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Katie Fahey’s crew with Voters Not Politicians are inspirational sheroes who persevered against a daunting status quo to win fair redistricting in Michigan!

https://www.facebook.com/votersnotpoliticians?mibextid=LQQJ4d

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Many liberal, close observers of the elections during the Obama years saw what was happening with these efforts from the Koch brothers and other conservatives.

After the Obama victory in 2008, Obama and the leadership of the Democratic Party campaigns (the DSCC in the US Senate and the DCCC in the US House) allowed the energy of the 2018 election to dissipate. How did Obama win the 2008 election, yet lose so, so much during the 2010 election? WHERE were the Dem operatives to thwart this anti-democracy wave? A similar fate hit liberalism in 1994, with the shellacking we took immediately after the Clinton victory in 1992. For the first time since the 1930s, conservatives took control of the Congress in 1994. In both instances, Clinton and Obama tacked toward the supposed "center" which alienated many core constituencies.

A brilliant analysis of the failure of liberalism was presented by linguistics professor George Lakoff immediately after the 2000 George W Bush victory. Dems again were astonished that VP Gore lost the 2000 election. Lakoff wrote of the core principles of linguistics, which is the study of language and the art of communications. In short, Lakoff argues that we need to define liberalism and progressivism, stay on message and DO NOT use conservative language, speak to our base with an eye to expanding the base, and be positive and kind.

In other words, the more effort we spend bemoaning, the less attention we pay to the world we want to build. The following is from Lakoff:

TWELVE TRAPS TO AVOID

1. The Issue Trap. We hear it said all the time: Progressives won’t unite behind

any set of ideas. We all have different ideas and care about different issues. The

truth is that progressives do agree at the level of values and that there is a real basis

for progressive unity. Progressive values cut across issues. So do principles and

forms of argument. Conservatives argue conservatism, no matter what the issue.

Progressives should argue progressivism. We need to get out of issue silos that

isolate arguments and keep us from the values and principles that define an

overall progressive vision.

2. The Poll Trap. Many progressives slavishly follow polls. The job of leaders

is to lead, not follow. Besides, contrary to popular belief, polls in themselves do

not present accurate empirical evidence. Polls are only as accurate as the framing

of their questions, which is often inadequate. Real leaders don’t use polls to find

out what positions to take; they lead people to new positions.

3. The Laundry List Trap. Progressives tend to believe that people vote on the

basis of lists of programs and policies. In fact, people vote based on values,

connection, authenticity, trust, and identity.

4. The Rationalism Trap. There is a commonplace—and false—theory that

reason is completely conscious, literal (applies directly to the objective world),

logical, universal, and unemotional. Cognitive science has shown that every one of

these assumptions is false. These assumptions lead progressives into other

traps: assuming that hard facts will persuade voters, that voters are “rational”

and vote in their self-interest and on the issues, and that negating a frame is an

effective way to argue against it.

5. The No-Framing-Necessary Trap. Progressives often argue that “truth

doesn’t need to be framed” and that the “facts speak for themselves.” People use

frames—deep-seated mental structures about how the world works—to understand

facts. Frames are in our brains and define our common sense. It is impossible to

think or communicate without activating frames, and so which frame is activated is

of crucial importance. Truths need to be framed appropriately to be seen as

truths. Facts need a context.

6. The Policies-Are-Values Trap. Progressives regularly mistake policies with

values, which are ethical ideas like empathy, responsibility, fairness, freedom,

justice, and so on. Policies are not themselves values, though they are, or should

be, based on values. Thus, Social Security and universal health insurance are not

values; they are policies meant to reflect and codify the values of human dignity,

the common good, fairness, and equality.

7. The Centrist Trap. There is a common belief that there is an ideological

“center”—a large group of voters either with a consistent ideology of their own or

lined up left to right on the issues or forming a “mainstream,” all with the same

positions on issues. In fact, the so-called center is actually made up of

biconceptuals, people who are conservative in some aspects of life and progressive

in others. Voters who self-identify as “conservative” often have significant

progressive values in important areas of life. We should address these “partial

progressive” biconceptuals through their progressive identities, which are

often systematic and extensive.

A common mistaken ideology has convinced many progressives that they must

“move to the right” to get more votes. In reality, this is counterproductive. By

moving to the right, progressives actually help activate the right’s values and give

up on their own. In the process, they also alienate their base.

8. The “Misunderestimating” Trap. Too many progressives think that people

who vote conservative are just stupid, especially those who vote against their

economic self-interest. Progressives believe that we only have to tell them the real

economic facts, and they will change the way they vote. The reality is that those

who vote conservative have their reasons, and we had better understand them.

Conservative populism is cultural— not economic—in nature. Conservative

populists see themselves as oppressed by elitist liberals who look down their noses

at them, when they are just ordinary, moral, right-thinking folks. They see liberals

as trying to impose an immoral “political correctness” on them, and they are angry

about it. Progressives also paint conservative leaders as incompetent and not very

smart, based on a misunderstanding of the conservative agenda. This results from

looking at conservative goals through progressive values. Looking at conservative

goals through conservative values yields insight and shows just how effective

conservatives really are.

9. The Reactive Trap. For the most part, we have been letting conservatives

frame the debate. Conservatives are taking the initiative on policy making and

getting their ideas out to the public. When progressives react, we echo the

conservative frames and values, so our message is not heard or, even worse,

reinforces their ideas. Progressives need a collection of proactive policies and

communication techniques to get our own values out on our own terms. “War

rooms” and “truth squads” must change frames, not reinforce conservative frames.

But even then, they are not nearly enough. Progressive leaders, outside of any

party, must come together in an ongoing, long-term, organized national

campaign that honestly conveys progressive values to the public—day after

day, week after week, year after year, no matter what the specific issues of the day

are.

10. The Spin Trap. Some progressives believe that winning elections or getting

public support is a matter of clever spin and catchy slogans—what we call “surface

framing.” Surface framing is meaningless without deep framing—our deepest

moral convictions and political principles. Framing, used honestly at both the deep

and surface levels, is needed to make the truth visible and our values clear. Spin,

on the other hand, is the dishonest use of surface linguistic frames to hide the truth.

And progressive values and principles—the deep frames—must be in place

before slogans can have an effect; slogans alone accomplish nothing.

Conservative slogans work because they have been communicating their deep

frames for decades.

11. The Policyspeak Trap. Progressives consistently use legislative jargon and

bureaucratic solutions, like “Medicare prescription drug benefits,” to speak to the

public about their positions. Instead, progressives should speak in terms of the

common concerns of voters—for instance, how a policy will let you send your

daughter to college, or how it will let you launch your own business.

12. The Blame Game Trap. It is convenient to blame our problems on the media

and on conservative lies. Yes, conservative leaders have regularly lied and used

Orwellian language to distort the truth, and yes, the media have been lax, repeating

the conservatives’ frames. But we have little control over that. We can control only

how we communicate. Simply correcting a lie with the truth is not enough. We

must reframe from our moral perspective so that the truth can be understood. This

reframing is needed to get our deep frames into public discourse. If enough people

around the country honestly, effectively, and regularly express a progressive vision,

the media will be much more likely to adopt our frames.

