110 Comments
Jun 22·edited Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

The last Republican President who also won the popular vote was George W Bush in 2004.

We know why the will of the people isn't reflected in who wins elections.

Now for the first time in modern history the American people are being asked to choose between fascism or democracy in a presidential election.

This is not hyperbole.

This is not the normal refrain of " this is the most important election of our lives"

This is really happening.

If President Biden isn't re-elected the American experiment is over. Once it's over we will never get it back.

Massive voter turnout is our only weapon against a fascist country.

Not Jack Smith

Not the courts

Not the DOJ

Not the IC

It's just us.

We are the cavalry

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Jun 22·edited Jun 22

I doubt there is anyone reading this blog who isn't aware of this.

But you can bet the farm that when Trump loses in November, he will raise hell to force the country to "investigate" the "fraud" perpetrated against him. Again. He will never stop until he is dead.

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I agree.

He'll file again for President in 2028 once President Biden is inaugurated.

We will never be free from him and his fascist " movement" until he dies.

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Don’t think that MAGA and Trump’s fascist movement will die with him. We will have to deal with this all over again in 2028, just with different players.

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Disagree in the respect that it will still exist, yes, as it has always been a part of American society but it will lose it's power once he is gone.

DeSantis tried to be trump 2.0

He failed

It's a cult

When the cult leader dies the movement does too

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I’m not so sure he is the ‘leader.’ There are some really nasty people who are making use of him - for now.

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He is

The extremists have been trying to impose Christofascism on America for decades. They were unsuccessful in capturing the WH until trump.

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Yes without a figurehead a cult will usually die out, and in Trump's case there is no one to take his place. MAGA might not die, but should be very weakened for at least a decade.

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I feel that Trumpism is now ingrained in much of our society now. Too many people have accepted and adopted his vile behaviors and attitudes to the point where it will take decades to correct and eradicate.

But will it survive his ultimate demise? Hope springs eternal that you are right.

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I agree Murrow's Girl.

It is a cult and in many ways when the idole disappears, it sinks too.

Now they are some powerful negative forces hailed by for example Harlan Crowe, but make n o mistakes those kind of people are most of the time cowards, which is why they act in the shadows. And in the end cowards have their karman of defeat, whatever one says.

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No, they won't, but they will be considerably weakened without Trump as cult leader. Most cults do indeed die after the leader dies or goes to prison. Trump is no Charles Manson.

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I often wonder what MAGA would do if Trump dropped dead before the election. Who would they pick to fill his shoes? And would this person have any chance in hell of gaining traction on such short notice?

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I don't think they would vote at all. Neither would most republicans.

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And you think Joe's goons won't?

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We shall see. And not everyone (perhaps half the people in the USA) who might politely disagree with you is a troll. In any event have a blessed day.

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Jun 23·edited Jun 23

WTH is a blessed day? I guess that guy gets one, but I don't. Bummer.

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Biden has no "goons," you troll.

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Hi Murrow's Girl, I am betting that you meant to say "cavalry," not "calvary." (Sorry to be such a stickler, but I have OCD.)

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I just edited it

Thanks again

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How embarrassing ( I do too)

Thank you

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Lol me too.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I thought the view differences between presidential supporters described in your post were significant. However I am concerned that the Republican embraced for fascism and dictatorship will cause fundamental rights defined in the constitution to be lost. The constitution could be suspended by Trump. Free and fair elections could end. The rule of law would be replaced by a deference to a dictators whims. Fair and speedy trials before a jury of citizens could be lost. Minorities, immigrants and women could again be treated unequally and be denied access to our courts to seek justice. Rule by might rather than right would become the norm. It may seem impolite or extreme to make such predictions but history is filled with examples of how people in dictatorships fare.

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author

Not impolite or extreme at this point. Better to be alarming then watch the destruction of democracy silently.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I feel {honored by your response,

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Mr Beschloss

I restacked your post because I think you have something useful and important to say even though I won't be voting for Joe. However, many of your followers are scary and are too close to calling for DJT to be killed.

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I find it interesting that Trump talks about side-stepping the US Constitution, given the vice-like hold on said document many of his supporters proclaim.

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agree totally

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I want an America where people are allowed to live in peace, each person allowed to live as best they can, not infringing on someone elses life. Surely we each have our own business to attend to, keeping our noses out of our neighbor's business? There are the rules and laws of America that were set in times of need, but I think should be re-evaluated regarding that need as time passes. Then, there are rules and laws that are not suggestions, what seem to be the guidelines for living in peace, the basics....doing to others as you want them to do to you, caring for the elderly, the children, the widows, feeding and protecting the hungry of any age seems to me to be sacred. If citizens could just once give up trying to over-do, whether it be greed or control, simply living in peace, it would be pretty much ideal. An ideal America, a place our people came to start over, begin again. It isn't too late to begin again.

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author

It should be that simple for people to allow each other to to live peacefully and support those in need. Thank you for saying so, Christine.

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Your first sentence is the definition of a truly free society.

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Christine, your vision for an ideal America reminds me of a prompt I used has a teacher of American Studies.

After reading and discussing “The Great Gatsby”, students were asked to write an essay in response to the prompt, “If it exists, what is the American Dream. Provide examples from the novel and present day life to support your thesis.”

By the time we got to the essay, most students had discarded the notion that the AD had anything to do with wealth, materialism or social status. The most common thesis revolved around the idea of following one’s own path and/or the ability to start over or reinvent one’s self as often as necessary to live the type of life a each person desired.

