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Heather tells it like it is

By islander
October 12, 2021 5:20 am
Category: Punk
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Excerpt from Heathers excellent letter:

"New York Times piece by “Anonymous” criticizing former president Trump. Whitman was governor of New Jersey from 1994 to 2001, after which she headed the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.

Taylor and Whitman note that “rational Republicans” had hoped after Trump’s defeat that they might take back the party, but it is clear now, they write, that they are losing the party’s “civil war.” But while they originally hoped to form a new party, they now agree that the only way to stop Trumpism “is for us to form an alliance with Democrats to defend American institutions, defeat far-right candidates, and elect honorable representatives next year—including a strong contingent of moderate Democrats.” To defend democracy, they write, “concerned conservatives must join forces with Democrats on the most essential near-term imperative: blocking Republican leaders from regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives” and the Senate.

They call for Republicans to put country over party and back moderate Democrats, while also asking Democrats to concede that “there are certain races where progressives simply cannot win and acknowledg[e] that it makes more sense to throw their lot in with a center-right candidate who can take out a more radical conservative.”

Check out the link. It's an excellent read!!!


Cited and related links:

  1. heathercoxrichardson.substack.com


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Comments:

  1. by Donna on October 12, 2021 8:58 am
    Interesting piece. They're never going to get young people to vote for moderate Democrats, though. Young people are generally disengaged from electoral politics.


  2. by Curt_Anderson on October 12, 2021 9:56 am
    Donna,
    They're never going to get young people to vote for progressive Democrats or any other sort of candidates, either. They have always been an unreliable voting bloc. They show up for rallies but not the polling places on election day.

    Islander,
    There will need to be new political party or a re-invented GOP. Maybe there will be a progressive party and the Democrats will fill the void left by the old-fashioned, moderate, Ed Brooks-style, Republicans.

    Trump will eventually kill the GOP as we know it. Trump voters don't buy into the the classic Republican philosophy. Once Trump is gone, his cultists will have no reason to vote again. They've been repeatedly told that elections are a sham, news is fake, courts are unjust, there is an inside the government cabal and that politicians are all corrupt. Trump, of course, fashions himself as an "outsider" apart from such chicanery.

    Trump himself has no definable philosophy. Self-aggrandizement and self-pity is not a philosophy. Philosophies require integrity, and Trump is sorely lacking in integrity.


  3. by islander on October 12, 2021 9:58 am

    I don't necessarily think it's an appeal to young people but rather an appeal to the more sensible conservative Republicans who recognize what has happened to their party, what it's become, and the very real danger it represents to our democracy.

    "At the Washington Post, Max Boot takes an even stronger stand: “I’m no Democrat—but I’m voting exclusively for Democrats to save our democracy.” Boot is a Russian-American specialist in foreign affairs who identifies as a conservative but no longer supports the Republican Party. He writes: “I’m a single-issue voter. My issue is the fate of democracy in the United States. Simply put, I have no faith that we will remain a democracy if Republicans win power. Thus, although I’m not a Democrat, I will continue to vote exclusively for Democrats—as I have done in every election since 2016—until the GOP ceases to pose an existential threat to our freedom.”


  4. by Ponderer on October 12, 2021 10:49 am
    Votes aren't going to matter in 2024. The fix is in. Democracy barely survived the last election. In 2024, almost all of the Republicans who stopped Trump from overturning the election results will have been replaced by Trump loyalists. There is at the very least going to be a constitutional crisis after the 2024 election. OTOH Trump might win legitimately.


  5. by Ponderer on October 12, 2021 10:50 am
    Oops, that last post was by me - Donna.


  6. by Elmer on October 12, 2021 10:51 am

    They're never going to get young people to vote for moderate Democrats, though. -- Donna


    The 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age to 18, was ratified in 1971. A lot of people on the left believed that picking a progressive anti-war candidate like George McGovern (rather than a moderate like Edmund Muskie) would lift the Democrats to victory in 1972 on the strength of enthusiastic youth voters.

    But it turns out a lot of people were turned off by someone that far to the left. And the youth voters didn't come out in large numbers. McGovern lost 49 states and the popular vote by a 61-38 percent margin.

    Every faction in the Democratic coalition believes it is the most important. But it's not true. The whole is greater than the parts. If you're gonna win, you have to be able to appeal to both progressives and moderates. And the best way to do that is to focus on common values -- democracy and free elections.

    If Democrats don't win the next two elections, we may never have a free election again. Those are the stakes. So I'm thankful former Republicans like Whitman share our most fundamental values and are willing to join us. We need all the help we can get.


  7. by Ponderer on October 12, 2021 11:16 am
    Trump and his loyalists have already subverted our democracy. The damage has already been done. They can't win with votes (although I'm not sure they won't win with votes in 2024,) so they're taking back power essentially by force, and I don't see anything that's going to stop them.

