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The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution steeped in the laws for a democratic republic

As Ben Franklin stated, We have given you a republic, IF you can keep it.”

For 248 years even thru a Civil War, democracy has prevailed

However, today we face a true 'enemy within,' a GOP & it's march towards Fascism.

They are even bragging about via Project 2025 & they want Convicted Felon Trump to be it's leader...for now

We must vote them out in numbers too large for them to cheat about because they are planning to contest every election at every level of governance

"Your vote is your voice-Never silence it"

https://www.americanprogress.org/series/project-2025-exposing-the-far-right-assault-on-america/

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Democracy to me means the right to vote, the majority rules, I can speak my mind, I can openly disagree with my President. No, I don’t believe there is an America without democracy. And the GOP is doing everything they can to take America away from the rest of us. We will survive the disaster that is the current SCOTUS. We will NOT survive another go-round with Orange Jesus at the wheel. We must vote, in numbers too large to doubt, and send this odious man and his sycophants to the garbage heap. Our democracy depends on it.

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Wait a minute, the gop is what?

Which party is attempting to keep rfk off the ballot?

Take a big long deep breath and realize that a convicted felon will be elected the 47th president of the United States

Are you ready for that?

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I thought the 4th president was James Madison. And if you’re talking about the current GOP CONVICTED FELON front runner being reelected, yes I have a huge problem with that.

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what's the problem?

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what's the problem?

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such a positive tone you strike - our founders would be so proud

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Jun 15·edited Jun 15

Actually our founders would likely be quite proud of voting against a convicted criminal and wannabe despot / authoritarian. They were very concerned about foreign influence on a future executive; one who committed “high crimes and misdemeanors”; and that one could become like a monarch.

The other guardrails to prevent this have either failed or bent. It is now up to the voters to once again say “no” to the guy who wants to be a dictator; who is out for “vengeance” and who has said the Constitution should be terminated. It would be even better to also give his acolytes the boot.

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even better to the boot - as a fellow convicted felon with restored voting rights - just the things some on your side advocate for - our founders were traitors against their crown and king. The were convicted felons, as it were. Our founders created a system that encouraged voting. Period. If you choose to calling those that vote for the candidate you do not prefer anti-democratic for voting, I believe that’s wrong.

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Well maybe you should pay attention to the weasels words . He’s been very clear about his plans . Going after people that disagree with him. Putting people in Concentration Camps .

That just doesn’t strike me as Democracy .

Following through with all of Putins demands . That just seems very undemocratic to me . Just for starters.

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wow Patricia - you fascinate me. I pay close attention to words. I am a writer. I'm more interested in the meanings put into words. In other words, your words, although not bulleted, still strike at an elusive target. The Bad Orange has never targeted voters. I find the that just calling him a "weasel" weakens your point.

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In some states convicted felons still can not vote. The founders came to America to start a nation and be free from a Monarchy and start a new way of government. Our fathers and grandfather's fought for freedom against those who want to take freedom from us and take our rights away. Criminals should not have the opportunity to run for public office.

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Ok , you are entitled to your opinion, thank you for your input.

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You are using weasel words to suggest it is ok to target voting officials, judges and a selection of private citizens for opposing him on grounds of his character. Everybody I’ve just listed is a voter. So you are being deceptive.

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The founders were no more “convicted” felons than Donnie was before he was convicted. Restored rights are for those who have paid their debt or are pardoned. Donnie has not paid his debts but he pardons all the felons in his circle of friends.

For decades he did most of his crimes through his companies so the companies paid the price. When he cleared the land for trump tower he was caught hiring undocumented Polish workers & cheating them out of their pay. Another time his & his dad’s discriminatory conduct against renting to Blacks was traced back to their instructions. More recently 2 of his companies were found guilty of a total of 14 felonies for tax evasion. Just the cost of doing business the trump way. Kind of like how he wants to run the country.

The founders devised a representative form of democracy - a republic. They did not “encourage voting”. They set up a discriminatory voting process that favored their social class (merchants, wealthy, well educated etc whites). They had their doubts about giving the ordinary folks too much power.

