606 Comments
founding

"He (Donald Trump) took a wrecking ball to democracy." No truer words were said. And as you have pointed out so eloquently, Mitch McConnell is the one who paved the way so the wrecking ball could create the most havoc.

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Mar 1Liked by Robert Reich

True, but gravity will soon take care of both Trump and McConnell. In the meantime, instead of yet more Trump bashing let's look for ways to reverse Trump and McConnell, starting with a New Left radical agenda comprising increased income taxes on the 0.1%, and the corporations, along with a wealth tax. Let them all scream.

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Here's the real news, taken from Heather Cox Richardson this morning.

"Today, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) told reporters that “several” House Republicans are willing to sign a discharge petition to force Speaker Johnson to bring a national security supplemental measure to the floor for a vote. A simple majority can force a vote on a bill through a discharge petition, but such a measure is rare because it undermines the House speaker. With Johnson refusing to take up the Senate measure, Fitzpatrick and his colleague Representative Jared Golden (D-ME) have prepared their own pared-down aid measure. Fitzpatrick told CNN’s Jake Tapper Tuesday that “[w]e are trying to add an additional pressure point on something that has to happen.” "

Could this portend a coalition to end Trump's hold of MAGA Mile's gonads?

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It’s what I told a family member this week — rational Republicans {if any rational people still call themselves Republican} MIGHT still step up and either force Johnson to bring bills to the floor, or go over Johnson’s head.

If they’re going to do it, they’d better get a move on!

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Agreed, but it will have to be a Democrat that brings the discharge petiton to the floor, and enough Republicans have said they would support it, so my question then is why hasn't it happened yet.?

What are the Democrats waiting on?

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Yes, which is why I want them to get a move on!

I realize, too, though, that in Washington, it’s not considered a good idea to bring something up for a vote until you know you have the votes to move it … so maybe they have been collecting those votes.

Is it determined that they have firm commitments from Republicans willing to go along?

I hope they GET A MOVE ON!!!

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Pat it takes 218 votes to move a discharge petition to the floor.

There are 213 Democrats, and from what I understand there are at least 5 if not more Republicans who will sign off on the petition.

so the question remains: Why hasn't the Democrats done anything yet

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A discharge petition is a bureaucratic mess with many land mines, beg pardon procedural hurdles, that must be met. It really can't be done quickly.

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Which makes me SO frustrated …

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the so called "rational ones" are all resigning...what is it about 29 of them won't run again???

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Good. When congresspeople go home and talk to their constituents and when they realize the RNC will be paying Trump’s legal bills rather than helping their camp and when the constituents start to understand that the congressperson is getting $174,000 a year plus excellent benefits but is not doing anything but enabling laws that make their lives worse and the country less safe, they will find a bit of a backbone because their careers with this cushy job will be endangered.

The GOP congresspeople can see that Trump and the MAGAs are a disaster for them.

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My congress critter is one of the seditionists, who refused to certify the election. He's a lockstep foot soldier, who votes like he's told. I'm not sure he's ever had an independent thought. David Rouzer NC-7

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founding

@JennSH. "congress critter"! I like that!

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Get involved with your local Democratic Party, help to vote him out. There are a lot of military in rural NC, help educate them. We all must flind our nitch and help local Dems win in '24.

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Mine too!

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DK;

There is so much low hanging fruit for the Democrats to pick and exploit politically.

The Republicans tee it up for us in pretty little packages from the likes of Trump,MTG. MAGA Mike,et al. Keep it coming repugs! I think your next move should be to restrict birth control. Bring it on!

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Correct you are David, however the Democrats need to grow a pair, get aggressive, go on the offense.

Which is the tactic the Republicans have used with great success.

We got the meat, now scare the hell out of the voters, by hammering them with their misogynistic, anti human, anti democracy agenda and actions.

Knee cap them, no more of this pansy stuff about going high when they do low, that is why we are in the position we are now. Republicans could have been taken out, after Reagan, if Democrats had spine.

Instead stupid lefties, threw the election to the Republicans with their Chicago 7 stunt at the 1968 Democratic national convention.

Abie Hoffman and his cohorts did the right wing's work for them, just as their modern counterparts, like the Wayne Co, Michigan electorate is doing.

For full disclosure in 1968 I was a Republican and a conservative, and thought then what a gift the Chicago 7 was, and sure enough the Chicago 7, was Nixon's greatest gift.

The left goes to war against itself, because the apparent leadership doesn't fellate them..

The right wing will overlook any transgression or failing, so long as they win. They aren't interested in minutae or details, only in the big picture.

If the new left doesn't get over itself, and continues to give Biden and the Democrats the middle finger in November, then they will be electing Trump, and Trump has told us what he plans to do with Muslims, Immigrants, women and gays not to mention social security, Medicare, Medicaid, the environment.

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That's what they want to do. And they seem so cocky that they can do it with no consequence, probably because they're sure they'll take power no matter what the election results are.

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MTG is the ''worse'' congress critter of them all. I believe she must have crawled out of one of the caves scattered out in our north Geogia hills. There aren't words to describe how much i despise that cretin, or critter or whatever species she belongs to. She really should be in a cage in a zoo somewhere instead of Congress.

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Agrees. So let us all volunteer, donate and vote for our local US Dem Representative to ensure Dems win in the US House of Representatives.

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Except, DK, each and every one of them wants to get re elected, and the ones tha know that it is no longer the Republican party, have left and/or will not stand for re election, that leaves only the MAGAts and Trump Humping careerists.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

You assume Mike's gonads have some redeeming qualities. Mike's gonads aren't held by anyone, because he is a Christian nationalist (a la New Apolistic Reformation / NAR) and that pre-dates Trump. In fact, it is the NAR and it's adherents that made Trump's victories possible. Johnson was a Christian nationalist and hardcore racist long before Trump came along. Trump simply provided a platform, environment, and opportunity for Mike to finally reveal who he really is, and his agenda is for the House and for the nation. The Atlantic has run several pieces on Mike Johnson; it's worthwhile to give them a read. And two days ago Terry Gross interviewed Brad Onishi and they discussed they NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) and includes Mike Johnson's long and strong ties to the organization: https://www.npr.org/2024/02/29/1234843874/tracing-the-rise-of-christian-nationalism-from-trump-to-the-ala-supreme-court Once you understand Christian nationalism and Johnson's long-standing commitment to this movenment, you'll see that Trump doesn't have hold of Mike's gonads; Trump just offer's an opportunity for the NAR agenda, much like Trump offers Putin an opportunity to escalate his agenda to destroy our country.

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Thanks Lotus. For bring the NAR up, I never heard of it, but it sounds very much like Dominionism. Dominionism, , aka Christian Reconstruction, aka Christian NAZI's, or ChristoTaliban means the end of secular democracy and theocratic rule by the Royal Race of the Redeemed. learn more here, from one who has exposed them https://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/fundienazis/royal_race.htm

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Democrats keep playing by the rules of a representative democrcy while the republicans are playing an entirely different game, one in which results in facism.

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Totally agree. My analogy was that Democrats step into a cage match with an MMA fighter, wearing gloves and playing by the Marquis of Queensbury rules.

Pure stupidity and that is why we are on a reverse course after a century of progress, conservatives are at war, and care not for rules, ethics, morality, or even law.

By the way I have also described HAMAS and the Israeli right.

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His gonads are internal organs.

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let's hope so! (and more than hope--let's get in touch with representatives who support this action and let them know where we stand) I'm ready for a gelding!

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I hope so. Sanity needs to prevail. I hope this portends that some sanity remains among a few gop reps.

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Been years since they did any work for their pay. Easy life and they like it.

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Don’t forget to tax the churches.

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Take away Tax Exempt Status for all RW churches for interfering in government and our lives. Their Dark Money funds the RW. They are much too wealthy and powerful. We are a democracy not a theocracy. We are stronger because of it.

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Don't take it away just enforce the law.

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And nationalize wealth tax.

