31 Comments
Dec 1, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Chilling, but the real urgent issue is how do we get this message to Trump supporters (or GOP voters in general). We have 13 weeks to broadcast this message- loss of social security, medicare, medicaid, personal freedoms, a Putin like America? I work with educated, well-funded MAGAs and they have no idea. It’s not reported by the media they follow.

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Please reach out to them -- ask a few questions, be respectful, and maybe they will see the light.

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Sometimes we do have respectful conversations but they are gone. Totally brainwashed, very scary.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

Our court systems, suitable for a rational era based on norms, are not capable of blocking a dictator. They will not save us from Trump. They are so frightened by appearing political, they have warped the appearance of fairness into a joke by letting Trump make a mockery of the process. Justice in his several cases is not swift. Which of our institutions will say “Stop!” loud enough that people hear the danger.

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That is a factor. Plus, they have no independent method of enforcing their rulings. Same for the Supreme Court.

Imagine if local organizations, political players; local and state governments started acting like ‘sovereign citizens’ and declared courts didn’t have jurisdiction over them. For instance, sheriffs who serve warrants and court summons. “Consitutional sheriffs” believe they have the right to decide which laws are “illegal”.

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I have been saying for the last few years that the fight for our democracy starts now. Meaning that instead of kicking the can down the road, that we should be fighting right away. J6 is prologue for January 2025 if we don’t get it together. We cannot afford to wake up next November and say, you mean he won, like we did in 2016.

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Dec 1, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

This and Kagan’s article are probably the most terrifying things I’ve read in my life… there will be a lot of misery before the end. I have sent this article to dozens of people. But, the nice next door neighbors are trumpers. The dissidence and dissonance are mind boggling.

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Thanks for sharing it widely, Lynn. As suggested, this outcome need not be inevitable.

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founding
Dec 1, 2023Liked by Steven Beschloss

I read Kagan's column yesterday - and immediately got depressed. It brings to mind Sinclair Lewis' "It Can't Happen Here".

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Can you let me know where Kagan's article was? I don't see it in a search. Or, please provide a link. Thanks....

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Oh...you meant Robert Kagan. I saw that. I thought there was a new article by Elena Kagan. No need to reply.

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The stark divides,

the turmoil within America's borders,

it fills me with fear.

We've regressed,

nearing a state reminiscent of civil war,

in mindset and territorial lines.

Each day, these divisions grow deeper.

Have we crossed the threshold

of irreparable division,

or is there still hope to salvage and enhance

the luminous vision that once united us?

Oh America, America…

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I read that piece as well. I could well imagine the steps towards dictatorship that Kagen outlined would and in fact are happening. How do we influence the media? Its not just the cable news world, but also the newspapers, the network news. They hardly ever point out Trump's unfitness, his crimes, his absurdly terrible time as president. By not mentioning it and focusing on where he is in the polls, they are full on normalizing this beast for everyone, not just his acolytes but also his voters who will vote for him because of capitalistic expediency and favor. It also normalizes him for progressive voters an left leaning voters who look for the perfect candidate who checks all their boxes. ALL of these voters, including progressives are dye hard and foolish believers in American exceptionalism, that solid and idiotic belief that somehow as Americans we are above dictatorship, we are above the loss of democracy that somehow we rise above all of that. Clearly we do not.

The time Trump was in office should tell the progressives (who I now think aren't all that smart) that there aren't real and solid walls of protection in the branches of government to put the brakes on Trump's people. And it is Trump's people-the ones who are happy to do his bidding who are very problematic. They are advocating for and supportive of a fall of democracy and they have money. It isn't theoretical. They have been very clear. And the openness to the disdain for democracy present in the John Roberts Supreme Court should be the big alarm for all of us. Anyone can be bought and these aren't strong or principled people beyond their own personal and greedy agendas.

While Biden needs to get a grip and go after this more forcefully, the people who prop up fools like Putin's servant Jill Stein (do not forget that image of her at a dinner table in Moscow with Putin an Michael Flynn). Stein is no liberal and Stein is no fan of democracy. Neither is Cornell West and neither is Robert Kennedy. And neither is Steve Schmidt for bellowing so loudly about Trump and then backing some nobody milquetoast from Minnesota as someone to challenge Biden.

