I’ve Been Pondering …

I’ve been pondering what seems like the recent ‘normalization’ of such things as anti-Semitism, Naziism, racism, political corruption, disrespect, and lies.  At first, there is horror, then as it bombards the news, disgust that morphs to mild disgust that ultimately ends up with “meh”.  It is human nature that the more we are inundated with something, the more commonplace it starts to become, until eventually we have accepted it without really thinking about it.

In May, a school shooting took the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, and the nation was in shock.  Stunned.  The same month, a shooting in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, took the lives of ten people.  More shock.  Both of these events were headline news … for a while … and then they faded … and now, they are largely forgotten, replaced by other dramas and traumas, of which there are plenty to choose from.

Trump’s dinner with two anti-Semites and Hitler apologists, Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, aroused anger and horror, but after days of reporting on it, it seems to be losing its fervor. Says Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “In an early time you would call a serious person with aspirations for highest office, meeting with a Nazi, disqualifying. Now it is simply ill-advised. That’s a sign of where we are.”

When the Access Hollywood video of Donald Trump talking about how it is okay to physically attack women if you’re famous, because “they let you”, there was horror and outrage, but after it was heard and discussed for days, by the time election day rolled around it had become a joke, just “locker room talk”, they said.  We moved past it, and thus it was not the horrendous thing that it really was, but rather became something of an acceptable ‘norm’.

Two years ago, most of us were up in arms over the voter restrictions that were being put into place willy nilly by the states, restrictive laws that would disenfranchise millions of Black voters, college voters, single-mom voters, and poor voters.  When was the last time you heard anything much about voting rights?  We became inured, accepted that we didn’t have the power to change the new laws, shrugged our shoulders and went on about our business.

Last week, Marge Greene, a U.S. Representative from Georgia, speaking of the insurrection and attempted coup on January 6th 2021 said, “And I will tell you something, if Steve Bannon and I had organized that, we would have won. Not to mention, it would’ve been armed.”  I, and many others, undoubtedly even some Republicans, were stunned by that remark.  She is saying that she would have seen more violence, more devastation, and a bloody coup, would have silenced the voices of We the People, and she’s … proud of that???  It is an affront to the people of this country, the people who pay her $174,000 per year.  We should be calling for her immediate expulsion from Congress, but have you heard of such a call?  How long until her remarks fade into the background and become just another ill-conceived remark by a politician?

There was a time when all of the above things and more would have been the political death of the person involved, but today we express outrage for a day or two, maybe even a week, then move on to the next abomination, for there is always another looming right around the corner. By the time the next election rolls around, we don’t even remember the horrid things they did, so we send them right back to Congress again … and again. We have become inured to it, for one can only remain outraged for so long and over so many things.  Our senses are bombarded and pretty soon things that might have led us to write to our members of Congress and demand something be done, now only cause us to roll our eyes and “move along now, nothing to see here.”

Is it, then, any wonder that the word “gaslighting” is Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2022?  The word, defined as “The act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for one’s own advantage,” or “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories…” experienced a 1,740% increase in lookups in 2022 alone.  We the People, the common, ordinary, average Joes that keep this nation running, are being manipulated for the purpose of expanding the power and wealth of a few.  Was this what he had in mind when the former guy said he would “make America great again”?

74 thoughts on “I’ve Been Pondering …

  1. For me, a Jewish woman married to a Black man, there’s nothing normal about it. It isn’t something we will ever get used to.Never normal. There also isn’t much we can do about it except be REALLY glad we live in Massachusetts and not Texas of Florida or any of the states where they are acting like this is in okay. Most of the people I know who are minorities of any kind are extremely uncomfortable, paranoid, and worried.

    For us, this will never be normalized, comfortable or acceptable. It will always be ugly, evil, and frightening.

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    • I fully agree with you, and I wasn’t suggesting that it should become normalized, but quite the opposite. My philosophy is simply “Live and let live” … why should anybody care who you marry, what colour your skin is or what religion, if any, you follow? The rise in bigotry is both horrifying and disgusting, and I do not condone it in any way.

