517 Comments

At 74 years old, I dearly wish not to have to hit the streets once again—-yet I increasingly feel compelled by this current, terrifying, slow rolling coup to do my bit once more to push things forward because this is the worst American crisis I’ve witnessed, of many in my life—McCarthyism up close as a child; Mississippi Summer; the Vietnam protests; and, for me through it all always, the fight for Women’s Rights. But, sigh, here we go again, this time, astonishingly, for the preservation of our basic democracy and for fundamental Voting Rights in the ever-evolving American battlefield over such things since before our founding as a republic—-the roiling history of which HCR so beautifully clarifies for us in her brilliant letters every day.

For myself, and for all of us willing to go forward yet once again to fight and organize in whatever way we’re each best suited to, I invoke the blazing, inspirational spirit of John Lewis who never gave up. Onward: it truly feels like now or never this time.

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Same age. Same rage. This is the most frightening time I have ever experienced. All my past furies are dwarfed by the horrors of the day. There is a deadly disease of fascistic thinking sweeping the nation. It's as if the principles of reality and truly fair elections were just inconveniences to be tossed aside in favor of hate.

We need to make some noise. Good noise. Good trouble...

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I’m of your generation as well and will march in front of Manchins’s home if asked to! Just tell me when and where! I have my marching shoes on and ready to make some GOOD TROUBLE!

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Ditto

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Especially in Flori-dah!

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I’m older than you and agree with every word. Not able to do things I used to do, and I don’t have Soros’ money, but a little fight is left, and will give it all for my grands.

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I will write, march, sign petitions and more for democracy and for climate action on behalf of my 3 cherished grandchildren and their future grandchildren. I also only make investments that are in line with those goals! When I was first buying my own toilet paper many years ago, I refused to buy Charmin because of their ads demeaning women as simpletons... just a little research shows which products to avoid. Hurt them in their bottom lines!

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I'm all for taking peaceful action on helping to save the democracy (words are not enough). The same applies to the climate crisis: Washington Post Live, 10 am Eastern today on "Protecting Our Planet: Role of Business & Investing". I'm always impressed by how many of us read Dr. Richardson's Letters here and on FB, I hope we can make a difference!

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Exposure and action make a difference. Several of us have mentioned the Lincoln Project and how their ads expose these companies, the latest of which are the AT&T funding of OAN. They made a great ad, and lo and behold, AT&T stock has dropped: https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1447655122889236488

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I'm a supporter of the Lincoln Project (and Adam Kinzinger) in their work. The AT&T ad is great and I posted it on FB.

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Saw it as well. Very effective. Why the Democratic Party hasn't hired a firm equally skilled at such ads is baffling. The Lincoln Project work cuts through the noise and delivers the essence of what's wrong.

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I've said the same thing in another chat group. Why the Democrats haven't hired a marketing firm for messaging is baffling! They seriously need to in order to push back against all of the horrible Republican noise.

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Me too! I loved it!

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Right there with all commenters above. We must go once again into the breach! Re: Charmin, glad you boycott them for demeaning women. I boycott Charmin and all t.p. brands not made from 100% recycled paper. I don't want anyone cutting down trees just so I can....

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And don’t buy Georgia Pacific brands. Some of them include Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper and Brawny paper towels plus lots more. They’re owned by Koch Industries.

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Thanks heaps for the tip Laura. I'll write directly to the remaining Koch, bless the load, and suggest he can serve the environment by making it a policy to use his toilet paper on both sides.

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When I lived in Italy, they used the yellow pages of their phone books for to!

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Wow. I didn’t realize Koch was involved there. I buy the Costco brand of TP. It’s the only one for the last 20 years or so. Now I will have to check it out on a different level.

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Never thought I'd say this here but..........washable reusable flannel squares are very soft and absorbent on the tushy. Rinse off with a bidet or a peri bottle first and pat dry, no paper needed. I have a little lidded trashcan next to the toilet for depositing used squares and just through them in with my regular laundry. We could save entire forests....

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Not much different from cloth diapers and I used those for years with 3 kids. Something to consider.

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Me too. And actually a lot cleaner and easier than diapers.

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Bamboo TP works for me, Charmin has been a destroyer for years

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Will you virtual phone bank and knock on doors to get out the vote for Democratic candidates?

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I have canvassed and will for the midterms. I've written hundreds of letters via Vote Forward to potential voters, currently I'm in the VA campaign. I hope others will do phone banking, I'm hopeless with that. We all do the best we can!

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I've been doing the VA letters for Vote Forward as well-mailing a second batch later this week. I like that it allows one to put forward more ideas as to why voting is important. I did some post cards for another group but it only allowed one script. (Not as satisfying for me nor as informative for the voters.)

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I agree… I was not happy with the script of “thanks for being a voter”! for the NJ election! I felt I did some good when I wrote in 2020 for GA and specifically mentioned Warnick and Ossoff!

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I knocked on doors in 2016 but since my area is so rural and trumpian we were advised to mail postcards as knocking on doors could become rather dicey.

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It might be better to leave a famous tract from the Bible: "Forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do."

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Boy, I sure will. Love writing postcards, and will continue with marches.

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Ohhh… but I do love Charmin’s softness. I guess I’ll have to hurt my bottom to hurt their bottom line! 😉

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Thank you

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Ditto for me. I will hit the streets again, go to jail if necessary. Nonviolent protest will be my pitchfork and chopping ax. Eugene Robinson is the first commentator I've seen who has called it like it is. Civil War. It is here; it is upon us. He urges us to start thinking now how democracy lovers need to respond. With nonviolence. The Civil War proved as all wars do that it never settles anything, except of course it freed the slaves. We must never forget that. But the perpetrators are still with us; the big mistake was not dividing the country into North and South. We must figure out a better way. I don't now how to do it but we must.

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Indeed. The Civil War "freed" the slaves only technically. In the aftermath, their freedom was crushed by lynchings and intimidation. That war killed people. It did not kill the hate that still thrives.