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Especially political arms of those churches. They can’t have power in secular debate if they don’t pay secular prices.

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YES,but why isn't this being done. This is way overdue!! It could lift the spirits in the country right now especially for those who are struggling and maybe be the start of righting the balance of taxes which is sooooo overdue!!!

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Alas, I fear no one dares to fly in the face of "God," which is what the pastors and congregation will claim. I fear anyone who speaks up on this issue will have a short term in Congress. Heck, we can't even tax corporations! But, you are right; the hypocrisy is overwhelming.

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The new left, or portions of it, are it's own worst enemy. It too easily jumps on causes that hold themself out as oppressed. Islamists are an example. They recruit, people and money, and hide within the population and then cry persecution.

That's all it takes for the new left, to hear persecution, and that knee jerk react.

While they have no truck with Christian oppression, especially against women and gays, they welcome into their bosom, protect and defend Islamists, whose views towards women and gays is even more extreme than Christians.

Christianity is an intolerant and triumphalist religion, Islam is even more so, yet the new left defends and even embraces. Islam and Muslims, while objecting to and chastising Christianity for their misogyny and homophobia.

I considered myself a progressive, certainly not a conservative, libertarian or middle roader where one finds road kill and yellow stripes. But I have had it with what the new left has become.

One can eat a slice or two of a pie or pizza, without gobbling down the whole thing.

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Truth.

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Lmao this is the dumbest comment I’ve read so far.

Israel is finished and will be forgotten in a century, boo-hoo.

Israel will de-apartheid like South Africa did, and while rough it will all be fine.

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The only way I know how to answer you is with Sieg Heil mother fugger.

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What do you mean by the phrase "hide within the population" I tend to consider people who live in the US as part of the population, regardless of religion.

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No argument there. The population is the population but within the population are groups with their own ideologies, their own loyalties. Loyalties that supersede those of loyalty to the constitution and the well being of the nation.

White nationalists, Dominionists, MAGAts for example

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In line with some of your thoughts. It’s akin to my initial comments about everyone being a racist as part of the new left. All that does is further push people of liberal tendencies rightward.

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I know what you mean. I am open minded and tolerant, but intolerant of intolerance and find many on the extreme left, to be intolerant towards those that don't share their attitudes, belief and opinions.

The assholes had Berkeley cancel an appearance by Bill Maher, because he had the temerity to criticize the misogyny of Islam, But criticizing the misogyny of Christianity comes with being a part of the "student" left.

Muslims have sold themselves, with the help of Saudi and Emirate money, as an oppressed people, a victim of imperialism and colonialism, and the stupids bought it. Thus wind up in alliance with DAESH, ISIS, ISIL, HAMAS. It started with Dubya invading Iraq.

Islam is presently the most intolerant, triumphalist, misogynistic homophobic religion on earth, that has secular power. Islam has 57 nations. Count them.. 57 Nations. Christianiy is a runner up, however the only nations were Christianity has enough control to inflict it's will on the citizen is Russia, maybe Hungary.

I pity the women and gays that live in Indonesia and Malaysia. Iran forces gays to have sexual reassignment surgery to become female. Saudi Arabia simply hauls them to chop chop square in Riyadh, Medina or Mecca, Friday after prayers.

Can you imagine the Catholic church or even a protestant church, executing people in front of the church on Sunday after services. That is what they do in Saudi Arabia.. America's "friend".

What frosts my progressive ass, is that these leftist students and camp followers, claim to be for women and LGBT rights, but completely ignore the homophobia and misogyny of Islam.

The stupidist thing I ever saw was a sign U saw on TV Queers for HAMAS. Chickens for KFC, Jews for Hitler. Yulia Navalnya for Putin.

I forgot to mention that their beloved Muslim country of Iran is hanging teenage girls from cranes because they don't wear the hijab correctly.

But that is OK because they are poor oppressed, millionaire, Muslims.

Don't get me started on immigration. The people that they advocate for are very religious and conservative, homophobic and misogynistic, Catholics, Evangelicals and Pentecostals, natural allies of the right wing.

Worse problem in Europe, hundreds of thousands of people from a culture antithetical to and actually the enemy of western democracy, are swarming into the country by boatloads, and that accounts for the rise of the right, be it France, Holland, Hungary or Germany.

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You fail to mention the rise of antisemitism beginning under Trump

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Apologies I neglected a check list of evils.

Antisemitism didn't rise under Trump, it has always been with us, from Henry Ford, William Jennings Bryan, Father Coughlin, it was hot and heavy in the 1970's and 1980's, you probably weren't around.

There was an antisemite name of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jay_Mathews.I remember this one well.

There was Aryan Nations in Couer D'Alene Idaho,Timothy McVeigh, a dude who shot a janitor in the back of the head because he was a Jew.

Trump only gave them license to come out of the closet, and quite strange considering his Daughter, son in law and granchildren are Jews, not to mention all of the lawyers and accountants,like allen Weisselberg and Michael Cohen, both took a bullet for Trump, and then there is the case of a grandson of holocaust survivors, Steven Miller, who for all purposes is the white nationalist advisor.

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founding

Now the issue of where such vengeful party politics has led us is is to put it in the hands of the Supreme Court and as Dan Rather pointed out yesterday, we cannot look to them, the courts and the Supreme Court, to be our saviors. "The truth was rammed home again on Wednesday when the Supreme Court agreed to hear Donald Trump's appeal of total immunity while in office, further delaying his prosecution for insurrection."

So what worries me is that if the Supreme Court gives the President, which means any future President, immunity democracy stays on the precipice of chaos as we move to the future. There will likely be a rush of cases to the far right Supreme Court to further undermine democracy and pave the way for capitalism with no guardrails left in place. this will be an unfortunate part of Mitch McConnell's legacy. History may judge him harshly, but we have to live in the present oncoming chaos he has facilitated. Biden's win will not stop the movement to undermine our current system of democracy.

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SCOTUS is no friend of democracy, when it continues to dither on the issue of whether a douchebag from Queens is above the law.

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Too many "lefts" for me, besides I object to the term in the first place. There are liberals, moderates and conservatives in all political parties. The idea of "radical left" or the "radical right" was started to degrade specific ideologies that various political morons saw as a threat. Colleges and universities are turning out young minds that show signs of confusion more readily than any sign of advanced learning. Robert saw one of my favorite movies from the 60s, poor Mr. Braddock was locked between two worlds, one where a young man searches or a meaningful relationship with the daughter of his father's business partner and the other where Mr. Gladstone endeavored to increase his carnal knowledge by allowing Mrs. Robinson to seduce him, repeatedly. The movie was a social satire that pointed out how society was producing young minds that had no real direction. So, to those who refer to aspects of our political theater as being left or right, maybe "you" have been left out, right.

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At the time, 1968, division within our party led to the election of the traitor Richard Millhouse Nixon.

So the moral of the story is that we need unity to win.

By '68 our cities were on fire. To this day, some have never recovered.

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founding

@Daniel. Right. Black American's income has risen to 76% of White Americans (on average). Black American unemployment is down to 5% (national average 3.4%). So yes, some progress. Healed? I hardly think so.

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The real world awaits. 100% equity will never be achieved, Benjamin, but we have to acknowledge and be thankful for progress, if not then regress awaits.

Muslims and young black males, threaten to withhold their votes from Biden, in protest.

That means that Trump will be elected, and he has already told us what he is going to do to Muslims and blacks.

And the ship won't be righted in the next election after this, because the next election will be a mirror of the Russian election.

Our democratic Republic is fragile, look at Congress, SCOTUS, Red state legislatures, Florida , Texas. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas if you don't believe me, try Ohio, and even Pennsytucky, if you subtract Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, even upstate NY

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Daniel--The scars left by that time have been visibly removed but the reasons for their appearance have been for the most part ignored. Racism and hatred will take more than time to erase, what those two negatives have created in this country will take more than frozen embryos to repair. The combination of a single sperm cell with a fertile egg has caused everything we currently are complaining about. Just think how grand life would be if Fred had used a condom when he interacted sexually with Mary.