I have not called voters “anti-democratic” for voting. OTOH, it is quite plain to see a substantial number of voters are making an “anti-democratic” choice. Some deliberately & others for the mirage of a promised trumplandia.

The deliberate ones deny democracy as a basis of our government. I’ve watched them be quite clear about wanting a dictator. Others say “retribution” and “revenge” against those who disagree. In their ignorance they believe it will only fall on those they oppose.

His history in office was a learning process. Like other wannabes, he didn’t get the knack of destruction until late in his term. Project 2025 is the solution to that - with its organizers, funders & database of vetted loyalists.

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What is your problem?

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She's a fool and so is anyone that votes republican. You throw out a token on newsmax and expect thinking people to sway their opinion of fools? If congress was Democratic by a big margin most of the crap that ppl bitch about would be solved. Of course you'd still be whining about ppl of color except to throw them out as tokens.

Good laws that would help people are trumped because of ignorant tripe and lies thrown out by folk Iike you. There is no goodness or joy in maga eyes you are all victims of your own lives and expect everyone else to swallow your grievances. But, not I or my family and friends, we see who you are.

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Wow I actually feel sorry for you. To be so self absorbed and lash out to others both a different perspective is so fascinating to me.

You're such a racist you make me sick.

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Excuse me but no one is better than lashing out at people and deriding them than Donald Trump. He I is also a chronic liar. As far as CNN your remarks regarding economy under Trump. You are misinformed . Look at any legitimate tracking from Trumps economy to Bidens current economy , Trumps economy was not as stable. Also he pushed even more money at the wealthiest people in the country , and did little for the middle and poor people in this country. He also seized upon information that people of color were the ones most likely to die from COVID and he with his advisor son in law , then decided to send folks back to work . Interesting . And also began to loosen Mask advisories.

So you of course are entitled to your opinion, but you might want to get some more information re the Reality of Trumps previous reign.

It will only be worse if he is elected again . Of course his plan is again to not accept the election if he doesn’t win.

And where have we seen this unbridled fascism before . In Trumps fascist mentor Vladimir Putin.

Sorry if my words are offensive , but they are accurate.

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Yup. Donnie also pushed $$ out to the wealthy in other countries. (For instance the “Brazilian brothers” of JBS. With the other hand he raked in $$ from other countries who wanted political favors & us taxpayers.

Birds of a feather … feathering one another’s nests.

https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2024/04/wesley-and-joesley-batista-are-back-on-jbs-s-a-s-board-of-directors/

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Uhm. As far as civil discourse goes I give this a D. The person who leans Trump here is being told that only a fool would vote republican. How does that help? Or did I miss provocation or unforgivable escalation somewhere? I’m on the Dem side to be clear.

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So having an opinion instead of expressing phony both sides ism is wrong, is that what you're saying? Ric Leczel is a troll. Do what you like with that information. Trump is a psychopath who has turned a political party into a cult. My advice to you is to stay out of "discourse" that upsets your need to condemn everyone you don't think is nice.

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I don’t know where you got the phony both sides ism. I acknowledge that Ric may be a troll. I also acknowledge I came into the middle of a conversation and probably should have left it alone. In fact I will do that now.

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Thank you. What explains life long dem voters switching to trump? ALL of them are tokens, or gullible, or taken advantage, or don't understand?

That's racism defined.

At least you have some integrity, intellectual and otherwise

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I’m not sure. And I do wonder the source of the information and how many switching Dems are being referred to. Like are these particular survey results, etc.

But more than that, what about you personally? If you’re voting for Trump, why? What do you think he will be able to accomplish that you really like and can get behind?

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here's a good look at the issue https://www.brookings.edu/articles/are-black-voters-deserting-biden/

Personally - i think the bad orange steps on his dick more than a rabid hog does - but the four years of his presidency were a marked difference from uncle joes. I prefer inflation under 2%, less crime, less than 10 million illegal aliens - including about 400 known terrorists - no wars, no lawfare, no Jew-hating in the streets by politically protected classes - (seriously in the NY Jew-hating riot the other day - a sign was observed "fags 4 hamas" - think about that. Joe Biden is allowing that in the streets and subways. My daughter lives in NY and rides subways - are you ok with mobs expelling Jews from subway cars?

