Jul 5, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

"The best way for Biden and the Democrats to counteract Trump’s “strength or weakness” is by taking aim at the real bullies of America — the C-suite oligarchs, Wall Street plutocrats, billionaire monopolists who have been riding roughshod over the vast majority of Americans. End their big-monied corruption of our democracy. Stop their monopolizing of the economy."

Couldn't agree more. It's Sanders' message, no?

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I totally agree. Biden needs to use statistics to explain how the very rich companies and individuals are feathering their own nests with perks and concessions from the government. They are not creating more jobs by reinvesting but buying back stock. Working people pay the taxes that benefits these wealthy Republican supporters. Biden’s progressive programs are working far better than Trickle Down economics ever did. Also big companies need sufficient regulation so as to not exploit the public and ruin the environment. Never forget that the Sackler family created the fentanyl epidemic and walked away with billions of dollars while the right wing blames Biden for it. Call it as it is, Joe!

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Jul 5, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

I would tweak your last line. Yes, middle and working classes (which includes the more generic poor) are shafted by the economic system controlled by corporate oligarchs, and add the plants, animals, soils, water and even air of this country and the planet. Exploitation sucks everything into the maw of the exploiter. If we want a living, healthy planet, where people, plants, animals, fungi, protists and bacteria can thrive, then we have to stop the corporate tyrants who want complete, unregulated freedom to march across the planet and leave nothing but dust in their wake (except for some private island they can reach on their yacht).

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Unfortunately, in today's internet, media, cell phone interdependence, lying and believing only what you want to believe is all that matters. Visual image is paramount. Trump knows the media and image. He has shown that he can dupe millions of people through visual image. As Robert said yesterday in his 4th of July article, White Nationalism and the false "patriotism" of Trump's cult is completely embedded in 40% of America. Traditional politics and messaging will not work anymore in this media environment. World history shows us that the best/successful cult leaders are master "mind" manipulators. Hitler, Jim Jones, and Trump have developed cults by saying nothing of substance that they will do for the people, but instead, stoke fear in what the "other guy" or "system" will do. World cult leaders of yesterday would have LOVED to have the internet media/Fox News/Newsmax media of today.

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There’s nothing strong about a bully.

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Cheers from the white-collar worker who pulled an all-day side hustle yesterday to keep myself going. Democrats would do wonders energizing so many of us if they’d take up that fight. Right now it feels nice to not have chaos in the White House, but I still don’t feel like Democrats care about those of us who are working all the damn time.

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Unified message“ let’s rebuild the middle class together“. In every community, on every PSA, and in every energy interview emphasize the fact that we have valuable infrastructure funds to rebuild America and we need everyone to Participate.

Some people need training; some people need access to jobs; and some people will need to move. There will be more jobs than people, so figure out what you want to do. Find out what jobs are out there and go for it.

Combat the chaos messages and false claims with vision -vision for a vibrant middle class that pays taxes and enjoys the benefits of living in a great country. Make the middle class great again!

And as , Mariana Mazzucato explains , the economy will grow as the cycle of more employment leads to more income and more payment of taxes .

On Oct 1, 2024 , people will be happy . That’s what matters in a presidential election.

On a local level challenge, the legislators need to support infrastructure development even though all the Republicans voted against it.

Praise those who made the deal happen, including Joe Biden- and talk about the future.

Develop the green revolution by partnering with The auto companies, the battery companies, the solar and wind companies to develop that infrastructure .

The Democratic strategists on all levels ought to roll up their sleeves and connect the dots to develop the new green infrastructure. There are far too many people in the lower classes, who simply don’t know how to access the promised jobs.

Don’t respond to Republican chaos agenda …. At all. Stocky Clark

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You put it well:

"The most powerful force in American politics today is anti-establishment fury at a rigged economic system.

"To counter Trump’s fake battle with cultural elites whom he accuses of undermining America’s moral core, Biden should mount a real battle against economic elites who have shafted America’s middle and working classes. "

Totally agree!!!

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Jul 5, 2023·edited Jul 5, 2023Liked by Robert Reich

“But I fear voters may choose strength over competence.”

You mean the mere CLAIM and ILLUSION of strength.