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Ride the 8th Ave corridor in DC, Watts, downtown Detroit, and the effects remain.

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LOL. I get it Donald. I get the last sentence., but not Fred,maybe Joshua or Isaac.

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founding

@Donald. ewwwwwwww...

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Ha, is that what Benjamin was doing? Continuing to pursue his education?

Was the movie telling kids that Graduation is not the end of their quest for “knowledge”?

Now, there’s an interpretation to think about {said the Snarky Grandma, with her tongue in her cheek - 🙄}

You have a point about the appelations though, Donald. They have become numerous, tedious, and more ways to complicate and isolate than elucidate.

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Pat--Example in question, Hillsdale college in Michigan. A pure Republican clone factory.

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Trump wants what he can't have.,-----Everything.

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I agree Donald. I consider myself a progressive, I champion female sovereignty, LGBT sovereignty racial equality, equal opportunity, CRT, DEI, but I have no truck with stupid young left wing ideologues and their Marxist mentors.

Marx was not a socialist, he was a proto libertarian.

I am not a doctrinaire, not a true believer in any thing, and consider all who are to be stupid, lazy, non thinking dolts

And as for moderates, middle roaders. the only thing you find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and road kill.

Didn't this mythical Jesus say, Be ye neither hot nor cold I will spew thee out of my mouth?

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Well, someone trying to convert me to their version of Christianity said I have to make a choice. “A fence sitter is vomit to the Lord,” is what she said. I guess it was based on that statement that you quoted up there from Jesus that she meant.

[Well, I’m not on a fence. I’m going to straight to hell.]

What do young left wing ideologues with Marxist tendencies hold with that you don’t hold with, though, Lee? I’m seriously asking?

I haven’t read a lot of Marx directly, but am not a Marxist, as what I DO know seems illogical and utopian to me — although, yes, if we have rampant capitalism that is not restrained by rules that keep it “fair” {you see, I am liberal}, it will become exploitive and cause unrest among the laboring masses.

I don’t think communism can function well, either. If it were more able to function, we’d see more of it, and less of the autocracies and outright dictatorships that rise up in its name {them ain’t “communism” — them’re oligarchies exploiting workers, with strong-man leaders masquerading as communists, presiding over economies barely able to keep a roof over people’s heads while the oligarchs steal everything worth anything.

And we don’t see a lot of classic socialism, either, with central government control over all the human enterprises and occupations. What we see that are currently CALLED socialist are socially-conscious democratic societies that structure their economies to serve the people who labor to enable those economies, with the people electing their leaders and shaping their society to provide for as much universal decency as they can, while also recognizing individual agency and self-realization. And they have capitalism in the mix, too, because people like self-determination, only capitalism needs to stay within some rules. [You can tell, I kind of like those “socialist” countries. I bet Bernie likes them, too. I might ask him.]

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to SnarkyGrandma: I’m disappointed in the repulsive Christ believers. Know there are gentle, loving, and ethically courageous Jesus followers as evidenced in the United Church of Christ. “Welcoming & inclusive of all.” My Church is well lead by an upbeat LGBTQ gal in MT, a college town. My dad’s congregation is lead by a man of a similar orientation. We march for all inclusive, non-violent, democratic causes. No need to throw all spiritual folks under the discrimination bus. BTW this is a GREAT thread of unity & informed talking points, thx. I’m taking notes for family Easter dinner conversation 🪁

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Marx world was that of economics. He was not advocating a classless society like so many leftist nitwits think.

Marx was a proto libertarian, and his rant against the bourgeoisie, was a rant against the middle class, and his proletariat were the laboring class of the industrial revolution.

However Marx was silent on the ruling class, and for good reason as the ruling class in the form of the League of Just Men, financed and supported him.

He was a free trader, and wrote pamphlets against the British Corn Laws, which were import tarrifs. He chastised the south for slavery. Free the slaves and hire them back at market wages, he said. Not out of altruism or ideology, but because Frederick Engels, had inherited a textile mill and had to import the inferior but cheaper Egyptian Cotton as Southern cotton was too expensive, because buying, feeding, clothing, housing and entertainng slaves was too expensive and showed up in the price of a bale of cotton.

A Marxist can parrot repeat, the "labor theory of value", but Marx's standard of values, was fraudulent, he believed that gold was the standard of value, and the 19th Century Economist Arthur Kitson destroyed that notion in A Fraudulent Standard, but that didn't stop the USSR from adopting such standard,and valued the ruble at .09871 grams fine gold, and thus only put into circulation the amount of rubles that the stock of gold permitted.

This created a perpetual depression, which the leadership blamed on the cold war,and the need to devote resources to heavy industry, weapons and munitions.

The soviet citizen could not go to the GoSBank or one of the seven trust banks and present a ruble and demand gold, but a foreigner could waltz into the USSR's NordBank in Paris and demand gold for rubles, Thus smuggling rubles out of Russia was a capital offense.

You asked where do I cut bait with the immature left. It is political correctness held to an extreme, immigration and Islam and the notion of government ownership of markets and production.

I do agree with regulation of corporations for the public good,and the health of the planet, in other words the mixed economy which has made life for Americans so desirable that people risk life and limb to get a piece of the action.

Ho

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"Biden's win will not stop the movement to undermine our current system of democracy."

Our current system is working exactly as it was intended; to support and protect the opulent wealthy from the majority according to Madison in his defense of the newly written Constitution to his wealthy friends. It's built into the system.

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founding

Gloria, I fully agree with you. that is why I feel it is not too early to do serious research to develop more egalitarian forms of economy and governance. Giving voters political power through the trade they identify with rather than gerrymanderd districts is one way to look ahead. This is even a step beyond strengthening labor unions. It would give workers and citizens at every level a true voice in governance. Our oncoming near miss with tyranny through dictatorship should be a wakeup call that beyond electing Biden and as many Democrats as possible we must look to fixing or replacing a badly damaged system.

When I worked as a landscape laborer, grease monkey/mechanic and school bus driver I thought I understood some of the problems of the working poor, but actually I had no idea of the stresses of attempting to support a family with such minimum wage jobs. Once I became a "proffesional" as a special ed. teacher I lost touch with those who underpin our economy. However I had to leave that profession partly due to the paltry pay to move up rung economically to support four children and assist them to afford a college education. I remember being very depressed during the Reagan years as I watched the capitalists gain greater and greater supremacy and the safety net provided by democracy got shredded.

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Marc - I'd like to address the gerrymandering issue. With today's rapid transportation and instant communication, there is no longer any need for congressional districts. The solution is to give each state its normal proportional representation, and let the elected members work together for the interests of their constituents. The work at the local level is currently almost entirely done by staffers. The elected can continue to place their local offices where ever they see fit. We currently have rule by the minority. this would remedy that problem. Add in ranked choice voting and this democracy might have a chance.

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Something on those lines, yeah

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Is there a "think tank" or a course of study looking at a form of government that will avoid capitalism's pitfalls and suffering? I know other countries have many times more representatives per citizen than we do. Others don't have a senate, but an advisory council in its place.

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I think the "think tanks" are funded by the oligarchs. We need regulations and keep them in place

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The problem is that the "regulated" have taken over the "regulators" which is part of the evolution of capitalism. I know current "think tanks" are supported by oligarchs and that academics could work on the idea of what could be a better form of government, but they work within their individual institutions.

The Founding Fathers had a constitutional convention. Jefferson suggested that each generation may want to change the governance.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

Gloria, my answer is incomplete, but since reading The Dawn of Everything, an archeological-anthropological masterpiece, IMHO, I have been inspired by ancient tribal communities. Indeed, our democracy was inspired by the Huron-Iroquois model of governance. Some days, I think we should live in tribes again. If we are not careful, perhaps we will have to. (This means so much of society likely will be destroyed, particularly by global warming.) Interestingly, many early communities were constructed in a circle of buildings that faced a central commons.