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      • That’s the way we expected it to be. After all these years, we really thought we’d achieved something. It turns out, we didn’t achieve much of anything and THAT is painful — to have worked so hard to change our world and nothing really changed.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It definitely IS painful. Coming of age in the 1960s I really thought we had learned, had overcome the prejudices of our ancestors. Obviously, I was wrong and now I question whether humans are even capable of overcoming their “fear of other”, of setting aside their prejudices and accepting everyone for who they are. It doesn’t help that the politicians keep reminding them to fear different races, religions, and gender orientations, for they have created a hostile environment, but at the end of the day, the blame rests on the shoulders of each and every one of us.

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          • I think we all thought we’d done some important things. But it turns out, if they aren’t “real” laws with meaningful enforcement, they are as like the fluff of a dandelion. I remember at some point in the 1990s I commented to Garry that as far as I could tell, mostly what we did was make denim a fashion fabric. But I admit, I NEVER imagined that Roe vs Wade would be undone. That totally shook me. I thought at LEAST that was DONE. Apparently nothing is ever done when enough people have the power to undo it.

            Those of us who grew up in the 60s are tired and all of us are old. Like it or not, the younger gens are going to have to grab the world and do something about it. We tried. We didn’t succeed even though it looked like we had. But you know, I’ve been rereading “John Adams,” by David Mccullough and the problems we are having are very far from new or unique. History can be very enlightening. What we have now, however is a sick planet. Politics has always been ugly and uglier, but we had a planet. Now we have neither.

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            • True, and yet, as you note with the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v Wade, even when codified into law, nothing is safe from those who would take away the rights of others.

              You’re so right … I’m 71 now and some days I am glad to be old, to not have much longer to have to deal with all the hatred and bigotry I see in the world today. Other days, I wish I were young again and could try to make a difference. You’re right … our problems go back centuries, or perhaps to the very beginning of the human species. It seems we are a flawed species. We take one step forward, then two steps back in the next generation. I once had hope for the coming generation, but … I’m not sure I do anymore.

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              • I’m re-reading “John Adams,” by David Mccullough. It has been 10 years (maybe a bit more) since I read it originally and the world has changed. What’s eerie — and depressing — is that the times when this country has been united have been very rare and short-lived. What we are seeing now is the REAL U.S. We were like this before we were actually evan a nation and we have not improved. But the thing is? Looking around at our allies or foes, no one seems to have improved for the better. Okay. Maybe Finland.

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                • Though I have read a number of McCullough’s books, I don’t think I’ve read “John Adams” … I shall add it to my list. You’re right that the world seems to sometimes take a step or two forward, but then before long takes several steps backward. I’ve come to the conclusion that the human species, for all its supposedly superior intellect, is so deeply flawed that it is on a collision course toward self-extinction.

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                    • No, it certainly isn’t. It’d hard to stay optimistic these days … seeing so much lack of humanity … but maybe it’s people like us who can make a difference, even if only a small one.

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                    • You have hit the nail on the head, Marilyn! I’m not tired of blogging per se, as I enjoy the camaraderie among the blogging community, enjoy the comments. But it DOES seem that I keep saying the same things over and over again. But I have long said that even if I can make one person stop and think about something in a way they hadn’t thought about it before, open one mind just a tiny bit, then I feel it was all well worth it.

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                    • Yes. I feel like whatever I’m saying, I’ve not only said it before, I’ve probably said it dozens of times. Camaraderie is great and I still enjoy it, but the issues never change. I have to wonder if there’ ANY chance of improving our world.

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                    • Same here … bigotry, guns, lies, corruption, January 6th … seems those are my main topics these days. But, we’re trying, my friend … that’s more than a lot of people do. Hang in there and keep up the good work!

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  2. Jill, ur post summed up our nation quite succinctly… no one cares anymore. Leaders are suppose to lead by example, with politicians like Trump and Ms Greene, what do we expect?
    In addition to word of the year “gaslighting”, i’m inclined to add “farce” and “clown-show”!

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  3. “The greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility and desires nothing better than to be told what to do. Provided that the rulers do not interfere with its material comforts and it’s cherished beliefs, it is perfectly happy to let itself be ruled…..Aldous Huxley

    Herein lies the problem….

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    • I would argue a bit with Huxley’s statement. I think that I would say they are not very well-educated or well-informed, rather than saying not very intelligent. And those who haven’t been well-educated, or perhaps haven’t had opportunities to learn, to understand, do desire to be told what to do. It’s comfortable, I suppose, to be told what to do, rather than to have to step outside one’s comfort zone, to consider all the consequences. But overall, I think humans are capable of being much better than many of the examples we’re seeing today, if only our education system was doing its job. It seems we are downgrading instead of upgrading.