In my humble opinion, liberals/progressives desire that our democracy must guide our economy and capitalism, and currently, our society is driven by an international economic system which controls our lives and or society. Democracy is NOT capitalism - one is a form of government and protections and the other is a man-made economic order. We must know the difference, and articulate this every day. And repeat the vision of a Democratic society, based on equality of opportunity and "liberty and justice for all." Then, we discuss our policies. AFTER laying our our moral vision. We must tie everything to a high, moral calling, which are the rights and responsibilities outlined in our democracy. WE must define democracy and our solutions, and repeat them, again and again.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

I would say that "liberals" are often just nice folks whose values line up with treating other folks well.

As a consequence, you don't often find liberals calling for another person to be hung, or shot. You also don't find them mowing down people with cars in big crowds or going to parades with an AR 15.

Folks who end up as "liberals" found that path (and liberalism is a journey not a destination), by rational observation of current status and those observations do lead one to understand that some folks in this country have a raw deal and it is NOT the recipients of the "Farm Bill" welfare for white people package.

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Mike S, you have shared your conservative childhood and your migration from there to where you are today. you’re my touch point (I live in conservative country) so here’s the question: what was ‘broken’ enough that you started looking around? What triggered your awareness of the inadequacy of your former belief system? Was that a journey too or was there a smack-your-forehead event?

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MLMinET, I too grew up in a conservative household and I have sometimes wondered how I got past that. I was lucky early on to have my first grade teacher and her husband in my life and as lifelong friends. They were very different in their view of things and somehow I absorbed some of that. Also I saw my first racial incident when I was about seven in Chicago and I thought it was so wrong and unfair and that stayed with me. By the time I registered to vote the first time (as a R as my father was standing over me), I knew that I was not a R and would never vote for them at the national level. Then I went for three years to the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and that changed my life further. Every time i went back to visit my father, he would initiate a political argument and I am sure he thought he had failed to raise me right. I did vote for a few Rs here in Oregon, but then the R party was so anathema to me that I have stopped voting for them ever and I do vote in every election including school boards. Even my next door neighbor who was a R pol at the county level can't stand the party anymore and is registered as an I although I think he votes mostly D if not entirely D now. The neighbors in back of us were once Rs and they will not vote for them anymore. However, we have plenty of wing nuts in this area.

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Great insight, thanks for sharing. Sometimes I think people like your Dad still think the Republican party is the party it used to be 50 years ago vs the party of today. They seem to be in a little bit of denial, or conservative media has made it seem like being Republican to them means they are a good person, and since they are good people it means the R party is de-facto good. I dunno, just morning thoughts.

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My dad passed away several years ago. I do wonder what he would make of death star and what the R party has become. However, he did listen to Limbaugh and asked me is I did. You can imagine my reply. He wanted to know why not and I had to explain how I was 180 degrees from those views.

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I agree with your morning thoughts about media making R’s feel like they are the good guys. And their party. They would certainly be the good guys compared to evil Democrat pedophiles who drink children’s blood. Not a high bar, though.

Along with conservative media, I fault self-described Christian churches for their focus on personal salvation and prosperity. Relatively little attention to what Jesus taught about how to be a good person.

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My parents and some family and family friends, I fear are stuck in that thinking too…these are not bad people, they are not without compassion…but to talk to them, it’s like they are stuck in a time warp and can’t see the reality of their party today.

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For a time, when Hatfield and Packwood were our senators, I also voted for them. I liked what Hatfield had done as Governor and felt they both represented the state well. Then Packwood got into his stupid man trouble and we got Ron Wyden, and when Hatfield retired we got Gordon Smith. I always admired how those two men worked together for Oregon and I never voted for Smith because of his prejudices.

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Ditto but did not join Peace Corp but don't forget Tom McCall. The 90's and Newt drove me away from even considering a republicon.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Likewise. We had a suit going agains our principal and our attorneys were also the attorneys for the Packwood women. I am very pleased with our Senators now. I had to hold my nose and vote for Schraeder because the the Rs were even worse. Now we are in a new district represented by Salinas. But on the state level, we got switched to districts that will probably never elect a D. Our rep is a total wing nut.

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The 1979 book The Fear Brokers, by then Senator John McIntyre, had a forward by Hatfield. In it he lists 3 traits of the conservative strategy:

Hypernationalism, Manipulation of religion, and Racism.

David Corn describes how Hatfield was booed by Goldwater supporters at the Republican Convention in American Psychosis.

People like Hatfield were a light at the end of a tunnel, but we're heading away from it, and that light is all but completely gone.

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Fellow Oregonian here. We've had some good ones over the years.

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I never forgave Packwood for ousting Wayne Morse...

I was actually a Young Republican in High School...however I graduated in 1964 so that was a completely different Republican party!

My first opportunity to vote was the day after my 21st birthday in 1966; I voted for Mark Hatfield for Senator and Tom McCall for Govenor, both Republicans. But they were "Oregon Republicans"; I have never voted for a Republican presidential candidate.

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My "journey" away from conservatism included similar paths (especially an experience on a visit to Chicago!)

I took a right turn at the corner of a religious cult. And they were right! The "truth" DID set me free!! I began thinking and they didn't like it. LOL

I was well on my way on my journey to liberal/progressive political/spiritual when I met the man who would be my husband, and with him, I felt safe and confident of continuing that journey.

My view of what a Progressive is one of moving forward. You can't move forward if you don't understand how to drive. So I haven't felt confident registering as a progressive.

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Ill at ease with the term "progressive" because of mistrust for the quasi-religious belief in "Progress" enshrined in 19th century positivism.

I am quite willing to accept being "progressive" in the humblest, most basic sense.

I see free choice as a single one. Not even a fork in the road. One road, two directions. One that leads us away from the truth of what we are towards all that we are not. The other, step by step towards finding our true nature.

A road all too often not taken...

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I support most progressive causes, but I know progress is slow and I hold the far left in part responsible for our taking steps backwards because among other things, they didn't seem to realize the importance of having a sane person picking Supreme Court justices. Even after death star was elected, I was in a conversation with someone who didn't seem to understand that being a true believer on the left accounted in part, for the election of death star. Tried to mansplain American foreign policy to me, a history major who had taken a course in American foreign policy and was well aware of our foreign policy sins. Haven't heard from him since which is too bad because I liked him and he completely redid our house inside and was worth every penny. But his mother listened to, as one of his brothers called it, slit your wrist radio, KBOO in Portland. I did love it when one of my wing nut ex-classmates cited KBOO.

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My parents, may they rest in peace and bless their repub hearts, made sure to send me an absentee ballot when I was in school at Indiana University. I used it to vote for the dem (was that McGovern?) I have wondered many times what they would make of today's repub party. I'd like to think the repubs have gone too far over the cliff for them, but I can't say for sure for my mother.

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Thank you for the condensed version!l Frederick certainly has a thought provoking epistle. But like President Carter and Al Gore each given to intellectual analysis and solution to a problem, this 12 point proposition would leave many folks bleary eyed reading it!

Personally, I see the ‘conservative mind’ built on ‘either or’ reasoning. Thus right wing propaganda sound bytes become effective through the constant repeating of the distortions and out right lies.

The ‘liberal mind’ absorbs and ponders ‘shades of grey’. The liberal mind rejects the position ‘all…are…’ because one exception breaks that ‘rule’! As noted in a prior comment, the liberal mind evaluates different positions become making a judgement.

The conservative mind is susceptible to the dogmatic; this is how you do it; tell me what to believe!

