Thinking Out Loud

I've been thinking about how demoralized most of us are. Frankly that is completely logical given current realities. I feel discouraged, powerless, frustrated, boxed in. I don't think the actual left in this country has disappeared, but we are scattered. I am exhausted by being outraged, finished with dwelling on that. I'm also finished with being cynical. Spending my time and energy that way feels a waste and a dead end road.

So what is there to do? Part of me wants to find a way to communicate with Trumpers, Fox watchers and open their eyes. Another part of me says better to find a way to get through to some of the "liberals". There are other true left people out there. And I have been discovering accidentally in conversations, that unexpected people are in agreement with me about free speech, Snowden, Assange.

We don't have much time to do anything that will make a difference and begin to turn around what we see happening, be a part of getting things moving in a positive direction. But I believe there are things we can do. Maybe a start is doing some brainstorming.

It is not hopeless. Remember the size and enthusiasm of the rallies for Bernie? There were polls early in 2020 showing that a majority of even Fox viewers would vote for Bernie over Trump. Bernie is out of the picture. But the ideas he talked about were and are things people were in favor of. My point being that we are not alone in what we want for this country and our world.

Think about the things a majority of the US population wants. Just stop and think for a minute about those things. We are not alone. We are not a minority. We are people who have realized we will not get these things without a major struggle.

We are locked in while this pandemic rages. But we can use this time to plan, to connect with like minded people, to practice the skill of focusing on the things we have in common instead of our differences. People will always have differences. We each live in our own skin. I think our connectedness with others is most important. If we can find connections and exploit them, we can win.

We don't want to be like some churches and even political groups have a tendency to be. They start arguing about some one point and instead of agreeing to disagree on that thing, end up splitting into separate groups.

I'm not the brightest button in the box and for sure not here. And I'm inclined to be Pollyanna-ish at times. But I believe we can find actions this community can take, perhaps along with like minded people that can make a genuine difference.

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Comments

usefewersyllables's picture

for bi-tribal action is to attack election integrity. There are lots of people who wear both colored jerseys (and many like me who wear no jersey at all) who believe that this election was an utter crock of shit, and that both facets of the uniparty are at least partially to blame for their own pieces of it.

Public belief in election integrity is at an all-time low. Perhaps someone somewhere who has any energy left can take that and run with it. All I can say is that it isn't going to be me- 2020 has finished my participation in the quadrennial kabuki, and I'm not likely to pay any attention in the future unless some highly placed heads roll.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables @usefewersyllables
You learn quicker than I. It has taken more than two to convince me. Like every election since 1992. 28 years. Seven elections. Each time worse than the last. Change won't come from elections. And the change that comes from violent revolutions is change that you don't want. Truly, Justice (and Hope) is for fools.

EDIT: "revolutions" not elections.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

usefewersyllables's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

catch on, and every four years I still seem to forget and have had to learn all over again. From Hunter S. Thompson's excellent "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72":

But what about next time? Who is going to explain in 1976 that all the people who felt they got burned in '72 should "try again" for another bogus challenger? Four years from now there will be two entire generations - between the ages of twenty-two and forty - who will not give a hoot in hell about any election, and their apathy will be rooted in personal experience. Four years from now it will be very difficult to convince anybody who has gone from Johnson/Goldwater to Humphrey/Nixon to Nixon/Muskie that there is any possible reason for getting involved in another bullshit election...

Credulity is the only reason the dems get any votes from progressives- there are always starry-eyed new people coming into the process who believe that Their Generation Will Be The One That Will Make The Difference, as the old ones burn out and tune out or die off. This time for sure, and all that.

I know whereof I speak: I have always been one of those starry-eyed types, even though I should have been one of the two generations that HST said would be done with politics after '72. It took Bernie's abject capitulations in 2016 and 2020 to finally drive me to the following realization: "No, son, your generation won't be the one to make the difference."

As Lily Tomlin said: "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

lotlizard's picture

@usefewersyllables

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@lotlizard for McGovern. I just re-read that book a while back and Hunter assumed Ed Muske would be the candidate until he wasn’t.

Also, it’s a fantastic and still very relevant book. I’ve read Campaign Trail ‘72 more times than any of his other works and find it amazingly prescient. I doubt he’d have been the least bit surprised about our last two elections.