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  4. this is all intentional, always has been, a way to exhaust the people so they’re tired of hearing about it, feel demoralized and thus are very easy to manipulate and control. That is how these evil politicians want us to be. now, having said that, who is it who keeps voting these idiots in? the same damn people who are sick and tired and demoralized by what they say. I am always reminded that we get the government we deserve and that’s exactly what we have because most of us just don’t care. They know we don’t care and they don’t care that they know we don’t care. And that’s the rest of the story.

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  5. Here is your rabbit hole, Jill. You need to get away for awhile. Take a drive tonight with Chris and Natasha and look at Xmas lights. Take a big thermos of hot chocolate with you. (Do people even use thermoses anymore?) You don’t have to play xmas tunes on the radio or cdplayer, just happy music to make for an enjoyable evening. (Or, if the girls aren’t available, invite the neighbours! Hell! Invite them even if the girls are there!)
    Have a party in a car! When is the last time you did that?

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      • I’m in favor of more than two parties, but the politicians have to pick from the current two when they get to D.C. anyway—they caucus with either Republicans or Democrats. I wonder what we can do about that.

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        • If you did not see the original comment, it was about forming a political party that had nothing but regular people in it. No wealthy people, no rich people, just everyday people who want to give the government back to the people where it belongs. The idea is rudimentary at present, but wouldn’t you rather be represented by a person like yourself than some rich SOB bound on keeping his profits high and his taxes low.
          A third party is certainly necessary, and one that gives voters a real chance to be involved in governnent would go a long way to creating pisitive change for regular Americans.

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          • The purpose of a party is to go to Washington D.C. and participate in legislation and so forth (and/or offer a candidate for President); also, as is often overlooked, be part of government that is more local than the District of Columbia. The most local governments (and state governments in between) might be different, but when someone elected goes to “Washington” said person has to “caucus” — Sinema, for example, will still be caucusing with the Democrats for now. You might’ve heard she change her voter registration to Independent (doesn’t matter). Of course, she could switch to causing with the Republicans in the future.

            I do like the idea that the people in a new party would be barred from being billionaires. How many millions (in assets, income, or what have you) would be the cut-off?

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            • One million would definitely be the cut off, in my mind. Possibly and probably even less. This party would have its own caucus, and let the other parties come to it. It may take time to make it a force, but possibly not. Most Americans who are not cult members are looking for a candidate they can relate to, and who will relate to them. Creating a party with power might not take as long as some might think.
              No, it will not be easy. And it will take gaining the trust of Americans, but it can be done. The sooner the better.

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              • That level would put Bernie Sanders out of it; I think he and his wife have a few. All it takes to have a million is to have paid for a home of one’s own and to have inherited one’s parents’ home (or two homes of lesser valuation in addition to a currently-priced home in which one person or a couple may be living today). A couple could even not own a home at all but inherit the homes of each respective parents set. Done, gotta kick’m out. I mean, it is a viable thought. I’m not sure how advertising, communications, and so forth would be covered. To an extent, Bernie wasn’t thinking ahead when he was complaining about “millionaires and billionaires” — he did drop the former and complain only about billionaires after billionaires become more common. When he was younger, becoming a millionaire seemed pretty major. Now that there are almost no pensions, and Republicans want to take away Social Security as well, saving a million might be the only way to survive… in the USA.

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                • the reason I say that this is just a talking point is because it seems that some republicans want to have a sunset provision for all federal programs after 5 years where, to allow the program to continue, they’d have to vote on it again. This doesn’t sound like a slash attempt but to ask congress to actually be responsible in determining what programs they’d like to keep in place. Both democrats and republicans aren’t so stupid that they’d actually end a popular program like this because it would mean the end of their precious careers and we all know they’ll do anything to stay in power because that’s what they always do.

