have a few ideas.

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Kasumii, as I responded to Cheri, first and foremost, please be gentle with yourself and don't take on projects that you can't handle on your on. If your family is willing use their energy and gifts. It's not selfish, just wise!

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Thanks for the advice. I learned to take better care of myself but I have to balance that with staying involved. I can’t not be involved - I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try.

My family is already gone (variety of reasons over the years) so it’s just me. My pets are my support system. They do what they can 🙂.

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Treat good friends as family if you can.

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I do.

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Cheri, I am here in MO with you. And still I am sure that we will find a way to keep democracy alive. Our grandchildren, and the grandchildren of the immigrants struggling at the border!

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I know what you mean Cheri. I have had a stress related illness that has largely side-lined me this year. We all need to take care of ourselves while doing what we can to protect our democracy.

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Hi again. I forgot to mention - there are 2 other sources of news that help me balance it all out - Dan Rather’s Substack newsletter ‘Steady’ and a daily political newsletter called ‘Wake Up To Politics. It’s factual and to the point in easily understood writing. Those two plus HCR’s newsletter are my vital sources of news.

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I also read Gabe's Wake Up to Politics and started reading him when he was in high school. He would summarize the news before heading to school! Pretty remarkable.

I was amazed and very grateful for how well he was synthesizing the wild news of the day. Then I learned of Heather! not only synthesizing but adding historical context! a game changer for my sanity.

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Isn’t it? He recently added other writers who take on specific topics. All of them are high school & college students I think. Besides getting well researched news from them, they all give me hope for the future.

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Thanks, Kasumii… I'll check out 'Steady' and 'Wake Up to Politics'. (And I'll work to cure myself of reading HCR when I wake up in the middle of the night. Not a good time to start mobilizing!)

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Wish I could cure myself of waking in the middle of the night, maybe we should start a “middle of the night” mobilization group, I think there are lots of us who would participate in the wee sleepless hours of the morn.

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Elizabeth, from some of your posts it looks like you have experience with "Vote Forward". This sounds like a good group for us to partner with. Can you give us a bit more information?

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It is an easy organization to work with. Sign up at votefwd.org and choose the campaign you want to work on. You print the form letter, add the greeting, respond to the prompt (we wrote "why we vote" letters), sign, address the letter, then stamp and mail. There is information on the website to help you come up with your personal message. It is a nice small group project. Not sure how much it actually helps but I am not comfortable talking to people in person or on the phone so this is what I do to try to save our democracy!

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Thanks for the vote of solidarity! Actually, given how drained I feel in the morning, how about a group that vows to wait until the morning to read HCR?

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In this climate, the most important thing is to look after yourself, Cheri! That way, you can pass on your hopes and dreams to your children and grandchildren. Maybe they can help you write -- do so as a family, share the stress! Besides, at they say: from the mouths of babes ...

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Cheri, I'm so sorry to hear that.

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I am as in with this as I was as a college student protesting needless war that feeds the war machine. Protesting has usually been in favor of the “Peace Room”. Better and more gender friendly than the “War Room”.

I live in Florida. The insurgent thinking cannot be more in the face.

I am always willing to serve democracy and an end to the ladder of caste.

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Thank you for the call to reason and truth, Ellie. And may any who oppose truth severely underestimate the power of warriors of truth.

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I hope they underestimate us

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You are not alone in Florida.

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I'm in, Ellie, in MA. For the Georgia Senate special elections, I joined a letter writing campaign to likely Democrats who in the past were low-likelihood voters. I wrote 100 letters, and in all tens of thousands were written. The preprinted letters gave clear information on how and where to register and how and where to vote. We letter writers added a personal message about why we voted by mail, addressed, stamped, and sent the letters by the deadline. Given the margins Ostroff and Warnock won by, it feels like our letters helped make the difference AND the registering and voting options those letters described are exactly the ones the tRumpPubs are now working hard to extinguish.

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Every step or effort can be the one making the difference.

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Hi. For further info, please email heathersherd@gmail.com with your name and issues of interest. Thanks!

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Absolutely, another floridian, living next to neighbors who occasionally fly/flaunt their nazi flag.

