86 Comments
Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

In general I would not say that I’m much motivated by nostalgia. I’m certainly a very full time voting rights advocate and activist. I am in the leadership team of several progressive D groups. Being in Radio City on Thurs gave me a wonderful 3 hr vacation from constant work of saving our nation. Being with 5k Dems , all pulling in the same direction was a morale booster par excellence and one that I was grateful for. As everyone reading this knows this work is hard. And every now and again something providing joy and respite recharges me. Thurs was a total energy boost for me

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Thanks for sharing your experience, Carol.

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Thank you, Carol, for your activism. It’s exhausting but you are still at it. So glad you had this experience in NYC. What a rush!

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Stop trolling. We got your point.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I’m not rooted in nostalgia. I’m 78 and want to see the country look FORWARD for a change.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

Me too. I am too worried about the future. I want to know what Biden and his team are going to do going forward...and I'm even older than you are.

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Mary Ann, you asked about Biden’s plan for the future. His State of the Union presentation spelled out his vision. Without a Congress to pass the bills necessary, Biden’s plans won’t move forward. This election is critical. We all need to do all we can to make sure democracy prevails. I’m working on my grandkids to make sure they understand what’s at stake. “We’re in this together.”

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Of course, I agree. I was simply answering the question if I was motivated by nostalgia. I hope you are doing more than just working on your grandkids though. Democracy has always required the full participation of the citizenry. It's more than just voting. It's working to get out the vote; to make sure every Blue voter we know is registered to vote, our friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers. That they get their mail-in ballots in, that people get driven to the polls, etc. It requires holding signs, making phone calls, volunteering for candidates, writing postcards and letters. Donating if you can afford to. And more. Much more. I'm in. I hope everyone else is too. Democracy is too precious.

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Biden has already shown his willingness to invest in the future, eg, IRA. With a democratic House (small and big D), I think he will invest more in the country and the long-disregarded “middle class,” which is a euphemism for working class.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I’m nostalgic for the time before the internet, and social media in particular, warped our news media and our political culture. I’m nostalgic for the time when the Pat Buchanan white grievance wing was a small faction of the GOP and its dominant player. I’m nostalgic for the time when responding to our foreign adversaries would have been a bipartisan enterprise and Republicans would not support Russian military endeavors.

I’m not nostalgic for Clinton or Obama. Clinton was a capable political operative but a flawed character. Obama had a sterling character but limited political skills to go toe to toe against the GOP when he no longer enjoyed a full Congressional majority.

This is not a time for nostalgia. We face something we haven’t seen in 150 years. One of our two major parties is a threat to our democracy.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

Of late, I much less likely to be gazing in the mirror to see the past. Yes, I do miss the optimism I had during President Obama’s administration, but now I am fired up to protect my children and grandchildren’s future. By protection I mean working to elect a democratic replacement for my Representative Spanberger and help her get elected to the Virginia Governor office. I will be doing all I can to make sure the Senate is secure and that the House becomes a a functioning legislative body.

Yes, I enjoy looking back at my life, remembering the good times, laughing at the funny things that happened, enjoying the music of my early days, but I am also a student of history and I am not blind to the past and its shortcomings. I always remember my mum saying you can’t just focus on the glory of the past, you have to own and address your full history. We have remember the past and own our nation’s full history and address our national shortcomings, and build on our strengths and change where change is needed.

Thank you for always, asking us to think.

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Thanks for sharing, Sharon.

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

Not at all. I prefer to always be looking to the future & how we can make US a more perfect union.

This amazing mosaic & tapestry of an America to become- more tolerant, loving & celebrating all it's diversity inspires me to remain politically active & encourage my 6 grands to stay involved

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

Yes in the sense that I believe that people are a culmination of everything that has happened to them in their lives. There is wistful nostalgia when you remember things like people you loved that have died and things you have done that filled you with joy and also mistakes you have learned from.

But that's different than the politics of nostalgia and resentment which is based in fear of the " other." Rooted in racism and bigotry and plays to people yearning for the time when women and people of color were second class citizens and fair game for oppression and acts of violence including murder.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

There’s absolutely nothing in the past I want to go back to.

I remember regular stories about a man beating his wife to death, & the woman was always blamed.

I remember men having no shame about raping & sexually assaulting girls & women. Laughing about it. I, too, remember the laughter.

I remember women not being able to get a divorce, and the social stigma if she was divorced.

I remember women dying from back alley abortions, & the abusive wayward girls “homes” that harvested babies to fund the Adoption Industry.

I remember LGB folks (TQ wasn’t a thing) being beaten to death. I know, still happens, but more people are out, & even married!

I could go on as this isn’t the half of what I remember. Like doctors always being men.

Not being able to open a bank account.