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                • How about capping it at a yearly family income of $250,000? I really have no idea of what is an average salary/income in the USA, but that seems generous. The main idea is to not allow anyone in who might be on the side of tne wealthy, so people who cannot use ridiculous tax breaks to pay less tax than an average American.
                  Right now this is just an idea. I figured if I could get Jill interested then I could see if anyone else might be. Sounds like you are to some extent. Maybe other readers are too. But would younger people be interested,because they are the ones whowould be leading the charge. (People under 50, that is.)
                  As for advertising, media, communications, etc. It would beed to start out as mainly word-of-mouth, blogposts, etc. Quietly setting up a website with some innocuous name, Americans for Congress, or some such thing. Grassroots America maybe. But there is no way to fight the adveryising machines of the big parties, do why try. Once candidates are found, door-to-door would be the best way — like in the old days. Nothing big and outlandish or who will trust you.
                  These are all just ideas. Dark Horses for America? Something the big parties would ignore.

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                  • The ones really pulling the strings, these days, have many-many millions or even at least a billion, all told. Yet, there are their operatives with significantly less who hold on for dear life (and would be making probably around the income cap you mentioned once they get into the ethos and then more as they seem more valuable to the ongoing retaining of power). There would, I think, need to be a cap on full assets (and whatever additional words need to be used to technically cover absolutely everything) as well as income to approach what your aiming for.

                    Maybe ten million in assets[including other words] per couple?

                    I know that’s a lot, but that’s how cruel I see our society.
                    What I mean is, otherwise we might only be able
                    to recruit the homeless or needs-insecure…

                    As I’ve been using a certain Senator for comparison, I looked up his direct income from only being a senator (in 2020); his wife would only be able to earn $76,000 per year if their combined incomes were to remain at or below the level you mentioned. It would be easy to stay under that for most women as well as if she were retired (I don’t know if Bernie’s wife is or isn’t retired). But my guess is she has been paid more than that, as someone high up in a university.

                    Would you want to restrict or rule out financial contributions from someone like him even if he reached an asset/income level that made him ineligible as a member?

                    https://berniesanders.com/tax-returns/

                    Because of the way laws are written, some millionaires and billionaires might not have something categorized as income while they do have cash flow. We might need to figure out how to capture that in effect (as a cut-off to inclusion) too. Then, there is the consideration that it costs more to live in Washington D.C. and NYC and California (and some other specific places) than it does in the entire country. So, for example, the Sanders have a home in D.C. because Bernie works there — so a person either needs enough cash to blow on renting or needs to plan on investing in ownership (which isn’t necessarily more expensive than rent and is less in the long run).

                    I feel it would be very complicated.

                    There might be so much concentration on the rules of the club that focusing on policies for the government could take a back seat. On the other hand, being conscientious about the rules could give great insight on what the policies in government should be or how they could be improved. We’ve spent decades on deregulating until there’s almost no one watching over anything… other than the billionaires in private capacity. This might be why, when we have some, seemingly any, kind of crisis… the answer always involves giving more billions to billionaires. Honestly, we might be past a point of no return.

                    As for ridiculous tax breaks, maybe they could simply (or additionally) be listed… that anyone who takes this or that break isn’t permitted in.

                    As to advertising, I take your point about not trying to compete with the big parties.

                    I was thinking more about this while talking with one of my sons (in his twenties). I think we would have to focus, first, on making a difference across all of our states… that is, more locally. You’re right that it couldn’t be “big and outlandish” to start. But it would have to gain great clout at some point or over time to make a difference. I don’t see the young people, today, being idealistic like in the sixties and seventies. Neo-liberalism has gutted and outsourced a lot of ordinary jobs and created a sense that you better keep you nose at work or else.

                    Meanwhile, I don’t really think (within the confines of our own country) that having wealth is the main problem — except obscene wealth (which is more, in my opinion, than even the ten million I posited above and which higher reaches should not be able to escape all taxation as it does now). The problems are systemic, which I know you know. There are people who wouldn’t qualify for membership in your party who would, however, be motivated by the cause. And anyone like Bernie having any wealth at all is used as an excuse to not take the policy ideas seriously, in a bad faith argument that you either have to be starving or shut up about socialism.

                    Oh, and if you’re starving? Shut up anyway. To some extent, we shouldn’t fall into the oligarchic trap of assuming anyone with any financial comfort is supposed to not have any empathy for those who can’t do as well or for those who don’t have their footing yet or for those who choose certain jobs.

                    I might share some articles I found that I don’t necessarily agree with the tone on, but will give you a little peer inside a very mildly wealthy person (who I don’t begrudge at all). It’s when we have like two people who own more than the bottom half of citizens (differentials like that or even not as bad as that) that we should make corrections rather than pick on the people at the bottom of or middle of the middle.