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George, isn't the depth of thought in our young people amazing? I have 7 grands, all young adults now, and it is good to sit and listen to them discuss all variety of topics. I don't always have a clue what their particular vocabulary means exactly, but just ask and learn. They are patient and kind, which is also a blessing. I think we sometimes under-estimate what others deeply feel and we need to allow that deep thought to be expressed. Thanks for sharing your story!

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So true, Christine. We have eight grandkids ranging from 27-10. One of the things I so enjoy is when one of them matriculate from elementary school to high school, high school to college or undergraduate to graduate school.

I so enjoy that first deep discussion with each one of them shortly after they have begun their new learning experience. It’s like a quantum leap in their thoughts and understanding due to their exposure to new ideas and concepts they had never considered before.

Being a Boomer myself, and coming of age during the 60s and early 70s, I see the same passion, drive and efforts to make the world a better place in this young generation I experienced at their age.

I absolutely love it.

Finally, as I am sure you have experienced, one of my real joys of being a grandfather is when one of our kids say, “You would not believe what YOUR granddaughter/grandson said/did! I never did anything like that, right?”—Gotta love Karma.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want to live in a country where truth matters and pursuit of truth is respected. Rule of law depends on it. Without facts we won't confront true threats to the world like climate change and instead live in the world of "Don't Look Up".

I'm reading Timothy Snyder's The Road to Unfreedom. My takeaway so far: A post-truth world is autocratic, run for oligarchs with no concern for personal rights or freedoms, and institutions ill prepared to face the world's problems.

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Well said. Exactly why it's so hard to wrap my head around the MAGA mentality.

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I happened across a John Oliver piece a little while ago, recorded just after Trump’s inauguration. It was clear even then that the Truth was an unknown concept to Trump and he has got worse telling bigger and bigger lies until his whole existence is one big lie. Why would anyone think that that is a good basis for running a country. Or indeed a whelk stall.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want to live a country where my granddaughter doesn’t have to do active shooter drills. I want to live in a country where we look out for each other. I want to live in a country where we all pay our fare share of taxes. I want to live in a country where we can feed our children and a family of four can live comfortably on one salary…I want to live in a democracy run by people who care for the lives of their constituents….and I want my President to be honest, respected and working for “We The People”. One like President Biden!

Thank you for asking. Those nine stats are horrifying! 😳

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I agree! I want to live where children are cherished and all have the chance to have the best teachers. I want to live where everyone has enough to eat and people love to share with others. The wealthy need to want to give their fair share and corporate wealthy should not pay less than an educator. The justice system should be able to move swiftly and when someone is clearly guilty, even if they are wealthy, they should have the same system as a regular person. Too much money and time is wasted in the justice system because of politics and wealth. The Supreme Court Justices should have 4 year term limits and then voted on by the public. Presently, they have no loyalty to anyone except whoever gifts them money or they help in court cases. The people should hold them accountable, no one else can.

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Cynthia, I agree with your sentiments that the current members of SCOTUS are a cause for concern and frustration.

However, I would suggest that strict enforcement of strong ethical standards as well as term limits of 24 or 28 years would be a more appropriate and effective method to insure integrity within the court while avoiding the political pitfalls inherent in elections for SCOTUS justices.

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With the present sentiment of judges feeling they need no ethics and the committee trying to suggest one, tighter reigns need to be held on these people. They now are so privileged they don't even police themselves and only a few support basic principles of law. We have those who lied during confirmation. The people should have a chance to dismiss these people, the same way as if we lied at work.

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Agree completely, Cynthia. There is a mechanism for impeachment of SCOTUS justices. Unfortunately, the court and the public view of the court has become so politicized that doing it is not a possibility at this point in our history.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I really hate the term “white privilege.” I think of one grandparent who managed to avoid starvation in the 30s thanks to the Civilian Conservation Corp. I think of another grandparent who fled the impoverished rural life to find work in the city. He was able to earn a modest working class income but died too young from the damage to his lungs from his industrial work site. Neither of them were in any way privileged. Yes, they did not experience any racial discrimination. But it’s not a “privilege” to not be racially discriminated against. It’s the norm against which racial discrimination is to be condemned and fought. I want a world in which racial discrimination is vigorously fought and whose effects are recognized and addressed, and in which people of all races are provided the means to escape want and enjoy meaningful lives.

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A world without racial discrimination and equal opportunity should be the norm. Right you are, Spence.

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You may hate the term white privilege but you might as well hate the fact that the sun comes up in the east and sets in the west. It is a mantle we are cloaked with, as White people, that consistently benefits us in ways we may never even perceive on a daily basis because for us it just "is". It doesn't imply, however, that we have never suffered or struggled or been unfairly treated. What I think it says, however, is that simply by virtue of being born White we have been given an advantage not afforded others.

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I stand by what I wrote. Racial discrimination is real. Economic and class privileges are real. “White” privilege, in my opinion, is a slogan without real world usefulness.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Please bear with me for a moment. My world ended nine months ago to the day – September 22nd, 2023 – when my beloved wife, Kitty Donohoe, succumbed to an aggressive, and currently incurable, uterine cancer. Kitty was an amazing teacher whose career spanned thirty-five years at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Monica. It is a testament to how loved and respected she was that her funeral service at St. Monica Church was attended by hundreds of colleagues, friends, current and former students, their parents and families.