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Just another Bozo on the bus.

@usefewersyllables
the Muskie nom flub. Actually, had Muskie been the nominee, the illusion that primary voters matter would have been better preserved. As it was, 1972 was the first presidential election cycle with the Democratic primary reforms in place and that just barely led to McGovern's nomination. But the Empire struck back for the general election with the Democratic poobahs either sitting on their hands or actively supporting Nixon and that led to Nixon's landslide win.

Arguably, Carter's team exploited the new primary rules to secure the nomination with only 27.7% of the IA caucus, second to uncommitted at 37% which made him the media darling. OTOH, while he wasn't the preference of the Democratic Party poobahs, other than perhaps Scoop Jackson, they didn't have a horse in the race but weren't about to support Udall and later Brown or Church. (And of course, George Wallace was a no go.) Carter did have support from various elements of the financial community which at that time was less consolidated and general favored Republicans.

California Democrats with a June primary were essentially disenfranchised after 1972; so, primaries weren't worth paying attention to for the next few election cycles. Any of the more able and more acceptable candidates were long gone by our June primary.

Thompson was correct, general election voter participation declined after 1972 to a low of 49% in 1996 and that was with a Perot taking 8.4% of that 49%. Slightly better in 2000 but then there was a slight split on the left instead of a strong split on the right.

It wasn't until 2002/03 that I considered voters may make a difference in choosing a better nominee. Should have known better based on the candidates that ran with McAuliffe (Clinton lackey) as DNC chair. All DLC (corporate) alumni. Leaving voters to choose among strong, weak, and no Iraq War supporters. Inoculating Clinton on the Iraq War was of prime importance for her '08 run, as well as a nominee that would appeal to "mushy middle liberals" and lose to GWB.

'08 dispelled the silly notion among "mushy middle liberals" that only a southern Democrat can win the WH. Unfortunately that gave rise to a new notion, "woke." If any Democratic candidate doesn't embody "woke" it's Biden, but he got that by proxy from the candidates that dropped out in his favor. Cementing that the DP is the corporate, pro-war, and anti-worker party. No choice in DP primaries and the choice in general elections is limited to god speak racism or a bit less of both.

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Granma's picture

@usefewersyllables of voting, political parties, or politicians. I'm thinking in terms of person to person connections before we lose the last bits of free speech.
Regarding voting, since you mentioned it, I think paper ballots, hand counted in public is the way to get clean elections. Having someone honest, worth voting for, is a bigger issue.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Granma @Granma

GoFundMe that everyone can participate in with things like Medicare4All. We’ll see how it goes.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Granma's picture

@Lily O Lady

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@Granma
The MSM wasn't quite powerful enough that year to anoint GWB. Since then, doubt the outcomes would have changed, and "social media" simply echoes the MSM and adds a bunch of half-baked conspiracy theories.

The vast majority of voters can't deal with other than a binary choice which is one reason why primary election turnout is so comparatively low. In multi-party states such as France and Germany the recent outcomes haven't differed that from those in the US. If voters in those countries aren't responsive to workers and the people over corporations, no chance in the near term that US voters will.

(btw there is a "People's Party" in Austria. It's conservative and christian and shifted right further right in 2017.)

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Marie

2000. He as always portrayed in a positive light, appearing with sleeves rolled up as if ready to work. Then would come Gore who was portrayed as wooden, lacking spontaneity an obvious also-ran in the eyes of the media. I don’t think TPTB wanted old Climate Change Al in the White House. Better a Texas oil man, no matter how feckless. So it was written; so it was done.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady
Anoint probably not the best word for 2000 as there was but one MSM constant in that year and a half election cycle, denigrate Gore on superficial matters regardless of the veracity. During the primary season, McCain was the MSM GOP darling but they gave GWB decent press. On the Democratic side, Bradley was appeared to be favored by the MSM, but that may not have been authentic and was simply another way to bash Gore.

Recall the relief among Democratic voters when McCain was taken out by the Bush team. Little did those Democrats know that GWB would inherit McCain's MSM sycophants. Or read that correctly that the MSM anointment was for a party, the GOP, and not a specific candidate.