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So thought we had gotten beyond Jim Crow but he is alive and well in Tx. And in NC.

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And lots of other places. NFL coaches.

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And he resigned! Which means we are making a difference! I wish it wasn’t in baby steps!

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And all the Jim Crow 2.0 legislation by states to suppress and/or override votes.

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This is what concerns me the most. How do you combat county-by-county takeovers of election offices, particularly the ones which certify presidential and Congressional/Senatorial elections?

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Personally, living in the South, I think the Loser’s like Trump never accepted it. If anything “The Never Forget “ thing has signaled a Perpetual ideology. One day it’s the American Flag. Some days it’s the Confederate or both. I pledge my Allegiance to our Nations Flag. You didn’t see our Military ‘Ever ‘ carry a Confederate Flag to War’s did you.

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It’s good for progressives to support democracy by claiming the American flag and calling ourselves the patriots.

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Yes, Ellie💙 🇺🇸💙!!

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Totally agree. Another big mistake is saying whatever we do doesn't matter. We are beaten down and dispirited. We need to gather ourselves together and rise up.

Deadly serious question here. Anyone know how one organizes a MARCH FOR DEMOCRACY?

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I would like to refer you to the Rev Wm Barber, who is a black Christian minister, but who is non-violent, articulate, and already has a movement of folks from all races concerned with the government and its neglect of impoverished people.

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Thank you Hope for alerting us to the work of The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. He is '...the President & Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival; Bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary; Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and the author of four books: We Are Called To Be A Movement; Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and The Rise of a New Justice Movement; and Forward Together: A Moral Message For The Nation.'

'Rev. Dr. Barber is also the architect of the Moral Movement, which began with weekly Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013 and recently relaunched again online in August 2020 under the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign. In 2018, Rev. Dr. Barber helped relaunch the Poor People’s Campaign—which was begun by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968—starting with a historic wave of protests in state capitals and in Washington, D.C., calling for a moral agenda and a moral budget to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation and denial of healthcare, and the false moral narrative of Christian nationalism. There are currently 45 state coordinating committees across the country, mobilizing around the Poor People’s Jubilee Platform and We Must Do M.O.R.E. (mobilize, organize, register, and educate people for a movement that votes).' (Repairers of the Breach) See link below:

https://www.breachrepairers.org/williambarber

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You ROCK, Fern! Thank you from my heart!

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You inspired me, Hope. Thank you!

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This is a huge undertaking for sure that the Reverend is doing. Very admirable. What we are proposing is a laser focused March for Democracy.

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"We are beaten down and dispirited." I can agree with dispirited, but not with beaten down. Democrats tend to be decent people. Not easily ignited to the violence that Rumplicans find easy to do. I think because of our decency and respect for others, we just don't know what to do. We don't have investments such as guns, hate of POC, fear of immigrants, etc. to gaslight us to violently protest, threaten decent elected officials, and vote a "savior" into office. We use our intellect and do things like write emails, postcards, make phone calls, read everything we can, comment on blogs, etc. instead of showing up at school board meetings, local government meetings, and we haven't been able to plan and implement major protests. We don't have our Drump flags, hats, patriotic shirts, and carry around handguns on our hips or machine guns in our arms spewing swear words, insults, and threats at protests. We practice safeguards for ourselves and others to prevent a deadly virus from spreading. I haven't seen any group protests to push wearing a mask or getting the vaccine. No, we just don't know what to do to get our message across to the ignorant among us. (I don't mean the stupid followers of a dictator-wanna-be, but those who just aren't paying attention. There are a lot of Americans who just don't have a clue.)

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Put the word out, Barbara, start making your ideas heard, friends, farmers’ market, PTA ppl, everywhere, and you’ll be surprised how and which people will come forward to help you. Good on ya….

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Start with your local Democratic Party Headquarters and the local NAACP!

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I like your call to action. I think there are several coalitions that would join such a march including but not limited to the Women's March, SPLC, Climate Change organizations, and those who are concerned with voting rights such as Stacy Abrams, et al. See my note below, especially.

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No, but I want to help. Ready to organize

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It’s moving to see how so many people in the United States are fully awake to the crisis and are willing to drag themselves to the ramparts to fight for it, through the medium of mass protest. I thrill to read those sentiments today. It’s become apparent - finally- that large segments of the country are aware (again *finally*) that the ultimate danger is breathtakingly close.

My fear is that protests will be met with counterprotests and that serious violence will then ensue. The other side is huge, far down the bizarre rabbit hole of Trumpism, and a significant number are chillingly prepared for violence. I have no trouble believing Bannon when he promises “20 000 shock troops”.

As it stands, I don’t think Biden has the proverbial snowball’s chance to get his agenda through - in any significant way. His margin for error in the House and Senate is much too small. And the Republicans are killing time.

Thus will 2022 be lost, no matter the diligence and energy of the phone bankers, and the $$$ of people desperate for democracy. And 2024 is a lost cause. Outright cheating will ensure that no Democrat becomes President.

But there is one solution to this mess. The law. Donald Trump needs/deserves/must be arrested, perp-walked, tried, convicted and jailed. There is more than ample evidence. There are investigations in New York and Georgia.

As the entire GOP is Trumpist in its orientation now, their leader being jailed would leave them rudderless. The ground would be cut away from them in one fell swoop. The cancer would be cut out and the body would recover gradually.

My nagging suspicion is this - do Trump’s investigators have the courage to charge and try him? I am seriously beginning to wonder.

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Agreed. That's the big question now in my mind -- do they have the will or courage to charge & try him.

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I'm praying a higher power will remove him from the scene if the justice departments don't.

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It’s scary to contemplate. If justice turns a blind eye…

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‘W’s’ words “ You are either with US or Republican Terrorist.” Time to stop calling them Patriots.