But Trump, who proves it with his every word and gesture, is a moral, intellectual and physical coward — manifested in his utter inability to admit and failings and error — and it really takes very little to make that abundantly obvious to even the most casual of observers. That’s not only not unique to Trump, it is the very hallmark of the coward. His bluster is a poor and transparent defense: he can be maneuvered into an attitude of lip-trembling fear with a minimum of effort. Were he not a coward, he would not be the bully, rapist, liar, cheat and crook that the string of indictments and lawsuits now being leveled at him are, and will continue to be, proving.

That means that, as good as it is statistically, President Biden cannot, must not, run on his record alone. He must go nose-to-nose with Trump and not back down. He must choose his language to simultaneously appeal to the listener with its simple clarity and also insert burrs under Trump’s skin, because when Trump loses it, he loses all.

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Good plan. If he doesn’t there won’t be anything much left worth saving soon frankly.

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Jul 5, 2023·edited Jul 5, 2023

I start with the host of factors that must be taken into account when those to whom we could lose our democracy believe they are fighting for their freedoms. Broadly speaking, no democracy can survive with a working/ middle class, many of whom view themselves as the victims of the establishment’s unevenly distributed opportunity and prosperity. Accordingly, Democrats rightfully have expected Biden and House and Senate leadership to go make the argument nationwide, pointing out how every Republican has voted against every Democratically-endorsed policy aimed at helping to remedy the country’s grotesque inequalities of wealth and income.

As I’ve posted in the past, imagine the impact if everyday people across the country were asked, “Who do you want here—somebody who doesn’t want to extend the child tax credit or those who do?” “Somebody who doesn’t want to pass a $15 federal minimum wage or those who do?” “Doesn’t want to provide paid sick and family leave or those who do?” “Doesn’t want affordable, quality childcare and universal Pre-K or those who do?” “Investments in housing? In eldercare? In climate?” and so forth. My point, our accomplishments aside, is that the near passage of the budget reconciliation package (BBB) leaves Democrats with an extraordinary narrative if only they would deliver it.

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As a Canadian, I must say I don’t understand how Trump is even permitted to run? He has been found guilty in a court of law of sexual abuse. He has multiple indictments yet to be heard by a jury. He grifted the government during his entire tenure. He flouted every law and norm during his presidency. Seriously...how is he even allowed to run??

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Professor Reich ~ This is a superb essay. It describes tRump’s personality very well, without going into his obvious correspondence with several diagnostic categories from the current DSM!

There was a video of tRump from some years ago, before he ran for office, and my memory of its context is not precise, but he was in some boxing setting, I think. He was speaking about conflict and “fights” and telling the circle of people with him that he likes conflict, likes to stir it up, to get people to fight, that he likes to see who is the best or strongest, that it pits people against each other. He foments it, sets it up, he likes it.

Given his WWE affiliation and its horribly violent imagery (fake or not, doesn’t entirely matter), one can see his personality at work in many settings.

He also likes chaos. He has always seemed to me to be the embodiment of the anti-weaponry device used in warfare, the flak sent up to “confuse” aircraft pilots and their use of weapons, the firing upwards of a barrage of “stuff” to fill the sky and cause “confusion.” If that were in human form, that would be tRump. Just throw things, words, nonsense out there, over and over, and then hide behind the chaos, doing crooked stuff.

I have sometimes wondered what it was like for his mother to try to raise him, to try to raise someone who lies and points fingers at others, who cheats and manipulates. He’s an Eddie Haskell but nothing funny about him. For some reason or other, he did get sent to a military school as an adolescent or young teenager. I’m sure there are other reasons, but in my experience, boys got sent to military school when they were a problem at home and/or school. Other than affecting a cringe-inducing way of saying “sir” – when referring to HIMSELF – and calling U.S. military officers “my generals”, there isn’t much evidence that it had much effect on him.

As to Biden vs. tRump in 2024 and your posing it as competence vs. craziness, you are being very gentle with Biden’s difficulties with communication. I would never criticize him if the communication difficulties were only due to stammering/stuttering, something he acknowledges as a problem for him. However, they are not only that. First of all, when one watches old video of Joe Biden as a Senator (or even much later as VP) he very rarely stutters or stammers. His speech and enunciation are clear. He made what he called “gaffes” and he and the media tried to posit that as a cute quirk of “Joe.” That’s not what he does now. His speech is virtually intelligible quite often. He is not making “gaffes.” He is making mistakes and repeating them, and that indicates cognitive changes, not just a missed word or transient memory glitch. It’s been reported several times lately that he has repeatedly said Russia is at war with Iraq, and that was over a span of several days.