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                    • To begin, Marleen, thank you for taking this idea seriously. I think a party like this could do a lot of great things in America including taking government out of the hands of the wealthy. But I would say all this defining talk of incomes and assets is a bit premature at this point.
                      You mention this cannot be just a local effort, and it cannot. It has to be spread across the country, and will probably have to win at a state level to show all Americans what such a party could be capable of befote it could get national control. The more states the better, of course. But even that is far down the road.
                      So I am thinking that the first need of a new party is people, particularly people who can devote a fair amount of time to get it up and running. People are any party’s most important asset.
                      So how do you find people who would be politically active? This I don’t know. You heard my idea and jumped at it, but except for Jill so far expressing a bit of interest, no one else has. So how would you reach out to them? It doesn’t take many to start the ball rolling, but you would need a few.

                      When I first thought up the idea that was all it was: an idea. The main purpose is to give regular people a chance to have someone like them to vote for. So, how would you define a regular American. That is something I cannot do, obviously, because I am Cansdian. But that is something you can try to do, give at least a tentative definition of what regular Americans are, and what they want.
                      One of the things I know, millionaires by definition are not regular Americans. I would look at medium and lower middle class American and those people who are living cheque to cheque or close to it. Hopefully it would involve some people classified as poor or even penniless as they can give an honest opinion of what is really needed in society, of what government needs to do to help them rise above themselves.

                      You asked about funding donations and I thought about that. How many people able to make “large” cash donations would be willing to sign a legal contract stating that the money is freely given without any expectation of favour or control. Something that says once the money is given it cannot be taken back, for any reason except lack of progress as a party. Again, I don’t know how things work in American politics, but I know the wealthy give in order to gain favour. They want a definite return on their money. That is why such donations cannot be accepted by a party of the people. If you can find richer people willing to sign such a cpntract, I would say go for it. But this would, I hope, make people think before they give.

                      I have some more ideas but again, they are only ideas. That is my power. Putting ideas into action takes a different kind of person — someone like you, from the way you speak. My role at best would be an unpaid consultant. And I think this is where I have to leave it fot the moment. I want nothing from this other than returning gpvernment to the people who most need to have control.
                      How does that sound to you?

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                    • I would suggest that you guys finish this conversation via email rather than as comments? Sorry, not trying to be difficult, but these are long comments and are taking up quite a bit of space in my inbox. Thanks to you both!

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                    • We have probably looked at this as much as we can, rawgod (I don’t know your real name)🙂 — I agree on that, although I’m going to share more anyway. I think independent news sources and journalists and investigators (whether they write books or tweets or make YouTube videos or are guests on them) are best suited and situated to finding and promoting solutions. Such people have led to organizations with rules for backing candidates (such as not taking corporate PAC money). I actually think that’s our most viable way forward. There’s Wolf PAC, Justice Democrats, and others. The person who started the Wolf one said, yesterday, that a current case in front of our federal Supreme Court is an even greater threat to democracy (or, for those with the knee-jerk reaction that we aren’t supposed to be a democracy, self-governance/governance by the people) than is and was his reason for starting the competition [I’d say these are sub-parties while I should think of better nomenclature] within or leaning toward the Democratic Party; the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision. The following article will give an introduction to the new one he was speaking about (and another); “Independent” — no balances in a country that has prided and assured itself with checks and balances — State Legislature Theory.

                      https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/29/supreme-court-2024-election-cases-00059380

                      I also think a reformed and recovering person who knows the ins and outs of crazy finance schemes and the sick thought waves of the “most successful” corporations would be useful in sorting things out for correction. How likely is that? I don’t know, but people who know something about the set-up are needed.

                      And, back to responding, I do think of Bernie and AOC as regular Americans (and mostly not fulfillments of my previous paragraph just above). AOC was a waitress/bartender before she was elected. Once elected, she comes into the pay range that puts her above the $125,000 for a single person when she takes her seat in Congress. It is unclear whether it is the money or the power structure (which wants to squash her) which changes her fire. Now… in addition to the fact that I think of Alexandria as an ordinary American (aside from her office), there are people in very different circumstances from even waitresses or anyone living from paycheck to paycheck.