I think of people in my family who despise Trump but aren't aware of what is happening and don't pay attention. I think that is the norm in America. People get snippets of information and don't follow this very closely. It doesn't take many people to decide to idiotically vote for a 3rd party candidate, or stay home and pout because Biden isn't doing things they way they would like. Israel support, focusing on his boring efficiency, his age, etc. I'm growing to believe there are quite a few stupid Democrats too.

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Talk? So how was Thanksgiving for you? Talking to family and neighbors who are trumpers will yield nothing as they are firmly in the fox silo, constantly having their dangerously inaccurate views reinforced.

Television is powerful. It could sell rotten rutabagas if the rutabaga industry had the money to produce and air the commercials. Even fox viewers will stumble across the local newscasts from time to time. And that’s where there might be a way to reach them.

But there’s a problem. Newscast producers at the local level in medium and small markets (many of which are in “red country”) generally do not have the understanding of history – or the time and basic reportorial resources – to produce newscasts with regular fact checking of politicians and enough depth and skill to get viewer attention and understanding.

That’s no accident. Producers are hard to find. They have jobs that produce rapid burnout. But they are the gate keepers who determine the stories included in a newscast and how the stories are produced.

Instead of trying to talk to Uncle Elmer at Thanksgiving dinner or the trumper with the pick-em-up parked on the lawn down the street, talk to your local television stations’ news managers. General managers are usually petrified by negative viewer response – especially those that are accurate, well-reasoned and typo-free -- so your letter, pointing out errors and biases, will be read and could have an impact. Phone calls also work but perhaps better are face to face chats when you run into the GM at the country club or Rotary lunch.

That might address local television. But what about media that are used by younger people, such as Tik-Tok? May I suggest to you, Mr. Beschloss, Tik-Tok deserves your frequent thoughts and suggestions. The clock is tick-tocking.

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He is right but ... DO NOT BELIEVE THE POLLS.... we, out here, are exhausted with the constant phone calls & emails . Biden will do what he was advised to do, go full bore against tfg.. economy? we are capitalists.. all Biden can do is sternly ask businesses to stop gouging their workers & buyers so they can fatten up their own wallets.. simple short words "bumper sticker" size. Daily barrage...Hunter's approach now proves to call their bluff & it points out their lies.. it was short & sweet so the magas could even grasp it if they choose.

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We should all be forced to read Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here” to know we have been living the past 8-9 years on the precipice of illiberal Ian and dictatorship. We face the possibility of open civil war. We face the very real possibility that the military splinters with professional officers openly refusing orders that are unlawful (as they should) and enlisted personnel breaking off into rival camps. These are all things that have been unthinkable in my 56 years having seen the turmoil at the end of the 60s and Vietnam and the economic malaise of the 70s into the early 80s and the rise of financial inequality.

And here and now we have those anti-trumper squabbling over the right course to take in Gaza/Israel. We have a rise in antisemitism and islamaphobia. Petty bickering about staying home because of X, Y, Z. We have too much at stake!

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Language matters. People...including academics... need to stop calling T a strongman. That is jargon. It is not a normal, meaningful term the public uses. Wouldn't it have been much clearer if Kagan's meaningful term were used for the past 7 yrs than strong man? Or iron man? Or 'reality' show 'star?'

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I have long understood the threat to our democracy posed by this dictator wannabe. I vote. I write letters to other voters in critical constituencies. I do what I can to stop the headlight of this oncoming train. Somehow in this short window that remains, we must find the willpower and strength to defeat this monster. Where is the comparable foresight and planning on my side? What more can I, as a liberal in a liberal northern state, do to defeat this heinous so-called candidate and movement? Perhaps the battle for his nomination is already lost. However there is still a general election ahead.

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Fear of harm to family, loss of work, intimidation, injury, death,disbelief in the possibility =Germany 1930s=holocaust=WW II.

Fear of harm to family, loss of work, intimidation, injury, death, disbelief in the possibility= America

2016 onward = ruthlessness toward foes, national cruelty =concentration camps, dictatorship???