Last question - Joe Biden is driving the car - in rush hour traffic in Boston - are you sitting in the backseat cheering him on? Would you have taken the keys by now if he was your uncle?

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I dont have a problem. not everyone voting for the bad orange likes him, but individuals make individual decisions. maybe some voters dont like being called names for exercising their civic duties

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If people are truly informed regarding the consequences of a second Trump presidency, and they still vote for him, they aren't doing their civic duty.

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what does "truly informed" mean? are the black women - lifelong Democratic voters in Chicago, Brooklyn, etc - fed up with migrant crime and confiscation of diminishing resources not "truly informed" because they are voting for trump? can you understand for one second why someone might differ from you?

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My point was understanding the consequences of a second Trump presidency. If someone truly understands the consequences and still votes for him, they are voting for the end of democracy. That's not civic minded. I do understand that not everyone will vote the way I do. That's kinda the point of democracy, don't you think?

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Did someone call you a name?

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Orange Jesus at the wheel. We must vote, in numbers too large to doubt, and send this odious man and his sycophants to the garbage heap.

why can't voters who choose differently than you just be voters? why sycophants?

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Because if you choose authoritarian fascists that's who you are.

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Democracy is hope. Hope that I have power in my vote to make things better. It is all of us believing that individually and together we work for the hope of a more equal and peaceful world.

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author

Nice way to put it.

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Jun 15·edited Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

I fell in love with White when I was in high school, and my English class read and discussed his wonderful essay, "Once More to the Lake." In the 49 years since I graduated, I have owned 2 volumes of his essays, the books "Charlotte's Web" and "Stuart Little," and when Yankee Magazine printed a piece on his farm in Maine being up for sale several years ago, I saved that issue for ages. He and Wendell Berry are my literary idols and symbols of what it means to be an American writer. Thank you for this piece.

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Republicans have for many years worked to elect a president who is not brilliant or particularly capable, but who could be manipulated through flattery and false subservience. (Dick Cheney more or less ran the George W. Bush show.) They thought Trump would be the perfect tool but badly miscalculated. Now they are the tools of a narcissistic psychopath who aims to be an autocrat.

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When someone said the Constitution is hanging by a thread I had to think not very long on that popular statement. No, our Constitution holds fast. It is the written instructions of protection against those within and without who seek to destroy it and all of us. Yes, we must fight for the democracy the Constitution affords us. That parchment is not an army, it is not a court, it is not a Superman come to save us. It is a way of life, a way of freedom. It is a manifesto of all that is good and right in our country. It includes all of us and gives us a platform to keep all of us free. We save ourselves and we use the Constitution to define what we are saving and why. It is not a piece of fiction, nor a too high an ideal. It is what we are, what we have always strived for. It is our list we carry with us in our hearts and with us as we take to the secrecy and sacredness of the voting booth. It is the opportunity to make good our pledge as children to the United States of America. It is not a Holy Writ but a sacred journey to be the very best of what it is to live in this magnificent country.

As a result of the thoughtful ideals and instructions contained within the Constitution, we have a form of government, although battled bloody sometimes, that exists because men of foresight saw us as a true embodiment of freedom and industry in an impossibly big land. Our democracy is established and now will be kept by adhering to time honored ideals put forth in our Constitution. Therefore, I cannot and will not conceive of our country without democracy. Those who loudly proclaim our democracy is flawed and no longer worth keeping are wrong and they join the ranks of many in history whose names are merely a mention in their misguided attempts to grab power from the hands and hearts of our citizens. At this time, they seem strong and loud, but they too will fail as other before.

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These are my feelings exactly. We may be flawed but we have the freedom to keep trying to do better; always. That defines my America.

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Extremely well stated! Thank you! :)

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I will read your Substack when you start it. :)

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Democracy is the ability to vote to make a difference in our nation. I see these trumpsters stating that "America is a republic, not a democracy". America is a democratic republic governed by the rule of law by the will of the people. It is frightening just how fragile this concept is in the era of Trump.

Historians will not be kind when they write about this time in America.

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Civility and caring for your neighbor!