                      For one (actually many in terms of different tribes and daily life experiences) we have indigenous people who have to deal with broken treaties and more. I don’t consider them ordinary Americans. But I am certain they should be treated as deserving humans who belong here and shouldn’t starve. (I’m not suggestions you intend anything counter to that by emphasizing regular people. Nevertheless, we are all guilty of or recipients of “benefiting” from or profiting on or living in a realm that changed their use of the land.)

                      Related to that last subject, I’m going to share a few more links in another comment… even though it’s not about my country (although there is a rainforest in Hawaii). There’s a very important issue that often-to-usually leaves out the most intimate people aspect, instead focusing on what will happen to all people if the planet implodes, when put forward in the news. I think indigenous, even primitive, people have a “right” to run the government; certainly the right to exist in their own ways. [At the same time, they have a right not to warp their minds around the way the world thinks. Therefore, people with more assigned wealth should empathize with them and serve their needs, which include living wild (for lack of a better word).]

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          • rawgod,

            I gather that you are in Canada. However, in case you’re interested, there is a backing organization called Justice Democrats in the USA. People who get their backing have to pledge not to take corporate money to fund their campaigns and indicate themselves to be against serving corporations as people (as our silly Supreme Court ruled corporations being people made sense). Justice Democrats were in favor of, for instance, Bernie Sanders. Bernie is technically an Independent but functionally a Democrat. Independents aren’t well-defined, because labels other than the two caucuses almost don’t matter at all. Another backing and campaigning organization is Indivisibles, here. I find it important to be more well-defined, even, than Democrat. Many Democrats do the bidding, basically, of Republicans… in my opinion.

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            • that goes both ways you know, there are plenty of republicans who do the bidding of the democrats. Both parties are two sides of the same reprehensible coin which is corporate funded manipulation of the system and it sucks.

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            • Of left-leaning Republicans, if there is such a thing these days. Democrats would be similar to our Liberals, pretending to be for the people but in practice still kowtowing to the wealthy. Over the years I have heard of many political parties trying to start, but they look for wealthy people who might be on their side. As you know, 90% of Americans are not wealthy, allowing wealthy people to represent them. That ‘s like swallowing one’s own tail. The USA needs a People’s Party, and this is what I am suggesting.

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              • I don’t think there’s a single left-leaning Republican today in office. Certainly, when things get ugly Republican leaders like to say anything bad is “left” (in order to buy time while they keep pushing us to the right into corporate hands). We have other parties. There are the Independents, the Greens, Forward, I don’t know what all… also the Libertarians, who are basically corporate and probably psychopathic (otherwise way naive), but seem (at least in words) anarchical to me. I like your idea, a party for actual people. I’m just trying to think of how to make it work. One idea I like is ranked choice voting, so we can go out on a limb to select our first choice but have backup.

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                • Ranked choice within the party works for me, but you need to own Congress to make it work on a state or federal level. And then get rid of “First Past the Post” elections. But this is too early for that. Since I personally cannot be involved beyond an idea person, you would need to find a consensus among party members. And the first thing once you have a bit of organization is giving regular Americans the political consciousness that they not only can rule, but deserve to rule. You are “We the People!” That might even be a good party name once things get rolling.
                  Another good thing to look at would be why all these other parties fail to gain influence. If you know “how yo fight City Hall,” then you find out how to beat City Hall. That, and a lot of courage!

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                  • I’d say they fail because of (in part), as Jill said below, the electoral vote requirement — and the resulting two caucuses. Even though there were Founders who didn’t want there to be parties at all or certainly not only two parties, the convoluted electoral college thing screwed that over. Nevertheless, we should (unless we can make legal changes) stick to the electoral college counts (and not attempt overthrows of the government). I think ranked-choice is our only current workaround, and it might take something near a miracle even at that.

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                    • That is the kind of thing that would be up to the founding members of a new party. It is not something I am even slightly conversant on.
                      But I am in the middle of trying to respond to your previous comment in a way you will find meaningful. Not sure how long it will take, but I will try to do it tonight.

