Professor Richardson. Your understanding of history and how it applies to the current frightening times is valuable beyond words. Your recaps of the key events are now essential reading for us. Thank you. Please never stop.

However, I agree with others, if it means less letters per week to keep your spark alive, please don't hesitate. Whatever it takes to keep your explanations pouring forth longer. Your contributions are epic.

Sleep is essential to health. Please don't lose your health balance. I would be happy with less letters and a longer life for them. Why not take the weekends off? Old school idea, I know. A letter every other day? Whatever works for you. Just stay healthy. Life is short. You deserve to enjoy it fully. And we need you :)

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The thousands of folks gathering here to read Ms. Richardson’s daily LFaA are nearly as inspiring to me as the Letters themselves, as we depend on her concise explanations of the nuances of Democracy’s peril. Every day, I say a little prayer for her well-being. The fact that we’re all more or less on the same page is at least a small comfort. But gratifying as it is to read like-minded comments, it is simply not enough.

What HCR has been telling us about the danger to our democracy in these past few missives is nearly as jolting as when the former guy was still in office. CPAC in Budapest?? Good Lord. Nothing less than a muster call to the election barricades to defend our democracy is needed.

No matter how many likes we give each other in the comments section, the fact remains that if we don’t have overwhelming election numbers, we simply won’t be able to outvote this rigged minority. Every single one of us must be organizing now out in our local communities, talking up support for the President’s plan, registering voters, and preparing to get out every vote when the time comes. Even that may not be enough, but at the end of the day, how will we feel if we have not done everything we can to push this ugly fascist rock over the proverbial cliff?

Yes, read, comment, vote up and connect. We need that! This is a great online community!

But also get together, online or in person, with your local Dems and join a “Get Out The Vote” campaign. I guarantee you, they need us phone banking, letter writing, pot-lucking, canvassing, and putting out door hangers NOW. How did Stacy Abrams get it done? Boots on the ground.

I love you guys. If you’re not already there, step away from the doom-scroll and let’s get down to the real work of saving Democracy.

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I suggest to everyone that you read Fred Kagan's Washington Post Op-Ed "Our Constitutional Crisis is Already Here. As Charlie Sykes put it in his newsletter, it is a must must must read. Rachel and I both agree that we don't agree much with most of what Kagan has written over the years, but this is "bang on" as they say. It's interesting how it's the Never-Trump conservatives like Kagan, or Steve Schmidt (what he said last night on Rachel's show was really powerful) or Stuart Stevens or any of the people at The Bulwark, who are waving their arms and shouting about what is going on with the revolutionary fascists of Trump's movement. Perhaps it's like the ex-communists who understood the dangers of Stalinism, having seen them up close and personal.

Anyway, if you haven't read Kagan's op-ed, do so now:


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A vital point obvious to me but never stated in the media is this: 1) the U.S. government is meant to insure the rights and liberties outlined in our constitution and, 2) secondly, our economic system is based on the private profit motive, which assures nothing but profits for shareholders in privately held companies while allowing for an individual to create one’s own business. imho

Liberals and progressives have NEVER made this distinction. Unstated but inherent in Prof. Richardson’s essay this morning, is the heart of conservatives’ philosophy that capitalism rules over people and “democracy", to the threat of nearly every American. The accumulation of resources and wealth has never taken a secondary role to liberties and rights in this society, according to the ancestors of Native Americans, African Americans and every minority to land soles on this soil.

Progressives and liberals never frame Capitalism and American economics as a system unto itself, which disregards every dire consequence of its violent nature; violent to nature, violent to people, and violent to one’s soul. Arguably, the key tenet of the conserviave’s constitution is “The Second Amendment,” which allows for one to shoot another person who enters its “property”.. One night, as we neighbors discussed an abandoned mansion in our neighborhood, our city councilor reminded me that were I to undertake care of the property without the permission of the owner (who is absent), I would create a circumstance whereby I could be shot. This is “Capitalism unto itself,” imho, whereby the property must remain tattered and abused, while the deterioration grows - and allows for squatters with addictions to reside under the cloak of darkness. Until they are discovered and are shuttered into other abandoned properties, where abandoned people (veterans, too) should live, apparently.

The world has been abused by this capitalist economic system which dictates that the starving, homeless and street beggars are permitted and perhaps even encouraged, by the silence of the masses, particularly the “churchly sect”. The abject poverty created by capitalism ingrains into the subconscious of Americans - because we are not even conscious of our passive adherence to our violent world, created and abetted by our silence, to allow for people to live “on the street"

Our Governor will visit our neighborhood, this week, in fact, to meet and greet members of our local party, and the Mrs. and I will attend. I will try to raise this distinction, between the liberties and rights outlined in our constitution - and the threat to our rights by an economic system which tramples “liberty and justice for all” and leaves tattered lives in its wake, while our planet sees rising wakes of waves - oh, btw, another meeting will occur where residents will discuss the threat to the survivability of town, due to the proximity of the ocean to its beach and main street .....

imho, Americans are avowedly capitalist, because we cherish capital over people and society.

I think Europeans and Scandanavians are Socialists because they place a greater value on people and society than on capital. Nearly every European I’ve spoken with, on a couple of my visits and while they visit our soil, has led me to believe they both admire - and pity us.