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I do recall that de Tocqueville, in his 1830s tour of America, looked with interest at the town halls and fraternal organizations that marked small-town life across the country, and appraised it as a testament to the omnipresence of democracy in everyday American life, in contrast to its hyper-individualistic tendencies he noticed and warned against.

I don’t think America is America without democracy. Of course, it has to be buttressed by a sense of freedom from “economic royalists”, as FDR called them.

At the time of de Tocqueville’s visit, Henry Clay and Albert Gallatin were midway through their careers and promoted a macroeconomic system that used moderately high tariff money in public banks to invest in infrastructure, resulting in more jobs and dynamic local economies. FDR kept the basics and added government-owned arms factories, aggressive antitrust enforcement, Social Security, and the right to form a union.

With today’s culture of unprecedented stock buybacks, a more powerful auto and real estate lobby, a bloated for-profit military-industrial complex, and oligopoly, we need more economic democracy--paired with a new collective faith in that old-timey Yankee civic nationalism. What could be more American than that?

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

Without the trappings of democracy, we would be a nation of fear and fear mongers. Our rights, now so precariously threatened, is what makes America, America. We are one people, and the divisions that currently render us vs. them, will--they must--fade away. Democraacy is voting without fear, expressing opinions without fear, marching in defiance of what is wrong, without fear.

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author

Well said.

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

America is the land we originally conquered. We call America Home.

America without Democracy,

America without our Bill of Rights,

America without our Declaration of Independence,

America without our Constitution,

America without Democracy, is a Prison, of our own making.

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

As a woman and a person of color, I am terrified of a world under trump and maga, the party formerly known as the gop. I use to be able to live with repubs because we could have honest discussions regarding our differences of opinions. But maga doesn't want to discuss with me. They want to tell me their grievances or what's wrong with me. They do not argue policy. And now maga has the backing of Christian Nationalists. I believed I lived in a country of freedoms. Freedom to choose a religion or not. Freedom to marry who I want. And I married a white man in 1981. A lot different from my black father marrrying my white mom in the 50's. BTW, my birth certificate said white because of the times. Democracy meant for me we had moved forward. I can live where I want and do what I want within the law. But that freedom, that democracy of choices, is at stake. The movement is different. To take away my choices is to take away my democracy. We must save our democratic republic.

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Yes, Kimberly, we have to do everything to save our republic! Democracy means that we value one another and that we value our choices. I married outside of my religion and defied my parents. They said our relationship would never last. We just celebrated 48 years of marriage together after being with one another for 54 years. I do not want to see anyone end up in a concentration camp like my grandparents did. But this is the threat we are facing from maniacal religious freaks. Anyway, I am glad that Steven put that question to us.

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Respect to you Mr. Beschloss. Thank you

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thanks Steven Beschloss….

My thoughts…

Democracy means that in our United States we can vote.

My vote counts even when the majority votes differently.

Through the years our imperfect democracy has decided that:

*All men regardless of their ethnicity or prior slavery status obtained the right to vote (February 3, 1870)

* Women obtained the right to vote

(August 18, 1920)

Women & Men:

*can own property,

*choose their work profession,

*choose their spouse,

*choose divorce,

*sometimes make the same salary as the opposite sex.

* could make decisions about their healthcare in consultation with their local medical providers. Since the Dobbs decision that has changed for women who live in certain States.

Our future democracy….

I’m hopeful that the majority of Americans will choose to support a democracy that includes equality of both benefits and responsibilities.

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Otherwise we would just be Russia

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I like the notion of the hole in the stuffed shirt. Or a dent in a high hat. This is a country for everyone—-not the uber-rich, not mafia bosses, but everyday people. Perhaps if the kind Trump says he could shoot on Fifth Avenue with impunity?

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

My Republican friends often say "We're not a Democracy, we're a Republic". To me, that's a talking point promoted by the right to groom the thinking that Democracy is unnecessary. With the erosion of democracy comes an open doorway for autocrats. Which is why so many of us believe it is our duty as Americans to protect it.