There’s nothing back there for me.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I had not given it much thought but now that you tapped into it, I realize that’s what I was feeling when I saw the clips. Like seeing old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. When they put on the sunglasses, I admit, I giggled like a school girl. 🤭

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I'm motivated by what this country can be. We've never been perfect. But we don't need to go backward.

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My husband, who is a mariner, taught me you have to look back as well as forward to stay in the channel. So yes, nostalgia is an important point of reference.

What few of us realize is how insidious propaganda is. Repetition of anything, including blatant lies, reprograms our brains, building new neural pathways. Add nostalgia, patriotism and fear to the equation and you a potent tool

for changing behavior. This is the why habit and addiction persist, even against our will. Advertisers learned this long ago, it’s the basis of all marketing. Fox News built an empire on it and others followed. Free Speech has been weaponize against America.

It takes determination and strength to override reprogramming even when we want to. Most MAGA Republicans believe their perception is correct and everyone else is wrong so they have no desire to change their thinking. We need more than a commander in chief right now. We also need a therapist in chief.

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Well said Diane. I heard once that consciousness was the ability to hold the past and future in the present. All three times are necessary in decision making.

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Wow, spot on! How do you get through to the people who just won’t listed to reality? That’s what’s so frustrating to me…

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Perhaps you question was rhetorical, but, if it wasn’t:

Start by understanding they are experiencing another reality. Your perspective and facts are irrelevant. You have no power to change their thinking. You can’t out fox 24 hour Fox News. The best you can hope for is to create cognitive dissonance in which your kindness conflicts with MAGA’s designation of you as enemy. Avoid scorn and arguments which only further poison reason and harden positions. I tend to ask questions and just step back and listen deeply. They often struggle to find answers which is a far better lesson than I can offer. And I search for small slivers of common ground to talk about.

We are all victims of an aggressive disinformation campaign by Russia who can only win by causing internal chaos in other nations. We must not allow Putin to make us enemies of our fellow Americans. Russia has already made tremendous progress so we are likely in for a long struggle.

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It’s China not Russia

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Honey your gaslighting! It’s CNN, Fox News and the rest! Get out of that bubble and you will realize all the lies they say about Trump. No he’s not a God of any sort and none isn’t perfect but no one is and our Country was striving. Unfortunately you can’t see how it’s no longer Democrat party it’s Marxist/Communist running the Democrat party and the evidence is everywhere. Obama is very much a Marxist and so is Hillary. Look at their Idols and that’s all you need to know. Trump isn’t perfect but he at least loves this Country and isn’t trying to destroy it!

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What lies were told about Trump. Please be specific. Also, how exactly are Obama & Hillary (Clinton) - neither is on the ballot, BTW - are Marxist/Communists? Again, please provide specifics that the "evidence is everywhere"? As someone who grew up in NYC and experienced Trump first-hand, he definitely DOES NOT love this country more than he loves himself.

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I suspect most of us wax nostalgic from time to time. That's probably a healthy exercise, but the past is just that, past. Something to learn from not retreat to.

It's tempting to project myself back into a time when the world didn't seem so complicated, edgy, dangerous. Realistically much of that feeling was borne of naivete.

Of course, it's easy to blame Donald Trump and his minions for much of the situation in which we now find ourselves today. While he is a truly ignorant, evil, badly damaged man, all Trumpism really did was pull the cover back from what was already there, just not as visible. Perhaps it's good that it happened now. The question becomes: What are we going to do about it?

No, while I'm an avid consumer of history, and I love reliving enjoyable times, I don't feel particularly motivated by nostalgia. Rather I'm more motivated by possibilities.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

“Nostalgia just isn’t what it used to be”

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I think it all depends on the message in the nostalgia; the call to higher service or just being a better version of ourselves. As for protesters, there will always be protests unless the party that hates Democracy gains power; then there will be no protests allowed. As a matter of fact, in many cities and towns now, the ability to protest has been circumscribed as to where protests can be held and under what circumstances. If you get into the street, it’s perfectly allowable for cars to drive into your protest so you’ve got to stay on the sidewalk. So you see how a mass protest would be problematic under such proscriptions. A trump would declare martial law and call out the national guard to clear streets and do whatever it would take to affect such. So while trump has maga and several right wing microphones to spew hate and discontent all over the place, we manage to get three Democratic Presidents(all still human)together to remind us of what we have to lose if people ignore all the sirens and warning signs that keep on screaming and flashing in front of us. I think the late John Lewis would say that this is “Good Trouble”.

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Mar 30Liked by Steven Beschloss

I’m not in the least motivated by nostalgia. First, I celebrate the remarkable recovery from the depths of the Covid shutdowns, recognizing the excellent use of good government in the recovery. All this in the face of ignorance, obstruction, and backward “nostalgia fantasy” in the opposition. MAGA is rooted in the fallacy that America was once great and we need to revert to some mythological time which really never existed. Racism, classism, intolerance have always lurked, and the beauty and validity of America is the striving for a better reality, no matter which “era” you examine.