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You are so right! Hope Dems have some billionaires on the team, my retirement pay won’t do it…

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I agree. In my 70's too and I will go and march for Democracy.

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Ditto! Perhaps we can top the first Women's March attendance across the country; that would be great.

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Same here. But I’m younger. Only 73

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I’m 71. And I, like yourself, have seen and been involved in so many things but I wonder what good any protesting does. None of it seems to change anything. Maybe take up arms? I’m willing to die for freedom. I don’t want it to come to that but I doubt they will listen to peaceful ANYTHING!

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I think our collective nonviolent protests have not gotten big enough, loud enough, and frequent enough yet. My friend who lives in DC was part of pickets at the White House every single weekend during the Dump administration. They were mostly local. What if we collectively created a permitted, peaceful, _big_ demonstration every weekend at the Capitol, fed by a standing network of rides and buses pulling from a four or five-hour ride radius of DC. Encourage everyone who wants to save democracy to attend one Saturday a month or more. Create it with a coalition of all the liberal and progressive organizations whose rights, principles, and futures that the Trumpublicans are working to crush. I don't know the nuts and bolts of how to organize such a standing wave of demonstrations, but there are people who do.

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As an elderly full time caregiver, I can’t join in but will support in any way I can

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Excellent idea. One thing I noticed was that the media largely ignored the recent women's protest. Maybe in front of the White House would get more attention. Got a slogan? Maybe-- We Demand our Democracy? or Demand Democracy? Our Country. Our Vote? Democracy Now?

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I was disappointed in this. The Tucson paper/tv channel never addressed it. My daughter in Iowa marched with others to the local NBC affiliate so they could not be ignored.

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I looked and looked for coverage. This was essentially a media blackout.

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The best wise strategy is to work to get out the vote, to encourage good people to VOTE!! IN every election, especially local and state!! We need good people in every office. As we used to say, "Dont agonize, organize" and today organizing to get out the vote and run excellent caudates and work hard for them is what "marching" and making "good trouble" is all about.

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Abbott and DeSantas sign on to Stalin’s belief that it’s who counts the votes that is important.

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Absolutely. The Republicans could care less about the voters. Why? Because they are setting up Laws in18 States (so far) that enable them to SUPPRESS votes and NULLIFY vote outcomes.

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I agree. Do all of these and rally. A good protest/rally is uplifting and energizing. Hence the good trouble of the past.

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I think it did make a difference. And it can again.

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Disagree, but sincerely wish you were right.

Politics now are big data driven. There isn’t the same fear reflex in leadership that there was in the 20th century. Leaders care, in som cases, about optics, but they now have tons of counter-protest information to wit, “The protesters are out there and they’re loud, but you sir have the country at your back solidly.” [presents cherry-picked data].

The protests against the Iraq War before it started were massive - staggeringly so. Didn’t stop it from taking place.

The “jaune gilets” protests in France did not move Macron out.

The Hong Kong protests, among the most nimble and creative ever, led in the end to a brutal crackdown in China.

How did weeks of protests work out in Belarus this year? Lukashenko appears quite comfortably in power today.

The years of protest in Russia have left Putin secure in power.

Protests are, unfortunately, passé.

Action is necessary. Boycotts. Massive strikes. Tax withholding selectively.

This is now an enemy vs enemy situation. The enemy must feel pain. I do not recommend any form of violence. Period.. But a society built on money is vulnerable to disruption of a financial nature.

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Eric, Your blanket, 'Disagree' without any indication that you have differentiated between types of demonstrations that have a better chance of making an impact from anti-war, health care to civil rights, etc., indicated a rather brusque brush off. I would not be so quick to dismiss the thoughts of subscribers, for instance, to consider demonstrations in support of passage of our national voting rights acts. There are a number of strong grassroots, voting rights and civil rights organizations in the USA, such at Fair Fight, so we have resources to work with. I don't know if you are familiar with Erica Chenoweth, '... the Frank Stanton Professor of the First Amendment at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Chenoweth's research focuses on political violence and its alternatives. Chenoweth was ranked among the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2013 by Foreign Policy magazine and also won the 2014 Karl Deutsch Award, given annually by the International Studies Association to the scholar under 40 who has made the most significant impact on the field of international politics or peace research. Chenoweth's forthcoming book, Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2021), explores in an accessible and conversational style what civil resistance is, how it works, why it sometimes fails, how violence and repression affect it, and the long-term impacts of such resistance. Chenoweth's next book, with Zoe Marks, explores the impact of women’s participation on the outcomes of mass movements. In addition to exploring why women’s participation makes movements more likely to succeed,...' I have provided a couple of links, from which you can have a better sense of her range. In addition, you will find links to articles about fairly recent demonstrations in the USA.

https://www.ericachenoweth.com/commentary

https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/the-future-of-nonviolent-resistance-2/

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/articles/ideas-work/successful-protests-require-diversity-and-focus

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/06/why-protests-work/613420/

https://www.businessinsider.com/13-concrete-changes-sparked-by-george-floyd-protests-so-far-2020-6

https://www.livescience.com/16153-10-significant-political-protests.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/activist-muscle-gives-obamacare-a-lift/2017/02/25/d97efaca-facc-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html

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How do you know so much???

I’m constantly astonished at your range.

Nevertheless I hold to my anecdotal observation here. I’m sure there are demonstrations in the 20th century that have effected change at the margins. But the largest ones for the most dramatic causes have been defeated or at least have not had a signal victory. I truly believe that leaders are hardened now to expect demonstrations and to either use force to grind them down or simply wait them out. Human energy peters out. And we live in the era of instant gratification. So often people don’t run the course with patience.

I know my attitude will make you mental with frustration. But I did not get the warm and fuzzies reading all of today’s promises to man the fortifications. It feels much more like whistling past the graveyard.

Six months ago we all thought Biden and Co. would do the job. Prior to that we hoped for impeachment. And the first instance of “savior syndrome” (I owe that term to Sarah Kendzior) was Mueller.