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The odd thing about that is they are taking advantage of our democracy's freedom of speech to do it. They aren't believers, just people who like the attention they get by flaunting something distasteful in someone else's face.

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They have me convinced they are believers. White racist trash, with guns.

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You have got to be kidding. Though when we lived in Loxahatchee, FL, 30 years ago there was a very active neo Nazi cell that gathered weekly and flew theirs.

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Nope, no kidding about nazis

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Daria, I agree there are people who are fully involved in the Nazi camp. I grew up in Oregon. My reference, which got lost in all the indignation, is that there are also people who will play at Nazi just to irritate people or get attention. Some of those people don't believe that Nazi's are all that bad- it's a "cultural thing", according to them. That's BS of course. But they sincerely believe it. And here we are again, looking down our noses and calling names, in our moral superiority. I am wondering just what that is going to do to change either minds or the political situation.

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I agree, many don't believe Nazis are all that bad. The neighbors in Loxahatchee were convinced that they were on the right path. And to let you what a contradiction they were, they invited us to their daughter's First Communion Celebration. We declined the party but dropped off a small gift for the little girl. At that time, and to this day, I can't wrap my head around their belief system. Nazism & Catholicism in a tidy little package. Too, at that time the area in Loxahatchee* we lived in was pretty isolated on 50 acres, we had 5 horses and a mess of Jack Russells and the last thing we wanted to do was piss somebody off so much that they'd attack one of our horses, terriers or us. It was not unheard of. We were always doing some sort of horse related event so it was easy to decline invitations and not be contentious, though in reality we were saying to each other WHAAAAAT???????? And you're right, name calling and virtue signaling are not effective tools when trying to persuade someone to change their point of view. Now I'm wondering what it's going to take to clear the air. It feels hopeless.

*Loxahatchee is west of West Palm Beach, north of Wellington.

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My problem is that if "the government is us," why are we, in the majority, controlled by a minority? It's bad enough to know that the plutocrats and Big "Everything" hold a significant portion of the control wires, but to know that state governments are also trashing voting rights, gets me feeling that the government isn't "us" at all. There really is a crisis.

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I agree it is a crisis. My sense is that the majority has to work harder than it ever has before, because the minority has used gerrymandering and all its kin to subvert the power of individual votes. Whether or not enough people can be roused to work that hard remains to be seen. It's just as much of a fight against the autocracy as the Revolutionary War was way back when. But then, people were more focused and there was less to draw them into denial. I feel like it's an 'all hands on deck' situation where it's not just funneling money into the Democratic PAC's (which I'm doing on a monthly donation basis) but mounting vigorous grass-level opposition creatively and individually and even theatrically (music, plays, satires, etc.) to create a united front of opposition to The Big Lie. The emperor has no clothes, but he has so many sycophants covering his ass that people can't see what's up.

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I’m chomping at the bit! I turn 70 in a few weeks and it frustrates me that I don’t have the flexibility to play a more significant part in the necessary action. I can write, I can call, and I will do anything and everything I can to save our precious democracy!

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Cynthia, I think from past posts you have experience with Vote Forward. This sounds like a good group to partner with. Can you give us a bit more information on them?

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Gratitude for your coordination of the resistance.

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I am in. So in. Idaho.

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My sympathies. Idaho needs some work.

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Hi. For further info, please email heathersherd@gmail.com with your name and issues of interest. Thanks!

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Yes indeed.

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Karen from NJ... I'm in

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br from NJ....I'm in too!

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Hi. For further info, please email heathersherd@gmail.com with your name and issues of interest. Thanks!

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I’m in.

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Thanks Ellie, for gathering the herd.

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And to clarify any misperceptions regarding herd, this has nothing to do with sheep or anything more about followers, other than being a group of people who share common values with HCR about civic engagement in support of democracy.

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Count me in.

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I'm in, Florida.

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"Faced with the prospect of voters rejecting their economic policies, Republican leaders are undermining democracy." Those may be the most chilling words in all your letters. They certainly boil down to a terrifying essence of our plight. Who could have imagined that Trump's defeat by a significant margin and the events of Jan. 6 would embolden rather than chasten Republicans? Wait, I'm being naïve again.