My point was that the MSM failed in 2000 but was saved by election fraud in FL and a crooked SCOTUS. The MSM attempted to play a more complicated game in 2016 by first favoring a third term for the party in the WH, favoring the anointed one in that party, and choosing a guaranteed general election loser for the opposing party. Or perhaps that's what they did or thought they did in 1988 when it worked. The problem was that HRC was more widely known in 2016 and intensely disliked by a large portion of the electorate than GHWB was in 1988. heh -- that would be an argument that Biden would have beat Trump in 2016.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Marie

still fresh in the public’s mind, I’m not sure.

And people were pissed. They knew something was rotten even though they might not understand what it was. Michael Moore was right. Trump was a “Molotov cocktail” heaved at the establishment. Some who found Bernie Sanders’ issues compelling ended up voting for Trump when given that or more of the same. In a sense, I suppose, the attack on Congress was that Molotov cocktail once again, bracketing Trump’s term.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady
Unproven. Like GHWB he might have skated through all the discontent because his record was too opaque to ordinary voters and Trump turned off more voters than he turned, even in 2016. He also had that empathy factor -- the dead son -- that was fresher in 2016 than it was in 2020 and that he continues to milk, and even with his gaffes, he was more verbally fluid in 2016 than he is now. A polite way of saying that he didn't appear half-dead in 2016. Polling on Biden in 2015 indicated that he would have severely eaten into Sanders support.

Trump's 2016 campaign was a disorganized mess, but that didn't mean that he hadn't spent twenty years identifying and then targeting voter factions that do overlap but in the margins are discrete and additive to the GOP 37.5% baseline that a trained monkey GOP nominee can count on: workers that felt, for good reason, that they had been left behind (the Perot vote), racists (the GHWB 1988 vote) and gun nuts (both energized more than usual after an AA POTUS), the fundies (a neat trick for a thrice married man that's no more religious than a garden snail, that's where the Palin and Dr. Ben voters came in). To that he added latent misogyny. Plus during the 2016 campaign, he didn't back down when caught on a smidgen of his endless lies or being impolite or impolitic (tough guys play well with the electorate). One could make an argument that all that would have played as well against Biden as it did against Hillary. Then again... Would he even have been the GOP nominee if Biden had been viable for the nomination? It's possible that the GOP party bigwigs didn't interfere in the 2016 primary because they also viewed HRC as unbeatable. Whereas they know a nominee like Biden is beatable by a Republican without mega-warts. Probably what they are working on now for 2024.

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Shahryar's picture

@usefewersyllables

But like Granma says, we aren't allowed the candidates we want.

Business interests get together and decide who to back and who to block. Then they duke it out. Since the final candidates are "approved" they only care who wins in terms of which side gets the most graft.

As for cheating, if they could they would but the two parties (the Money Party and the Other Money Party) know each other's tricks and would easily find evidence.

2016 was an anti-Hillary election. 2020 was an anti-Trump election. That seems obvious and the results don't seem dubious at all.

But if you think it was crooked I'd love to hear more about that.

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usefewersyllables's picture

@Shahryar

My concerns with, and revelations about, exactly how the caucuses/primaries were ratfucked in both 2016 and 2020 here in CO have been well documented.

Add that to the CO state SoS claim (for example) that CO's 2020 turnout was 84.6%, a number at least 10 points beyond any election in recorded history, and that the Green party was unable to turn out any more voters than the Kanye West joke/vanity campaign (despite a very strong and long-term presence in Boulder county), and I have to call foul. There are over 20% of registered voters who will never vote, so I cannot see any way that those numbers were achieved in the general election without yet more ratfucking.

But I realize that the OP's intent was to discuss positive directions for future efforts, not just to relitigate the political aspect of what is now part of history, so I should probably just drop it. The only thing that I can contribute along those lines would be to encourage anyone who still has energy left to consider attacking election integrity, because that is all that matters. As you point out, we aren't allowed candidates worth voting for- so until that changes, I'll watch from the sidelines.

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

Shahryar's picture

@usefewersyllables

Nevada's changing rules prove that.

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@usefewersyllables

Should be the one thing everyone should be able to agree on the importance of maintaining.

Doing things like checking on the state of voter rolls and such is something that doesn't seem like it has a high bar to participating, and citizen volunteers in a number of states are undertaking just such work.