It’s beginning to look like a train wreck.

I fully believe in the sincerity of those who pledged undying fealty to democracy in today’s posts. I’m on their side and some of what was written was deeply eloquent - most notably the gentleman who kicked it off.

But I am getting very cynical.

Fear must be struck into the hearts of those who would do America harm. They have the upper hand in almost every conceivable way now.

It might provoke violence, but I think the sight of a DJT perp walk would concentrate some minds wonderfully.

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'Nevertheless I hold to my anecdotal observation here...' Eric, you haven't done your homework, but, nevertheless, you held on to your standpoint. The most annoying aspect of this exchange, from my point of view, is that you maintained an uneducated stance to adamantly throw cold water on a group of very concerned Americans, searching for a way to make an impact. There are plenty of holes in your argument, but I am done. You repeated your adamant stand without seeking more knowledge. I tried to influence what I thought was your ill considered communication with a very caring group of engaged Americans. As you can see in some situations I don't play nice with someone shooting from a slim store.

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Toni,

I'm 75 and feel precisely what you are feeling. We really have no choice but to be involved. The moral obscenity that McConnell and the Trumpsters are committing against our democratic heritage simply cannot go unchallenged.

To not challenge them would be a betrayal of all those who gave our generation growing up so much support -- education, a relatively intact social safety net, employment possibilities, opportunities for personal growth.

I look forward to better times. In the interim, work to be done.

John

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I couldn’t agree more. The trouble is, at 89, I can’t do much.

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Cheer on those who can.

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Same age and on the same page, Toni! I have not stopped marching and will continue to do so for as long as I am able. With the spirit of John Lewis leading us, we cannot fail.

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I took your comment out to Rosy the Riveter, and I want to report that she says, "Yes." It's the same life-driven word groan-uttered by Molly Boom (I felt the prsence of James Joyce everywhere in the room) which was the last word of Ulysses.

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So is news media though.

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Bill Maher was stronger in his opinion about trump never conceding.

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Hadn't seen that-love it!

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To me, this is one of the most significant Letters you've written, Heather. To include this quote by Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman is of the utmost importance. Republicans who follow Taylor.and Whitman must be "courted and wooed" to see that there is something far better than MAGA on offer.

"The only way to stop Trumpism “is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year—including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats.” To defend democracy, they write, “concerned conservatives must join forces with Democrats on the most essential near-term imperative: blocking Republican leaders from regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives” and the Senate. – New York Times, Miles Taylor and Christine Todd Whitman"

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#2. Defend institutions

“It is institutionsThat help us to preserve decency. They need our help as well. do not speak of ‘our institutions’ unless you make them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions do not protect themselves. They fall one after the other and less each is defended from the beginning. So choose an institution you care about a court, a newspaper, a law, a labor union, and take its side. -Tim Snyder, On Tyranny

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Huzzah & amen!

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Yes, but More than tik tok. Then this … suspiciously from Wisconsin. Devos territory.

I knew this would come. The exacerbated uncertainly of the pandemic and politicizing it, has divided people more. Both institutions of PH & PE are under attack. It’s been taken advantaged of all along. A goal of the Libertarian far right has always been to shutter public education and privatize education. Authoritarians need two things ( thanks Lenin): Media control and indoctrination control. Which could be FB and private schools. This lawsuit seems suspicious to me. The parents should be suing fox for misinformation and their Wisconsin R party for meddling in PH and bullying WI school boards.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/11/us/wisconsin-parent-lawsuit-covid-school/index.html

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Strictly in the interest of accuracy, the Devos family are Michiganders. Doesn't at all detract from your point.

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And by school boards.

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I have been saying for years how crucial School Board Elections are.

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Somewhere I recently read that there is training for far right school board campaigns.

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I posted that article on this forum the other day. Very active trainings in Ohio right now.

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It may be that moderate republicans voting for moderate democrats may save US from this hideous libertarian assault on our democracy. What concerns me is, if it happens, the moderation of the Democratic Party would stymie if not kill our socially progressive progress.

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I would prefer a delay in “our socially progressive progress” to all such progress to date being turned back generations by a right-wing, totalitarian regime headed by Trump’s minions.

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David and Jean-Pierre, I recall reading that Woodrow Wilson assembled the suffragettes in the White house and asked them to put their fight on hold so the nation could focus on WWI, I think it was. They did.

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I’ll need to read up on this. Happily, the Nineteenth Amendment passed shortly thereafter in 1920.

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That must have been terribly difficult.

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David, they were angry but also resigned and gracious

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David and Sara T -

I agree with you both. Our beloved, albeit dysfunctional, nation is in trouble - from within and without - compounding our already existing sociopolitical, economic and environmental injustices. It’s our perfect storm - a war with many fronts. I’ve enlisted and am commissioned - serving as I’m capable - in our effort to check, hold and defeat the seditionists. Even so, I remain mindful and committed to addressing the societal and environmental ills of our time, to establish “a more perfect union.”

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Absolutely.

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Couldn’t agree more

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What happens when we have socially progressive progress, ex.

election of Barack Obama as the first black president? We have a backlash by the far right that undermines the progress made thus far. The short term of progress of Reconstruction then was wiped out by the Gilded Age, Jim Crow, black codes. For every one step forward toward progress we take, the far right yanks us back about four steps. We keep fighting the same battles over and over.

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The long view affirms this, the “socialism” crap thrown at Obama was just a dog whistle. I thought no normal person would fall for it. I was so wrong, racists and so many others loved it, including friends who watched Fox. And then came trump…. No dog whistle needed…

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Too true and so very heartbreaking.

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Yep. 100%

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Daria, I agree.......so important to see Republicans voting for Democrats. The anchored boat swings around in a turning tide?

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I love this image - and hope it’s apt.

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We need a lot more Republicans to stand with the three of them. And for the media to cut the crap and report the truth.