A lifelong learner herself, Kitty was a reading and writing specialist who attended summer courses at Columbia University Teachers College for over twenty-two years. She looped with her students through second and third grades because she believed that doing so would allow her to nurture them as fully as possible through two of the most formative years of their lives. She empowered them by teaching them to let their imaginations soar. But the reason they all adored her is simple: she dealt with each one of them with love and kindness.

So in answer to Steven’s question – one we need to be asking ourselves on a daily basis – “What kind of country do you want,” my reply is this. I want my country to be like Kitty’s classroom, Room 11 at Roosevelt Elementary School:

• Where each and every person, regardless of being homeless or from a financially privileged background, is treated as an equal with love and respect.

• Where learning and education are pursued with joy and passion, and not as commodities for purchase.

• Where kindness rules above all, while bullying and bigotry are never to be tolerated.

• Where truth and humility go hand in hand in the march against ignorance and superstition.

I salute you Kitty. I am eternally grateful for your love and guidance.

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author

A beautiful remembrance and a lovely articulation of what we need as a country. Thank you kindly for sharing this, Homi.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Thank you, Steven.

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What kind of country do I want? I want a country that continues to struggle and negotiate and compromises and listens to the wants and the needs of its people of all creeds, cultures and ethnicities. Too simplistic? I think not, considering our own Congress whose minority of members bully and scream and desire much more than 15 minutes of fame. At 70 years of age, I never ever dreamed that so many would support a convicted felon, a narcissist, a compulsive liar and one who revels in fomenting chaos at every level possible, for President. I am ashamed, but I am not without hope.

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I’m also hopeful, but I’m terrified of the people surrounding that horrible man. How can so many people be so blind to the soul less vision they are now espousing? I have lost all faith in my fellow Americans.

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As a non-Christian, the rise of Christian Nationalists demanding to shove their skewed interpretations of a book of pure fiction that espouses slavery, incest, and ritualized murder onto everyone else enrages me. This "pro-life god of love" that drowns everyone on the planet - including animals that had no conscious ability to "sin" - and says it's acceptable to sell your daughter or stone your son is no god of mine.

I want an America where we live and let live and it's no one's business what you do with your own self. Where we continue to try and even the playing field for everyone. No, we are far from perfect, but why the hell else are so many people trying to get here from all around the planet if we're so awful? We need massive immigration reform where it doesn't take 10 years to go through the process legally, and we don't allow children of a family seeking asylum to drown in front of BP officers who could have helped.

I want an America as safe from gun massacres as New Zealand and Australia.

I want an America that values truth and science and facts and journalism grounded in fact-based reporting, not "entertainment opinions".

But more than anything else, I want an America where the rabies epidemic of stupidity is not celebrated, and talking with someone with a different opinion doesn't raise the specter of getting shot or beaten for stating your views.

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Wow! I agree wholeheartedly. A thorough and thoughtful response. Thanks for writing this.

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founding

Straight out there Jude; thank you!

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It’s not just a preference for a free America. It is a crisis we may not recover from .

Remember all of Donald Trumps advisers, starting with Putin, then Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation. Corrupt Maga Republicans,

All of these people support Fascist policies.

Only the wealthy are considered of value under fascism .

Only white Americans are due any consideration by Trumps purported agenda . And only wealthy white folks at that.

Trumps destruction list includes Democracy .

Democracy cannot support his plan . He likes to say he wants to bring back Democracy , but it is a lie.

A lie designed to create fear and confusion.

We have a Democracy right now , that is being bludgeoned by Trump and his followers.

He has attempted to destroy Democracy.

By attempting a coup , when he lost the election in 2020, he lost a free and fair election where voters opposed him and elected Joseph Biden to the Presidency of the U S A .

He challenged this in the Courts 60 times and Bidens presidency was confirmed 60 times.

He has not stopped lying since he came on the scene to run for the presidency in 2016.

He lied before that as demonstrated by the multiple criminal charges he has been indicted for .

Trump has been enabled by far right media takeover , tv , radio and alleged “ News papers”.

He has been enabled by Putins interference , on behalf of his project to destroy this nation from within. He has been enabled by Meta.

He has been enabled by lying , destructive members of Congress who supported his attempted coup.

He is enabled by a judge that he appointed, Aileen Cannon.

She has run a totally corrupt court , kowtowing to Donald on every level and allowing all the delaying tactics that the Defense can come up with .

She attacked the ‘Special Counsel’ Jack Smith , by putting him on trial and inviting right wing Maga distractors

a role in this sordid fake trial.

We cannot submit to the lies and the few truths Trump puts out there.

Like , there ‘will be a bloodbath ‘ if Trump is not elected in November 2024. ‘

Imagine that statement and being found guilty of 34 felonies, that is the garbage Trumps followers use to encourage voters to vote for him.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Everything .

Accusing Joe Biden of lying and “ going after Trump with these multiple accusations and criminal charges”,

Another huge lie. And as Trump should know, if he knew anything about how government works , which he does not .

He would have an actual handle on this.

The charges he has been convicted of were put forth by a jury of his peers . And in reality the reason he was prosecuted was because he committed the crimes he’s accused of .

In many cases he’s admitted to them. We saw him attempt to overthrow our government . We’ve seen him lie so often and so blatantly , we’d be totally foolish to vote for Trump the destroyer.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want a country where everyone has a basic guaranteed level of food, clothing and shelter. No one should be homeless or without healthcare. I want excellent public education for all, at least through high school, and support for those who go beyond that in either academia or trade. I want everyone to be taught Civics so they will have at least a basic understanding of how our government works.

And I want fair labor practices so people can earn a living wage and have time for their families.