Video below, from December in Arizona, explains what people are doing there - from about 1:20 or so, there are a number of personal accounts of the experiences of volunteers going out to physically canvass addresses & such. (Bonus from 8:00 an interview with the Q-anon shaman "viking" guy arrested - and currently held without bail - following the Capitol incursion. See if he sounds like a threat to society.)

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magiamma's picture

The reality is that there are a lot of things that need fixing - big things. Anyone would take an army. I think that Hedges has it right. The only way 'we' can really affect change is by 'all' of us joining together. Not sure that can happen and happen in time. Hedges points to what just happened in Argentina with the approval of the abortion bill. And to how we stopped the Viet Nam war. Can that kind of movement happen again? Don't know.

Lookout already posted this but it is well worth listening to if you have not

Take good care.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

@magiamma
Defeat stopped the Vietnam War. Like the Carthaginians in the Second Punic war. America won every battle but the last one.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Of course the anti-war, mostly left, brought the war to an end. Not quickly but considering the power and might of the MIC amazing that they responded at all without annihilating all of SE Asia and establishing it as a US colony. Four administrations (five if we include Ford) attempted to do that without success.

That meme goes right along with the "stabbed in the back" meme promulgated by the US military. Then there was the "Vietnam Syndrome" -- one that could only be vanquished by fighting and winning another war. Grenada was too small and meaningless to count. Panama not big enough. It took GHWB's Gulf War to declare that the end of the Vietnam Syndrome within the collective consciousness. The reality is the US military doesn't and can't win foreign wars as we imagine it did in WWII. Hence, the US arrives, blows up some things and people and stays and stays with no purpose and no intention of leaving.

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Granma's picture

@magiamma but we need them to. And we need them to be huge, terrifyingly large. To me, that means talking to people, connecting with them where there is agreement. There has to be a common goal, a common demand to get 100s of thousands or millions involved. But that starts with a few. We are looking for the route to exponential growth like that wretched virus has been doing. The virus started with one or two cases here and there.

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Granma's picture

@magiamma was what he said at the very end about power needing to be afraid of the people. He made that point very well.

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that donors control the government, not the will of the people.
Just yesterday, an 84 year old Republican activist I have been friends with for decades said to me, Trump was awful, Biden will be awful, and neither of them help us at all. He would vote for M4A, emergency UBI, he is sick of the endless wars, and wants free tests and free vaccinations during the pandemic. He also believes voting is untrustworthy due to machines. He did not go off about mail in votes, etc...he just mightily distrusts the machines.
We are in total agreement about all of those issues. Why ruin it with ID Pol, POCs becoming the majority population in a decade? Who cares about ID Pol and skin color and sexual identity and religion when we could all be safe, comfortable, and put our trust in government and elections?
Finding true FDR lefties is much more difficult, and "socialism" makes both party establishments go berserk. I soften the blow by discussing the horror of permanent toll roads. Or, the horror of no regular mail, or the elimination of Social Security.
We are all in COVID cages, prisoners in our own homes, our own minds. We are not living our lives as "normal". But we have to come to terms that our "normal" is substandard, and connect with those of us who will work to uplift us all.

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phillybluesfan's picture

We live in unsettling times. Apparently I have been talking in my sleep almost every night. Up to now my words has been unrecognizable. But last night my wife heard me say, "There was this Bob Dylan song."

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Few are guilty, but all are responsible.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Prophets

Well, yes.

And before that there was:

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@Blue Republic

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Lookout's picture

We forget the origins of this country...designed by oligarchs for oligarchs...built on genocide of first nations peoples and the backs of slaves. A nation of war since the start.

We have had moments when we were better, but it has been a while. Now is there a way out of the morass? Sadly, I think we are a day late and dollar short because of the onset of ecosystem collapse with essentially no effort to to halt the progress of degradation.

If here is a hope I think it is with the people's party. https://peoplesparty.org/
Yet, here again I fear too little too late.

I live in a very red state. When I talk policy with my neighbors we agree on a great deal. Ending the forever wars and using the money to help people here. M4A during a pandemic. A living wage and even a jobs program based on infrastructure enhancement.

The people are not the problem, it is the system and the media machine which propagandizes for the dysfunctional approach of ever more profit for the few. Slamming M4A as communist and unaffordable while flaunting pharma and insurance ads, promoting forever war while Raytheon and Boeing ads dominate. This is the big hurdle to my mind. Overcoming the misinformation silos that both sides wallow in...russiagate on the left and stop the steal on the right...both equally invalid....both design to distract from the real issues of inequality and a rigged system.