The liberal mind is exemplified by my wife’s Irish Granny, who gave her brother 3 books when he started at a junior seminary, one by Thomas Aquinas, one by Martin Luther and one by Ghandi!

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There is another, biological explaination for some of this. People who self- identify as either liberal or conservative assess and process information in different parts of the brain. One study had self-identified liberals and conservatives make a financial investment decision which boiled down to "high risk/high reward" and "low risk/low reward". The decision itself was unimportant (but had nothing related to the self-identification as liberal or conservative; that result was mixed); what was important was the areas of the brain used in the decision making process. SI liberals accessed the frontal cortex for their thinking, SI conservatives utilized the midbrain. The gross oversimplification is that the frontal cortex is complex thought and the midbrain is the "survival center" of threat assessment. I find that fascinating.

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Ally, do you know where this analysis is from? find this fascinating as well - the distinction between liberals use of the "complex thought" source of the brain, and conservatives' use of survival aspect of the brain!

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I don’t have the original source; I’ve seen it referenced here by another reader, but lost the paper I wrote it down on.

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Frederick, thanks for taking the time to bring us the Laskoff piece. Ally brings up an interesting point of discussion. The source would be valuable. Prehaps Steve Schmidt is not, by that definition, a true conservative. In his writings he does not apprear to be.

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The majority of Americans have only a sixth grade level of reading comprehension which means an

inability to properly analyze information and perform critical thinking.

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That sixth grade level is down from eighth grade level fifteen years ago. Dumbing down is working just as republicans want.

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Hmmm, very interesting. I wonder then if Steve Schmidt is by nature a genuine conservative. I read him every day and find him to be a genuinely warm and thoughtful human being. For many years, conservatives have been referred to as "reactionary". Interesting that midbrain thinking seems to be somewhat reptillian. We need more of this.

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I have seen/heard similar information where SI conservatives operate from a fear relationship to the world and SI liberals operate from a comfort relationship to the world...ah, where to find that again...

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Wow, that is fascinating about the brain

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I’ll buy that

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I also think it is influenced by believing that people are inherently bad (original sin, must protect self from them) v. inherently good (buddha nature, must water their seeds of goodness).

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You all continue to amaze me with information . And Heather?

This is an education all in itself.

Thanks, everyone🫶

💙VOTE💙

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Just the golden rule, and “there but for the grace of God, go I”

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Thank you for this post Frederick. I love the explanation of those 12 traps. They cut to the heart of our problems. Mainly 'talking over the heads' of our listeners. If you don't engage your listener they walk away with nothing. Also we need to approach them on an emotional level

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Well said. I DO like the term "progressive" because it rings of moving forward in well thought-out steps.

One cannot make progress if the plans are not well-thought out.

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I like #11. trump speaks so simply and repetitively. I copied a quote from him. Repeated the same sentence with 4 modifications and used the word "battle" four times within those sentences.

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Frederick, this is great. Thank you! I'm not sure I agree with every part of your diagnosis of the American Left's failings, but you're certainly on to something as to why the right is so successful. I find your comment thought provoking, to say the least, and I hope the rest of HCRs followers take the trouble to read all the way through it. This should be a long and enlightening thread.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Dont forget conservative biases built into the electoral framework: how the senate is elected, and gerrymandering, as ably presented by Heather. This long list is kind of a blame game dump on progressives, I do agree the Dems tend to take it out on themselves, much more so than the other side. How long have Frederick's issues been a staple of Dem self-blame? I'm sure ive heard some of this stuff 20 years ago, or more... the idea of the self-serving liberal elite rubbing it in on the rest of America. By the same token, Dems represent a broad coalition of ofen minority interests where Republicans are more culturally and ethnically cohesive and what should we call it, patriotic, rally around the flag and the troops. Yet how has that worked out? So, the very same Dems, took back Michigan simply by changing gerrymandered constituency. And, slightly aside, we have an American public which lopsidedly gives lower marks to Dems on economic issues, regardless of how badly Republicans do, mostly a piece of conservative self-serving dogma. And oh yes, shouldnt we look where corporate support goes in such a big way... Koch brothers, just for starters. How is that a Dem fault?

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As a Michigander, I was pleased to see HCR's mention of our hard-fought campaign for independent redistricting. Our republican state congress fought us every step of the way, but we prevailed. Thanks to our new, fair congress, we have more fair funding for schools, clean water, and safer roads and bridges. We're working on legislation to protect families from guns owned by abusive family members.

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In my several decades of living, the only time I have knocked on doors for a political cause was as part of the effort to end gerrymandering in Michigan. I was so impressed by Katie and what she and others accomplished, and I keep hoping for more states to replicate that successful campaign. "Voters should choose their politicians, not the other way around!"

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And i didnt mention how political manipulation of the judiciary has self-advantaged the values and views of GOP and its supporters mostly thanks to Mitch. The impact of political advantage!

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I loathe Mitch just as much as I do death star. He is responsible in part for the tilt of the Supreme Court through nonsense reasoning, but he had the power to do what he did. Both Kentucky Senators should have never held political office. Mitch is, or was, a slick operator, but Paul is just a wing nut.

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I'm so proud of what you have accomplished. It is an inspiration to all of us.

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Frank, this rallying around the flag and troops is now so hypocritical. Death star proved that again and again. These are the same people who had no problems attacking police January 6th despite claiming to support police....I think they support the ones who are bad cops actually. My husband has a cousin related through his Lakota ancestry in South Dakota who served in the military and then the Dallas police until she retired. She was once a R and now is a militant D who speaks out against the Gnome whenever possible. That includes attending rallies. As for the true believers in death star, they love him because he speaks to all the prejudices and fears.

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Yay for your husband's cousin. It is refreshing to see how some people can shake loose the bounds of conservative thought, especially in the law enforcement milieu.

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She has kept track of all the COVID deaths in South Dakota while the Gnome rants about freedom (no masks and vaccine mandates) and chases money all over the country while making her adoration of death star clear. She also does not seem to understand what sovereign nation means as there are several Native American reservations there. His cousin is also a lovely person.

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I don't think the ten points were intended to point blame at Democrats and progressives, but rather to make them think deeply about their values and find a frame for those. As to the Republicans being "patriotic and defending the troops", Donald Trump put the lie to that one big time. Actually, Donald Trump's dismissal of the idea of serving your country for any reason other than personal gain really puts the patriotic ball in the Democratic/Progressive court. I love our country. I respect our troops. I honor and support those who have been gravely injured in defending democracy and America. I contribute money to veterans on a monthly basis. I would never sneer at an injured soldier (or anyone else for that matter). Does that make me a Republican? No. I am a decent citizen who abhors war but understands that the country needs to be defended. So in that, I share some core "conservative" beliefs. And I suspect I'm not alone.

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I won't pursue my points, but kudos to you for both your loyalty to country and democratic principles.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Self analysis is not blame. And don't forget, Frank, as long as you bring up biases, the corporate "free press" chooses words in subheadlines that almost always serve business or conservative points of view, This definition of the issue affects the disscussion greatly, as well as action taken. Language is the most important issue in defining reality. This is nothing new and I do not think Frederick is saying so. Chomsky, as a linguist, has been making similar points for many decades.