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Jody, I have been hearing (well, I have been trolled with rude assertions about) this same “We’re not a democracy we’re a republic” bit. I guess technically we are a constitutional republic. But when I said to someone that we were a constitutional republic based on democracy and freedom the person got bent out of shape and declared the constitutional republic was “against democracy” not for it. Don’t know what they were talking about. Does anyone?

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Sadly, our place as that shining beacon of democracy on a hill by others in the world has already been severely damaged if not completely destroyed. It’s very sad that so many had to die to earn it and the freedoms that come with it and yet we have had so many people willing to throw it all away.

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Democracy is a belief system that people have a common conscience of right vs. wrong and a belief in their ability to promote, through government, the will of the people to uphold the conscience of right along with consequences and accountability towards those who transgress it.

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It's simply a system of majority rule. If we have enough bad people voting for Trump, those lofty goals will be replaced by widespread corruption and unchecked power.

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I think it is more than that. I also believe the guardrails failed because the founders put too much faith in politicians. The “checks and balances” they put in place have proved to be weak kneed when faced with the choice of power versus protecting the country, our rights, etc.

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simply voting for a candidate makes those voters "bad people"?

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

Democracy is a mutual agreement to accept the will of the majority. We compete in the market of ideas and accept the winner. We treat our fellow citizens with respect regardless of political differences. We honor the process even when we don’t agree with the outcome.

This is the very foundation of America. Our execution is flawed and subject to corruption as is every human institution, but, it repeatedly gives us the opportunity to self correct. Without democracy we cease to be America.

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Lovely just lovely words!

I was struck especially by this phrase of White’s:

Democracy …..”the feeling of vitality everywhere…”.

The Far Right cultivates dread and morbid predictions -the opposite of “Vitality”.

The knot and turbulence churning in my stomach is due to the attempted throttling of our Democracy and ALL that we know:

The opposite of Vitality.

I still embody Hope whenever I can. White’s words are helpful.

If only my blood pressure would drop!😵‍💫

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founding

Democracy is the bucket brigade that puts out the fire. It’s not talking over the answer. It’s knowing the government has your back in a crisis or when someone rips you off. Democracy is what keeps the rich and violent from ruining our lives for money and kicks.

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I love this. Would you explain what you mean about not talking over the answer?

Would it be things like: respecting the rule of law, respecting that we are a diverse society with democratic laws protecting the equality of our citizens? Those are just my guesses, curious what you were thinking of regarding not talking over the answer.

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founding

IMHO, democracy is built on civil discourse and confidence that reason and verifiable facts produce the best solutions.

On the downside, civil discourse doesn't sell newspapers, attract PAC donations, fire up voters, or guarantee you'll get what you want. Which is probably why businesses prefer autocrats they can bribe and zealots want warriors instead of problem-solvers.

Thanks for the shout out.

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Great summary. Thanks. I generally agree with your well-stated conception.

I also think we must bring out the Biden voters in every state with all human and fiscal resources at our collective disposal, so dreary and dystopian is the alternative.

That said, I personally need to take more action. Now.

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uh not really- it's 50% + 1

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God bless E. B. White, perhaps America's most sage, witty and humble philosopher.

I quote him (through Charlotte) often, when sharing thoughts on humility with my grandchildren.

"'Humble?' said Charlotte. ‘Humble’ has two meanings. It means ‘not proud’ and it means ‘near the ground.’ That’s Wilbur all over. He’s not proud and he’s near the ground.'"

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What a wonderful book for all ages!

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So much so, I reread it every year.

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

“Land of the free” wouldn’t mean much.

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Democracy for me is a place where when the government is threatened by a clear and present danger that comes in the form of a domestic Fascist movement including members of Congress behind a sitting president who having lost an election tries to overthrow the government to stay in power, does something about it contemporaneously.

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Jun 16Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you, thank, thank you Steven for that E.B. White quote. I've been looking for it for months, mistakenly attributing (and misquoting) it to William Allen White.

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Keep Up Your Great Writing on America in the @21st Century and the Status of American Democracy in 2024. The Heart & Soul of 'Our American Democracy" is being challenged in 2024! "Saving American Democracy" -"SAD" -for Future Generations of Americans is at stake in 2024.! Americans need to agree that "American Democracy" is a precious "Gift of Freedom" which requires Americans to Know Our American History in order to Protect Our United States Constitution & Bill of Rights for Future Generations of Americans.