74% of Republicans support trump-doesn't matter if they dislike him secretly as disclosed by Cheney and Romney. Conway speaks out to no avail, Christie lets trump have it-polls 2 %. Gov. Sununu hopes trump will not be nominee but says if he is, he will vote for him. Ignorant (and educated ) say they would die for trump. Indictments, impeachments, fraud, who cares? He's rich, owns big golden buildings, fears nobody, has a pretty wife, tells it like it is, at least the way his people think it is. He will save America !! (For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul.? trump has no soul. Prefers the world.)

37% of Democrats support Biden. 59% disapprove. 12% of Americans think he should not be president. To be a one term president is not shameful. Biden has been in office since 1972- 51 years. Long time, long enough, pride goeth before the fall, but now, with time screaming ahead and no second, back up plan, it is water over the bridge. He will run, or rather, walk. People blame him for Israel-Palestine, Ukraine-Russia conflagrations. Add Afghanistan debacle. Some prices coming down. Man yesterday complaining, I said that, he practically spit in my face. Another bought two very small pieces of steak - $36. Woman with old car needs radiator she can't afford. Low pay. Credit card debt over the roof. Remember when everything wrong was Obama's fault? Well, in steps Biden. Claims he is just a working class person who grew up in Scranton, PA- except he was 10 when family moved to Delaware. Every candidate for office wants us to believe he grew up poor, common, the old Wm Henry Harrison log cabin myth. And so, Trump has pizazz (they think). What does Biden have? Hunter!

There is no changing minds of trump people. They are goners. It is extremely unlikely Republicans will turn against him. Love power more than country. Independents-49% are a possibility. Need addressed, given attention, can be swayed if Dems get act together. And instead of trying to turn Republicans, work on Democrats. There are 47,130,651 registered Democrats who could beat the

36,019,694 registered Republicans.Encourage them to vote in local, home elections where elector college members are made. Campaign to them, get them angry, determined, patriotic, afraid of what could come. Persuade them to vote for , yes, Biden, because, look at the alternative.

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Right, the focus must be on activating reticent Democrats.

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Yes, Independent / Unaffiliated and lethargic reticent ‘stay home’ Dems. It isn’t only how many votes, but margin & where they are. Note that the following quote says 3% margin (not 50.5% or 51%) is necessary for a “chance” of Dems winning the electoral college. On my wish list also, the Dems, including Biden pointing out that if Dems want better results he needs more support in the House & Senate.

--“The small state bias in the Senate carries over to the Electoral College since each state gets an Electoral College vote for each of its senators. So small states get proportionately more electors. As a result, political analyst Nate Silver estimates that a Democratic candidate must win the popular vote by at least three percentage points to have an even chance of winning in the electoral college.” -- https://www.brookings.edu/articles/the-challenge-to-democracy-overcoming-the-small-state-bias/

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Is there no hope Koch Industries will seriously damage and slow down Trump as they try to boost Nikki Haley’s candidacy?

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Have I been naive in thinking that the upcoming lawsuits & court cases being brought to DJT's door would curb his destructive behavior? Oh, save our freedoms before it is too late!

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I will begin by saying that I could not finish reating the article, I mean physically could not. Much too depressing! And then I thought, we all have been watching since 2016 first, then frm Jan 6, hopeful at first that the DOJ and the very special counsel they hired will be able show us that nobody is above the law. Time went by, today 5-6 years later, I still tell myself that no one is above the law BUT I wonder if the DOJ believes in the slogan. I do not know what else the counsel needs to find & document to finally prosecute the criminal. Anyone else would long be incarcerated by now, so I find it insulting that for a reason I do not know, the Justice dept does not seem to be concerned by the passage of time..or perhaps it is just all part of a plan to allow the criminal to gain access to the WH again.?? They will say it takes time to process all those Trump investigations, but it does not have to be so - do not waste time debating with Trump lawyers. This country has everything it needs to wrap up investigations now, and if Nov 2024 is here and Trump, his allies and big donors money have succeeded to ´own’ the WH, it will be because our Justice Dept has not done its job..purposely or unintentionally will not matter. America will then deserve its vengeful, idiotic little dictator..for the second time.

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