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Fair enough, but a litany of negatives doesnt seem to me to have much balance as what's been positive among progressives. Without them in the first place, the Dems likely wouldn't resemble the party they've become, or accomplished in policy, and likely, electoral success. I did indicate imbalances in the political framework and relatively recent Republican manipulations which were far more likely to have been influential in Dems political shortfalls the past decade plus as opposed to the "self analysis" provided on progressives. More balance was needed.

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Perhaps we are putting the golf ball around the same hole but it hasn't dropped in.

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Concentrate on the practical proposals, not barely secondary grouses.

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This IS a long and enlightening thread. Thank you Frederick!

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Boy, I read the entire thing and am very thankful that it was posted here. We all need to understand the use of linguistics more as well as political organization. It is the every day, week in and week out, need to live and name democratic values, that strikes me as important; the understanding of what motivates the republican voter; and the need to cease calling names.

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Hey David, I did not stay up late enough last night to pick up on this great comment stream. I have read some of your comments in the past and you do a good job yourself. I could go on and about how words control the process but the points Frederick brings up are on the mark. Lakoff is very clear and a new voice for me. Chomsky held forth on these issues over the past sixty years or more.

I look forward to catching up tonight. Out on the West Coast, Heather posts a bit late.

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Democracy is sacred. Election days need to be declared legal holidays.

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In Australia, Election Day is a Saturday. And of course there are weeks of absentee voting for people who'll be away somewhere on Election Day. We have enough results back within 48 hours to know for sure who has won.

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"Because their seats are safe, Republicans do not have to send particularly skilled politicians to Congress." Particularly skilled? Wow, that must surely qualify as the understatement of the year.

Among the most reprehensible Republican congressional Representatives, we are not talking about "skills;" we are talking about unabated, malevolent, profoundly ignorant idiocy, with voters truly giving over the levels of power to the inmates of the asylum.

The results are showing it under the weight of gratuitous GOP malice.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

One word - Obamacare. The Obama used the house and senate majority they had to pass the most comprehensive health care bill ever. Some people thought he should have focused more on ending The Great Recession , (which he inherited from Bush), but most people were driven by Republican scare tactics- remember the “death panels - to vilify “socialist medicine”. It all seems quaint today, when you listen to R tactics to enforce their abortion bans.

It was easy to scare Americans against something they couldn’t imagine. Rs talked about people losing their employer-based healthcare for some bad version of Medicaid. And seniors thought Medicare would be replaced, again with a program whose details were so murky and untested. Republicans to this day are still scaring voters to vote for them. Today, Gym Jordan dragged out 2nd Amendment rights over gun legislation instead of answering questions about the budget.

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Abortion still drives their debate. Meanwhile, ObamaCare has no effect in our politics and discourse. Now, were this framed a "successful more for democracy to guide our health care, for greater liberty and jsutice for all" then, we would have this vital notion that democracy MUST continue to make rreal economic change with our energy future, and our foreign policy and our education and so on and so on

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

But in 2010 Obamacare was the basis of The Tea Party and the 2010 Red Wave that was the nexus of Operation REDMAP.

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Yes it was the basis for their libertarian, anti-democracy rant. And, we did not have any adequate defense of ... democracy.

Democracy may be seen, in this worldview, as the nexus for greater economic liberty and justice - IF WE WERE to say this! Instaed, ObamaCare became another special interest, a silo, and NOT connectedto other progressive initatives

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I think that’s the difference between Biden and some of the recent Democrat POTUS-s that came before him. Joe Biden wants to unwind all of the Republican policies that have hurt the middle class with a multi-pronged approach that includes work opportunities, corporate incentives, and infrastructure projects, all to bring up middle class productivity and bring America back from that hollowed out shell of a country.

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As important as Obamacare was, it was a tactical mistake to give the Republicans such a divisive issue to run on in a redistricting year. I remember thinking that as the 2010 campaign devolved into a cesspool of lies and exaggerations - "death panels", mocking the claim that you could keep your doctor. Universal healthcare has been a great benefit, but we're still paying the political cost.

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There is a lot of truth in these 12 points. Some of it is painfully accurate. But honestly, I think we need to whittle down our messages. Only political nerds (like me) are going to work through all this philosophical discussion.

Most people vote on one or two issues that they care about. And we are the right side of those issues. Talk all day about philosophy and people will glaze over. I love the whole discussion, but it won't get people to vote.

Here's my focus for Dems:

1. Fight gerrymandering tooth and claw.

2. Remind voters that women's freedom is under attack. By old white guys. Reproductive rights is THE big weapon that is helping us win in almost every recent special election or attempt to alter state constitutions. WOMEN and their indignation are the weapons that work. Blame the GQP!

3. Appeal to younger people to vote! And remind them that the Republicans don't believe that we can make a difference in the Climate Crisis. For Gen Y and Gen Z this is THE issue. Blame the GQP!

4. Remind voters that Republicans are blocking gun safety laws. Kids are terrified. Parents are frustrated and disillusioned. This issue is huge and change is supported by giant majorities all across the country. Blame the GQP!

5. Remind voters that immigration policy reform is the responsibility of Congress. And the Republican House of Representatives refuses to present a plan - despite the pleading and imploring of their constituents and the president himself. Blame the GQP!

These are the most powerful weapons we have. And large majorities support the "left" and "progressives" on these subjects. But don't use those labels. I am a proud progressive who is left of Sanders, Warren and Gandhi. But let's just be Democrats. Old school, labor supporting, for the middle class, for women style Democrats.

Forget the philosophy. Go for the monster's jugular with the stuff that people will understand. And are angry about.

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Thanks, Bill, for offering up the Cliff Notes. You nailed it.

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Good points for me to use in my letters and on my postcards for voters!

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Those are some good points, Bill. Thank you.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Yes, we must focus on the plan. Our choice of words will determine if anyone will listen or be motivated. We have to expose the location of that jugular vein.

However, philosophy is very important too, between US and not to yell it at the crowd we want to motivate. Philosophy is a practice, like linguistics that will help us narrow our focus and choose our words wisely. Words, if chosen wisely can be very powerful weapons. Read Lenin or Engels. Gramski even. It is good to see an articulate soul who might be a far left as me, Bill. (Chuckle).

I am sure begining to appreciate all of Heather's followers. A great group. I like Julia's thanks for your Cliff Notes. Clear and too the point. Frederick lays down very good information and makes valuable points.

We can't waste our time out egoing each other over philosophy, which, I think is what you meant. My point is that it is a tool, to be used as such.

Catch you tomorrow night if I can stay up that late.

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Yes. I don't mean to demean philosophy at all. I'm just angry and want us to weaponize effectively.

Speaking of which, I was philosophizing with my wife last night. She bemoaned the lack of a center in today's politics. She felt as if the extremes of both sides are feeding the frenzy.

Then I detailed my super lefty views on healthcare, education, housing, taxes, gun control, immigration, etc. She liked all of them. So...I was actually able to say to her that my extremist left wing ideas were actually in alignment with her "centrist" values.

In other words, the left is the new center. The right is the deep dark end of the pool. The cesspool.

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Exactly. There is NO far left organization (Anachists do not believe in organization) in this country feeding any frenzy. That is a construction of corporate media going after readership #s to keep add rates up and serve their ownership's share holders interests.

If you have read Heather for a while, you will remember that the cat call about socialism started in the 1840s to denigratete those who sought a fair playing field. That only became more strident after the Russian revolution by Wall Streeters who were afraid of losing....

GAAA. You know what I mean.