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Yes--the media are giving more air time and print space to Trump and Grassley's "rally" than they are to the Eastman memo, that's for sure. And seeming to gloat over a dip in President Biden's approval rating (without any contrast to that of the former resident of the WH).

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The networks want the drama as they compete for every dying morsel. Execs can’t see past the next ratings report and/or the next Quarterly earnings call.

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Spot on. Clicks and ratings are their bread and butter.

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There's enough drama in the truth of losing our democracy to hooligans and Hitlers for media to profit from exposing it. Bet Bill Mayer's ratings went sky high.

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No they’re not. Which is the scariest part of it. They just care more about their bottom line—like Manchin and Sinema—then about democracy.

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I find it interesting that a wealthy person like Joe Manchin thinks he can represent the poor folks who live in the hollers of West Virginia. He’s a wealthy professional politician who can’t imagine living in a house that must have water hauled in because the well has been contaminated by mining interests.

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The supposedly Left Wing media did this to HRC as well; adding fuel to the fire. I guess in the guise of not giving FOX etc any ammunition. Pretty sad when even the plain truth doesn’t get reported and only ratings matter.

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Ann, both sides seem to relish Biden's cascading ratings.

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I couldn’t agree more. The media only wants upset, never anything steady and forward thinking.

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Fox News and One America News report lies. Expect that to continue in the absence of the establishment of a new FCC fairness doctrine.

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Professor Eddie Glaub put it right tonight: every once in awhile, an unsuspecting generation finds that the defense of America as America is on them to accomplish. That's us.

It's hard to believe but:

Bill Maher is not an asshole! He's right and I agree with him!

I agree with Max Boot!

I agree with Liz Cheney!

I agree with Bill Kristol!

Yikes.

There's something happening here

What it is is exactly clear

There's a man with a gun over there

Telling us we've to to beware....

(with apologies to Buffalo Springfield)

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So how to defend America as America? Robert Hubbell:

"...one-third of eligible voters (80 million people) did not vote in 2020. We can change the predicted outcomes by motivating more eligible Americans to register and vote.

...We control our destiny. The surest way to do so is to help more Americans vote. There are many worthy organizations. In response to yesterday’s newsletter, a reader who is involved in “getting out the vote” suggested that people “channel their anxiety” by supporting Vote Save America—No “Off” Years. Check out the Vote Save America website, sign up for its newsletter, and help fund the effort to defend (and expand) our majorities in the House and the Senate."

https://roberthubbell.substack.com/p/todays-edition-we-control-our-destiny/comments

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A few years ago, I read an analysis of the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections by a political scientist from (I believe) VA Polytech, that stated "There are very few true swing voters, what we saw in 2008 and 2016 is higher turn out among people who don't usually vote. In 2008, more democratic leaning 'seldom voters' (my phrase) turned out, in 2016, the opposite occurred". I think, if anything, the electorate has become even more ossified. Chasing swing voters will not work because they are so few in number now. Reaching and turning out Democratic leaning 'seldom voters' as Tracy Abrams has done for years in GA, will. A coalition of Democrats and non-Trump Republicans can work to save our republic.

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Stacey Abrams.

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Oops! My bad.

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"...We control our destiny. "

Ellie,

We are in the process of being disenfranchised from our destiny by Republican states that are replacing non-partisan voting administrators with either the Republican assembly or partisan hacks.

This will give Republicans the ability to "decide" who "won" the election independent of the vote counting process.

This has already happened in several states including Georgia.

We no longer control out destiny. Right wing reactionaries in Republican states do.

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Mike S, we can't stop believing our votes count. That belief will defeat us faster than anything. Don't underestimate the power of the vote, of public opinion, on business leaders, as well as of some honest elected officials (assuming there are those still in office). Yes, it's going to be tough and we will lose some battles. I'm not giving up on the American people in the long run

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Hope you are right

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Voting only counts if votes are counted. At the moment, Republican states are in the process of making sure that no matter what the voting outcome is by counting the votes, Republicans will win.

Because, as Trump is wont to say: "We can only lose if illegal voting occurred".

so, next time a Democrat wins, well, of course the new law in Georgia that allows the state legislature to overthrow the voting? Well....it will be used to overthrow the voting.

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Stop! Hey, what's that sound... ?

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TC, anyone who quotes Buffalo Springfield is OK in my book.

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Here we go….again. United.

https://youtu.be/gp5JCrSXkJY

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Oh, yeah. We were right back then...we're right back now.

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That phrase is a keeper. Bumper sticker material. Or is it now "memes"?

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That is exactly right, Lynette.

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Hi Christine, You gave us a listen to Buffalo Springfield's - For What It's Worth 1967 Here are a few more reminders of that year:

1967: ' ...protests erupted around the world against the Vietnam War, Montreal hosted Expo ‘67, race riots in the U.S. destroyed parts of Detroit and other northern cities, Elvis Presley married Priscilla in Las Vegas, O.J. Simpson was a running back for the University of Southern California, Israel fought and won the Six- Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, the 20th Century Limited passenger train made its final run from New York to Chicago, and much more.'

- 'During a launch pad test on January 27, 1967, a flash fire erupted inside their capsule killing the three Apollo crew members'

- 'Berkeley, California, on May 17, 1967. Dr. King reiterated his stand for non-violence and urged that young people support a peace bloc that would influence the 1968 elections.'

- 'U.S. troops use their rifles in an encounter with antiwar demonstrators outside the Pentagon in Washington, DC, on October 21, 1967.'

'- Boston Marathon race official Jock Semple (in street clothes) enters the field of runners to try to pull Kathy Switzer out of the race. At the time, women were not allowed to compete in the marathon, and Semple was yelling at Switzer to "Get the hell out of my race". Male runners, including Switzer's boyfriend, moved in to form a protective curtain around the female track hopeful until Semple was finally wedged out of the race'

- In Vietnam, a Navy lieutenant aims a flaming arrow at a hut across the river that concealed a Viet Cong bunker during the Vietnam War.