It appears (my thoughts) that the presence of warrior-kings is a relatively recent phenomenon. Consensus was once the norm, and women participated. Interesting....Also, it was inconceivable for tribes to manipulate nature as we have done.

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Gloria, Marc had some interesting ideas in an earlier feed about forms of government. Maybe he will repeat them for you. I liked his thinking on the subject!

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founding

Peggy and Gloria, the ideas I expressed earlier are encompasseed in Economic Democracy which is a part of the Progressive Utilization Theory. Rather than defaulting to capitalism as the only viable economic system, this is a paradigm that focuses on worker owned cooperatives as the main engine of the economy while encouraging small capitalistic enterprises (say up to 20 or 30 employees) for local goods and services. Large public utilities like electricity, water and sewer would be publicly owned, like they originally were, and could be set up as customer owned cooperatives. Many electrical cooperatives are currently operating today. The largest enterprises such as automobile manufacturing are not-for-profit enterprises operated by professionals overseen by government and all profits are invested back into the communities that they draw their profits from in the form of services for those that need assistance. Wealth accumulation is controlled and limited through progressive income tax and wealth tax and upper income is tied to tethered to the lowest income in an enterprise allowing for differentiation but assuring that "all boats rise with the tide." The economic goal is ever increasing income or purchasing power for all but rewarding those who provide greater participation and value with additional purchasing power to encourage incentive.

I do not have the space here to go into the political system other than to say that one identifies by"trade" such as education or health services rather than party affiliation. Everyone gets a say in governance and election of officials as opposed to our current system. There is much more, but here is an excellent essay on Economic Democracy https://www.proutinstitute.org/policy-solutions/economic-democracy-the-alternative-to-corporate-rule

Here is a link to an upcoming course on Prout on March 2nd. https://transformation-education.org/course/problems-of-the-day-introducing-a-prout-program-for-change

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Opportunity — REAL opportunity, fair wages, a social safety net supported by fair taxation and apportionment of federal revenue sharing — we need these things.

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Gloria and Marc., may be unequality was built in your system and constitution; I will study that. Point is that your public political debate seems castrated to me. The red scare prohibited the connection with European left thinking: Rosa Luxemburg, Michael Bakunin and the like. They inspire me every day.

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Read The Federalist Papers — and recognize ALL the influences, those for stronger central power and those arguing against it. Those seeking stronger “power of the vote,” and those seeking strong “checks and balances.” Also, recognize what was sacrificed to slave-holders. It was not all of one piece.

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Your perspective ignores the broad sweep of American history. Since the founding, the franchise has been expanded.

The fault is not in the Constitution, it is in the failure of the Progressive imagination.

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By franchise, are you referring to “self-governance,” and access to the vote?

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That is the basic requirement for participation in the law making process.

Having the right to vote has been fought for through out the course of American history.

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Right. When we say some voters have been “disenfranchised,” that’s what we’re referring to.

Just clarifying that is what you were referring to, since the word has other meanings.

And I agree with you, too.

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What do you mean, "franchise?"

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Basically the “Franchise “ is the right to vote, to have a say in governance. It could also be said to mean recognition of the right to have a seat at the table.

As initially written, Senators were appointed. After some outlandish gamesmanship during the era of the robber barons,Senators were elected. At one time only land owners could vote, after a long struggle, white males were given the right to vote. Now anyone older than 18 can vote.

After a long struggle, labor gained power in the workplace. Women gained the right to vote. Native Americans gained citizenship.

There have always been forces of resistance, counter revolutionary forces. We are living through a counterrevolutionary period. But, the framework of the constitution allows for revolution and counterrevolution.

Progressives seem to ignore the counterrevolutionary forces. They seem to believe that a progressive change doesn’t need to be defended.

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Good to think on it all, Ken. Good to keep this in mind.

Things we believe in strongly do typically look like “common sense” and “only logical,” and we forget the part where we talk to other people and maybe we even have our perceptions broadened, when we hear something THEY value that we did not consider.

We were given an attempt to form — as I’ve said before — a MORE perfect union, not a PERFECT one.

It’s on us to keep making it better.

And, as you say, Progressives may think their changes don’t need defending.

Then again, Conservatives often think “the way things are” doesn’t need changing.

Talking it over and finding common ground, or at least ground we all can stand on — there’s the aim of it all. The aim, If we can avoid falling for the tricks of those who would keep us at loggerheads forever.

Divide and conquer is used to keep people who SHARE easy goals from realizing that.

But it’s also used to keep people who need to work hard at FINDING shared goals from even trying to find ‘em.

In a country of 350 million people, we have to talk respectfully to those we disagree with [we don’t have to agree with them or fail to call them out on baloney, but we do need to consider their positions, see if they have value in OUR lives, or counter them with better ones that they can hear …].

[But, at the risk of someone here trying to show me how another Trump administration might be a good thing, NO WAY. The man already told us what kind of world he wants. No one can convince me to LIKE Victor Orban’s ideas, Xi JinPing’s ideas, or Donald J. Trump’s. I’ve thought about them. They suck. There’s nothing new about Trump to consider, either.

If someone wants to talk about a world closer to some conservative ideals, well, YEAH, we can talk about that …]

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TheCon.tv we have to regulate banking to get affordable housing. We can't build our way out with the climate exhausting methods.

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That’s simplistic. Madison’s philosophy went in the direction of protecting minorities from majority mistreatment. I have no illusions that he wasn’t bent on protecting wealth, too, but keeping majorities from abusing minorities is important.

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How did Madison's philosophy protect minorities other than the wealthy? Capitalism evolves into a system where the wealthy first discriminate against and exploit minorities and the vulnerable.

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It’s a long conversation, but fear of majorities abusing minorities is real. I realize a lot of our wealthy and privileged framers thought their “high station” conferred legitimacy to their “power” in government, and that’s what they wanted to protect in the system. But super majority votes are part of protecting minorities from majority demagoguery. Though I’d be happy to look at HOW we currently protect ALL minority rights {LGBTQ, for example? Atheists? Non-Christians? Racial and Ethnic and Religious minorities? Etc.}. And I definitely want to dump the Electoral College.

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Yes, UNREGULATED and runaway capitalism does do that.

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U

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We must take heed to another thought: a Biden win will not be accepted by the melon-hued wannabe dictator. The coup has been in place for a long time and now we know the billionaire class control of this SCOTUS is in on it too. The coup planners are tightening every screw on the coffin of democracy.

Yes, we must vote in huge numbers, but also be prepared for chaos and civil mayhem.

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Dana, that is my concern as well..... given Trump's past history, can any of us see him just going away if he loses? Though in my dreams I'd love to see our government return to some sense of normalcy. I'd love to again see the day when the losing president boards a helicopter and flies away, leaving the new president to run his administration as he sees fit and without interference from his predecessor.

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founding

@Dana and @Margo. There are not enough fervent MAGA types to cause widespread mayhem. It's not coming to your house. The crazies will choose very public targets for their violent outbursts, and they will be dealt with by law enforcement. This is still America. Period.

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Thank you, Ben. I am not afraid of my door being busted down. But do you know how many in law enforcement, national guard, and military are MAGA? I don’t believe we know this. And there are many ways to cause disruption without violence: electrical grids, water supplies, banking systems. These evil people will stop at nothing. I don’t believe I am being alarmist.

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I agree Dana. People told me I was over reacting to the 2016 election results.

This feels very similar. Anyone who thinks tRump is going to just fly away if he loses, hasn’t been paying attention for nearly a decade now.

Another coup is his only way to stay out of jail and financial ruin.

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founding

@Dana. I believe that the 2016 election was an exception, with many resentful people wanting to send a statement of some kind, Bernie bending the primaries to get Hillary to lead the blue ticket. Many people who sent that resentment vote have now learned the mistake they made. Nikki Haley's voters are mostly never Trump voters. Except for the tricky operation of the Electoral College I don't really worry about Trump getting in again. As to violent supporters of his, I'm thinking only a few nut cases mainly because the tangerine twatwaddle won't have momentum like he once had AND the court cases will finally go forward.