Democracy is cumbersome, slow moving because of the massive population which is diverse in many ways. Coping and cooperating is hard, isn’t it? It should be.

We must strive, be forward looking, not nostalgic. Celebrate our heroes forefathers/mothers for their values and ideas and apply them to the current days. What we do next is always the most important thing.

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I'm a naturalized citizen and didn't learn the American history in formal way but my child's sharing it and the Clinton era and the "hearings" drew me in and then gwb was corronated, followed by hope filled Presidency of Obama and the (un)natural, ugly, and cruel outcome called drumfp. The sane people would imagine that loosing a family member, friend, a loved one to the once in a century pandemic would have woke up the "nostalgic, vying for "good old times" anyone or republicans. women,(their own wives/sisters/daughters etc) loosing basic rights and the rampant, uncontrolled corruption of drumfp would have woke them up to the reality. Seems like even the certainty of loosing the social security, Medicare, Medicaid, the protections of child labor will not move them.

It's frightening and infuriating that the saving of American democracy and global order falls on American voters while repubs, courts, scotus are actively taking away rights of non-nostalgic people who are not like them.

Thank you for this opportunity. I'm sure a lot of us are frightened, & stressed out with worries for country's and our/all childrens' future.

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It’s the Democrats who want to take away SS, Medicare and Medicaid. BTW all of us hard working people who paid into that and deserve it are losing it because Democrats are giving to the illegals who came here and didn’t pay into it. So it’s Socials/Communism taking from us hard working people to people who don’t deserve it.

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Not sure what history your learning but your one of the only citizens that has come here and believes Democrats are the way to vote unless of course you want communism. Communist vote Democrat

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I do not have fond memories of any Republican presidencies. I lost the best job I'd had to date under Reagan due to his "smaller government" policies; I remember H. W.Bush stating the the IRS should go after Iower-income taxpayers because they couldn't afford to appeal; there were W's terrible wars that were based on lies, plus his Great Recession; and now there are tfg's threats to democracy, decency, and truthfulness, and his promotion of hate and division.

I miss having admiration for most of our leaders, and our system of justice. I miss common decency. I miss a free press who holds officials to account when necessary. I miss being able to have meaningful and respectful discussions with people with differing viewpoints because of the risk of them devolving into vitriolic diatribes (not given by me, just to clarify ; )).

We can do better. We must do better. We need to focus on our common good, and that can only be accomplished if we cooperate and collaborate with each other. Concentrating on division only prevents us from addressing and solving problems, and maybe to the point of no return.

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The song “Those Were The Days” comes to mind when I think about nostalgia. The lyrics of the song : “Those were the days, my friend, we thought they’d never end. We’d sing and dance forever and a day. We’d live the life we choose. We’d fight and never lose. For we were young and sure to have our way.” But nostalgia doesn’t come to mind unless someone has sent me a meme of an old telephone or of songs like this one. I too, would rather look to the future or to the here and now. I think we are crawling out of the miserable hole we have been in when Trump ruled. I don’t have as much angst as I had had. Covid is still here, but is somewhat controlled now with vaccines. The economy is looking sharper and the infrastructure plan the Biden-Harris administration has put together is so promising for everyone. We have leadership who believes in the good of all people. We are fighting battles everywhere with the R Party which is gladly losing ground, Ukraine, and, of course, with Israel and Gaza. Navigating these conflicts takes strength and knowledge and I sincerely believe we are on the road to recovery. Rome wasn’t built in a day, my little German Jewish mother always said to me. It takes time and patience.

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Mar 31Liked by Steven Beschloss

I’m motivated by nostalgia in the music I choose to listen to. My motivation in voting is more current. The Democrats in all branches of government are getting a lot done that benefits all of us right now, and are generally decent people. The Republicans in government mostly serve a treasonous criminal con artist who’s bent on taking away our rights. I greatly appreciate what Clinton and Obama did, but the last eight years has trumped nostalgia in motivating me to vote Blue!

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My grandmother, who passed away in 1954, used to call me “Mr. President”! I wasn’t aware at barely 10 years old of what that meant! But I’ve always respected the office until Nixon came around but still realized what that office meant to our country, good or bad. Leadership is vitally important and until “45” was elected I realized what damage a bad President could wrought. That person awakened a dark part of our populace and brought the specter of such negativity that our democracy seems threatened at every turn. My grandmother perhaps saw something good in me and spurred me to be a better citizen. At nearly 80 I am committed to seeing “45” go by the wayside in complete disgrace.

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My first reaction to this post was to remember the lyrics of the Queen song “These are the Days of our Lives”, written by Roger Taylor during Freddy Mercury’s final days. The verses flip flop between past and present tense to remind us that while “the bad times in life seemed so few”, the present is what’s important. Nostalgia is useful in that motivates me to remember the hopes and ideals that have not been realized and to work towards their fulfillment. The theme of America America is one with these lyrics. . “And when I look and I find I still love you”.