Living here, I mostly pity us, because I’m aware of this duality between governance and capitalism. Mostly, I admire the Europeans, because they value people over capital. imho

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Heather I want you to know how appreciated these letters are, how much they mean to me. I stay up to the wee hours to read your insights on the day, the context of history, and what this all means to democracy. Please take care of yourself and get some good sleep. With double the load as you say, you might consider writing three or four times a week instead of six or seven. You essay tonight is beautiful and so clear about what we are facing. I believe I officially joined the non-violent resistance tonight. I'm going to go read How to Win by George Lakey and prepare myself. October 2nd I will be out protesting and boycotting or whatever is needed to save democracy ... and every week thereafter because this will take time and tenacity. Money doesn't buy happiness so I don't understand the obsession with accumulating more and more money and saying that's a booming economy. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the accumulation of wealth to magically turn into happiness. Capitalism as well as democracy is being destroyed by hollowing out the middle class. I do think we will be the resilient ones because as we help and support others we will find the glow of well-being.

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Professor thank you. Finally I found a clear eyed, thoughtful and complete description of what the heck is going on here. I wish our hard at work journalists would take the time to read your posts. The historical context you bring helps the reader take a step back and view with a wide lense- the big picture, often ignored.

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Prof Richardson: Please don't burn out on this Letters project! I'd much rather you took an extra day or two a week off than get so tired you have to stop writing.

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I believe that my NYT comment on Paul Krugman’s article reflects what the Democrats must do in face of the Republican intransigence described by Heather: ‘I agree that a major investment in human infrastructure is critical to building an America that preserves and serves the great majority of Americans to be productive in coming decades.

I find disturbing the bickering between ‘progressive’ and ‘moderate’ Democrats, as the opportunity for such essential investments is slipping away. I find the figure ‘$3.5 trillion’ misleading, since it refers to expenditures over a decade and does not reflect an increase in taxes and the financial impact of such investments.

The Democrats might reflect on what a delegate said during an acrimonious debate on the proposed Declaration of Independence: WE MUST WORK TOGETHER OR ALL HANG SEPARATELY. At stake is President Biden’s positive plan for America.”

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A tweet from ruthbenghiat (@Ruth Ben-Ghiat) seems pertinent: It’s also psychological warfare that authoritarians wage superbly: exhaust the adversary’s time and psychological resources to lead to exhaustion and depoliticization- too much conflict.

This is a large element of what we are up against. I do not choose to allow myself to become exhausted. My ancestors didn't; I cannot.

Hang in there, Prof. Richardson.

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I have just finished reading your book on Wounded Knee. I am furious and exhausted. And clearly see that Republicans are pushing the same agenda as in the 1890 era. I so appreciate your contributions from your books, letters, and videos. I recently retired and am so grateful for the time I get to learn with HCR every day.

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Heather, I count on your postings to give historical context to current political events. However, I must urge you to take care of yourself; don't sacrifice getting a decent night's sleep in order to write a column! Since I'm probably old enough to be your mother, I'm here to tell you that "burning the candle at both ends" really is a good metaphor for what you're doing!!!

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I wish this to be serious and non-inflammatory, but we cannot ask AG Garland to act until the evidence is a slam dunk. Otherwise it will be infinitely counterproductive politically.

All these little nails in the coffin will eventually seal the fate of this evil aberration of the Republican Party. The results in Arizona drew blood. John Eastman’s letter was printed with lethal ink.

Want a savior? Look to the women. Encourage the vote. For still within the voter box they will be inclined to tell their truth. The older generations because of what they have suffered. The younger generations because of what they fear is coming.

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In a recent irrelevant tv series, this ancient (reportedly from the 1st Century AD/CE) adage popped out at me. If it is not true for everyone, it is true for enough people that everyone who wants to be able for themselves and their families to live truthfully needs to be willing to stand up for truth and not wait for others to do so:

Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur: "The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

Whether they know the adage or not, the Republicans are acting as if this is both descriptive and prescriptive of their game plan. Those who revere truth and truthfulness and human decency need to act as though it is a warning, a description of what conservative statesman Edmund Burke warned of:

“All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

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These letters are becoming more complex so it's not news that the writing is becoming more difficult, but to my knowledge, there is no one else producing anything like them. It's the simple bringing together of ideas and points that anyone willing to read them and give it some thought can understand, but that simple bringing together is the key to it. The letters, as we know them, are more important than ever before, but it's also clear that one person already having a full-time job can't sustain that effort. I don't have an answer for that dilemma.

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I hardly slept at all last night. I woke up and took my nightly stroll down the hall, and when I crawled back in bed I checked to find of your letter had arrived. I could not get get back to sleep for hours. I am shaken to my core.

I am sick, and I can hardly think about much else.

My liberal friends, many of them also read your letters but too many people say , let's not talk about politics, it's too upsetting. I respond with 'that's exactly why we HAVE to talk about them!

It's so frightening, and frustrating!

There was a cute commercial when I was a kid for 'Accent', a salt/msg based seasoning and the ta line was 'wake up sleeping vegetables!'

I say this sometimes but no one gets it...

I read everything about our situation, and thanks to everyone with their links and recommendations. Since reading LSA (almost from the beginning) I have consumed more history than I had in my entire life. But I am so disappointed that so many others, not even talking about the nuts on the right, that seem to prefer sweeping the dust under the chair and stay 'safe'!?

The old 80/20 rule strikes again... if this doesn't change, how do we stand a chance?!

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Thank you for your persistence in giving voice and perspective to the struggle for democracy currently being waged in our country. This is a crisis so vast and immediate, yet mostly hidden from public view, most people have trouble with the notion that we could lose our democracy in the next couple of years.

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