As for us lefties being the new center, who, exactly is the left ? Oops, that is getting into phylosophy. There is no escape!

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Well said, Bill. Lakoff would urge us to create our own "narrative" (the framework or story which acts as the filter for our reasoning processes) rather than attempt to negate the GQP frames (which only serves to reinforce them, because facts and rational thought are not the most significant players in this battle for voters' minds).

As you have suggested, let's keep the message simple and repeat it ad nauseum.

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Words are not my forte & the learning curve is steep in the world of word craft. I have read Lakoff but need a class that practices the art . The person who said the lack of analyzing information & using critical thinking skills nailed to whom the GQP aim their posts to & how their blind followers respond regurgitating the propaganda .

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You are correct on every point, and that's part of the problem. Not everyone is patient or attentive enough to absorb your 12 "truisms". It's beyond my ability to distill them into even a 50 word paragraph but I can certainly see dividing the list into smaller chunks to promote the overriding problem of "trying to herd" cats.

Well done Frederick, take the rest of the day off with pay. Definitely saving your list for study and will use liberally.

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BlueRoots, please look to my longer response to Philip B, down below ... this will be helpful, as it is a summary of the essence of framing. A lot of the above, from Lakoff, comes down to consistency of language. WHAT is our worldview and where do we want to end up (politically)? I feel it is a society where the promise of democracy (equality of opportunity, and "liberty and justice for all") guides our policies. Our policies must flow from this frame. A frame I would call Democratic Capitalism. This frame, and therefore our policies, must guide capitalism toward a healthy and safe society - not our current society in which foreign firms and other multinationals dictate our society and our politics.

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Liberty and Justice for all. Pretty basic concept most can get behind ,relatable to where everyone lives and issues they're facing.

"The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice" Bryan Stevenson

I think that sums our message up pretty well.

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I'd take as a basis the passage in the Declaration of Independence that begins "We hold these truths to be self-evident" and take the content more seriously, more literally, than Jefferson et al did. The content -- the deism is optional. Inclusion must be absolute, very much incorporating "the merciless Indian Savages" who were to prove so much less merciless or savage than the white invaders who cheated and massacred their fellow men.

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Thanks for the reference. I read a lot of and about Layoff when he first hit the scene and found it compelling but after all this time I can't say it has really caught on. I only give myself a short time to read LFAA everyday because the readers here tend to go long form and my daily challenge is to make the best of the scare resource that time constricts me. I have to get to newspapers, other substacks and independent news sites so I have to be choosey.

I just started Heather's new book and it hits the ground running at full speed tackling the battle between democracy and authoritarianism. I agree with her that humans have the right to determine their own fate and the ways to get there are as different as we all are to each other, but the common thread is the right to self-determination. That's my focus these days.

Have a great day!

I find that easier to argue than anything else.

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"I can certainly see dividing the list into smaller chunks to promote the overriding problem of "trying to herd" cats."

A comment which parallels the gerymandering theory almost precisely.

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Excellent and timely words to bring the message of the Democratic Party down to Liberty and Justice For All. Thank you for the reminder that the message is simple.

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Why is it that linguists are able to think so clearly? One reason may be they understand how language works to communicate everything. Language models reality. Understanding how people use language to do this, or fail to do this, will give us an almost axiomatic sense of what works/does not work in all spheres of human endeavor.

Professor Lakoff gives us 12 traps to avoid. This is great, but his real message is what liberals must do - articulate a core set of values and tie specific policies to them, again and again, in order to build a liberal deep frame. One I may suggest is respect for the individual freedoms of ALL people. We have a list already, in our Constitution. If fact, the liberal deep frame has been articulated very well for almost 250 years now. It is time to make conservatives answer for their policies in a liberal frame. Thank-you Frederick, for this amazing post!

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To put it squarely and in less academic terms: speak with moral conviction. Define your moral compass. Many shun the word and use ethical instead. Wrong. Morals are innate and speak to the heart. Ethics is more about professional standards and practices. Take our cue from Martin Luther King and Rev Barbers Poor Peoples Campaign. Read about the language and values of Abolitionist leaders. Adopt the words of the Declaration of Independence not the Constitution.

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Agreed, LANGUAGE defines. Words matter.

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Are you familiar with Anat Shenker-Osorio’s podcast “Words to Live By?”

https://asocommunications.com/team/

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I'll certainly look at your link; her name has come up before

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Frederic. Your #11 paragraph and your final paragraph really display my major concerns and observations. Also sad for me to say "church attendees/TV watchers of only

conservative programs" without other mental input are not thinking but only want to belong to "the group". This is a frightening personal observation for me.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Yes, I agree. How do I handle this? I feel that I can accept where they are personally, and try not to judge but simply try to understand. From here, we can have a better conservation. I feel Biden gets this, coming from his working class, Catholic background. THIS is in his DNA, imho

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President Biden follows these ideas more than any recent Democratic Presidents!

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PROPOSAL

LFAA readers, everyone who cares for the restoration and renewal of living, healthy democracy, raising it to its essential role in the life of the Republic:

FRAME FREDERICK'S CONTRIBUTION, GIVE IT PRIDE OF PLACE, READ IT AND GIVE THOUGHT TO ITS CONTENT, DAILY, ASSIDUOUSLY!

This is no "comment".

It is a Users Manual for democracy.

*

I wrote far more but gremlins did not appreciate... They "disappeared" what I'd written...

No matter. It is YOUR FEELINGS, YOUR THOUGHTS, that count.

So, frame it, read it, study it, think about it, draw your own conclusions and, above all...

ACT ON IT!

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I must write this => remember, this is Lakoff's admonition. Simply think about the promise of "democracy" and how it is thwarted by our economic order .... Then, we can start the conservation with the frame "Democracy must guide our economics" and then all of our policies flow toward making this ... a ... more .... prefect ....union. (this willnot happen from capitalism as it now is

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It isn't just the body economic playing cuckoo and pushing the body politic from the nest.

Like technology, which no longer serves man but itself, economics is no longer the management of our common household. It is at the service of masters, then come servants... tbose with no place in this scheme of things have the status of vermin.

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All the MORE reason, and clarion call, for democracy to guide our economics! Democracy must be the guide to our society, as your example makes perfectly clear.

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

We must treat democracy as a living thing, and act accordingly, providing its needs, maintaining its health... protecting it from disease and from pests and poisoners.

I used a long word for democracy's main role in a society, homeostasis: maintaining the dynamic balance and stability of all functions within the body politic.

I'm sure someone can help us put all this more simply...

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

I'd like to exchange more on the question of framing and Lakoff's ideas, brought to my attention by a linguist friend in the 1990s, but my drafting rarely survives on this phone.

Let's say I'm in my 80s and started thinking about issues of framing at age 18...

Not yet political but, starting out from the frame, framing and optical devices used by Renaissance painters to analyse the object they are viewing and moving on to the systematic use of framing in western art and science. In contrast, framing -- in the western sense -- is absent from Chinese, Korean and Japanese painting but present in, for instance, architecture.

I don't propose to say more just now, but the implications are not insignificant. For instance, when it comes to Lakoff's number 5...

Divorce between what lies within the frame and what lies outside it is a very western phenomenon. We speak of relevance and draw a hard border separating what is germane to our problem from what is not. Other cultures accord more important to context.

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The best, most interesting and challenging comment I have seen in ages, a real 'frame changer' with deep implications.