I want everyone free to love whom they love, and practice any religious faith they choose, or none at all.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

So many thoughtful answers today; I want an America everyone has described. Democracy to be the rule of law. The Constitution is followed, not bended. Truth matters. Equality and inclusion are not an afterthought. Freedom to choose many aspects of our daily lives. Universal healthcare to eliminate the third parties. Tax reform so we all pay our fair share. Immigration reform is no longer a talking point but legislation. Culture war issues are no longer tolerated so that all Americans may live freely. I want to see our leaders be collaborative, not combative.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

The take away message:

The GOP has a plan for you. Ask about it.

DONT LET OTHER PEOPLE RUN YOUR LIFE. VOTE BLUE.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

In my opinion, the biggest threat is the courts. We can longer depend upon them to be impartial. Any court that upholds the right to own bump-stocks, destroys a 50 year right, looses Citizens United upon us is owned by the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation and Harlan Crow.

The far right dominates and they don’t care what the majority of Americans think or want.

And will states like California and NY listen and obey their absurd and archaic rulings?

Maybe. Maybe not. Governor Newson is stockpiling millions of mifepristone in case the corrupted and bought scotus tries to pull it off the market. He pretty much said that scotus can stuff it. The state of California will provide them.

However, that way, (and I’m on Newson’s side) lies anarchy.

We desperately need to fix the courts.

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Jun 23·edited Jun 23

Washington state has done the same thing. The governor says he has a stockpile large enough to last 4 yrs.

I saw this discussion this morning. Roberts of the Heritage Foundation also said Project 2025 infuses ‘modern conservatism’ with trumpism. Trumpism is the modern conservatism (or words to that effect.) And that federal employees work for the president. That’s why it is A-OK to fire them and replace them with loyal trumpists. Actually it was an animated but not ugly discussion. He was referred to as Dr. Roberts throughout.

https://www.rawstory.com/project-2025/

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Isn't it ironic, though, that they demand that those same employees work for their side when they are not currently in power? All I see in that regard is the desire for consolidation of power, not for the employees to work for the interests of the citizens.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Steven, as usual you’ve given us thoughtful and poignant words.

Poignant, because you accurately define the division that is causing sadness and bitterness too.

This excerpt from your article:—-…

“What kind of country do you want? And would a win by Trump—who feeds on and fuels conflict and division—ensure even more divisiveness and hate between Americans? Likewise, does President Biden’s call in 2020 for greater unity now seem like nothing more than a pipe dream?”

Greater Unity of course is vitally necessary.

And we must be idealistic and stretch to try to reach for our ideals:

-Equality, - Equal Justice, -Freedom, -Respect for Women’s Freedom; Protection from gun violence; Honest Media; Free education etc.

I personally have been shocked by the ignorance of my own beloved relatives on the East Coast. Not understanding our laws, Separation of Powers; How Congress is supposed to function. They never learned that in Catholic School. Yet they are kind except deeply MAGA.🥲

I believe we need enforceable Accountability for Supreme Court Justices; I also believe the Pardoning power of our Presidents’ must be restricted!

I truly believe Tyrump will destroy the US.

Then, all of these goals will be impossible; so we must act and hope; do not give up.

💙🇺🇸

Hope

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Many Republicans tout the Second Amendment as an absolute right to any weapons they can get their hands on (regardless of the clear intentions of the framers), and yet the First (of all) Amendment starts out: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." our Constitution needs to be understood by all of us. This article has a great list of posts to share with the public. All they need is an image for each to get attention. Thanks for this!

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Does it really say documented, versus undocumented? « On immigration and deportation: While 63% of Trump supporters say “there should be a national effort to deport documented immigrants currently living in the U.S.,” just 11 percent of Biden supporters do. »

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author

Good catch. Yes, should have said “undocumented.” Now fixed. Thanks for flagging it, Sharon.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Remember when you'd ask somebody for permission to do something and they'd say, "knock yourself out - it's a free country."

I want that back. I want American freedom to be truly Free and not some convoluted diatribe defined by certain governors, the right-wing media, and militia wannabes.

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These Comments express my views very well. What if the rightists also believe their views; we think of them as blind, ignorant, prejudiced, etc. I recall an interesting movie in which a young female student went to her professor's office late in the day to complain about her grade. After their brief conversation, she accused him of sexual harassment. She described her version of the meeting and the viewers got to think about what we saw. She simply heard the same words we did and interpreted them differently.

What I have heard is that Trumpists believe they are saving America, and their views use facts that I interpret entirely different. And they mean it when they say "fake news." We know the world changes always and we would be foolish to believe that we always do what is best; why all the hatred, pain and conflict in our history? The Trumpists want to tear the order down and start over, in their vision.

The answer to defeating Trump is always "Vote" and I agree, then the next thing I hear is that six or seven states will decide the election.

I have no conclusion, I will resist the Trumpists, but clearly, for the U.S. to be a country where all voices are heard, we have a lot of work to do. I grew up in the sixties and wanted to change the world I thought was so wrong, but I never, ever believed my voice would not be heard. Hopefully, we can use the conflict we have now for the good of all.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want the kind of country that Steven describes as the one offered by Joe Biden, no question about it.

I want diversity so I can learn from people who are not like me. I want to debate with joy of different ideas and come to see things differently, and make new friends. I want to feel everyone is respected. I want to see love easily shared, brotherhood and sisterhood included.