    The only thing that could have prevented this is if we had a Senate that didn't block every piece of legislation that would benefit working class people. And the reason the Senate is like that is because states like Wyoming have just as many US Senators as states like California, and wealthy individual and corporations have been allowed to buy politicians.

    We can't even get enough Americans to take a goddamned vaccine anymore because the internet has been taken over by disinformation, and much of it is coming from foreign sources who would like nothing better than to see America destroyed.

    And don't get be started on global warming.

    I don't find anything to be optimistic about.





  8. by Ponderer on October 12, 2021 11:17 am
    That was me, Donna, again, but Ponderer agrees with me.


  9. by Elmer on October 12, 2021 11:49 am

    I don't find anything to be optimistic about.


    If that were true, you probably wouldn't be posting messages in this forum. It takes a bit of optimism to think your voice matters.

    I enjoy history. I look at the lives of people in the 1720s, 1820s, 1920s, and now, and I wouldn't trade places with any of them. Progress comes slowly. It's hard to see when it's happening. Sometimes we have to take a step backward before we can take two forward.


  10. by Donna on October 12, 2021 12:15 pm
    You're misunderstanding why I post things like that.

    I'm venting. I have no illusions that what I say will make a difference.

    I don't see how the problem with the Senate will ever be fixed, which is at the root of why so many Americans are fed up with politics and are willing to take a chance on a self-absorbed ass like Donald Trump. And I don't see how we're ever going to stop disinfo on social media.

    I don't see a path forward. All I ever see is wishful thinking, which is about as effective as prayer.

    George McGovern lost because he was "too far left"? Perhaps so. I was 16 then. I remember that George McGovern was the antiwar candidate. As I remember, that was the big issue. Apparently ending the Vietnam War was too far left for Americans.

    The sad truth is that most Americans, right and left, don't give a flying fuck about our industrialized war machine does to human lives overseas. Nixon carpet-bombed densely populated areas in the Mekong Delta region and dropped ton after ton of Agent Orange on them, as well as our own soldiers, many of whom were drafted against their will. Literally millions of Vietnamese were killed, thousands of unborn fetuses were turned into grotesque deformed creatures, and Americans right and left turned around and voted for the guy (again) who made all of that possible.

    I've lost hope not only in our government, but most of my fellow Americans.




  11. by Donna on October 12, 2021 12:23 pm
    "I enjoy history. I look at the lives of people in the 1720s, 1820s, 1920s, and now, and I wouldn't trade places with any of them. Progress comes slowly. It's hard to see when it's happening. Sometimes we have to take a step backward before we can take two forward."

    Neither would I. Scientific advancements are mostly responsible for the progress we've seen. Ironically, though, it's scientific advancements that are threatening our continued existence.


  12. by Curt_Anderson on October 12, 2021 12:36 pm
    Donna,
    It's not just scientific advancements. We humans are more civilized. I've previously noted that the murder rate has dropped steadily from the middle-ages. That goes for the past in Europe and this continent and probably everywhere else.

    To my pleasant surprise, war is not the only scourge that has declined over the course of history. Extreme poverty has been decimated: It’s gone from 90 percent of the world’s population to 10 percent. Literacy has increased from about 15 percent to more than 85 percent. Prosperity has increased; longevity has increased from about 30 to about 71 years worldwide, and 80 in the developed world.


    It’s not just the internet age. In the book I cite a study using the automated technique called sentiment mapping to chart the use of positive words like “improved,” “better,” and “beneficial” compared to negative words like “catastrophe” and “crisis.” It shows that since the 1950s, the press has gotten steadily more morose. So it is not a sudden shift with the onset of social media: It’s been happening for decades, even as the actual indicators of human well-being have improved. Over the span of increasing media negativity, there have been fewer wars, less crime, and less poverty. -Steven Pinker (who was Bill Maher's guest last week)

    news.harvard.edu


  13. by Donna on October 12, 2021 12:57 pm
    I watched that interview with Steven Pinker. There's no doubt that worldwide, life has gotten much better for human beings. Things are not so good in America, though, which he didn't discuss. COVID-19 (which was likely caused by an unintentional leak out of a lab in Wuhan) caused life expectancy in the US to drop by two years. I assume that other counties have also seen declines in life expectancy. We also have much more homelessness in America than we've ever had. Back when I was growing up, we didn't hear much about Americans going bankrupt because of medical bills. Nowadays that's common, although with the ACA we've seen some slight improvement in that area.

    Despite our efforts, atmospheric CO2 continues to increase exponentially, which means that global warming is also increasing exponentially. That single issue will eventually negate all of the progress Pinker cited, and probably much sooner than most people realize.




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