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I doubt the Supreme Court will give the president immunity. Remember, all of the justices, with the possible exception of Clarence Thomas, have ruled against Trump in at least one case. If he were to return to the presidency, I'm guessing they don't want to give him permission to assassinate themselves.

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They’re giving TFG cover and delay. David Pepper’s Thursday Substack has an excellent short video on this.

SC hearings the week of April 22 coming after a February 6 filing is two and one-half months of foot dragging delay. They’re slow walking at Judge Cannon speed. Justice delayed is justice denied.

In the end, the SC six will state some lame excuse about staying out of politics as a reason to slow walk, pushing the timeline for trial resumption into and past the election.

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I sure hope you are right. But with this court, anything is possible. The fact that they chose to take this case, suggests that some number of justices see some level of immunity. Otherwise, they would have rejected taking the case and agreed with the appeals court. Then think on this. Why did it take them two weeks to finally decide to take up this case, unless you intentionally want to delay this case, as is the wish of Trump, so that he can have his own DOJ tank both federal cases. I’d have to say, that between the SC and Cannon in FLA, the fix is in.

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A result of the ongoing coup. We know of at least two bought judges with Leonard Leo calling the shots.

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Yes, but it took 5 of them to hear the case which I thin’ is telling. At the very least this will d r a g the ongoing Trump cases on and on.

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Did 5 of them make a motion to hear the case, to your knowledge? I believe it takes only 4, which is not a majority of the Court.

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they're not giving him immunity.

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I’m thinking SCOTUS is covering its backside. Scuttling the issue until the election, they can wash their hands of it regardless of the outcome without repercussions from the former president: if he wins, he’ll dismiss all the charges and SCOTUS won’t have to deal with it at all; if he loses, they can rule that presidents don’t have carte blanche immunity and the trial can move forward without Trump being able to wreak vengeance on the members of the Court. Win-win.

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Marc - Biden can force the issue by arresting ALL of the J6 seditionists. Of course that would be a crime! Of course! But sometimes the stupid electorate (and the supremes) need to see the logical outcome of their idiocy. Think of the spectacle of US Marshalls arresting and cuffing drumpf on camera. With the appropriate narrative, asking the magas if this is they want our country to be. Just don't ask the poor, disadvantaged, women, or people of color because they'll say it already is.

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In total agreement!

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1Liked by Robert Reich

Yes, and the Wall Street bankers with tump and other presidents wrecked the banking and the economy. It's not a secret - The Con https://www.thecon.tv

We are still in the aftermath of 2008. Housing is over priced and price gouged - we don't need to build more - especially in tourists states like CA, FL , and Hawai'i.

We have the bank regulators and FBI expertise to put it back right - William K "Bill " Black. The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Way-Rob-Bank-Own/dp/0292754183

It all fits into the puzzle that Dr. Reich points out in his class. Weaken labor unions, unregulated bankers, policy decisions, de funding education, forcing students loan to get a job,

Thank you Dr. Reich. I love a history lesson.

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We have the entire CONCEPT of regulation to rehabilitate. It is an area of government that has been demonized by those who want to protect their license to do as they please, to hell with using government to do right by the people.

Regulation painted at “government” lording over private enterprise and individual liberty sounds abusive, but regulation used by our government to protect ourselves from the abusive power of wealth to do whatever it wants is not abusive — it is ANTI-abusive.

Both kinds of regulation are possible, but the Republicans [and Trumpism in spades] demonizes regulation as government overreach only.

Even before Trump, dumping Glass Steagall got us the monstrous situation that brought on the 2008 financial crisis. And lack of real understanding of that debacle let the wealthy blame poor mortgage holders, deflecting attention from the real responsibility of investment bankers who corrupted the system.

Just one incidence where we needed decent controls and didn’t have them. [And I stress “decent,” as fair and functional. I’m NOT in favor of government overreach any more than wealth overreach. But government needs to be an “us,” not a “them,” and we need to find an “us” that is as inclusive as we can make it — liberal and conservative.]

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And now we gave crypto activists trying to sway elections by creating PACs so they can get what they want. Never mind, crypto is just another Ponzi scheme.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

Whether or not you approve of such a thing, Dr Reich seems to have a fan who has no problem dishing it back as good as it gets dished out! :

https://youtu.be/pmkASOCWAtY?si=FpQOW8nAeXsuHGkx

(At very least, it's an amusing way to spend 12 minutes!)

ALSO:

3 jokes I'd like to personally dedicate to Lauren Bobert. The 3rd is >particularly< relevant:

https://youtu.be/6-BUY1ZKxs4?si=NGlf1Omv3sb4Rl2m

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Yes, it was! I know some people who need to see it. It’s a hoot, edited, structured, but still potent.

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So now we have to worry about who will replace Mitch in addition to worrying about whether the Trump trials will take place.

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Everybody who works for a paycheck is in the same class, and the sooner we realize it, the sooner we can unite and move forward. There is no poor, working class, and low, middle, and upper middle class. Carving the majority up and making some believe they are superior to those economically below them keeps the majority from realizing it is a class war with only two classes; the majority of us against the tiny oligarch class. Everyone economically above the poor can participate in the game of victim blaming that keeps capitalism solidly within our culture. When we continue to falsely believe this is the land of opportunity, and that anyone can succeed if they work hard enough, we perpetuate the myth of capitalism. We sacrifice the potential for decent lives for everyone without excessive stress and anxiety, to the morbidly rich who have created a system that sucks wealth from the bottom to the top.

We're in this together.

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Most galling is that JFK was right that a rising tide lifts all boats. If everyone has a means of support, prices are not inflated, consumers not gouged, EVERYONE, oligarchs included, prosper.

It's clear that our economy has been undermined since 1973. Nixon let the dollar float. And OPEC decided to undermine our economy. Today, Russia and Iran are able to wage war because oil prices are inflated. Domestically we are swimming in oil yet our prices are fixed by foreign interests,

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founding

@Daniel. I hadn't seen that side of your perspective before. While I won't deny problems stemming from the OPEC cartel, your gesture at economic analysis is flawed. Example; floating currency or gold standard? Check the mainstream economists on this - the ability to float the currency (and everything that goes with that) is what secured America's place as the dominant economic engine in the world. Looking for the culprits of economic distress? Read Adam Smith and Thomas Piketty (both of whom you know). For our colleagues in this forum I will summarize and paraphrase: Adam Smith provided that for a capitalistic economy to thrive the greedy oligarchs must be firmly regulated. Thomas Piketty, via analysis of voluminous data, determined factually that as long as the rate of return on investment exceeds the rate of growth in the economy, the income and wealth of the rich will grow faster than the typical income from wages. The reason, IMHO, Piketty finds this signal in the data is because our Democracy (and all the other ones) is/are captured by moneyed interests who manipulate tax and regulation policies by essentially bribing elected officials to press laws favorable to accumulation of wealth from capital earnings. Strong men authoritarians effect the same result in dictatorships by raping the public economy, by force if necessary, for the benefit of themselves and the oligarchs. We ARE better off in a Democracy, but only by a little...

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Nixon had the oil oligarchs, i.e. the Hunts in mind when he did it. Gave no notice. No public hearings.

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Read the book Evil Geniuses, and it will all become crystal clear.

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Gloria — GREAT point! And also pointing to the “divide and conquer” tactic that allows us to believe we are not all alike in our dependence on needing a living wage and a fair wage. AND a government that works for US.

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Yes, Noah Chomsky pointed out the "divide and conquer" plan by the oligarchs years ago.

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Well said, Gloria!!