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Nostalgia for earlier times blinds us, I fear, more than it helps. Each age of men faces unique challenges that press urgently for fitting response. We can seek inspiration and example in the past, but it must be clear-eyed and unromantic.

Americans today face a serious threat of worldwide war similar to that faced by the West in the 1930s. The West slept then, and America now sleeps again. Europe has awakened to the danger sooner, because it sits much nearer to the line of fire.

Nostalgia about WWII may easily mislead: we know how it turned out; those who faced it did not know until quite late how it would end.

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I'm not nostalgic, being an appreciator of the present moment. I do maintain many special bookmarks in time when I fully recognized and relished the deliciousness of the moment. Some were erotic, of course. One was living in the tropics and noticing how embracing the air felt, like a warm bath. These days, it's the moment of planting a tree and imagining it grown or hugging a squiggling grandchild. I do deeply miss the ambient confidence, held until January 2017, that even though our nation's leaders often made mistakes and were unduly colonialistic or aggressive towards others, they were never actively trying to kill me. The feeling in 2020 that left the profoundest wound was that our own (so-called) leaders wished me dead because I was old and liberal. I'm not up for reliving that, and all of my bigger plans depend on the outcomes in November.

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I was at an artist gathering this week in downtown Phoenix. I was surprised when the conversations turned to politics (book burning in FL and fear of losing our democracy). It wasn’t even ME who started these discussions! And it was so uncomfortably comfortable to be among likeminded individuals, some who are activists. It is often the artists who point these atrocities out so I don’t know why I was surprised. But, at one point, one gal said, “Do you remember how outraged we were about ‘W’ or the treatment of Obama? Simpler times and we didn’t even know it.” …I have nostalgia for the Obama days, taking my 8 yr old to an election rally. She still calls him her president and she is 24 now. And I remember our suburban book club exploding and disintegrating in 2008 over the election, Iraq, and such, which kinda makes me chuckle now. …but we are in uncharted territory with the over abundance of lies/disinformation and a lack of accountability. I try to convey this to my kids, that there were journalists we trusted to get our news (Cronkite, Brokaw, etc) and now my son follows a youtuber who discounts Biden’s employment record and believes what Putin said on Russia’s history in Tucker Carlson’s interview and may even vote for RFK. It’s frustrating as I am here on the ground fighting for women’s repro rights and Truth and can remember the era of Gloria Steinem and all fighting so hard for our rights as I was becoming a woman! We are all exhausted at this endless loop, fighting for really basic rights/values against a backdrop of Christian Nationalism (who are not Christians at all!) and disinformation coming from so many places. It seems much harder now. In a way, feels like we were kinda innocent as I look back at the Obama days. I was never a fan of Clinton and was never seeing the “charisma” everyone kept talking about (although I voted for him) but wow, Clinton days were good too. However, Nostalgia does not motivate me to make things better for my kids. I think knowing things CAN be better and believing they WILL be better after everyone has had enough of this historic corruption of a false orange cancerous president and the spineless yes-people he metasticized around him. I visualize that and I listen to truth seekers like Simon Rosenberg and Professor Cox Richardson and it helps. And working alongside so many righteous activists. But nostalgia? Not really. I think nostalgia can make us think things were rosier but maybe it was just glasses we were wearing at the time. I don’t really know.

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I truly hope you can convince your son to at least expand his choices of information Outlets.

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Denise, I’m working on it. At the end of our last conversation he said he’d like to get to know the local politics in VT better. So, maybe he will begin to see what’s really going on. Idk. He’s not in elementary school anymore so it gets pretty impossible to know where the influences come from. Glad my daughter is on the right track. I hope she can influence him.

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Gently remind him that there are two sides to every coin and he should check out the other side just to keep informed. Kids are pretty smart

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It's so interesting to reflect that until very recently, nostalgia in many ways defined Republican politics. Almost by definition, progressives looked forward, conservatives looked back. But MAGA-world looks neither forward nor back-- in Orwell's words, we have reached a time when "who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

I love and celebrate the progress that America has made, in so many areas of social inclusion and tolerance. To see that progress threatened is something different from the traditional notion of nostalgia. I am nostalgic for Barack Obama's message of hope. I am nostalgic for John McCain, who gently explained to one of his supporters that the man he was running against was a good man, who he happened to disagree with on the ways to make our country a better place. I am nostalgic for a time when Roe v Wade was settled law, when debate about ideas was possible, when fascist speech was at the margins rather than in the center, when a past president was not filling the space of public life with lies, slander and hate.

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Jill you knocked it out of the park (as we used to say of course). The McCain example is perfect and if you add the torture he endured for years. I had a cousin who shared that prison in Vietnam but kept his buddies alive for years with a daily joke that they all passed along somehow.But they believed they would come home someday and they did; so let’s share that optimism for the next 7 months until we kick that miserable hateful SOB and his go along mob in Congress out of government!