- 'US Navy Lieutenant Commander John McCain being examined by a Vietnamese doctor. John McCain was captured in 1967 in a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by Northern Vietnamese army. McCain said that upon capture he was beaten by an angry mob and bayoneted in the groin.'

- 'O.J. Simpson, University of Southern California's running back, gives the victory sign as he is carried off the field by hundreds of cheering fans. Simpson scored two touchdowns, helping USC to beat UCLA, 21-20.'

- 'Klan Kaffee Klatsch. William M. Chaney of Greenwood, Indiana, Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan for Indiana and Imperial Representative for Kentucky, dines with other Klansmen on October 15, 1967. A Klan motorcade which crisscrossed Indiana ended late October 15 near this Kentucky town.' (The Atlantic) Link below:

Not an easy year in the USA.

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/02/50-years-ago-a-look-back-at-1967/516174/

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You rhyme history pretty well, dear Fern.

Salud.

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Very happy to rock it with you!

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Well why not see all the lyrics? I'm not too old to get goose bumps from a song.

For What It's Worth

There's something happening here

But what it is ain't exactly clear

There's a man with a gun over there

Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop

Children, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

There's battle lines being drawn

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong

Young people speaking their minds

Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop

Hey, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

What a field day for the heat (Ooh ooh ooh)

A thousand people in the street (Ooh ooh ooh)

Singing songs and they carrying signs (Ooh ooh ooh)

Mostly say, "Hooray for our side" (Ooh ooh ooh)

It's time we stop

Hey, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you're always afraid

Step out of line, the men come and take you away

We better stop

Hey, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

You better stop

Hey, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

You better stop

Now, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

You better stop

Children, what's that sound?

Everybody look, what's going down?

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Fit then. Fits now.

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Too bad 'Ohio' is so time and event specific, the tin soldiers are definitely coming and we should not take the failure of Jan. 6 to be an accurate assessment of their capabilities. Far better to suck it up, vote for the most rational available Republican in primaries and then vote Democratic in the general.

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I read The NY Times Taylor/Whitman OpEd this morning.

Below is my published comment.

Ralph Averill | New Preston, Ct

The problems with the Republican Party didn't start with former President whatsisname in 2016. They started 50 yrs ago with Nixon's Southern Strategy and have metastasized at a steady rate since then.

Be that as it may, it is somewhat encouraging to read Taylor's and Todd Whitman's call to arms. Better late than never.

How about we start by loudly, publicly, denouncing the current pro-fascist direction of the Republican Party, starting with the politician who has schemed the most damage to American democracy; Mitch McConnell. A steady appearance by rebel Republicans Sunday mornings on any of the various talk shows would be good. I'm sure they would be glad to have any national Rpublican willing to denounce the defacto leader of the party and the direction it is taking. Give moderate Republican and right-leaning independent voters a place to go to. Essays on the NY Times OpEd page are nice, but you need to get out in the sticks and bang your drum loudly.

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To me, it seems that Steve Bannon and his pushing the coupe and now the demolishing government is an extremely dangerous since he has TFG's ear who is too stupid to come up with himself. And, yes, this all started long before TFG. Speaker Newt Gingrich was the one instrumental in ruining the Congress as another example.

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Any ideas on why Bannon hasn’t been arrested for sedition? His menacing threats pose a real and present danger to our nation.

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The manipulation of the press for propaganda is the WHY Bannon has not faced any consequences. There was a good reason for the 1949 FCC Fairness doctrine. This is an example of One on the first attacks (and within our scope of history) upon our democratic institutions towards authoritarianism. It was a sweeping trip to the destiny dentist to remove democracy’s teeth.

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"Manipulation of the press for propaganda" is spot on. I talk to my brother in Virginia every Sunday (I'm in Florida) and since we are on the same political page, our talks always include some politics. Last Sunday I asked him....what is our "plan B" if the Rs take over again? His answer "live under the regime" or move. While I know there may be other things we can do, his phrase "regime" was so right.

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I'm thinking the dems fear getting arrested by the idjts if the House is lost; perhaps fear that arrests will be the tipping point for violence in the streets...

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When he said he would have 20,000 troops take over the country when the horror takes over the country, it surely is sedition!

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Agreed, Skye Skinner. That is exactly the incident that triggered my question.

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Nixon’s southern strategy started the ball rolling. Newt, like Bannon, just wants to burn things down. Problem is you can’t live in a smoking ruin.

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In fact Trump the horror said it would be good to burn the country down and start over with him in charge.

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You are so right! The Sunday morning shows on main stream media (I chose to watch Velshi on MSNBC so I don't throw up my breakfast), have aided and abetted the Republican false narrative. Why in the hell would George Stephanopoulos continue to have Chris Christie on? Chris Wallace, although he tries hard, cannot get any of them to admit the truth. It's high time for these shows to wake up and start having more of the "rebel Rs" on instead. Oh, maybe because there are so few of them. But now with Christine Todd Whitman and Myles Taylor, there may be more opportunity. Include them and Max Boot and others.

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Get it Ralph! Bang the drum!

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This is a very consequential letter. Thank you.

I'm a lefty and have been most of my adult life.

However, the threat of violence that I've read from Trump, Bannon and the rest of his thugs, reminds me of Hitler's Brown Shirts (even school board members are being physically threatened).

The result of this coordinated onslaught shows me that if Trump and his thugs aren't stopped, this country will cross the Rubicon into a dictatorship in 2024.

So while I flinch at the idea that the Democratic Party would become even more centric than it is, it's more important that Democracy survives to reconstruct.

As for the fecklessness of corporate media coverage, I think wealthy media owners were quite happy with Trump because of the increased drama Trump generated, huge tax breaks, and so on.

So, they're in no hurry to warn the country of this danger.

Thanks, again.