There were two long opinion pieces in the past few days – one in Politico and one in The Hill – which raise the question of Biden’s cognitive fitness and how it is serious and important to fairly and honestly evaluate that. It is especially important if we consider that it is highly possible that Kamala Harris would become President if he fails to complete a second term and almost nobody has confidence in her ability. She would not have been elected, not even won any primary or even completed the primary “season” when she ran! It is wrong to advocate nominating someone for the Presidency just because they are the incumbent and because the alternative is so horrific and dangerous that fear drives the election.

America does need a strong leader, just not the kind of “strong man” that you describe tRump as being. We do not need a mentally deranged egomaniacal sadist in office, that is unquestionably true. But why must we accept that Biden (and tRump) are the only choices?? There is still time for the Democratic Party to address this with Biden and Harris and to bring other candidates to the fore! If Biden and Harris are the ONLY Democrats as possible choices, then the Democratic Party is in very deep trouble. I do not think that is the case. I think there are excellent possibilities, but they won’t move foreward as long as Biden and Harris insist on being the candidates.

Last point, another one on the quality and style of Biden-Harris communications: it is true that their “message” is not being conveyed, that polls show that most Americans do NOT think any good has come from their administration and that most Americans do not think Biden is doing a good job. THAT is the result of poor communication and who can fix that? Who should fix that? Biden and Harris and Democrats. So why aren’t they?!

Why aren't they constantly pounding the lecterns, the TV shows, the radio, all media with STRONG emphasis on the rotten tax system that is designed for the richest rich? Why aren't they pounding the rotten health care system (yes, it still is!) that is still causing sick people to use "crowd funding" to pay for medical bills! Why aren't they pounding environmental destruction as being an m.o. of Republican corporatists? Where are Biden-Harris on Saudi Arabia's cozy encroachment into, not only golf, but water rights in the drought-ridden southwest (and elsewhere), on Saudi's iron fist over oil production to hurt Biden and help the tRump crime family - a murderous, terrorist tyrranical "monarchy" that Biden rushed over to visit after being elected! Why aren't the Democrats standing up for and speaking out for - loud and clear - PUBLIC education, separation of church and state, against the horrific crimes in cities and the growing trends of it in major cities (when was the last time the daily horrible violence in CHICAGO was mentioned?!) - and so on and so on.

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As a high school History teacher, I have always thought that the pervasive mythologizing of America would eventually come back to haunt us. All the so-called "patriotic" symbols have been co-opted by the radical Right, and the Evangelicals have been hiding behind the flag for the past 100 years! we have been anointed by some perverse, omnipotent being to be the torch-bearer for all things "christian," (whatever the hell that means). Flags flying behind speeding pickup trucks and bald eagles leering menacingly at me have never felt so foreign. "America FIrst" inevitably stands for EVERYONE ELSE LAST!!! THIS has always been the historical "replacement theory" in this country!

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There is no excuse for Trump becoming President. This problem should have been handled while he was President. The whole idea of not holding a President accountable while in office was ridiculous. Apparently, the Democrats have their own ethical problems and as a result a fear of something they aren't revealing. Wonder what it is. As for President Biden, I fear he is having some trouble with his presentations...making him look like he may not be as effective running as is needed. If this is the case, it needs to be handled immediately. We need another choice..a powerful speaker with the interests, experience and skills of Joe Biden. S/he needs to be able to handle the Supreme Court situation immediately, if not before. The people who misrepresented themselves when they were being evaluated for office, need to be removed. I have no tolerance for not doing the right thing when it comes to the Supreme Court. It is either Supreme....or it's not. We need the people behind this plot be held accountable as well. No more shenanigans and gross abuse by people in power. I've really had it. If the leaders of our government aren't doing their jobs in the interest of the American people, we have a right to remove them per the Constitution.

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President Biden needs lots of help from all of us who care about our democracy. If we don’t fight like hell, we won’t have a Country anymore!

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