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When I was growing up, we had occasional polio outbreaks that closed the beaches in the summer. I'm not nostalgic for those. I don't wish to return to the days when people looked at me funny for associating with Black friends. I don't long for the days when women were routinely denied the same rights as men with no recourse. I do wish we could return to a time when a person could leave home, get a full-time minimum-wage job and pay for their rent, car payment, college fees (which included basic healthcare) and books, food, gas, utilities with no money from parents, and graduate with no debt. We've always had bullies and nastiness, but I miss the days when public figures refrained from making disparaging remarks about someone who was different because they knew it was wrong and would turn people off.

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Recently I've been listening to various conservative but democracy-supporting sources (The Bulwark, Liz Cheney, etc. ) They have indeed filled me with nostalgia for the days when I had Republican friends and could believe that while our policy ideas differed, we were all Americans and all supported democracy. I hope--but don't truly expect--that we might at some point return to those days.

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Trump may be pushing about 30% of the old fashioned Rs back to a more rational peaceful co-existence with the rest of us as he demonstrated last night by celebrating the disgraceful video of Joe tied up on the floor of a pickup truck! My hope is that a lot of the “his previous go alongs” are saying now “enough of him”?

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Yeah, no, not nostalgia unless it’s the memory of when we were making things better - ending the Vietnam war, passing and enforcing civil rights legislation, guaranteed reproductive rights. Then there came Nixon and Reagan. 50 years on the authoritarian id is loose in the nation and the most bigoted and ignorant politicians and judges are pushing us back to the 50’s. I’m more motivated by sorrow and rage - sorrow for what we’ve lost, rage at the people who took it away.

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I am motivated by nostalgia because if gives me fuel to face tomorrow, i.e., longing for our country to carry on the pro-diversity legacy of Robert F. Kennedy, Sr. So, for the record, even though I'm one of those "older Americans" you mentioned, I can assure you that I'm not looking for "a time when there was a clear white domination." In addition to fearing that we're going backwards in our race awareness, I'm concerned that your comment might cause others to think wrongly of "many older Americans." Perhaps a better term would have been "some," which can apply to any generation.

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Memories of the Clinton and Obama administrations provide hope for future success. They are not so much nostalgia for a lost, past time, as they are a source of confidence that such a time can be again. We must also remember that both administrations were hampered by limited vision (particularly the Clinton administration) and by an opposition party that became increasingly dedicated to obstruction, regardless of any negative impact on our country. We need to remain optimistic, roll up our sleeves, and commit ourselves to the kind of systematic organizing that has enabled the opposition to seize so great a share of power.

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If we are talking about Americana and the idea of some more "innocent" time, I would say that this is a complete fiction. There absolutely is no era of American history that is nostalgically better. All eras of America are both deeply problematic and interesting at the same time. I wish Americans were much better at critically regarding history without dissolving into puddles of tearful fragility. So utterly weak and unable to regard any era with rightful critical gaze. It isn't all sunshine and roses. Clinton certainly was not. Biden has had more success than Obama. Obama was smoother and inspirational in his speeches.

Of course people harkening back for times pre Voting Rights are ignoring Black Americans and the times forced upon them by America and for which America benefits still from the unpaid labor of their ancestors. Also Americans have experienced generational wealth that occurs from property ownership that started by squatting as complete illegal Euro settlers. But as Native people we are supposed to not bring that up too much because of the puddle of tender American tears.

All that said, I think it makes sense that there are times in everyone's lives that are very good no matter how bad it might have been collectively and it is human nature to look back on those times with fondness and warm feelings. What Americans, MAGA and liberals want is to be able to do so freely without being reminded of anything hard or difficult. Liberals are very bad at it too. Equality is interpreted as a loss of privilege. And its hard to realize that being aware of different experiences of America and at the hands of America is useless without action.

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No - nostalgia is a dead end trap. Those days are gone forever and thinking about them leads to all sorts of emotions that can then be manipulated. So I want to know - who is it who wants me to think about "the good old days" and why? Who wants to raise and then manipulate my emotions, and, again, why?

When was America great? I'll tell you - the day President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights act - knowing full well that it would create a generation-long political disaster for his Party - but he signed it anyway because IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. And he shouldn't have had to do it, either - which easily illustrates just how much America wasn't great as long as it deliberately withheld the promise and stewardship of America from a substantial number of her citizens.

I can't think of one "Party before Country" Republican who would have the balls, or the moral fervor, to do such a thing today - especially Trump. But, in answer to the question: That was when America was great.

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Lefty: I respectfully submit “unacceptable despair.” See you on Nov 6 after we kicked a majority of those SOBs out of Congress and sent the other guy packing on his way to prison! Much better days ahead!