I am re-reading the speech of John Kennedy and I want to feel and hear that wonderful language of hope again, and building things together, and igniting friendships.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want to live in a country with equity, where the rich and powerful do not hold sway over government officials like SCOTUS, and where laws protect the common folk, no matter what color, gender, or income level. I want to live in a country where we don't fear gun violence at every turn. I wish for a country where the politicians work to make life better for ALL citizens, without regard for which corporation purchased their influence. I want to live in a country where healthcare is easy to access, affordable, and not dependent on employment. I want my country to allow everyone to make private decisions about their own bodies, with NO government involvement. I wish for a country where people would practice their religion in privacy, without trying to make others follow their rules. I want my country to make voting easy, and protected from gerrymandering and voter suppression. I believe my country should provide free and fair high quality education at all levels. I especially want billionaires and corporations to pay their taxes, so that we can afford all of the things that my taxes should cover, instead of paying for subsidies and warfare. I think our country should let others live life on their own terms, even if others don't approve. I wish for a country that would face its racist past, study it, and vow to never repeat that horrific history. But most of all, I want a country ruled by a true Democracy.

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author

Thanks for this thoughtful reply, Robin.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I so appreciate all of your posts, and look forward to seeing them in my mailbox. I’m honored that you read my diatribe. Thank you!

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author

Very kind. Thanks.

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Excellent! Thanks for taking the time to express this.

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Jun 23Liked by Steven Beschloss

What are the odds that Convicted Felon Donald Trump goes to the debate?

There is no advantage for him to go. Biden or perhaps the Democratic Party set the parameters in every possible way to put Trump at a disadvantage-no crowd, no notes, all the answers will be cut off at a certain time, no wandering around.

I’m not complaining. I’m really looking forward to the debate. But I don’t think he’ll show.

Have we heard anything about him preparing? Actually has he ever prepared?

The only scenario that makes it possible is if Trump underestimates Biden and he thinks Biden will make a fool of himself.

It could happen.

My answer to the question, I want a Democracy with a free press, legit elections and honest politicians. I want Joseph R. Biden, the best President I’ve known in my whole 68 year life to be our President for another four years. Oh and a hugely blue Congress

💙💙💙💙💙💙

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I want that world too.

As for the debate, I'd bet my last nickel Trump will pull out for the reasons you cite.

For Trump to be "energetic" not somnambulistic (like at his trial), he will have to jack-up on whatever causes his sniffles. This will make him antsy when he can't speak.

Impartial moderators, no adoring crowd to provide a laugh track, and a muted mic while Joe speaks will cause him apoplexy. It would be fun to watch, when he finally gets to speak again he'll be full of grievances.

He'll try to blame Biden, saying something outré like, Biden refused to take a drug test, or Biden won't submit to a cognitive test, or...

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

I want a country where facts matter, voters are respected and corruption is not tolerated. These three pillars ensure a free, safe, robust nation. Imagine our unity if facts were respected? Claims of stolen elections would die when-as now-they should. Respecting voters would allow for our institutions, like SCOTUS and most definitely Congress, to serve the people and remain revered. Things like gun control, reproductive choice, immigration would be addressed, perhaps through compromise, but addressed nonetheless. Intolerance for corruption allows for the American economic market to remain the envy of the world. It truly is our brand, and the Trump potential to destroy our brand is woefully under emphasized and absolutely horrifying.

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From those statistics we might already be in a cold civil war.

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The people behind Trump and Project 2025 will not stop simply because he isn't elected. This will be followed by a Project 2029 because, As hillary clinton pointed out - and was derided for saying so - there really is a " vast right wing conspiracy" and it is growing in its vastness and in its movement to the right. And it's not going away. We can see disturbing signs of this all across Europe as well. We need to be informed and vigilant and engaged. And this doesn't mean voting every four years. Because I believe that all politics is local, and because it's the local politicians that move up to the state and into the national arena, we need to be making our voices heard in every single election. And we've got a lot of ground to make up because Christian Nationalists and other

ultra-conservative organizations have been working at the grassroots level for years and they are dead serious about their agenda. They have made significant inroads politically and in persuading and energizing public support while we've been asleep at the wheel. We need to see the same level of passion for democracy and inclusion from voices of reason from the left and center if we're going to save and improve our increasingly fragile government and country. We have been warned.

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author

Their project has been decades in the making. And it won’t end once Trump’s finally behind us. Thx.

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I guess I didn't really answer the question did I! I want to see a country where people care enough to make a difference.

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

Many years ago I was traveling in the United States with a business associate from France. At our first evening meal I apologized for our food choices. I felt that any place we chose to go would suffer by comparison to the wonderful cuisine of France. His response to me was, "Never apologize for that. Of course, France has wonderful food. So do many other countries. There are, unfortunately, few countries where there is such a wide variety of passable to excellent ethnic foods so easily available, let alone so many uniquely American foods and so many uniquely American take-offs on food of other ethnicities."

At that point I had not yet traveled outside the U.S. extensively whereas he had traveled globally a great deal. His comment made me think about who and what this country is and what it could be.

The America I want is a country that is cognizant, appreciative, and unafraid of our unique and dazzling mixture of peoples. I want an America that sees and celebrates that diversity as a source of strength and delight and welcomes others who wish to add their own culture to the mix.

Perhaps I'm a bit of an idealist, but I believe that if we could find a way to do that, we would eliminate or minimize many of our other societal problems.

I'm far from smart enough to know how to do that. All I can do vote, lead by example, advocate for democracy and enjoy who we are and who we can be. That I will enjoy doing.