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Until this horrible situation came about in the U.S., I lived in a democracy. As you say, Steven, our relationships are becoming poisoned, at least mine are. We share nothing, the Other is either right or wrong. Solutions are lost, compromise and reconciliation have been put aside. "Freedom" comes to mind, and I read that the group that sued to end the "abortion" pill calls itself Freedom something. "Liberty" and "Justice" have become having it my way.

The country seems to be defined by its personal and collective greed, in which it is every man for himself. There is no common good. I am trying to learn how to live in this new place.

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I don’t want any of us to have to live in that place. I can only hope we or our children (hopefully we, though!) can look back someday and see it as a passing phase. The internet doesn’t help on the connection side. But positive leadership matters. The Obama days were beautiful in that regard. Like an age of innocence, looking back on them.

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Jun 15Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you, Steve. I will copy this, frame it, and place it where I can see it every day.

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I was taught that it was my duty to support, as best I could, and vote for my choices of candidates for public office. If that candidate lost that was just the way it was. I had to either work harder or choose differently next time.

My wife and I were ticket splitters in every election until 2018. That was when it became evident that this Republican Party no longer believed in America.

I don't believe the Republicans will prevail in the 2024 election, but we, who oppose what the Republican Party has become must assume a posture of sheer and unabashed punishment at the ballot box. Their rejection of America and foray into theocratic oligarchy must become a lesson that won't soon be forgotten.

So, no, should we reject democracy, this will no longer be America.

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Such a shame that such a large percentage of the public doesn’t believe or understand this. Moreover, they don’t seem to care or recognize that a storm is coming.

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And that is because, in large part, the news media thinks it's more fun and more lucrative to do stories on Trump and the far right. Democracy was never meant to be taken for granted, but here we are.

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Thanks, Steven. America is certainly a geographically defined area of land but the thing that makes American exceptional is its commitment to democracy. It would be disgraceful if we voluntarily threw it away.....and for what, a completely amoral, vile, sociopathic human being. The degree of support for Trump is such a disturbing mirror into the character of Americans. I hope that he is defeated in November and that, with that defeat, his influence will finally fade. Just as the German and Japanese people went back to being normal after their evil leaders were defeated. But my fear is that Trump has tapped into something real, unfortunately, in a large portion of the American people, and so even if he is defeated, we will see people like Hawley, Cruz, Greene, Vance, etc seek to be his successor. I am very worried for the future of the country and am grateful to people like you, Steven, who are working hard to preserve the better angels of America's nature

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Voting. Raising my right hand to serve my country. Volunteering in the community. Equal Rights for all people. Representatives who serve the people they represent. Being able to vote out those who do not represent us. Equal justice for all - no matter who they are.

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Democracy is the ability of every citizen and non-citizen to express their will without fear of being arrested. Russia has no such tradition, so they accepted a monster who makes war on Russia and the rest of the world. We do not accept such leaders in democracy, and if one gains power, America is done. Beware! One is approaching the door of the White House.

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Democracy, as it’s now practiced, has become completely fungible depending on who’s defining it. The so-called democratic republics around the world are anything but. A framework of voting and representative government does always translate into a democratic system. Virtually any act by the government or its leaders can be cloaked in “democracy.” It’s become good ad copy to include “democratic principles” in your mission statement, even if you have no intent to adhere to them.

What kind of parable would EB White write today, or would he be dismissed as another lib-tard trolling for “likes” on X?

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The Constitution isn't perfect. Patrick Henry thought it gives too much power to the minority. But it was the best document (with the Amendments) that could be achieved, politically, at the time. And we have to live with it, until change becomes obvious to the majority.

He warned that the protection of individual freedom from intrusion by an overreaching government, and the survival of a self-ruled nation, depended on Honorable Men. That a Bad Man could win the Presidency without majority vote, and become a king. And there would be no checks to stop him. Here's his speech at the Constitutional Convention.

https://www.redhill.org/primary-sources/liberty-or-empire/

Practically? This is a nation of 258 million free adults. Who will fight to keep a tyrant from taking their rights away. Force? Donald and his little Trump World gang and his 147 Objectors vs 258 million freedom loving Americans. Even Bad King John had to bend to the will of his subjects.