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Michael, you are chillingly correct! I am afraid that you, dear HCR are absolutely spot on as well with your assessment on this extremely dark night -- a dark night in politics as well as a dark night of the soul. It is unimaginable how a party that purports to love its country, can do so much to destroy it.

The GOP are doing everything in yeir power to dismantle a democratic voting system as well as a system of government, which, though imperfect, has worked for a few centuries.

When I spoke of a dark night of the soul, I really do refer to spiritual emptiness, which is what the GOP appears to project. They are devoid of dignity, humanity, and morality in every step they take. All their eyes can focus on is power, regardless of what that may mean for the future of our children and our children's children.

"Faced with the prospect of voters rejecting their economic policies, Republican leaders are undermining democracy."

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Devoid if dignity, humanity and morality.

Yup, good summary.

WHEN are the "christian" leaders gonna split?

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You're assuming that the "Christian" leaders uphold actual Christian values.

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Yes, my pollyannishness shows.

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They will

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Lynn...In my book, Pollyannas are kind and fair and group oriented. They ARE the true "christians."

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Ty.

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Excellent question...but 'WHO' or 'WHAT' represents "Christian leadership" right now?

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Uh, the mega churches with their tax exempt status and political clout comes to mind

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Yes, I know you are right. Spot on.

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Well said, Rowshan. I love the way you write, and your comments are always spot on. I look forward to reading them when I see your name. Thank you.

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Thank you so much, Kathy! It's so kind of you to say so.

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Well said. Thank you.

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Yep Rowshan: what you said.

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Go read "The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt" by Richard Hofstadter. The Pseudo-Conservatives were thought to be the "fringe" in his day, but now they are the Republican mainstream.

Unlike most of the liberal dissent of the past, the new dissent not only has no respect for non-conformism, but is based upon a relentless demand for conformity. It can most accurately be called pseudo-conservative — I borrow the term from the study of The Authoritarian Personality published five years ago by Theodore W. Adorno and his associates — because its exponents, although they believe themselves to be conservatives and usually employ the rhetoric of conservatism, show signs of a serious and restless dissatisfaction with American life, traditions and institutions. They have little in common with the temperate and compromising spirit of true conservatism in the classical sense of the word, and they are far from pleased with the dominant practical conservatism of the moment as it is represented by the Eisenhower Administration. Their political reactions express rather a profound if largely unconscious hatred of our society and its ways — a hatred which one would hesitate to impute to them if one did not have suggestive clinical evidence.

From clinical interviews and thematic apperception tests, Adorno and his co-workers found that their pseudo-conservative subjects, although given to a form of political expression that combines a curious mixture of largely conservative with occasional radical notions, succeed in concealing from themselves impulsive tendencies that, if released in action, would be very far from conservative. The pseudo-conservative, Adorno writes, shows “conventionality and authoritarian submissiveness” in his conscious thinking and “violence, anarchic impulses, and chaotic destructiveness in the unconscious sphere. . . . The pseudo conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition.”

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The reality is that we have totally screwed up our use of the term "conservative".. I am a conservative - in that I spend a lot of time attempting to conserve the world we live in (as I'm a conservation biologist) - I am a mildly "social conservative" person - but the term "Conservative" - aka "Politically Conservative" - has become the accepted norm. I think the term should be "Reactionary" - and it's quite entrenched in "Orstralia" - which is what scares me - as where the US goes, so so many countries.

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I’d like to try this thought with you, Hugh ....

In your profession, you’ve lived fully intimate with change. There is nothing in nature that does not change. Humans are a part of nature. The only constancy in every moment is change. Until one's final breath, one is entirely unified in the web of a so called “perceiver and perceived.” One might falsely experience that the floors and walls never change, but then that thought is gone in a flash, and a new perception arises, with each breath and heart beat. Change is THE constant.

But long ago, a western scientist (Descartes?) theorized that humans are distinct from nature. Since then, science has lived in the abstraction that our 6 senses are removed from sensory objects. We’ve lived in this false construct for hundreds of years. Well, how does this relate to political theory?