In Britain we have seen the consequences of this progressive illusion in Brexit; it was launched unwittingly by Cameron as a 'religious war', a war of two opposing framing systems, unfortunately the anti-brexit group did not understand this, and we know the disastrous consequences.

I will await your permission to copy this and forward it to my Labour Party MP, in the probably vain hope that it might influence Starmer, who is following the 'progressive line' as if following the textbook.

I would also love to hear you expand on the 'conservative frames'; you seem to have studied it with an appropriate theoretical base.

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Philip, please copy and distribute as you wish. The conservative and liberal frames are described by Lakoff in his pinnacle, "Don't Think of an Elephant"

When we are young, language is everything. The more we hear, the more circuitry is formed. Scientists and musicians had a different youth than I, without a specific pattern other than normal discourse. I had a very loving widowed mother in the 1950s. My close cousin had an outwardly kind but personally abusive single father --- to turn this into a political theory, Lakoff states the following. The idea of "family" is everything in America, 'our forefathers', our 'sons off to war', 'Uncle Sam'... etc. I had the 'Nurturant Parent' model of family upbringing. She had the 'Strict Father' - and by no means do I say that the strict father model is necessarily abusive!

*** Frames are used to simplify complexities in life. The Strict Father exemplifies conservatives mode of thinking: the strong man and strong father figure: the Jesus Christ male figure of spirituality; 2nd Amendment rights; male hierarchy led by the strict father at top, then other white males, then the mother, other white females, then people of color and then finally the Earth.

The Nurturant Parent family metaphor allows for co-parenting from mother and father; a child's exploration during upbringing; equity and equality of people; nonhierarchical sense of spirituality. This frame allows for change, while the Strict Father frame tends toward tradition, naturally.

I feel the most successful frame in America today is "Culture War." This says EVERYTHING." And everyone knows what it means. WE certainly do. Unfortunately, our silo thinking in our world view does NOT enable us to see the systemic problem we face, which I believe is an abusive abusive world economic order, which enables even the wealthiest of Americans to own the most guns, because no one is satisfied ...

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Frederick, whenever I shake my head about conservatives voting against their best interests, I reread George Lakoff’s Moral Politics.

“ Conservatives argue that social safety nets are immoral because they work against self-discipline and responsibility.”

— Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think by George Lakoff

https://a.co/hWzdgfu

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Brava Mary!

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That looks like good place to start for me too. Laskoff is new to me.

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By the way, Frederick, is imparting such information something you do professionally? Sure sounds like it. Or you are extremely well read.

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I go back to the Vietnam era, and have been active in politics, and spirituality for more than 50 years. Nearly 30 years thikning and writing about this notion around a vision, and lack thereof.

Thanks, Ransom

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I guess I'm about right there with you. I'm 75 and fought my draft board for the five years it took to get through college. I maintained they were war criminals and I was going to see them in court. That was a lot of writing. I was #15 in the lottery and managed to get a student deferrment in time twice to beat the induction notices. Spirituality, deep thinking, political activism, notebooks of someone I don't recognize anymore, but one becomes someone else if they learn anything. Those were my core, no matter what I did for a living.

Take care Frederick, we will undoubtably cross paths after Heather's letters.

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Fascinating. 8 and 9 are extremely important to what is happening today, in my opinion. The question becomes, how do we fix it so we get on track.

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We could start by the DNC requiring that their “communications team” study Lakoff’s points and start getting our message out as if the continuation of our Republic is at risk.

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Frederick, which George Lakoff book would you suggest we start with? I'm thoroughly intrigued and want to learn more. Thank you so much.

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Begin with the very short "Don't Think of an Elephant." Now, try to not think of an ...

This is Lakoff's premier treatise.' For more, look to "Moral Politics."

Rabbi Michael Lerner's, "The Politics of Meaning" offers a way forward.

https://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/book-reviews/view/797/the-politics-of-meaning. Loof for his Tikkun publication, online at this time.

It was at a massive symposium in DC in 2002 (?) where George Lakoff spoke, and many progressives listened. Michael Lerner hosted this gathering. Lerner work gained the attention of Bill and Hillary, early in their adminstration

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have just ordered both on Audible. Thanks for the resources and great discussion. Gratitude from this Canadian, we have our divisions here too, and they're deepening.

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Thanks so much!

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Bryan Sean McKown Comment: KATIE FAHEY & fair redistricting has dramatically changed Politics in Michigan. I want to read posts from the LP & the UP but, it appears to me that Michigan is no longer a "Contested State" period. Full stop. Interstate 'Voters not Politicians' comparisons are very easy to understand now. Looking at you Arizona.

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Rural Michigan is blazing Red, see Ottawa County. Often the poorest of places have an ingrained notion that “The Patriots” of the GOP will somehow defeat the Gov’mint forces that made their lives miserable; without ever understanding how GOP tax favors to Billionaires has rigged the world against them

Michigan’s latest District Mapping has now mitigated Gerrymandering in a way that provides the majority with a path to decision making, much to the consternation of former GOP Powerbrokers

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Tennessee doesn’t allow citizens to propose constitutional changes. How’s that for convenient?

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Thank you so much for that link Ellie! Katie Fahey’s courage and determination stood out for me in todays letter.

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Agreed Ellie, thank you Katie Fahey for lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness. It’s going to take lots of candles to dispel this darkness.

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So, someone's actually done it!

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"Pundits struggle to decide whether Trump’s rise represents something new in the United States or whether it is a continuation of the growing anti-democratic politics of the Republican Party." I am in Europe right now (Germany) and everywhere I am seeing the same signs of breakdown I am witnessing in the US: failing infrastructure, massive class divides, mighty anti-immigrant waves, a growing neo-fascist/new-Nazi movement. The growing anti-democratic politics are spreading all over Europe as well as America. This is a very scary moment.

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What is even scarier is that when fascism wins, Nature loses. In some way or another, those right-wing types are almost always climate change deniers, and notoriously anti-environment, too.

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If you read Prof. Kathleen Belew's book, Bring the War Home: White Supremacy and Paramilitary America, https://www.kathleenbelew.com/ you can see that she discusses the coming together of White Supremacist groups internationally with a shared agenda in the late 1980s early 1990s. That agenda is to be less overt in their racism so that they can seem more mainstream. The idea is to protest "immigration" as a coded way of protesting non Whites in their countries. Then, to join and then take over mainstream politics and destroy the liberal nation state. The Republican party in the USA, which I call the New American Nazi party, has taken over this agenda. I call the AfD the New German Nazi Party. These are the people who truly want a Global White Nation State. For those in the USA the influx of people of Latin America pose a threat to this goal. In Europe the influx of people of the African and Asian continents pose a threat to this goal. They are keeping their "true" agenda from the mainstream so they can accomplish their goals by stealth. This has been effective. The press and many people do not see the Forest for the Trees. However, at the same time, Africans and Asians can go to university for free in Germany. They cannot do this in the USA.

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"These are the people who truly want a Global White Nation State."

That would be one nasty state. In my own life here in multi-cultural USA, by far the nicest, most kind people I have intersected with have, ummm, decidedly NOT been white. They have been either Puerto Rican, Black or of Mexican descent.

So, just imagine how nasty a "White Nation State" would be without the buffer of people from cultures that actually value other people?