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You are absolutely right about the role of the media in this. Since the days of William Randolph Hearst, they have been in favor of anything that sells papers, which is to say any conflict that is easily understood and makes the reader's blood pump faster. Maybe the best strategy is to create that kind of story within the Republican party.

Republicans gathering to oppose Trump. That should sell papers.

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It's time to listen to the republicans calling for democrats and republicans to work together to make clear that saving our democracy must be the first and primary goal until the Republican Party is purged of authoritarian autocrats. I can warm to that call because at 73 years old I remember that working together was a given in American politics. Trump and his minions must be driven from public life.

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George Will called for a vote against all GOP congressional in 2018. This has been slow to build but voting against all Republicans at all levels - federal, state and local - is necessary to save the country. It is a war of America against anti-America.

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My point exactly! Why do they give him what he wants? Keeping him in the public eye is dreadful and scary.

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I’m 64. Healthy. Happy. Comfortable. These are the scariest times I’ve ever felt. Having worked at the AMEX in the 80’s, I felt tremendous loss on 9/11. But not the fear I’m feeling now. I’ve got my voice and my vote. If they’re left intact.

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Same. 64. Healthy. Happy. Comfortable. But scared. And very sad. I fear what life will be like for my kids and grandkids if Democracy dies.

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Our daughter chose to not have children. We'd always thought being grandparents would be a magical experience and were sad about her decision. Now we are grateful for our daughter's choice. This is no world in which to raise a child.

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This must have been very hard on you. It speaks volumes that you understand and are grateful. We keep saying we have to do much more to prepare our 16-year-old for how to deal with a very different world ahead.

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Your 16 year old has the benefit of wise parents. No matter what your child chooses they will have your love and support.

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At the height of Viet Nam, I chose not to have children for much the same reason. I could not imagine a child growing up in Nixon world, or ongoing wars. Daria, you are so good to have given your daughter your understanding and ongoing love.

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You know, Pam, I think making that decision was very courageous of you, particularly during an era when there was still a lot of pressure for women to slide into motherhood almost automatically. 🌷 We love and respect our daughter unconditionally and trust her decision(s). We are very proud of her.

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When I told my parents of my decision (I was 23), my mother appeared on my doorstep the next day. "You would make such a great mother" was her argument. (She was already a grandmother of two. so she couldn't argue that she wanted to be a grandma.) I don't know that my parents were ever proud of that decision, but they stood by me at many other times.

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Pam, I am so sorry. Ugh. Sometimes, as parents (and as people in general) we don't understand the impact of our words on our children. I'm glad the stood by you at other times.

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Thank you, Daria. I also chose not to have children and was always supported by my (infertile) mom.It meant the world to me…

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I remain tremendously hopeful. Democracy might take a few steps back, but it will not die. Use your vote and your checkbook to assure that.

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Unfortunately, “‘Hope’ is not a strategy.”

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Hope is a survival skill. Hope made life and death difference during the Holocaust. Hope energizes action now to register voters, get out the vote, support Democratic candidates, and support challenges to voter suppression/ override legislation.

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Really important letter. Not just

about the Republicans trying to save democracy, but calling out the press for lagging on the warlike nature of what is taking place. Democrats and liberals and progressives pride themselves on “thinking for themselves” and being as intellectually diverse as possible. We look down on the groupthink of Republicans and the large Christian churches whose members fall in line with the authorities at the top. Well, it’s time for a little democratic group think! We need to unite against this mounting threat. We need to put aside our pride in carving out our own little niches of reality. Too much thinking for ourselves will lead to defeat by the trump juggernaut. We need to find a common political purpose and be as single minded as the power mongering right and act as one to save

Democracy. Or we will live in a hell of Trumpworld - it’s coming clear as day. Only if we unite can we stop it.

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If Republicans, formerly in good standing with their party, are willing to advise others to vote Democratic, then Democrats in Congress need to stiffen their spines and push like hell for Biden's agenda! How many warning signs do we need before we begin to fight like hell for our democracy!

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Wow! Is this the earliest Letter ever? Rest, renew and sleep, Heather. Thank you for every word you write and utter. With gratitude always, Daria

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Finally, it seems that the mainstream press is starting to wake up to the threat of authoritarianism, and in turn is waking up the public. The fact that it takes a coalition consisting of dissenting members of the Republican party and comedians like Maher, Colbert, Noah and Oliver speaks volumes about the complacency of Democrats to defend our democracy. If the country is to survive in its current form, the effort will have to be made from all sides of the political divide. Otherwise, the loudest voices or - God forbid - the biggest arsenals will win the day, and the American experiment will end in failure.

Whitman, Taylor, Cheney, Kinzinger and a few others. So far, the list of Republicans who have publicly declared their loyalty to the Constitution instead of Trump barely needs two hands to count. We will need many more to push back the wave of power-hungry authoritarians, hangers-on, and useful idiots. It feels like the first small steps are being taken to convince more Republicans to join that list. I just hope we have time to get the job done.

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I spent hours yesterday reading Twitter responses to Maher's monologue. Yes, he reached some large number of people that (most) media has failed to even try to reach. But I wish he had offered something for people to DO. I saw many hundreds of comments by terrified people not knowing what to do. He missed that enormous opportunity to give a concrete action to the millions who listened to him. That pissed me off. I'm thrilled he laid things out in a way that broke through to people who've not been engaged enough. But he's also the sort that gets off on being right about the bad news he delivers. I mean...what's the point of scaring the hell out of people if you're not going to offer ANY kind of action they can take? It's terrifying enough when you ARE doing whatever you can.

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So, tell me what action. Pass the John Lewis voting Rights bill? How do we do that? Without that, they really will steal any election that doesn't go their way. Tell me what action.