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Thank you for pointing this speech out. It’s amazing how many speeches from our founders or even great men of the day are like prophecies of today! Scary, as well.

I would feel encouraged by your last paragraph if I were not so worried about which way the military was going to go. There were a LOT of military members in the j6 insurrection…

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Thank you for your thoughts. Really, I think we already live in that place. I realize that as a white man, now in my early 70's, that I am beginning to understand the people living here who live outside the world I have lived, the "marginalized population." This country in so many ways tells people they do not belong; that if they are not doing well, it must be their fault, that "everyone has an equal opportunity." The American Dream covers over the lives that do not fit, denial is heaped upon denial. We are hearing people deny racism, unequal justice/incarceration practices, voting exclusions, even denying that there are those who actually need Food Stamps to eat. The answer is always to blame and deny. My goodness, these people even deny that we are destroying the earth, again, that what does not fit the American Dream/Myth must be "fake."

I simply watch and feel outside of the things I hear, for fear I will otherwise live in anger and frustration. I also cannot bear to think what our children and their children must face.

My conclusion has been that I look for my honest, hopeful and caring life elsewhere than this country.

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Democracy is being able to read these ideas and make comments without fear of reprisals.

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How might I define “America” if my democratically secured rights are taken away?

That’s easy: I label it “Amerika.”

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Democracy is the “sine qua non” of America’s existence (“that without which there is nothing.”) We can argue, “cuss and discuss” political, economic, and social issues to our hearts’ content—that is the plan and intent of our beloved Constitution. But, if we lose Democracy—the trusted sense that we as a people choose our government by our collective consent—none of that other stuff will matter. That would end America in all but name, and bring an even bigger calamity to the entire world.

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I have met recent citizens who’re more “American” than native born Americans. They believe in the rule of law, the Constitution, they believe in hard work to build something here, making their own decisions, taking risks. One is a tech entrepreneur, another works in biotech. They happen to be Iranian, educated at universities there and in Europe. The sort of people you’d want as neighbors or colleagues. She happened to be an activist while at the University of Teheran. She thought, if she had to leave because of her pro-democracy activism, she could make her way to the US; she believed in the generosity of our nation of immigrants, the nation of last resort.

So, to answer the question of this article, I think it’s “yes.” As Biden likes to say often we’re a country defined by an idea. It’s easy to think that we’re an ethnostate or defined by a religion. We’re not. If you believe these ideas (and follow the rules) you can be an American. Anyone can be. I love the phrase “more perfect Union”- it seems contradictory, but it is the moral roadmap for us all to follow that I think defines our country.

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To me, democracy means I can be educated along with other women. I can be employed and be promoted to the top position. I can drive a car. I can own property. I can have a drink in a bar all by myself and pay for it with the money I earn. I can be 55 and marry my third (and best) husband. What I and my fellow women can no longer do is to have autonomy over our wombs.

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Let’s pose another question. Is Germany still Germany without the third reich? Germany is now VW, good beer and wine, citizens dancing to a polka, castles, the autobahn, and ordinary citizens speaking to each other in a language that most of us don’t understand, like in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal or Poland or Japan. Most of the people living in those countries are in a kind of democracy, they vote, have rights and are able to express those rights without fear of being taken away by secret police or government agents. So yes, this will always be America no matter who has taken the reins. The idea of America will never die inspite of phony like tRump and his cronies.

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I absolutely LOVE this! Thanks so much!

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America is sticking up for the “little guy”, not sticking it to him while telling him you’re sticking up for him. So yes, America is DEMOCRACY, or at least working harder to include and stick up for the “little guy”.

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Yes, Democracy defines America. It's a pledge of allegiance to a flag, and an oath to defend a Constitution. It's an agreement by each citizen to live within the rule of law, and abide by the will of the majority in elections. It's a balance of power between three branches of government.

Our Democracy is a Constitution written by people who it knew it was an imperfect document created by imperfect people. Will our Democracy survive the current times? Can the majority of Americans agree to continue the struggle to find a Democracy we can all live within? It's time to decide.