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Thank you for this, Linda. I just ordered it. Should fit in nicely with "The Anger Games . . ." in helping to explain the marriage between white supremacists and the oligarchs who use them like puppets.

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Did you see the article in Politico on how Agnieska Holland is being viciously attacked by the Polish government over her new film which depicts the desperate situation for Asian refugees who are recruited by Belarus, and then dropped off at the border to Poland, where the Polish troops are trying to prevent them from coming in. The right leaning Polish government is very angry that this film occurs right before an election they are trying to control the media to win. https://www.politico.eu/article/film-green-border-agnieszka-green-poland-government-hate-campaign-election-pis-kaczynski-duda/

At the same time in CEPs report today, they summarize two different articles talking about the fight club aspect of White Supremacist groups and how this is a tool for recruiting people to their militias. https://www.the-independent.com/news/world/americas/us-politics/active-club-nazi-militia-groups-b2418427.html?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7809534_

https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/network-of-far-right-militias-covertly-proliferating-in-us:?utm_source=iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=7809534_

At the same time I have been following the same activity in Europe with there being lots of Fight Clubs particularly in former Eastern European and Scandinavian countries. https://www.vice.com/en/article/xgw4bz/neo-nazi-active-clubs-rising-globally

These people in the USA follow The Turner Diaries, that is their bible, and they are planning an all out race war. It is concerning how many weapons they are stealing from our military in the USA. Also of concern is the number of weapons being sent to Ukraine and a lot of the volunteers from other countries are members of these White Supremacist groups, going to get training in warfare, and at the same time, I am wondering whether they are bringing weapons back to their home countries. In Germany I watched some programs about how there are these old Nazis keeping their ideology alive through illicit camps where they force their grandchildren to subscribe to a race war ideology and are training them for this. I don't know if there are English language articles on this. Here however, is an interesting article on Germany and their attempts to address their institutional racism. One thing is that they now do have a Commission for Anti-Racism, sort of the way that we will be creating a White House Office of Gun Violence.

https://www.dw.com/en/racism-poses-a-threat-to-germanys-democracy/a-64354347

On the Antidiscrimination website of the German Federal Government one can file a complaint. So, there is starting to be better documentation of discrimination. At the same time, I ran into a young woman the other day who studies in Berlin and her studies are Gender and Intersectionality. We started talking and she is being taught that race is a social construct, which is the position Germans have Black and White who are in the fields of Identity studies, whereas that has not been my experience in the USA. So, for that, I would say Europeans, who have different histories of racial politics from the USA, also has some different models and ideas. Colorism is discussed here a lot more. When I used to bring these ideas into my workplace where everyone wanted to be so WOKE, they could not hear them. Very USA-centric in my opinion. I think just as White Supremacists are joining around the world, those of us who are anti White Supremacy should be joining around the world too.

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Richard, I can't find the book (or essay); will you please tell us who wrote it, and where we can find it?

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Google "The Anger Games: Who Voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Election, and Why?"

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Thanks.. I've downloaded it, and will read both things you've recommended.

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People wonder why 70 million MAGA Republicans still support Trump. I believe that "The Anger Games . . ." answers this question. There is something more important to these people that American democracy and simply put, it is hatred. Their hate is so all consuming that nothing else matters. This is the Civil War all over again, only this time there are no geographical boundaries. And, the goal is not to preserve slavery but rather white Protestant supremacy.

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Unfortunately, the press is owned by these same interests whose "Liberal" editorials mask the intentions of the words they use in their sub-hedlines. Over time, those words define our realty and the actions people take, to benefit their corporate ownership. They never, in their "impartiality", mention the great acomplishments of the current administration. All you hear is "he's old and people see a problem". It's bullshit, but part of the program. They don't care about the forrest or the trees. It is all in the words.

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All this is in any case plain stupid, it's farting into the wind... And even when we see phenomena like the sudden arrival of 11 000 migrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa... it is all as nothing by comparison with what's to come.

I'll confess to having thought a long time ago that the Italians should have cut their losses by selling -- even giving -- Lampedusa to nearby Tunisia. It's so far from the rest of Italy, uncomfortably close to North Africa.

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We could say that about Majorca and the Canary Islands as well. However, that is not going to solve global warming and the devastation people in the Southern hemisphere are experiencing from the excesses of the USA, China and Europe.

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Mine was a marginal point, your second sentence states the real issue.

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Same here - also in Germany at the moment, and it is scary indeed. However, the news is still dominated by the ongoing war 'nearby' (Ukraine/Russia) and laced with reports of demonstrations of the 'last generation ('glue activists') who think that political squabbles should be replaced by actions stemming climate chaos.

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The immigration problem in Europe is insoluble. They are fleeing Africa boatload after boatload.

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It’s climate change and overpopulation. What we’re seeing has been predicted for years. The question is whether we will reduce population by war and disease

or whether we will reverse course, gently shrink (adopt or be childless, go with smaller living spaces, grow gardens, be content with fewer “things) and clean up the water and the air.

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Zero Population Growth has been pushing that primary issue for many decades. Unfortunately, religions want to see more souls to go to heaven and don't care about how they live before they die. The pro lifers are the most anti life folks arond, in that regard.

A steady or declining population is bad for business. No help there.

Perhaps Mother Earth has other plans for us. We might just be the problem and apex species have become extinct before. Climate change might be the solution. The selfish bizarre behavior ramping up all around us is just like the rats in the psychology experiment boxes. We might be smart enough to see it coming but psychologically deficient enough to not focus on a solution.

Get yours while you can, as they say in TV commercials.

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IMO we're in the age of extinction.. human extinction

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You’re just possibly right.

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here in Canada too ,sadly

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Completely agree.

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It's a time for us to be Winter Soldiers.

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Gerrymandering may be the one issue out of all the horrors we're confronted with from the Rs that makes me feel most helpless. It's been such a stacked deck for so long it seems insurmountable.

The election of Janet Protasiewicz was almost miraculous and it keeps my hope flickering.

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I agree with you; the other infuriating issue right now is the rot that is Clarence Thomas and the Supreme Court being untouchable. We can’t even try to vote him out.

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The Protasiewicz election was a statewide election, not an election that could be affected by gerrymandering. Winning by 11 points is a very big deal, though. That’s for sure.

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But she was very clear in her campaign that she opposes gerrymandering (as HCR points out in this post), as well as being clear on her position on abortion rights.

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Yes. It’s a good sign all around. Anortion rights and being against gerrymandering are well-supported positions to take in many states, including red ones.

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When I was a kid growing up in Jim Crow Texas in the '40's and '50's there was this chant: "Save your Confederate money, the South shall rise again." Who could have possibly believed it?

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Have they tried to spend it yet?

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Good question. They're getting closer to being able to.

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IJBOL!

Kind of like the "Trump dollars" currency that was being reported about, maybe 6 months ago!

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Operation REDMAP was the Republican plan to take over the legislative branch of government. The Federalist Society engineered the takeover of the judicial branch and gave us the gift of the Citizens United ruling. Project 2025 is the Republicans plan to take over the executive branch by flooding all the departments and agencies with additional layers of political appointees replacing career civil servants and guaranteeing fealty to one person--the president--not the constitution.

The intent to replace democracy with authoritarianism is clear and we are in the late stages of the process. The 2024 election is perilously close to being a last stand for democracy.

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Yes I agree we’re in the late stage of this e roof our democr but I hang with General Milley’s opinion that our democracy will stand because of its strength—despite all the challenges.