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I wish I had your confidence. The world has changed. We all don't get our news from the same places anymore and so we all don't feel the same sense of outrage. It would be wonderful if clarity could suddenly be given to all those who are lost - but that genie is already out of the bottle.

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Nostalgia? I live in the past. "I Like Ike!" Bring back Camelot!

However, ... Don't you think Biden should hire Liz Ceney and Adam Kiplinger for something? Great presidents have voices if the opposition. These people saved America.

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Liz Cheney. Adam Kinzinger. . . . Spellcheck is clearly anti Republican and anti a coalition. Plus it screws up spelling of my references.

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I think they are much more effective as independent observers and commentators. She drew an amazing crowd of college students recently; they will make a significant statement by voting this year! We have to stimulate that vote so please go to a tremendously effective voter registration effort all across the country by Harvard students and contribute generously at www.TurnUp.US

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Progressives may be peeved but they saved their bacon as well! I'm seeing Adam next week. I'd like to let him know this idea has support.

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I'd say it rather depends on the kind of nostalgia you are talking about. I am certainly nostalgic for the times when the government simply worked, and while one might object to certain things (wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, some tax policies, some discrimination policies) in general it was safe to spend one's spare time contemplating stuff like Medieval History (one of my once hobbies) rather than worrying about the end of democracy or examining various federal statutes (like the PRA) to try to figure out WTF people were saying about them.

But there is also false nostalgia, nostalgia for times one never actually lived through. All the "back to the 50's stuff" isn't really possible for people who actually LIVED through the 50s, especially for women or minorities. I hated "midcentury modern" furniture styles right back in the mid century, when the trend for really uncomfortable chairs and flimsy tables was predominant. If you came of age in the 70s or 80s, it would be comparable for me being nostalgic for the 10 cent dinners of the depression. Cherry-picking an era you haven't experienced isn't nostalgia; it is delusion.

There were some things in my childhood I am nostalgic for, mostly the free-play freedom we had as kids to explore and take our own risks. But the whole package--naah.

Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement was the last time I felt compelled to follow politics closely because I could actually FEAR the results of those politics. But that is as nothing compared to how I feel compelled today. Dictatorship, Authoritarianism--those were things that happened elsewhere and I could note them and deplore them but not FEAR them on my home turf.

So am I motivated by nostalgia? Yes, but not for a time, but for an ATTITUDE that accepted that we were a democracy, however flawed, that we could work to improve (whether in a liberal or conservative direction) because we could debate with an understanding of what reality and evidence are. Emotion might affect our feelings about particular policies but didn't affect whether we could agree, for example, that a pizza parlor did or did not have a basement.

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Sigh...yes, I am motivated by nostalgia, but more than that I am motivated by people who have the moral courage to demand that WE triumph over the evil & lies of Republicans, their party, & their billionaire enablers. I am not seeing enough of that. The media have had 8 long years to admit that Trump stole the 2016 election by conspiring with Russians, some Feds (Comey), & the entirety of the mostly white, male beltway! Trump took the narrative & falsely claimed Hillary cheated, then went on to make the identical claim about Biden four years later. Most of the press allowed his twisted gibberish, propaganda & lies to stand for almost a decade & they STILL cannot admit to that fact. Well I'm not afraid to say it, because it's the truth. Trump is being sued for interfering in the 2016 election. That is what the case is. It's not a "hush money" case. Why didn't a single journalist DEMAND the GOP be held accountable for their open corruption, anti-democratic policies, speech & schemes to destroy our government? And who are corrupt republicans to change our respected & cherished institutions & beliefs designed to give everyone a fair chance to a self-dealing corrupt government led by fascist GOP with a win at all costs & destroy your opponent's character via lies, rumors & propaganda. So far they have had no social or political cost for decades of misleading the public, lying about Democrats & spreading baseless propaganda.

I have no doubt that we would not be all watching another slow-motion coup as billionaires line up behind an incompetent, racist, criminal if only some journalists had done their jobs, done what was right & told the truth. What the press has done to Bill Clinton is another reason this is happening. They ALLOWED corrupt Republicans to break the law, & hound a sitting president with a corrupt partisan special prosecutor because they wanted to leave it to history to sort out? Was that it? Or was it because they actually believed all those trumped up stories based on rumors. How many bothered to find out the facts? Did any bother to follow the money the GOP offered to women to make up stories? Or maybe it was because they thought having a dalliance in the white house was worse than the drugs, murders, & wars the Bushes caused & the corruption Bush Sr. brought with his C.I.A. status