I wish I had a silver bullet, but I can't see a way out in time to prevent ecoside. So enjoy your friends, seek beauty in nature, find joy in your hobbies, and treasure every day! I think we're afloat on our own.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

lotlizard's picture

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/l3okp9/identity_politics_...

And:
The Boondocks, “The Return of the King”

And:
The New Left with Fiorella Isabel: The CIA and who’s really in charge?

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earthling1's picture

is a list.
A list that both sides of the political spectrum agree on.
1. No more endless war draining the national treasure.
2. M4A
3. Term limits.
4. Paper ballots.
5. An end to the Citizen's United bribery scheme.
6. A return to third party sponsorship of the POTUS Debates.
7. A return to Nuclear Detente and MAD as official policy.
8. A balanced budget.
9. End the FED banking cabal.
10. End the electoral college.

Here are the first ten. Feel free to add to this list.
I'm fairly confident that presented with these issues, most Rebublican voters would agree that these are their concerns as well.
When conversing with right wingers, touching only on these issues will bring an agreeable conversation and avoid the unimportant subjects entirely.
Of course, this is all only in my humble opinion, a phrase that should always be used liberally.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@earthling1

I take heart in Biden indicating he would sign the extension of the START Treaty. I notice my San Francisco Chronicle, in today's Sunday editorial, listed Biden's promising moves on immigration, environment, and the pandemic, but DIDN'T EVEN MENTION the START Treaty.

It's this madness, Democratic Party institutional support for nuclear weapons insanity, that makes me feel we have a much harder task in communicating with liberals than conservatives.

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earthling1's picture

@Linda Wood
I refuse to accept the current DNC/Democratic Establishment as Democrats. They are not even leftists.
They have hijacked our party of FDR and perverted its name and goals.
They are no more "Democrats" than McConnell is Communist.
They are a lost cause and we will never pry them from their moneyed donors.
Which is why I advocate strongly for a bi-partisan "No Incumbent Party" to drive out all the tainted congresscritters and replace them with everyday people who truly want to serve America.
IMHO

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@earthling1
of the items on your list. A couple of others don't appear to be fundamental but instead negative outcomes of core issues.

If this list loses a socialist, goo-gov voter, it's going to be a tough sell to the majority.

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Granma's picture

@earthling1 on the other hand, I agree you should be able to have a reasonable, non- confrontational conversation with many people about those items.

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@earthling1

and in terms of overall approach.

I'd suggest a couple things.

Something more nuanced on health/healthcare, for example. M4A has the benefit
of being simple and understandable but Medicare has a lot of problems that are
not necessarily inherent in some sort of universal healthcare scheme.

Somehow the "care" and "health" parts seem generally to get little attention when they should be central, as should Informed Consent.

On the Electoral College, well, it's there for some very good reasons. If we are not going to become a unitary state like say, France or Japan then we need to respect state/local/individual sovereignty. I did the math a couple years ago and based on the number of people in each state potentially eligible to vote, that population of just four states equaled or exceeded that of the 22 or 23 least populous.

A reform that would keep the EC but empower minor parties and put every state in play would be to distribute each state's Electors proportionally according to the state popular vote.

Then there's guns. Verbal fencing over the wording of the Second Amendment is kind of pointless. A simpler approach is to acknowledge that people have an inherent right to the defense of their person, neighbors, community and legitimately owned property and hence have the right to appropriate tools for accomplishing that.

Progressives have tended, I think, to be dismissive of what a barrier Dem gun policies are for people that would otherwise support Bernie, Tulsi...

Not sure how to word this, but (IMHO) principles matter. Election integrity is strong potential uniting issue because it embodies bedrock principles that most people agree are of fundamental importance.

There are a lot of things people are going to have to agree to disagree on, but if we can agree on something as basic as the Bill of Rights actually meaning what it says and not something we are willing to continue to see ignored in practice, then policies or initiatives to implement it are bound to follow.

Thanks again, Earthling!