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Let’s see how it goes

https://thediplomat.com/2020/09/can-america-escape-plutocracy/

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Thanks, the article is definitely an eye opener. I remember when President Obama called out the Supreme court at the State of the Union speech about the Citizen's United decision...oh, the look on Alito's face was telling, and he hasn't attended that event since. As the useful idiot, Trump, focuses on chaos, grievance, and revenge which fuels hate between Americans, the wealthy and powerful sit back and write checks to get him elected.

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Putting lipstick on s pig does not make it something it is not

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Ric Leczel,

Aren't you trying to legitimize what is illegitimate? The founding fathers would want to be proud but not of what is happening. And if somebody is trying to keep RFK of the ballot, are you calling that antidemocratic? The fact that Mr Trump was president and that he is currently supported by the GOP does not make him and they legitimate; to gain that, one has to earn it.

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Has America ever achieved the goal of pure democracy? I think not. From the beginning to now, women's rights from voting to abortion have been denied by dominating men. Casting a vote was by men of property only, now poses a threat of bodily harm to voters, poll workers, and sustained accusations of fraud if not the desired outcome. Public education has been neglected, once taught the fundamentals of democracy, civics, history, now dwells on technology and leads to an ignorant populace unable to discern representatives with knowledge of the workings or purposes of government. Winners are those who raise millions of dollars from rich heads of corporations in return for favored taxes and treatment. And then, it becomes a life time job for people desperate for power and money for themselves. Billions are spent on the military though the US has the largest arsenal in the world while families go hungry, the elderly suffer, vets live in tents in the woods, the poor grow in numbers and the rich become the 1 %. Once esteemed leaders are now replaced by celebrities, people denounced once as not the brightest by Capote, and some are promoted as fit to be government leaders., even president. (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson !! ) We have found new frontiers by trying to integrate our ways into other countries making enemies.. We have lost two wars this way and are now embroiled in the chaos of Ukraine and Gaza. We have been guilty of racism, from slavery to the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Our justice system is unfair, sides with the rich and famous. Meanwhile, the US has more prisoners than any other country.

Mao's Long March to dictatorship is trump's 8 year trek to become an acolyte of Mussolini.

We as a nation, keep trudging up to reach King's mountaintop where democracy - true representation of, for and by all the people - will reign, but we stumble along the way, and at the moment, find ourselves on a precipice, close to falling off a cliff.

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Wonderful sentiments but a mirage. The founders wanted an oligarchy so created a republic because republics are always oligarchies. The democracy idea is for suckers and losers as Trump said. To fool you so you will die for the oligarchs

Republics become dictatorships when one of the oligarchs grabs it

That’s coming real soon

Enjoy

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So, you like oligarchs? Letting a big ego decide for you? Or is it just hatred of losers? Doesn't your own view matter to you?

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Has America ever attained the lofty goals of pure democracy? I think not. From the beginning to the present, women's rights have been unjustly tramped upon by dominating males. Restricted voting rights, property owners only, are now continued through state gerrymandering and threats to voters, poll workers and continued accusations of fraud. The deterioration of public education which once taught principles of democracy, civics, history has given way to technology training, ignorance, people unable to choose representatives knowledgeable in leadership and government for the people. Winners are often those who have attained large money amounts from rich supporters who want favors in return. And those chosen are desperate to hold onto power forever, a lifetime job with perks others can only dream of. We are a nation that now worships celebrities once mocked by Capote, we are no longer a united people but a divided nation, half of which support representatives who concoct conspiracy theories and spend all their time on committees to investigate their opposition. Decisions made favor the rich, justice is unequal, there are more prisoners in the US than other countries, racism exists, we are involved with chaos in other countries, have lost two wars, no longer care for the elderly, veterans, the poor, hungry children, spend instead, billions for military build up when we already have the biggest arsenal in the world. Mao's long march to dictatorship is trump's 8 year trek.

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The Constitution deliberately avoided “pure democracy.” It was never the goal. They devised a representational form of government - a republic: “a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch“

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I know.that. Pure not meant in the literal historical sense.Should have said true.

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