Conservatism has adopted the position that certain (and only certain) policies must remain constant. Conservatives consider themselves “originalists” - meaning they view the Constitution as an unchanging document. I might ask, then, "Oh, so blacks are to be considered 3/5’s of a person and women are not to be considered?” “No, this construct can be changed,” conservatives were forced to realize. And then of course consider our constructs of slavery and our extermination of indigenous culture. America has de facto said, through policies, “let’s have ‘set asides’ of urban centers for blacks and deserts for indigenous peoples.” But, the process of change forever challenges this notion.

Conservatism to me has been a false narrative that attempts to preserve privilege, in the name of their (white) heritage.

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Fascinating perspective, and thank you for that. I have had that "originalist" argument with some of my friends/colleagues. In one particular argument that I remember, I told the guy that, under the constitution that he so admires and defends (he's a cop) that more than half of the country did not originally have the right to vote, and that I would love to see an election decided for a time (I suggested maybe 100 years, which is a nice round yet not completely historically accurate) where federal elections should be decided only by those whose right to vote was granted by amendment. THis man looked at me blankly, and asked "what do you mean? We've always had the right to vote." I told him that while Black men got the right to vote in the late 1860's, the practical application of that wasn't until the 1960's and that women were "granted" the right to vote in 1920. Those are the people who ought to have a shot at voting exclusively. He at least had the grace to say "I had never thought of it that way."

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Excellent points! And we women are still "granted" rights at the whim and generosity of superior white males. Or so "conservatives" would deem it.

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When talking about the Womens' Suffrage movement I never use the word "given" the right to vote. Women fought hard for it and finally won.

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My grandmother, Mildred Hornbein, had a PhD five or six years before she could vote. The GOP is still trying to weaken the right to vote.

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What an amazing woman! The fact she was denied her vote because of her gender and inspite of her accomplishment is egregious. I have raised a strong, educated, intelligent young woman. She is where she is because of your grandmother. You have a legacy to be proud of. Tell her story and 'SAY HER NAME!'

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Isn’t that true, that all too many have not thought “to it that way"

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I remembered as I was telling this that he had asked me about a Facebook post where I had said "If your right to vote was not granted by a Constitutional Amendment then you don't have a dog in this fight". He had to ask what that meant.

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It’s still early morning for me, and my coffee hasn’t quite taken effect, so all I can add is “thank you” for this.

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Still waiting for my coffee to work. Must go for second cup.

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Getting my first cup right now. I was so agitated after reading the Letter I fumed for a good 2 hours before sleeping. I need to leave my tablet downstairs when I come up to go to bed. Have a brilliant Saturday.

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Thanks MaryB, and I know that you’ll have a changed perception after a cup of java. And a changed perception without java. Well, welcome to life

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Okay, Frederick, this is brilliant. Descartes be damned. I clearly remember the nuns teaching us that we humans are not animals.

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Decartes = body as machine

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WELL SAID Frederick!!!!!🤔

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Good! Maybe then, I have nothing more to say 😀. (off to breakfast)

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Dr. Richardson has also pointed out the right has forsaken all the values of "conservatism". She refers to them as "the radical right." The radical right no longer has any connection to conservatism. They're just radical.

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I respectively disagree, wholeheartedly, with this point of Prof HCR. The right of today will NOT challenge or demean conservatism. They avow conservatives like Reagan, Buchanan, Fox News, et al. They trumpet core principles, such as small government, thru less taxation and a “free market capitalism” (see below)

Small government (“free market capitalism”) is: low-to-no taxation, low-to-no regulation, and no responsibility. The free market is NOT responsible for the negative side effects of free market capitalism: opioids, carcinogens, weapons addiction, drug abuse, red lining, war, police violence, violent entertainment from “Hollywood", and finally, trump. trump is the logical inheritor of these conservatives genes of aberrant behavior.

Cons will avow tax breaks because they limit the effectiveness of Democracy (government).

There is no “far right.” There are only conservatives.

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Fascinating. Disturbing to say the least. Right-wing media enables them to rationalize their views. In fact, reinforces their views in a destructive feedback loop.