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I have to disagree. Almost all of us in this, let’s call it a “cohort” of people who read and comment on posts by the likes of Bob Reich, are part of the wealthy elite. The vast majority of us don’t encounter, let alone work or socialize with,anyone in the working/middle class beyond the people who clean our houses and mow our lawns. We have blithely captured and/or incurred to ourselves virtually the entire “opportunity structure” that provides the gateways and pathways to comfortable living in this country. It is not victim-blaming to look at ourselves and the roles we have played for 40-50 years in economically, politically, culturally and socially marginalizing everyone not in our cohort by happily buying into the entire capitalist playbook.

Bob is correct that Trump represents the tens of millions of people who have been left behind — including by us privileged elites. And it’s not the oligarchs they hate. They rarely if ever see or interact with our oligarchs. It’s us, the privileged elite who they encounter every day that they now hate and/or deeply resent. It’s us that they want to visit vengeance upon and it’s only us who can do something about that. We can start. By not dismissing they “the masses” are situated differently than we are and that we are actually aligned with the oligarchs.

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Who are you? I don't think most of us consider ourselves to be the privileged elite, apart from "the masses." As I said, everyone who earns a paycheck is in the same class. Delusions of grandeur doesn't change that. You align yourself with the oligarchs until they get around to taking yours too.

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John, do you read what people here describe about THEIR OWN lives. Readers of Reich are a broad spectrum, and DEFINITELY NOT primarily financial “elites.” Maybe rational elites….

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@ Jon. it's the culture. 90% of MAGATs vote against their own economic and physical health.

Demagoguery works.

Check out the 2023 election in Kentucky. People who voted 80% for Trump in 2016 and 2020 voted Democratic when the whole story unfolds.

https://www.vox.com/politics/2023/11/7/23950792/election-day-2023-kentucky-governors-race-results-democrats-republicans

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founding

@Jon. I agree with you, but with a nuance. I didn't have shoes until I was 7. Dad was a dairy farmer feeding 3 kids on $330 a month. I went to college after serving 3 years in the infantry, was able to use the GI bill. I have not forgotten who I am, I have not forgotten all those I grew up with, I have not forgotten all the lucky breaks that others did not get. I vote for the "common man" and work as hard as I can to pull the Democrats back to supporting the vast majority of people, even the ones who don't vote blue but nonetheless get their Social Security, benefit from Medicare, sent their kids to subsidized schools, drive on roads and ship on trains paid for by taxpayers in blue states, etc. I should have voted for Bernie while I had the chance. So I guess you paint with a too-broad brush in order to make a point because clearly you have mainstream American values. Sorry for the quibble...

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To vote Republican is to vote against all benefits, SSA, Medicare, Black Lung, VA, food stamps, etc.

They want them to eat catfood. https://www.commondreams.org/opinion/social-security-catfood-commission

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I don't think you know as true your opening statement.

But I do agree that those in the middle class and upper echelons have been part of the problem. As the NYT and the WaPo have been part of the problem-which was the general invisibility of, as they say, the forgotten people, flyover country, however you wish to put it. These trends of wealth gravitating toward the urban areas has occurred in many or maybe all countries. An extreme example is Russia with Moscow as the hub.

The alignment with oligarchic interests is much greater than many of the wealthy or simply well off understand or perhaps want to understand.

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@steve reed. Well said. However, if you define the American and European standard of living as the middle class, there are about 1 billion people who live at that level, or maybe 2 billion if we count the upper classes in China and India, but the other 6-7 billion people live at no better than a third of that income, with many at the lowest end of the income scale trying to get by on $25-$40 per month on average. If you are willing to take my summary as sufficiently factual, you can see Jon's first sentence in context as correct.

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We in flyover county just ignore you coasties anyway 😉. But your comments ring true.

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My opening? I said 90% of MAGATS screw themselves.

Most economists would say 99% of the general population.

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Today there is no reason to pretend the MAGA crowd are poor unfortunate people who’ve been left behind. All of the supporters watched the deadly insurrection, heard numerous outrageous incoherent speeches by the orange lunatic criminal, saw trump impeached twice, we had J6 hearings showing trump undoubtably incited the deadly coup attempt, he’s been found GUILTY in court for rape, he continues to defy reality and encourages violence. I sincerely don’t want to hear about nor do I buy into the poor-me-I-am-not-being-heard-crowd. Their racism runs deep! The black people of this country have been denied access to good neighborhoods, admission to hotels when they entertained at those hotels, shut out of good job for decades on end! Those are the people to show understanding and compassion to! Not the MAGA nuts who whine about help for others!

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It might not be that the majority of readers here are "wealthy elite" but to some extent, have many of us had what could be called "culturally siloed" experiences? I grew up in a comfortable middle class family, while experiencing a disruptive youth due to my father's choice to move from one outdoor engineering project to another. (He liked the construction part only.) I rebelled big time later, lived at poverty level for awhile, and then, as a single mom, managed to pull out. That does NOT indicate that I understand what it is like to live in real poverty in this country, because family ties were only strained, not broken, and with some limited assistance, my children and I are "middle class" okay. So while I disagree with the word "elite", I think many of us, but not all, probably have enjoyed some advantages that could mask our understanding of some situations.

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That certainly does not come even close to describing me at all, & I assume many of the other commenters & readers here.

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I’d have to agree with you. It’s a better version of what I said in my original comments. As a “boomer”, I’ve seen so many of my cohorts forget where they came from and what they originally believed when younger. It’s called bitter pill for some to swallow isn’t it?

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Speak for yourself not all readers.

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I think I understand what you mean. I often see myself as an unintentional Bourgeois, I own property in the form of my house and I depend on the stock market for any hope of retirement. In many ways my personal interests are more aligned with supporting the interests of the ultra rich than in supporting an economic revolution. I certainly understand why working people who do not have these securities might view me as the face of the class divide.

I try to keep my values (equality and human dignity for all) in the forefront of my mind, because I might have to reconsider my own financial security.

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There is a difference between financial security and insecurity, however. Often the financially secure become that way as a matter of luck and not greed.

Some paychecks are bigger than others. My mother grew up subsistence farming with her family and never went to college. My dad's mother, abandoned by his father, didn't know where the next meal was coming from during the Depression. Dad nearly died during WWII but the Air Force had his back. He had the foresight to insist I go to medical school. I worked a 70-hour week for 40 years before Corporate Medicine started gobbling up practices. The physicians in my former group succumbed to greed and the new hires have seen their paychecks dwindle. How can they sleep at night??

Giving back as a volunteer is hugely important to me, so I teach Spanish speaking folks how to grow their own food, and am a reading buddy for kids struggling in school. We treat each other with respect despite our economic differences. Since I retired, I am willing to get arrested to defend democracy if it comes to that.

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YES!

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I grew up in the Marble Hill Projects of the Bronx, (1950s)then moved to Manhattan. In those old days, there were real LEFTIES who made a difference in our day to day lives, because they were not beholden to corporate interests.. a few names come to mind: Congressman William Fitz Ryan, Bella Abzug...They fought hard for the common good, for fair wages, decent housing, and for PEACE.

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founding

And today we still have a "real LEFTIE" in Bernie Sanders. Today we need a new generation of LEFTIES who are unafraid to speak out and pose radical solutions to the rise of the ultra greedy Republicans and the move to the right of the Democratic Party's agenda. We must be unafraid of speaking our truth even with the threat of "retribution" by not only Trump but his willing lawless followers. Judges and lawmakers are being threatened in numbers never seen before.

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Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Katie Porter, & others are all leftists . The Repugs are attacking them for re election with oodles of money.

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The oligarchs are terrified by all of them. We must support them so they can get something done to save Democracy!

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Interesting that you identify only women as leftists. This is not completely true, but there’s a lot of truth there, I think. Where are the men??

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Bernie, and you can add more men, as you like....

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I did, just below you. Oh, sometimes comments are hard to find, so I'll repeat here: besides Bernie, we have Merkley, Markey, Whitehouse, Booker, Wyden, Schatz, Grijalva, Raskin, Schiff, Lieu, Swalwell, Casar, Frost, Moskowitz, & back to another amazing woman, Jasmine Crockett.