Instead of learning from past experiences, press hacks have doubled down in dismissive, biased behavior to this day towards Pres. Clinton while sickeningly attempting to whitewash the illegitimate presidency (& I can & will prove that if challenged) of Bush Jr. & praise his father like he was some man of virtue. I'm looking at you MSNBC! Bush lied about being a CIA agent, lied about Iran-contra, lied about the drugs, had Barr get him off on his impeachable crimes, used CIA & FBI to protect himself, & then pardoned all his coconspiriters. He literally created a blueprint for Trump to follow & both Bush Jr. & Trump used the same group of criminals & brought them back into the white house for another bite at the apple. No one called the corruption out except to say they thought it was a bad idea. Now they're planning to do the same thing. Will the broken 4th estate continue to pretend they don't remember how the GOP was power hungry & so full of entitled rage after 12 yrs or authoritarian rule that Gingrich tried to take over Clinton's presidency. The GOP started referring to Dems as "the enemy" & wanting to be a "one-rule" state government. They basically admit they want to be fascists & no one sets them straight...because he's a Democrat? Yet the press never called it out or raised alarms to a necessary degree. I guess they were too busy chasing Clinton for being a Democrat, a liberal & from having the audacity to be from a state like Arkansas. The press, DOJ, government officials & those in power did not act when it was necessary to reign in those that were not respecting the office of the presidency & the rule of law.

The universal maxim "All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing" is still true.

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It was good to see them giving Biden his due for the job he's done. But I was never that big a fan of either of the two former Presidents. Clinton turned too conservative, and Obama didn't deal with Congress well, and let the conservatives influence him too much. I think Biden is a better President than either of them. What motivates me is the idea of how much more he can accomplish if he has a strong Congress behind him. There's a lot of work to be done.

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Celebrating my 70th birthday, my 8th decade, I was asked what would I change? Nothing. I am still that girl who sees the world as possibilities, miracles and magic and seeks solutions.

To me, nostalgia is nothing more than a glimpse at the wishes, hopes, dreams and feelings from my "days of future passed" when needed.

It is the ancestors and our collective past pushing us to be better humans, to flourish, to create, to navigate the paths ahead and courageously forage into the future.

The thought that our penchant for nostalgia could extinguish everything we've accomplished and achieved is as heartbreaking as it is motivating.

Future generations of elders are emerging. I wonder what nostalgic legacy are we building for them?

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This week I was floored by the death of Louis Gossett, Jr. As a young teen I vividly remember watching “Roots”. Regardless of the actual family history of the author, I saw a history of our nation that was then and now on full display of the abuses of Americans who do not look like white, christian men, by white males. Fortunately, not all- BUT too damn many wish to return to a world over 100 years ago. I had a cousin, of my father’s generation (Dad’s 86) say in the 1990’s that everyone should own 2-3. And that bullshit lives today in his offspring and the other men of my generation. As a native of MS? The only thing to be proud of is the arts and artists we have sent out into the world. Morgan Freeman is the one who comes to mind as literally still keeping a home instate. But those of us who left know there is nothing to be found looking backward and just grateful to escape.

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I am "Somewhat" motivated but more than likely just enjoy it when I am presented with it Steven.

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Sometimes nostalgia can be a big positive in someone’s life. For example, when depression results from a long-term illness or lack of mobility, thinking back to earlier productive/successful/happier times can be very calming and encouraging. This is not to suggest that helping to keep our present and future better for everyone is not needed. It is. Participation in this goal is important for all of us at the level to which we are capable.

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Obama said he could put anyone even US citizens on his kill list and they would be killed

No trial involved

That is not democracy

These men are all frauds

USA is a fake democracy

It’s an oligarchy

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I only want to spend time understanding history so I can learn from it, not to resurrect it. Although, I would not mind hearing “I want to hold your hand” live one more time……..

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The older you grow, the more you look back with nostalgia,like Barbra Streisand's The Way We Were.Obama got the ACA passed which Republicans have, ever since, tried to cancel.And of course, trump's health plan's to be appearance in two weeks was a joke.Admired by European countries to this day and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, he haunts trump, fills him with jealousy. I'll never forget watching a little black boy walking home from his bus stop, all alone, dancing, skipping with a big smile and an aura of joy and pride surrounding him when Obama was elected president.

Clinton will always be identified with the Monika business. It seemed to provoke more damnation than

FDR's Lucy, Ike's Kay, JFK's Marilyn and LBJ's who knows how many. But he not only balanced the budget but brought a surplus. He had charisma, everybody liked him, and oh, what a politician. Plus, he was cool, up there on the Tonight Show stage playing his saxophone like he was Houston Person.

"I've make mistakes and I've been hard hit. I say so what, so what if I did, I'm the clear eyed, I'm the comeback kid."