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On immigration and inclusion: While 87% of Biden supporters say “America’s openness to people from all over the world is essential to who we are as a nation,” only 36% of Trump supporters do.

Mother cells decided a long time ago that diversity was good when shes decided to branch out into creating males. Difference, instead of being bad, is required to evolving/growing/improving. Without diversity me/we/ many would not exist. And, it is not just in gender, it is part of every act of creation. This is one of the basic understandings missing in some people's thinking.

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Diversity is the foundation of evolution

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Thanks Charlie, That is one of the questions I am trying to think through... What is it that is evolving.? My current thinking is that diversity is a tool evolution uses to evolve intelligence. Would love your thoughts, especially if you have a different idea.

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I want to live in a country where the color of your skin, whoo you love, where you live and your religious views (or complete lack thereof) are irrelevant.

I want to live in a country with city, county, state and federal legislations look like the population, not just a bunch of old white guys telling everyone what’s best for them. [Full disclosure, I’m an old white guy].

I want to live in a country that prioritizes leveling the playing field, making sure everyone has affordable healthcare, a decet place to live and meaningful, satisfying work at a living wage.

I want to live in a country that pursues diplomatic solutions over coercion of other countries. Personally I think any federal legislator who votes to go to war should be required to enlist as a private in the 101st Airborne. If they’re too old, their children, grandchildren or closest relatives should be the first to be caalled up.

Conscription is slavery. If this country can’t find enough volunteers to fight a war, maybe the war’s not worth fighting.

I know this probably won’t happen in my lifetime, but i can dream.

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” -John Lennon

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Jun 22Liked by Steven Beschloss

A lot of great answers here to a great question.

The statistics are useful and alarming. But we should note that this survey was framed in a way intended to highlight divisions. Those interviewed were registered voters who self-selected as either Trump or Biden supporters. I think a pool of registered voters who did not so identify would show less division, and a larger pool of Americans who might or might not be registered to vote would show still even less of a divide. I'm trying to hold out some hope here.

We have two important tasks before us, neither of which is easy. The first is simpler in concept: to move those of our citizens who are in group three above into group two. That is, register voters and get out the vote.

The second task is harder, especially in a media environment that thrives on conflict, whose standard-bearers' reliability is being called into question, and many of whose sources are actively hostile to the United States. That is to strive to extract items of reality-based information from the gushing torrents of misinformation and disinformation that currently spew forth into that environment. Try to base your electoral choices on information from reliable sources, not from some random internet site that confirms your biases. Try to engage in a critical evaluation of those sources and that information. Not easy, but we have to do it. If we don't we shall indeed get the government we deserve.

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James, hope you are correct with your assessment on the statistics as presented in Steven’s commentary because, they represent the needs of 2 different countries and that is so frightening. I have thought of how we could physically divide our nation to meet the needs of both (but not everybody). It would be so difficult geographically. Wouldn’t we hate to have to do that in the first place!

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Victoria, I don't think anything like that will ever happen. We're a purple country, blue cities in red states, red areas in blue states. There's no way we will ever separate into two (or more) countries. Our antagonists, especially foreign antagonists, know this. Their purpose in promoting disinformation is to weaken us internally to the point where our international influence diminishes, making it easier for them to exert their own influence.

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James,

Very good, well-said.

Charlie

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This essay, filled with facts and figures is just how I like and learn from reading. In answer to your question , " What kind of country do I want to live in", this is my answer:

I would like to live in a country where the education and nurturing of our most precious resource, our children, would be a number 1 priority. In this magical country, great expense would be taken to solidify strong standards for reading, critical thinking, math, science, civics, history,and economics. Music and physical education would be included.

There would be a federal standard to be met. A Democracy stands strong when it's masses are strongly educated.

Our education system should move away from its agricultural time frame, as it no longer serves its purpose.

Preschools should be fully available to all children.

We must recognize that when we have an immigrant population, we must recruit, train and hire teachers who speak those languages. Integration into our pluralistic society is so important.

Bullying will not be tolerated. We were making some headway in that until we had a " Bullying President". How we allowed a man who mocked a disabled reporter on live television and still remain in the race is beyond acceptable. We must have the courage of our convictions.

We see now glaring holes in our social fabric because the standards we came to accept in our society were not met. There needs to be a formal way to hold those who break it accountable. Perhaps a referendum popular bipartisan vote to eliminate a candidate from running who goes against the standards of decency we teach children to uphold.

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I just finished watching Sarah Longwell discussing some focus groups she ran on Utah Republicans. One disturbing common denominator even among savvy-sounding voters was the tendency to accept as fact things for which they could cite no evidence. Right-wing media is distorting viewpoints. This is nothing new among MAGA-ites, but the reach is terrifying. Unlike the Soviet Union or contemporary Russia, we still have access to multiple media outlets. But people aren’t taking advantage of that. I suppose that is why people like authoritarians—they do their thinking for you.

As to what I want for the country, I would start with the ability to make decisions that affect only you be left to the individual. Perhaps the right to choose should be limited to the point at which the fetus can survive without the mother. But in a country that is shutting down sex ed, trying to ban or limit contraception, cutting social welfare programs that might help single mothers, I think it is akin to torture to force a pregnancy through to term. I have worked with women in this situation, and only one was using abortion as a form of birth control. Everyone else would have preferred to be anywhere else doing anything else. It was a crisis, and often emotionally traumatic. I saw lots of young teens, battered women, women in poverty, rough all the way round. Under other circumstances many might have wanted a child. It strikes me as so unfair that women and doctors are being penalized for seeking or providing abortions. What about the men who got them where they are? We are only now coming out with birth control for men other than the condom.