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My Senator Jeff Merkley is definitely a lefty!

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One of the very best!

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Bernie, Merkley, Markey, Grijalva, Schatz, & I'm not sure how progressive the following are, but they sure are good at confronting Republican lies & treachery: Raskin, Whitehouse, Schiff, Lieu, Swalwell, Moskowitz. Casar & Frost are a couple of up & coming young progressives. Also, back on the female side, let's not forget that super sharp dynamo Jasmine Crockett!

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Oh, Barbara Lee. She's actually my favorite running for California Senator, although I also like Schiff & Porter a lot, too. Oh, I missed Ro Khanna (& probably a bunch of others).

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I have asked that question as well on the local level.

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We women really need to be stepping up, and assertively, for as we make great strides, we are simultaneously being squashed back into "we don't know our place" by men, in general. We are fortunate, in a western culture, but just look at half the world's population being diminished, subjugated, and killed by men.

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Other “real lefties” include Elizabeth Warren and AOC and “the squad.”

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@Marc Nevas. Yet AOC, Pramila Jayapal and others are marginalized by Democrats and the DNC. Bernie was clearly aced out of the Democratic primary by the DNC, in favor of Mrs. Clinton. I have always tried to be a practical voter, not seeking perfection at the cost of pretty good. Often I wonder if that is the best I can do....

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Losing Miami....What were members of the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus doing in Havana?

Read more at: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article285990651.html#storylink=cpy

WTF?

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And during the 1950s, in the rustbelt, there were heros like my father and his coworker machinists who went on a 10 month strike for decent pay, benefits, and a pension. My parents benefited in their old age from my father standing with the union and winning that contract. All my sisters and I got for Christmas that year was a single knock off Barbie doll and an orange. We understood.

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Gloria, I remember one Christmas, all of us got some socks and a shorts and shirt outfit my grandma made from the flowered, cloth flour sacks. She was an excellent seamstress and they would buy those large sacks of flour that had pretty flowers on them and she would work her magic and make us play outfits from them!!

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My grandma exchanged four sacks with the other farmer's wives to get enough of the same flower pattern material for skirts, aprons, and outfits.

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Yes!! I remember the ladies getting together and having an 'exchange'!! I actually loved those flower designs!! I'm glad to know someone else can remember those!

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Because we had no Internet in the 50's, 60's our City Council people (NYC), Congressional Reps would show up on our block, and clusters of neighbors would gather round and would express grievances in person, impromptu, no teleprompter, no pre-coaching, or censoring of questions. It's true we were blighted by McCarthyism in the early 50's especially, but as time passed we had more of an interactive community dialog with our Reps. We weren't shut in with computers, iPhones.. We had a life with our neighbors, whom we knew regardless of religious, political difference. Our neighborhood in the North Bronx was composed of Irish, Italians, and Jews--1950s.. in the 1960's the City Housing project had the entry of blacks, many of whom were drafted during the Vietnam War. Same for those of all ethnic backgrounds who pulled the wrong number in the lottery.

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How could I have forgotten bushy browed Paul O'Dwyer--our long serving Manhattan City Council President. Started out at as Civil Rights attorney representing those Blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

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I remember them well!

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Thanks for this terrific little capsule of political history. The working class/privileged class divide has indeed fostered Trumpist fascism. But in my opinion, the urban/rural divide is the even greater one. Look at the election results in every state. Not only did the professional/academic "elites" overlook the working men and women, they also paid no attention to the multiple disasters occurring in small town USA. The monopolization of the economy ruined these places and put millions of ma and pa enterprises out of business. Offshoring closed the factories. Meanwhile, the precocious children of privilege chose careers in financial services or (financial/tax) law instead of entering the sciences or humanities...because that's where the obscenely big bucks were to be made. And they made them, helping to shutter those factory gates and send small town shop owners into Chapter Eleven. The New Leftists then compounded this error by adopting a rampant "new socialism" that is ridiculously anti-small business. They don't speak at all to the remaining rural entrepreneurs, who could be their most likely strongest base of support. Who better to champion Medicare for all and get the burden of employer health insurance off their backs? Color me a very disappointed Bernie Bro for his abject failure in reaching out to small business owners, and his singular focus of labor organizing for "the masses". Both are needed! A guy like Pete Buttiegieg understands rural voters...but look at his own career path, for crying out loud! A guy like John Fetterman is absolutely the gold standard in "getting" what I'm talking about.

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Imagine the lost lives and suffering that could have been avoided if the children of privilege had gone into medical or other scientific research instead of financial services. Imagine if a chunk of the defense budget was instead spent on medical research. "Imagine there's no heaven...."

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It’s entirely possible we might be living in a world of non fossil fueled energy and have reasonably effective cancer treatments. Instead we have 700 military bases in 70 countries and trillion dollar military budgets, in peacetime.

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I'll be brave and say it on here. There is plenty of research on cancer that works. Image the jobs lost because of the lost cancer treatment centers. I overheard an HCA executive at a coffee shop say "we love cancer treatment centers because of all the donations. Everyone knows someone who has had cancer".

Salt, Fat, Sugar Michael Moss - I cut out all of my sugar. ;) and watch Dr. Berg. it's the medical reviewed journals themselves...

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You know, Janet, I remember reading (I don't remember where or if it was a book or magazine) that back when cancer was a four letter word and a death knoll for anyone being diagnosed with it, someone had developed a way to fight cancer and cure it. Apparently, the medical 'powers that be' silenced it because they were getting money hand over fists for supposed research. Actually they were funding their extravagant lifestyles instead!

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Just like the fossil fuel industry killed the electric cars years ago.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

Yes, that is true. There are many treatments that work. The best one is still to get rid of processed foods. Nothing in a can or a box. If you read the FDA food pyramid. It says NO more that 16 grams of sugar per day. Read the back of your "iced tea" bottles the next time you buy one or a power bar. That will put you up to 30 grams. I cut it all out. I might have one sweet once in a while but I keep it under 9 grams.

Guess what an ingredient is for Chemo drugs. It's published - not a secret - tea leaves. Oh and almost mustard gas...

It actually why drinking green tea is good for prevention.

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Thats the rub Janet. Sugar feeds cancer, carbs feed glucose. My lung cancer has possibly resurged, I am going for a PET Scan, next week, I was told not to eat sugar or carbs the day before.

I watched both religiously because I am pre diabetic, but nor religious enough I would pop a few Jelly beans or some licorice, not much, but apparently enough to feed the cancer. I am eating nothing but protein and fresh vegetables, fruit has sugars, grapes are the worst

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Corporate entities in the Chemical Industry have always known that their workers are especially vulnerable to cancer. Urinary cancer rates in men working at Goodyear Tire were noted and treated by doctors on staff back in mid-20th century.

Once unions were weakened and all but disappeared, the medical support vanished.

I don't think the corporations ever got around to assessing($$$???) preventive measures. But they did get into researching chemical cancer treatments...For decades they had us coming and/or going.

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founding

@Kerry. $905 Billion. Last year $842 Billion. So not a trillion...

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You’re assuming that the DOD expenditures are the only monies spent on the military. If you include the ancillary military agencies like intelligence and add the interest we pay in our bloated budget, caused by military expenditures, plus the special authorizations every year, we exceed the trillion mark by a long shot. And have, for years.

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it pains me to think of what we could have done, or could be doing but won't in the future. But the Claire McCaskills of the world just went along and kept shoveling money into pointless wars. An unthinking consensus where stepping out of the box had little personal reward.

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Check out this house. The technology to have a clean energy world has been here.

https://archinect.com/people/project/50898478/tin-box/72174775

The Tin House.

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What does it cost?

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The initial cost is more but over a 5 year period you save more and recoup. It saves the environment and the metal will probably last - a lifetime.

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Kerry, you got a good start of rural grievances but you only mentioned the stuff people talk about in urban echo chambers.