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Georgia Fisanick, thanks, that is a good birds eye view!

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Georgia Fisanick, it is the very best synopsis I've heard! I will share it with believers, so that they may share it with others and I will make my best effort to share it strategically with non-believers. Thank you so much!

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Yep, as horrifying a it is, THAT is our reality. The real issue is what are we to do about it?

There is a lot of organizing going on and many groups needing $$ to keep the pressure on.

Do if you can and $upport if that is all you can do.

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what you can do for 2024

excellent video from Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin

https://youtu.be/ddeXejhzXog?si=dCOwYaQZLfPaOgxb

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Card carrying Libra. Good one!

REDMAP + Citizens United = Disaster

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Friends get tired of me pointing out: "on the other hand..." Libra's symbol is the scales.

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Very good one. So is my son.

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And me! (Libra) I got a good chuckle out of that description, and hope to recall it as warranted. 🙂

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Do! In my experience it's exact.

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Heather Cox Richardson the facts in this letter are maddening but also motivating. REDMAP notwithstanding we are shown how the manipulation has occured and perhaps the road to unraveling this travesty.

Voting marching orders if you will, Professor ⭐

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All I can see this morning is Newt Gingrich’s face. Have never been able to get it out of my head since the first time I saw it.

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I'm sorry that's what is stuck. He was such a 💩

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Still is, the last time I saw him.

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Sorry you had to see him

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Watch this video on how you can prep for 2024 by Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin

https://youtu.be/ddeXejhzXog?si=dCOwYaQZLfPaOgxb

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I see no way out of this crisis until the Democratic Party (famously not comprised of like minded people) makes taking back State Legislatures, state election boards, and other state and local offices including education related positions a Huge Priority. Who will lead the Democratic Party in this quest? I’m sad to see Barack Obama (busy building his legacy institutions) basically invisible on this subject 😢

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Obama does not owe us any thing. He has served his time.

Going forward, it is you and me dude. And millions of our closest friends who have to do the work to move the needle.

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True, we must organize at the local level, get more Democrats registered and get them to the polls on election day. I don't know that trying to proseltyze left-leaning NPAs is an efficient use of our time. Get your county Democratic Party to work on the process. We're doing that here in Polk County, Florida. If you want to know how we're doing it, it's fairly simple. The voting records are public. The Florida Democratic Party gives us access to voter information so that we can contact them to enlist them in the process, join a local club or caucus, meet other Democrats, organize, write letters, text, etc.

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Good luck getting the attention / having the influence he has.

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Soooo. A man gives 8 years of his life to leading this country. A totally thankless job and he has the gray hairs to prove it. He weathers threats to him and his family. He is the target of horrific racial slurs, but still he perseveres. He does the best he can given the legislative reality. Gets the BFD of the ACA passed. And still you want more? Really?

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Yes! Because he’s the former President of the United States of America!

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He’s giving it. Michelle too.

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Michele Obama is working hard for women and votes!

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A small working group in TN is trying to launch Blue Tennessee, modeled on Blue OH, Blue MO and Blue TX to start to change the republicans’ death grip on the sh!tshow that is our legislature: https://Linktr.ee/BlueTennessee.

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I agree re Barack O. He needs a Jimmy Carter mentality but instead of houses direct it to rebuilding and rehabilitating our government. Where’s the activist energy and voice that started his career.

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Money. Changes. Everything.

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For sure—it’s always about where the g-d money is flowing.

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Being Black makes a difference in our environs . His hands are tied unless he is part of a vocal group

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He and Eric Holder are hard at work on voting. Their appeals are online. They need funds to do more mailings. Don’t you know the US is all about money? Hard to raise money AND get the word out.

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Thank you. I haven’t seen that community activist since he created the Obama For America initiative before his 2008 electoral victory. I was part of Obama For America which he sold out to the Democratic national committee, which then shut it down in one of the worst decisions I ever saw a president make. It could’ve been a vehicle for the American people to rise up against the GOP forces allied against him and his policies. But he was told it would not be OK. He’s sold out to the system.

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Maybe he saw one too many effigies of himself burned in public. Just a thought.

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He’s working with former Attorney General Eric Holder on voting rights. I get their mailings and online appeals. Sadly, I can only write postcards, though I wish them well with their project.

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watch this video on how to prep for 2024 by Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin

https://youtu.be/ddeXejhzXog?si=dCOwYaQZLfPaOgxb

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After working for the 2010 Census, going door to cottage door around our county lakes here in Northern Michigan to make sure there were no permanent residents not being counted, I met with my Republican state rep at a local bar. He wanted to help me set up connections for my new business. But when he sat down, he had a huge grin on his face and gleefully announced "Those damn Democrats will never win again after the redistricting we voted in today!" I felt like he'd punched me in the gut. And, in a way he had. Thankfully those damn Democrats organized to write and promote our successful ballot initiative to fairly redraw the districts, ultimately bringing about our "Democratic Trifecta."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Michigan_Proposal_2

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Living in rural northern Michigan pretty much guarantees that I’ll always have a smarmy Republican Rep, both at State and Federal Levels. It’s kinda depressing at times. Plod ahead

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Bless you. When you feel really down, think of TX and TN

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

We have hope for our 1st Congressional Seat! TWO excellent Dems running:

Dr. Bob Lorinser, Marquette

https://www.votedrbob.com/

Callie Barr, Traverse City & Cheboygan

https://callieforcongress.com/

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MaryPat Sercu - MI, now that's a great story ending! :-) Thank you!

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Sep 26, 2023·edited Sep 26, 2023

Hope this story brings hope! And action! Another positive outcome was that my Republican Rep, a businessman, did give me both good connections and advice, and 13 successful years later, I have sold my business and start retirement in 5 days!

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MaryPat Sercu - MI, Congratulations!!! Enjoy the new chapter! Glad your rep was so helpful. And yes, your story is a hopeful one. Thanks for sharing it!

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Thank you for explaining a critical issue so clearly. We need an epic turnout to overcome the gerrymandered advantages the GQP has built into most states, and then take charge and clean out the voter suppression and anti-democratic laws and traditions that have been set up to ensure a minority rule. The very concept of voter registration seems pretty clearly tied to voter suppression (which likely harkens back to the Jim Crow laws . . .).

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We need every state to do what Michigan did to stop gerrymandering: state ballot initiative:

https://votersnotpoliticians.com/

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I do not understand how any self respecting, democracy loving American who believes the freedom of Choice can be a Republican.

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That’s not a failing on your part. You don’t understand it because it cannot be understood. Since 1968 it has not been possible to be a decent human being and a Republican at the same time.

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Me neither— and especially if they’re even halfway educated.

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I don't know how anyone who truly is Christian can support the Republican party.

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Heather Congratulations on the official publication date of your blockbuster book. Are you some super terrestrial human being? You may even now be on your national book tour while producing a letter perfect LIAA.

I abhor how the Republicans have gerrymandered much of America to work their wicked ways. I wonder how the Democrats could have been so Ben & Jerry, while the Republicans were consolidating their political power.

It reminds me of how the relentless focus of The Federalist Society has resulted in the Stench Court.

Might you assess why the Democrats often gain a majority of votes, while the Republicans obtain the most seats in many states?

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That's what GERRYMANDERING is all about.

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So a free and fair election is in fact impossible?

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Michigan did it

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