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Yup, both voting rights acts need to be passed, as only the Freedom to Vote Act address *election* suppression, which, as bad as voter suppression is, is even worse. Last week I twice posted a call to action here on Heather's letters coming out of a Robert Kagan's recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, which was itself a call to action to the seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of incitement of innsurection to form a coalition with Democrats to save American democracy. Here's a link to my Twitter version of my call to action with addresses, phone numbers, and a very short sample letter: https://twitter.com/nomilubin/status/1444387563423219712

If you think we have a better shot doing away with the filibuster, here are the phone numbers of the two Dems most responsible for standing in the way of that:

Manchin: 202-224-3954

Sinema: (202) 224-4521

You can also call your two senators and tell them what you want. Fair Fight is urging people to call their Democratic senators and make sure they know that WE know how vital this is, that right now it is more important that anything else, that, really, if these acts are not passed, nothing else much matters.

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Gawd, now I see it!!!

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Take up oxygen with your message anywhere and everywhere. I know the people I volunteer with are sick of me but I keep talking about voter suppression. I didn't know the politics of the group and am sure some are Trump supporters but they don't argue with me. We're at Guide Dogs of America with puppies so maybe that mellows them out. At yoga water aerobics everywhere I'm trying to change hearts and minds. Don't know that it works but if even one person does more research I feel successful.

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Expecting a pundit to provide open and shut solutions to a myriad of problems is, at best, naive. You're posting here and now and are pissed off by Maher missing the opportunity to give concrete action to the millions who listen to him. So what is your solution? What makes Maher better equipped to suggest solutions than you or anyone of us. We the People need to wake up and understand that pundits, influencers, politicians and clergy tend not to have our best interests at hesrt.

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I don't have a solution. I have suggestions which I posted here, above. (Or below? When I wrote my deleted comment, they appeared below, but now above, or nearby, in response to another response.

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Nomi, I hate this platform! Comments get jumbled up or lost or...

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I think Nomi has a good point. Just a few more minutes of talking with some suggestions would have been great, and his platform is a heck of a lot bigger than ours. I can talk and talk and post and post and write letter after letter, but in the end, I might reach 50 people. He’s got a much bigger audience. Of course, Nomi has a bigger audience too, so you go Nomi! I support your voice.

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You're right.

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In my lifetime,Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, and Donald Trump are three of the most dangerous ‘Americans’. Huey Long, with an ego and ambition that matched his pink suits, used his hick-like charm in Louisiana to launch a populist political movement intended to challenge President Franklin Roosevelt. He was a real threat to FDR and the New Deal until, fortuitously, he was assassinated for some of his scurrilous actions in his home state.

Joe McCarthy, voted by Washington reporters as the worst senator, was desperate to find an issue to spark his senatorial re-election plan. This he did in a Lincoln Day speech before a women’s group, claiming that he had in his hand the names of 205 ‘Communists’ in the State Department. This Big Lie launched his anti-Communist crusade. (He never identified a single Communist in the State Department, though later he tried to brand as Communist sympathizer General George C. Marshall who, in my opinion, was the greatest American of the 20th century).

The media knew that McCarthy was a drunk and a liar, but he provided spectacular press. Two Republicans, Senator Margaret Chase Smith and Millard Tydings early on underscored the venality and anti-Americanism of ‘Tail Gunner Joe.’ However, the Republican establishment saw, in McCarthy’s over-the-top-anti-Communist-‘patriotism,’ a shabby shibboleth with which to capture the presidency from the long-in-office Democrats. Even Ike had to swallow this McCarthy crudity when he campaigned in Wisconsin. McCarthyism was a real threat in America. His anti-communist assaults against innocent people touched the ‘patriotism’ of perhaps half the American adult population. Finally, his TV exposure by Edward R. Murrow and the Army hearing conducted by whimsical lawyer Welch popped the McCarthy bubble. Subsequently he was mildly censured by the Senate and died of alcoholism soon after.

Trump reflects some of the worst traits of Huey Long and Joe McCarthy. His weapon is fear, his egoistic megalomania matches that of these two predecessors, and truth has rarely touched his lips. Like Huey and Joe, Donald was not a party man. Huey sought to create his wing of the Democratic Party, Joe was using his anti-Communist crusade to bully the Republican Party, and Trump sought to morph the Republican Party into the Trump party.

Sadly, Trumpism is still riding the Big Lie, fear mongering his way into an uncertain future. He continues to maintain a political cult with his nonsensical pronouncements that serve neither the United States nor the American people well. The fact that the Republican Party, for the first time in modern history, chose not to include a policy segment in its 2020 presidential convention platform reflected a stunning vacuousness: the “Republican Party’ policy was whatever Trump tweeted on any day.

I am moderately hopeful that the remaining ‘moderate’ Republicans and others can organize against this destructive Trump egoism and support those who stand against Trumpism. It took an assassination to stop Huey Long. Joe McCarthy finally slithered away from the bright lights of investigation and alcoholism. I expect that Trump will eventually be toppled, but only with a concerted effort by those who truly care about our country.

Later today I will be chatting with Christie Whitman at the Eisenhower Fellowship’s trustee meeting in Philadelphia.

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Regards and my thanks to Ms. Whitman. I consider her messaging a flame in the darkness.

Always enjoy reading your perspective, Keith.

Salud.

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Keith, Thank you for your summary of two earlier American villains. Today with social media, Facebook, in particular, and total collapse of was used to be the Republican Party, the Donor Class (BIG Time) as well as 30 to 40% of Americans captive to Trump's Lies, this time seems different than the periods you mentioned. HCR reminds of the years just prior to the Civil War without claiming they mirror our division today as much as reflect the schism at the root of America's identity.

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Very dramatic and rightly so. Thank you. Will the media change without Democratic leadership insisting that they stop minimizing the danger and gloating over Biden’s difficulties? Misrepresenting two corrupt senators obstructing the majority will as a moderate faction? Refusing to throw their weight behind the only changes that might convince Americans to vote their hopes rather than their fears and hate? I’m not sure a few Republicans can save us —especially if they block the kind of social reform that undercuts the fascists—but perhaps they can convince the media that the danger of fascism is real

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