The impact of mass-incarceration on rural communities was horrific. Housing urban and surburban inmates in small rural communities completely changed rural culuture. Prison guards ended up on our school boards, city councils, hospital boards, ut thand our police and sherriff departments citizen patrol units. The battles we, rural folks, fought over prisons is a story that needs to be told - but never is.

Rural American is urban America's source of cheap labour, resource extraction, alternative energy, recreation, and the place they dump their garbage, trash, human waste (known as sludge) and toxic waste (including nuclear waste). When was the last time a new college was built in a rural community? Do you have any idea what institutional investors have done to our housing market?

We don't even have high speed internet.

I could go on, and on, and on... but won't waste your time or mine.

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Your points are very well taken. I grew up in a rust belt small town in western PA.

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founding

@Kerry. Thank you for the snapshot of history! The Democrats are only slightly less "captured" by moneyed interests than the Republicans. Yet I vote for them out of practical considerations because in this country it is too hard to get a "real" Democrat (FDR style) elected.

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Bernie failed in many respects. He failed to see that racism is a subset of classism, and thus, a proven civil rights activist, who marched for civil rights, and he got pummeled by the DNC who puts its thumb on the scale for Hillary who has a weak, to non existent civil rights record

I liked Bernie, but as smart as he is, he is a myopic class warrior, his understanding of class and class warfare is limited to the 19th Century model of Marx. There are classes within class.

I also blame the DNC, DSCC, DCCC, DLCC. They are funded by the same donors that fund the Republican party, they are still a part of the establishment and they only put at the starting gate, race horses that have bidedn their time in the paddock, paid their dues, earned the credentials. won't upset the apple cart.

The problem is simply, Dem or Republican, money in politics.You can't win with out it, and to get it you must sell your soul, ethics, morality, principles.

Bernie did something remarkable, which the Democrats will never do, and that is forgo raising money from the donor class, and depend on contributions from voters https://www.npr.org/2016/04/29/476047822/sanders-campaign-has-spent-50-percent-more-than-clinton-in-2016

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I live in Vermont, the most rural state with 64.9% of the population residing in rural areas. Our "big" city has a population of fewer than 45K people. We elected a Republican governor who has just stated that he will do everything he can to help assure that Trump is NOT elected. We also elected Bernie Sanders. Our other senator is also a progressive. Our one and only delegate to congress is Becca Balint, an openly acknowledged lesbian. So, please don't assume that all rural states are red. We are true blue.

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Vermont, being one of the whitest & most rural states in the Union, while also being among the most progressive, shows how progressives can appeal to white rural voters with the right messages & policies. Why aren't progressive Democrats making inroads in other such states?

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Have you considered that its precisely because those places are diverse and have people competing amongst each other in a zero sum game of survival? A strong argument has been made for multiculturalism declining social cohesion and people's care for others because they are no longer "of their kind". Scandinavia the great soc-dem paradise was extremely monocultural until very recently.

Assuming these are indeed contrary - may I ask you which would you select?

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My point was that while most predominantly white states (think Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, Idaho, Utah, West Virginia), are conservative if not fascist & vote Republican, Vermont, one of the whitest states, is among the most progressive & least Republican, so why can progressives appeal to Vermonters but not these other states? Bernie has certainly tapped into what appeals to them. Environmentalism is very strong in that state.

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Some places have adapted quite nicely to multiculturalism to where racism has declined (at least until the recent stoking of it by MAGA), like Hawaii, California, Washington, New York, Toronto & Vancouver. It seems to help when it really is multiracial & multicultural (more than just 2 races or cultures), with no 1 or 2 races dominating. It helps if the government & society are inclusive & supportive of citizens at the lower end of wealth.

Personally I am used to a multicultural, multiracial society & much prefer it that way.

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This is a very good point - I live in Aus and the social structure includes a large proportion of foreign born people but there are small numbers of every group rather than one big minority (with a conflictual history toward the majority). The one fault I see with the Anglo/American world view is that such nations as ours are rare, the majority are ethnostates where there is a clear "ownership" of the country by the majority. This is much weaker in the colonial/immigrant societies.

But overwhelmingly I agree that it is the economic disenfranchisement of the working class which is the predominant driver of the rightward lurch. Hence my question, would you take life in an economically safe monoculture or accept living in a multicultural precariat?

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And, during Covid, as Richy Rich ran in, drove every middle class rentor out of Vermont. You now pay $100 nightly for a room for the homeless who had no wherewithal to leave. Now, you welcome 600 economic refugees to Vermont because they will be 'grateful, work for nothing and live in ghettoized housing, if they have a house'. Progressive politics is expensive everywhere!

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You have a point. In the resort areas especially, second home owners have driven up the cost of land and development. But they are not residents and they don't vote here. We have many newer residents who resettled here after the troubles in the Balkans, several from South Sudan, for example, and most recently from Afghanistan and Ecuador. Not sure if these are the "economic refugees" to whom you refer. Not sure what you mean by "ghettoized housing" either. Subsidized housing in Vermont is "built to last", very well insulated, and better built than some high priced condos I've seen in resorts. And, hard to identify--as our rental developments look pretty much like market rate housing. Cheap labor? Not so much anymore. And, we have a state-wide not-for-profit organization that provides capital to budding entrepreneurs--and I not talking fancy start-ups, but modest ventures like house painting, excavating, bakeries....etc. But, I do agree that housing affordable to middle and modest income families is a real challenge. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet, but efforts are being made at least which is more than one can say about some other states.

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I only relocated from VT 2 years ago. Cheap labor. 600 economic migrants need housing now & the legislature was asked for 1 million in funding. No money for American citizens, but let’s bring in the non citizens. In light of richy Rich & the Corporations deconstructing US common good over the past 45 years, few pay their fair share. Read Reich’ how America got so rotten’. VT is like many other desirable places. Cape Cod. California , etc. etc... Bring in the grateful. Dump the rest.

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There is a book called "Second Class: How the Elites Betrayed America's Working Men and Women" by Batya Ungar-Sargon which basically makes the same argument for America as a whole - and by extension the entire Western world. Basically the mass immigration and refugee flows are a modern blackbird labour scheme.

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Fredro, thank you for sharing the resource. I have thought about your sharing. Another aspect, I am quite certain, is to steal the homelands from these folks who have been made immigrants. Like nasty jared Kushner, 'Gaza would make great waterfront' .. for the Saudis... The Rich will steal all those lands made temporarily violent by their wars, then the immigrants have nothing, and weaken the entire infrastructure of the Western World. I have come to the conclusion that the overpopulation of humans on planet earth, due to humans inability to listen to the warnings of how this would bring suffering, in the 1960s, is the evidence of humans' profound self destruction. Along with all the other destruction, species extinction, etc..

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See below

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Vermont is an exception. (How many other states have elected a Democratic Socialist to the U.S. Senate?) I vote in that state as well.

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That's what we want to believe as the 'nicer places' are taken over by the wealthy, no middle class can afford now. But, they still need and want CHEAP labor! I watched in VT in the pandemic as the Gov. and all the rest of the hoity toitys praised the workers, then ignored them and dropped wages back down, as soon as the 'pandemic' passed. So quickly we forget! But, Richy Rich can 'feel good' bringing in cheap migrant grateful labor and when they can't live on $15 hourly in rat holes, allow them on the Citizen dole, or whatever shreds are left of it! So good to be an all American useless piece of worker! The Myths of the US of A die hard.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

Keep in mind, the cadences and body language Trump uses are hypnotic, medically in fact. Hitler too, used these techniques, of which he was familiar due to his treatments and study after WW1. And we have it on good authority that Trump owned a copy of those speeches, and actually CAN read and study things that boost this con-artistry.

I am an amateur hypnotist, and have been since my college days many years ago. Watching Trump use these techniques is obscene and repulsive, for he uses them to boost his sociopathic greed for power, just as Hitler did. Beware

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathography_of_Adolf_Hitler

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Correct

Although he reads at an elementary schoo