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we've got fodder to fight back on that front with legal defenses recently put forth claiming "no one believes Fox News" we need to blow that up

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Indeed! A symbiotic, self-preserving relationship!

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Thanks TCinLA. Great piece and I just became American Scholar's newest subscriber. And to add another quote from the piece: "The pseudo-conservative always imagines himself to be dominated and imposed upon because he feels that he is not dominant and knows of no other way of interpreting his position. He imagines that his own government and his own leadership are engaged in a more or less continuous conspiracy against him because he has come to think of authority only as something that aims to manipulate and deprive him. It is for this reason, among others, that he enjoys seeing outstanding generals, distinguished secretaries of state, and prominent scholars browbeaten and humiliated. This was all published in 1965 but now can be seen as a haunting premonition. Whining their way to autocracy.

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Bruce-another piece of the pie is that the pseudo conservatives also have Grievance Addiction. Please read this piece written by Dr Justin Frank, a psychiatrist w/40 years in his field: https://www.salon.com/2021/02/12/dr-justin-frank-on-the-trial-for-trump-capitol-riot-was-a-source-of-incredible-pleasure/

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That "addiction/release" pattern was on display in the ending weeks of T's term, as well. Each time something happened to agitate him or went against him, he ordered yet another execution. It was predictable, and creepy. The press noted the executions, but I don't recall any analysis of this connection. Perhaps Dr. Frank identified it, though he didn't directly allude to it in this article.

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Actually 1955 - these people have been around a loooooonnnnnggggg time.

Yes that description is really accurate - the 'conservative" as permanent victim.

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Wow. And awful.

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Banality of evil as Hannah Arendt observed at the trial in Nuremberg.

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FWIW, "the banality of evil" was the subtitle of her book on Eichmann's trial in Jerusalem (1963), to summarize what she saw as an attack on (clear, intentional, reflective) thinking as a whole.

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Banality was the adjective she used to describe the evil actions of the nazis and the testimony.

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Adore Adorno, the authoritarian submissiveness is key, here

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I can not express how much I appreciate HCR's instructive work as well as the informative links the membership often provides. I only wish there was more time to keep up with this lively group. Thanks so much for the above references, compelling read.

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TC....I believe Adorno's book was first published in 1950. He came out of the very important post-war Frankfurt School of Critical Theory. Maybe it was re- published 5 yrs ago as in your reference? Still, thanks for the post!!

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The quote has it identified as 1950 - since Hofstadter was writing in 1954.

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Precisely. Terrifyingly. Thank You TC.

I think.

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Correct. Chameleons.

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They are blatantly and thoughtlessly trying to destroy our democracy.

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It is all overwhelming because the Republicans, under Mitch's power, refuse to budge. They have swept the insurrection under the rug as they did the shootings in Colorado, Sandy Hook, FLA., and everywhere. They want to undermine Liz Cheney so they can plant Stefanik, that nasty woman, in her place. I have seen where they accuse Biden of doing nothing for the immigrant children when they are the ones who caused the chaos in the first place. I believe Majorkis has a competent team in place, one with many women: Nanette Barragan, Sylvia Garcia, Veronica Escobar, and Linda Sanchez. There were over 2000 kids who were detained by Border Patrol three weeks ago. Those women realized Border Patrol didn't know how to take care of children. All of them are now only detained less than 24 hours and those waiting have made phone calls to their relatives in the U.S.. Before, they were denied common decency, clothing, toothbrushes, a bed! Now they are in care facilities until they can be reunited with loved ones. Can you imagine...this weekend is Mother's Day and these mothers nor their children know where they each are?

I have decided that Republicans aren't human. They have been replaced by demons of The Third Reich.

Thank you, HCR. I wish you peace, love, and kindness from your children on Mother's Day. And to every mother, my best to you all.

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Stefanik is proof that being a Harvard grad has nothing to do with actual intelligence. As I have found on the happy occasions when I got to fire Hahvahd grads for being the incompetent, talentless hacks they were.

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Truly, "Hahvahd" must be so proud of itself in that they graduated evil and insane people. Must be a prereq to get in. That and daddy's money...

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Marlene Lerner Bigley wins the internets!! :-)

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