Symbol-Of-Democracy.jpg

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Blue Republic

is what Maine and Nebraska already do - divvy up the electors by congressional district, with the two "over" (for Senators) going to whoever takes the state popular vote. A bit more complicated, but it would put an end to atrocities like one metroplex outweighing the entire rest of the state.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven

is preferable to what we have now, IMO.

I don't have the exact numbers I worked out before, but CA 2016 illustrates the difference between the allocating by CD (Nebraska and Maine) systems and straight proportional.

It's unlikely that any third party would have won a congressional district there in 2016 and hence would have won no electors. But with proportional allocation, both Greens and Libertarians would have had one or two electors each.

One problem with that is that, percentage-wise, the bar is much higher in low population states than in large ones - less than two percent per elector in CA whereas in Wyoming it would take 1/3 plus per elector.

There's no particular reason why the number of EC electors couldn't simply be doubled, though. That would not change the relative balance among the states, but (combined with proportional allocation of electors) would mean that in no state would more than 1/6 plus one be required to gain an elector and the bar would also be lowered in the most populous states - in CA to under one percent - although the voting power per elector would be only half what it is presently.

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earthling1's picture

@Blue Republic
Not sure I understand your concern with Medicare. I'M on it and have no problems so far. It is definitely worth every penny I've invested in it over the decades. If I could have doubled or tripled my paycheck deductions at age 20 and had lifetime healthcare instead of this existing "profit" scheme, I would have gladly.
And shifting the populous over to M4A would be seamless and painless (excepting the for profit med insurance industry) by gradually reducing the eligibility age from 65 to 60 to 55 ect. over a period of years.
All of this can be massaged, adjusted, and run through the sausage machine.
As far as gun control, I am also a gun owner. But even I can see the real danger of high powered assault type weapons in an urban setting. These are weapons that can pass through an assailant and numerous walls, inflicting mortal injuries to sleeping or otherwise innocent victims. Population centers are no place for high powered weapons. A shotgun or revolver would be of better use anyway.
Regarding the Electoral College, I have a funny bias when it comes to "of the people, by the people, for the people." I don't recognize states as people. Popular will of the people should rule regardless of which state you are in. We are a nation of some 330 million, all with one vote. No group of people should hold more voting power than the whole.
My response is in no way meant to elicit and argument, only polite discourse as I recognize your post as having merit too.
Thanks again.

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6 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Granma's picture

@earthling1 @on the cusp will be seeing and talking to different people. We don't all have to use the same talking points. We can choose among the different ideas site members have come up with what we think will work best with the people we are talking with and listening to.

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Granma's picture

@earthling1 I take back what I said about it being too long. The more ideas we have for how to get through to people, areas of agreement we can find, the better. That is especially true because people here are scattered all over. We're talking with different people. Each of us can pick and choose what we think will help us connect with the folks we are speaking with.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I, for one, welcome what you have to offer!

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Granma's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

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Government never bothers with the concept when giving to the oligarchs, either bailing out Wall Street, or promoting the War on Terror. Always, always plenty of deficit spending for those. When pay go and budget deficits become a thing, cuts are always going to promote austerity, and do harm to the 99%.
The other items are great, and I might include funding public schools, k through college graduation.

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Granma's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp appeals very strongly to me. The money the government has is our money. Corporations, especially the bigger, most profitable ones often pay little or nothing. It seems to me that promoting the general welfare means providing health care during a pandemic as a priority over giving anything to Wall Street or building bombs.
And talking about money, who is and is not getting it, ought to be a common interest of virtually everyone.

Edit to fix typo.

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@Granma What completely derails it is mention of balanced budget.
Most people agree that the rich should pay their fair share of taxes, and the anti-tax freaks are mostly the ones that would be targeted to FINALLY pay more taxes. Reagan's trickle down theory is still believed by a certain segment of the population.
What most people on the street do not comprehend is that we always print as much money as the banskters and MIC need. They NEVER feel comfortable running a budget deficit for the rest of us.
Balanced budget = austerity.

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Granma's picture

@on the cusp we don't need one right now anyway.
What we need is to house and feed everyone. And provide medical care, high quality masks, rapid tests, and vaccinations to everyone who wants them. And now! Not later.

IMO, the pandemic and the climate are right this minute emergencies. And housing and feeding our country's population are a part of that. Some of those bombs we build cost over $500 million each, I believe. It is a question of priorities. Fighter jets and ships cost billions of dollars each.