Obama called Biden his brother.Became a senator at 29 in 1979. The present average age of an American is 39 years old. Born in 1985 when the biggest tech thing was the invention of the CD. So half of Americans have grown up in a far different world than the President. Many can't tell what the Civil War was about, but are now calling through people like MTG for a civil war. They did not live through Hitler, fascism, holocaust. Thus, we have Biden poll number at a low, 37% approval and people like Charlie Kirk, turned down by West Point, no college, influencing our young people. Biden is a compassionate man, probably due to the personal suffering he has endured.He has done good things for America and called for more. but instead of praise, he receives blame for all that is wrong. And perhaps, he is at fault for some. Should have done more about immigration, I don't know how but something to control food prices ( one of those Japanese oranges yesterday sold for $2.91! ) One way or another, he could do more about guns, daily shootings. These things right now, concern us more than wind turbines, electric cars. I think I am like most of you-a real hatred for trump. But I feel no excitement when I think of Biden. I believe that is the way most of the Democrats feel, yet, we shall vote for him. I myself, still like Bernie !!A Jewish man who wants Israel's policies towards Palestinians to stop.He speaks directly to the American people about their needs. hopes, is direct, honest, straight forward. He reminds me of Harry Truman. I also liked the humility of Pres. Carter who wore sweaters to keep the WH electric bill down and whose still, forever home is valued at a mere $167,000.

Nostalgia also becomes personal. At home, we got the daily paper which I had to read news stories before I could check on Dagwood and Blondie . There was no talking at the supper table while the radio news was on at 6:00. It was safe to walk home after dark from the movies. I could read any book. A junior high English teacher, while we worked at our desks, spent the time reading, of all things, the dictionary. It is now banned in parts of Florida. Imagine ! Celebrities wore clothes. Singers didn't jump all over the stage. People talked. Door to door salesmen sold encyclopedias, vacuum cleaners. A woman who lived above us (a two family house) ran her sweeper after anyone had visited. Vacuum salesman one day got in, demonstrated by throwing some dirt on her carpet and proceeded to prove his product would clean it promptly. Ha ! It didn't. She chased him and his machine down the steps and up the street screaming like a banshee. We never saw him again.

Anyway . . . For a divided country,an old English song by Vera Lynn; We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day.

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founding

Wow Rita you really brought us back to the old days which weren’t so good but they were all we had! Thank you even though of course I disagreed with some of your conclusions.

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I always look forward to the next adventure in life. But I must say when I sub teach I do find myself telling students some great stories from the past!

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That's very inspiring. Thank you, Sharon.

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These days are uniquely fraught- we ALL need a bit of comfort. I’ve been voting (following my parents’ example, passed on to my children) for over 50 years now. I would have loved to have been there the other night. The “nostalgia”? It was more than slipping on a comfortable old sweater- it matters who delivers the nostalgia, since that’s what you called it. Those were great messengers. And they did not just look back- they reminded us of what was and is being done by Administrations that did and are doing the work of the people. And they urged us on to work together towards a common future 🇺🇸

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Mar 30·edited Mar 30

It is well documented that we are attached to the culture, music, and may be the most charismatic political leaders at the time we came of age.

An earlier generation had fondness for JFK; in the 90s its hard to look past WJC :)

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No one is forcing you to sat in US. You might be much happier in fascist countries like Russia, China, Hungary, Syria or Iran.

You are entitled to your opinion but not not your own state of facts.

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It saddens me to say that this is a relation of mine. Uncle Yuri used to be so charming to have around on family holidays. Last Kwanzaa all he did was sip limoncello and rant fascistically about “safer cities” and ending the military industrial complex. Straight out of Putin’s playbook. Sadder to say that I can’t invite him to my non-binary child’s joining ceremony to another Mx (like a wedding but not trans-exclusionary).

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He comes here to troll and advertise his Substack. His namesake claimed to be a KGB defector. One of the namesake’s more interesting quotes a few decades ago regarding how ideological subversion occurs in the open:

“What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

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You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. Well said!

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I’m nostalgic for when AM talk radio was the only real source of fear mongering history distorting white grievance right wing bullshit and it wasn’t so easy for cheap knockoff pundits to find an audience for their stupidity.

I’m also nostalgic for when conservatives didn’t promote the interests of our Russian adversaries and make crackpot anti vax stupidity a central element of their agenda.

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I think you can get through to him. DM him. If so, tell him to call Aunt Martha. She wants to hear from. She loves him. The only way to defeat Putlerism is through love.

Peace, brother.

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I thought there was to be no trolling on here.

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I for one think that if Yuri could just agree on what Beschloss writes here then a useful debate would begin.

As salaam alaikum and Happy Transgender Weekend of Rememberance.

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It’s not facts to say Democrats are soft on crime and Dem-led cities are more dangerous. Look at crime rates in red states. Anyway, enough of your trolling.

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This is hilarious. Right wingers rarely engage in any actual debate outside of their controlled safe spaces. When they do peak out from their ideological bunkers, such as when they go to court and are subjected to rules of evidence, they routinely get their clocks cleaned.

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It isn't censorship to call out a person who can't follow a simple request by the author of this piece. I am not here for an argument. If you respond to me further, I will ignore you.

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