I have seen the worlds created by authoritarians. Everyone is subject to their wishes and fancies—-war in Ukraine? Sure why not. But dictators always have unstable bases, which means frightening the populace into submission or providing placating diversions like an opiate of the people.

I believe in the rule of law. It is flawed, but it works. Fix it, don’t discard it. And find ways to cure the Supreme Court of its ills.

We have a great country. We are capable of D-Day and Selma and so much more. When push comes to shove we sacrifice for one another by choice.

Immigration needs to be a process that actually tracks everyone. I am concerned by the entry through the border with Mexico of Isis members. I do not, however, wish to stop people coming to this country. I think we need to slow things down by a) helping the countries from which people are fleeing, and b) making it known that there is a process—you won’t just get to cross in and do as you like. Take in groups of migrant workers, but keep track of them. It is also a humanitarian issue. We cannot have people bussed to NYC and dumped on the streets. The people we take in should be assured of housing, food, emergency healthcare (at a minimum) and real job prospects. Otherwise these immigrants are being treated as less than human. We need new laws and much better organization.

Sorry to go on at such length. I appreciate the space.

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I want a country where one’s opinions aren’t forced on another. I want a country whose government compromises between the two parties for the greater good of the people; where “owning” the opposition isn’t the goal. While not a religious person I want a country that lives by the golden rule. I believe all religions have a similar verse of scripture. I want common sense laws on gun control, immigration, and environmental issues. Most of all I want MAGA and all its ilk run out of town on a rail. To do that we must vote blue in numbers too great to be disputed.

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Why do politicians fail to acknowledge this?

https://vpc.org/press/guns-rarely-used-to-kill-criminals-or-stop-crimes-new-vpc-report-shows/

"Every time a gun is used by a private citizen to justifiably kill a criminal, guns claim 30 lives in criminal homicides alone, according to Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, a just-released study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC). This most recent edition of the VPC study comes as the gun industry has expanded its marketing efforts promoting guns for self-defense, including targeting communities of color."

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What we all yearn for is predictability. We want to know that when we safely tucked our children into bed last night that they’ll wake up to another day that won’t be so different—that no one will have trampled their rights, freedoms or beliefs overnight. We want leaders who aren’t afraid to try, fail (and admit failure) and who will try again. We recognize that only positive leadership with vision will keep us from the snake pit of “Heart of Darkness,” “Apocalypse Now” or “Lord of the Flies” scenarios. Life IS nasty, brutish and short but it doesn’t mean that we have to be, too.

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One that is concerned with what kind of world do I want to live in?

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Oops; forgot to add a comment about the Ten Commandments posted in schools:

During a literature class we had discussions on Theology.

I do believe the Ten Commandments were discussed. In University of course In literature studying religions was an elective.

I like Borowitz’s discussion that if the Ten Commandments are posted in school, a list of all the times Trump violated each should be attached☺️

Remember this is Sarcasm:

https://www.borowitzreport.com/p/louisiana-orders-classrooms-to-display

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While we all live in the same country it's obvious our views are shaped by extremely different forces. In our extended family, as with so many others, the division seems to be by age and TV viewing practices. The older the person, the more likely they adhere to the opinions viewed on Fox. The saddest part is the elders don't seem to realize they've distanced themselves from the younger generation. While I know they care they're still indignant about their choices and brush off any chance of believing anyone but the Fox pundits. The worst part is knowing Fox is in it for the money, yet when shown the texts where Fox pundits shared their disdain for 45 the elder's response was usually a grey response of questioning who they can trust - then they went right back to watching Fox 24/7. So my question is - What can be done about the scourge of mis- and disinformation on Fox, Newsmax, OAN and Sinclair Broadcasting that is shaping the country and forcing leadership into the reverse role of following the flock. How I wish for the days when integrity actually meant something!

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I have to say that I find the question that leads to "abortion should be legal in all or most cases" is really problematic. It suggests that Democrats support the idea of late term abortion "on demand." It leads to the fulmination on the right of absurdities like "post-birth abortions." The actual thing pro choice folks believe is that the decision, at least after viability, should be between a woman and her doctor, and legal in that instance. Few doctors would approve of abortion for a patient in the 7th month who "just changed her mind." (Not that any do). At the least, the question should be "medically necessary abortion should be legal in all or most cases after viability."

The thing folks forget is that Roe actually left to the states laws about post-viability abortions. And there were few if any states who bothered to restrict it, knowing that the decision WAS between a woman and her doctor and respecting the ethics of doctors.

So what I would like to see in America is a major trend away from the disparagement of expertise in any field, while maintaining the approval to challenge expertise if it draws on unsupportable grounds or if new facts change what the experts have thought. In aid of that, I would LOVE to see a country aware that there are no simple answers to anything really, and that the ability to see distinctions and subtleties was more widespread.

As my mother always said, "If wishes were horses, we all could ride." But just a LITTLE education in distinguishing rational thought from emotional response would be good. This is not to say rational always trumps emotional: gut feeling and intuition have a place as a major source of creativity and new ideas, scientific or other. When I was in school we had classes in how to spot and untangle propaganda--at the time, Russian propaganda. That is a skill that has disappeared from far too many.

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Jun 23·edited Jun 23

What the states that are considered to have abortion bans claim is that medically necessary abortions are available. Then the arguments begin about what that means - ‘how dead’ women need to be, what is ‘medically necessary’ and whether children should be required to carry pregnancies to term.