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earthling1's picture

@on the cusp
I'm talking to rank and file conservative voters, who by and large, want our budget under some kind of control.
Most people I talk to on both the right and the left are tired of deficit spending. Most realize it's nothing more than a credit account that must be paid for in the future.
The government and anybody that runs our government want nothing to do with my short list.
I'll add #11. Take control of our borders. A backpack of sarin gas could be smuggled across just as easily as pot. This I know everyone agrees with.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Granma's picture

Sparked a lot more thinking for me. I did not have elections or voting in mind originally. I was thinking in terms of connecting with other people and getting them to think about what is going on in this country.

If we only talk with each other, we are like a bunch of firemen sitting in the firehouse/station house talking about the massive fires raging around us instead of getting out there and doing what we can. The fires are huge. Our numbers and tools limited. But we can talk to people, maybe recruit some more firemen. The Capitol police were vastly outnumbered on January 6. But they managed to accomplish quite a bit just the same. They got all the Congress and senators to safe places, actually held back a lot of people from also entering the building. Sometimes a few people can accomplish what they feel is most urgent at the time.
(Whether you think it important that the Congress and senators were kept safe that day, that is the job of the Capitol police, the reason they exist.)

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earthling1's picture

@Granma
are in an echo chamber.
Both sides need to break out an converse with the other side.
My list of common issues is the icebreaker. Lead with it.
If they veer off to commies or transgender, point out that those issues pale in comparision to endless wars and trillion dollar Pentagon budgets.
If they fret about welfare mommas or food stamps, counter compare with corporate welfare bailouts and billions of dollars given to Israel.
ID politics are being use as a wedge between us. And quite successfully.
Not everyone will agree with everything on my list. But its a start.
The tribalism must end or we are all doomed to serfdom.
IMHO

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

snoopydawg's picture

@earthling1

When you think of Trump supporters or republicans in general before Trump what is the first thing that comes into your mind? I think people’s answers are important to the conversation. I know what mine is, but I don’t want to spoil the pool.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

earthling1's picture

@snoopydawg
They are what split the Republican Party into two factions.
It is the TP that have the numbers. Establishment Repubs have the control.
It was the Estab. Repubs that ran Trump out of office.
IMHO.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

@snoopydawg

in my mind are people struggling with the fact that jobs don't provide livability or security so that young people cannot count on having a home, family, health, and peace. Instead there are drugs, overseas military service, debt, and job insecurity.

Republicans before Trump meant to me greed, power for the wealthy, corruption, and heartlessness.

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Granma's picture

@earthling1 we are trying to break the ice and make connections. I in a rush this morning to get out to a medical appointment so that's all I'll say now.

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studentofearth's picture

a two way conversation. Begin to analyze their viewpoint and ideas, may discover there are more commonality than between individuals in the party you identify with at the moment. I mention at the moment, because the parties are different within the geographical area of our own states, the faction in power vary greatly from state to state and governing philosophies have varied over time.

Oregon is a good example, we have always had significant migration to the state, the opinions of a party member more often resemble their originating area than the Oregon political party at the time they arrived. The success of shifting party ideals has varied. The progressive Republican party of my youth is completely gone. The one with the Senators voting against the Vietnam War, Governors which kept public access to beaches, passed recycling legislation, installed land-use laws to inhibit uncontrolled development and strengthened the pension plan for state workers.

I like the subjects on the list to keep a conversation going and exploring commonality, not as a method to convert new followers. Simply ratcheting down the level of fear and depression would be helpful. I can see a support group forming to work on expanding dialog with a wider audience.

But we can use this time to plan, to connect with like minded people, to practice the skill of focusing on the things we have in common instead of our differences. People will always have differences. We each live in our own skin. I think our connectedness with others is most important. If we can find connections and exploit them, we can win.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

earthling1's picture

@studentofearth
Republicanism in 60s-70s Oregon was fantastic. That was the truly grand ol party!
Eisenhower ushered in the great interstate expressway system, opening up all of America.
Nixon signed the Clean Air Act and got us out of Vietnam. He created the EPA and Supplemental Social Security for the poor and aged. He signed the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
This is not the current Repub. Party.
They wouldn't give struggling Americans $1.68 a day in support.
But then, the current Democrat Establishment are no better.

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6 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.