As you point out, under Roe states had the ability to pass laws after the point of viability BUT abortion had to be available to protect the life and health of the mother. Now that is not happening. The abortion abolitionists disparaged the exceptions. They will never embrace anything less than a ban.

Maybe the question - which is sometimes asked - is whether people prefer the Dobbs decision (or ability to ban all abortion) or abortion access as it was under Roe.

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That is a better question. With that question the spread between GOP and Dem might be much smaller.

Life of the mother is much stricter than "medically necessary." Medically necessary may be needed to allow the mother to bear more children, but may not endanger her life. Several states don't recognize health, even when the fetus is not viable. Basically, the right when nutso with Dobbs and lost any ability to be reasonable about things they formerly had been post viability.

What Dobbs did NOT say is that the laws the states could pass could now be unconstitutional laws on other grounds. I'm sort of surprised there haven't been equal protection suits going on challenging the content of the laws. How many men have to be on death's door before they can get treatment? And of course, "life begins at conception" is a religious concept so there could be a challenge there. It would make the whole IVF controversy moot.

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Jun 23·edited Jun 23

Roe said “health” which was open to interpretation. That’s a big reason why the abolitionists hated it. Now they have the flip side of the coin which is what they want. The ‘health’ or ‘life’ of the mother in the abortion bans are a fig leaf - a P/R stunt that is ignored in courts and confuses medical facilities.

There are challenges on various grounds about the country. Uphill battles.

https://www.lpm.org/news/2024-05-13/religious-freedom-challenge-to-ky-abortion-ban-heard-in-court

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I’d like to live in a country that codifies every inalienable right we have all fought for and won to be the rules of the land and if people who disagree to leave so the rest of us can finally live in peace!

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We are just watching a mini series called Hitler and the Nazi's

It is scary to see how Trump seems to model himself on Hitler and what happened in the 1930s in Germany.

Let's hope that will never happen.

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What kind of country I want and how to get it will require all of us to take some responsibility to help insure that the use of fear and falsehoods by Trump and his blind followers do not succeed in ending our Democracy, as imperfect as it is.

If we can all look in a mirror today and ask ourselves if we are doing something to help insure that we stay a Democracy and can answer in the affirmative, we may not have to say to that mirror after the election “I shoulda, woulda, coulda”. My question is how do we motivate our friends, family, those who only talk a good game, to make an effort to avert a potentially catastrophic coming election?

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“Be respectful in your comments”? I don’t think I can be when talking about people who are trying to destroy my country, so I guess I can’t comment.

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In Larson's Demon of Unrest, there is a chapter called Frustration that reminds me of now. It's the time between SC decision to secede & Lincoln's inauguration. There is division in Congress, hatred, storm clouds gathering, black skies. And it seems we have a 50-50 chance of the same now.

I am against all guns. Shooting at a human cutout is not sport. More risk at home than from strangers. I am against reparations for slave descendants. Do descendants of Trail of Tears native Americans deserve them, too? I support legal immigration. Doubt all those millions are leaving S America because lives threatened. Claiming trump is Jesus is sick. His evangelicals turning people away from religion. Leave women alone. Having an additional appendage does not bestow male dominance over half the population. If Republicans think weak justice system, how can they support a convicted felon running for president?

Ask older folks. They revere life in the 1950s. War over, Ike liked, GI Bill for college, NATO, UN, housing being built like Levittown, NY affordable, Hershey bars 5¢, hats tipped, women dressed with modesty, children schooled well, parents not afraid to say no & discipline, a used Chevy for $200. Happy times. Except.for black population. Then what happened. Iron Curtain. Nuclear threat. So, back we went. Seems like always 1 step forward, 2 back .

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Trevor Noah said it quite well: "After all these years of the right screaming about the threat of Sharia law, it turns out they were just jealous."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nr65lc1ys8

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I do not think anything will change until the root cause of this is addressed by governments, and it may be too late. When money and power is concentrated in the hands of corporate tech and media and there is no oversight by government agencies to ensure accurate information is shared, there will always be two competing storylines. Citizen's United was decided by a compromised court and when everyone knows it but does nothing to fix it, we have to realize the system is broken. Watching our money, that could have been used to shore up benefits for our people, be spent on pointless wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Apghanistan just to prop up the arms industry has shown us the government cares very little for its own people. Climate change is here and the young people who cannot afford to use half their income to pay for housing are the ones who will suffer. The future is bleak, and they know it. Biden is trying but the corporations have more money thanks to the trillions in tax cuts. Israel is forcing Biden to do its bidding and the world watches in horror as a genocide unfolds. Most people do not care or realize that Trump instigated this mess by cutting Palestine out of his "deal" with the Saudis and Israel and moving the capital to Jerusalem, emboldening the Israelis to grab more land from the West Bank and kill the homeowners with no accountability.

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Sadly, much of what the Trump supporters suffer from are the result of Republican policies that have been tax cuts for the rich, policies that stand the way of good education for all, feed them religion instead of education, and they get fired up by a media controlled by the wealthy. Somehow, Biden has to tell them on TV that they are suffering because of these policies and he needs to tell them in a way that is simple and clear.

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Even more reason, as if we needed more, to vote Blue up and down the ballot. Policy differences can be debated only if we have an actual democracy.

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As a point of levity, I'll just say that that I don't want a leader who has been convicted of 34 felonies and counting. That's not too much of an ask, is it?

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