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                    • I could maybe have written my previous comment a little better. But I hope it conveyed some thoughts well enough. And then I realized something I didn’t get to was acknowledging my perception that many of the richest people, now, are multinationals with companies and foundations that have no allegiance (or requirement of allegiance in regulation) to a home country (at least not on our part no matter how patriotic we want to imagine we might be). I’m not against people having dual citizenships, so… again there is complication in how to address the matter. It’s not so much multi citizenship (although some countries don’t allow this), but the money and power being somewhat removed from any accountable actual human being(s) as human individuals and removed from higher values than profit and, rather, being cubbied into endless subsidiaries and shell companies but mergers (and reorganizations) as well… a bunch of shuffling money around that isn’t considered income or personal property.

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                    • Something else, which I came across
                      after our involvement in this conversation:

                      ‘Chokepoint Capitalism’: How to Take Back the Arts …

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                    • I was going to give you my email, Marleen, but if Jill is correct that the current system makes it impossible for a 3rd party to run candidates (how can this still be called democracy?) in all 50 states, our conversation is moot., as on mute. Useless! But I will give you my email anyway, gewcolo @ gmail. com minus the spaces if you have further questions or commemts.
                      Jerry

                      Liked by 1 person

        • Under the current system, no third party will ever win the presidency. Most couldn’t even get on the ballot in all 50 states, but even if they did, no third party, under the present system, could win 270 electoral votes. While I wish we did have a multi-party system, the reality is that we don’t and the only thing a third party does is dilutes the votes for one or the other party candidate. To change the system, we must first amend the Constitution, and you know how likely that is to happen … slim-to-none.

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    • I used a thermos to take my coffee to work back when I worked, but don’t have a need for one now, though I still have it … somewhere around here. Not feeling up to a drive tonight, and Chris and Natasha went to Dayton to meet one of Natasha’s friends, so I stayed home, and was happy enough to do so. I enjoyed the peace and quiet, naught but a purring kitty in my lap. I can’t recall ever having a party in a car! But thanks for caring … and for the suggestion. We probably will go out looking at Christmas lights one night this week or next.

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  6. Pingback: I’ve Been Pondering … — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  7. Pingback: Reblog: I’ve Been Pondering … – This, That, and the Other

  8. Jill, you might find my brief post of interest this morning on the subject of “irrelevance” using a word Mary Trump said her uncle fears the most and when he is the most dangerous to others. My theme is elected officials make themselves irrelevant by focusing on untruthful and inane things rather than the things we need for them to talk about. I can list a dozen people top of mind, who have made what they have to say irrelevant or at least less relevant. We need serious minded people to discuss our problems, real ones not contrived ones.

    What we don’t need is strident leaders looking to garner applause from an extremist or strident base by saying inane things. Taylor-Greene deserves to be censured for the seditious thing she said, eg. Those who applauded, including Junior, should be chastised for doing such. We need serious and sober debate and if folks want to continue to talk about a Big Lie and harming people, then they need not be at the table.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chastised, Keith? These people need to be bankrupted, have their homes and pissessions taken away, and dumped on the steets where they can rant and rave about how everything was taken away from them by a corrupt system. Dob’t j7st let them know what it is like to be homeless, MAKE THEM BE HOMELESS!
      Ten we will see how they survive, or not, having to do everything for themselves…

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so right … what we need is leaders who act like leaders, not like autocrats. We need our elected officials to actually remember their oath of office and care more about the people of this nation than the profits of the corporations. We do not have that today, for sure.

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  9. Totally agree when it comes to the US politicians, fortunately we have not yet let our politicians get so carried away without consequences. If any politician had justified a physical confrontation or claimed they would win such a thing by using firearms the person may end up in court and kicked out of politics for life, in fact they would be under observation by authorities as a possible terrorist threat and this woman should from those comments have any guns she owns removed from her ownership.

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  10. As America too, shifts, towards, authoritarianism, and, nothing the people can do, will, change that, as the people too, already, become, enslaved, by a, corrupt, political party, that bases its, primary values, on, racism, which is, totally, against, the thoughts of which the U.S. of A. had been, set up, from.

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    • I’m not so sure I agree with you that there is “nothing people can do”. I think we CAN make a huge difference, but as divided as we are at this point in time, the question becomes “Will we?” It seems that some are tired of democracy and think an authoritarian government would be preferable, but I really don’t think they understand what it would mean.

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      • Sadly, I agree Jill. Gaslight. The perfect word for the US for the 21st century. Fox Faux Fake and social media are responsible for the spread of gaslighting. A dangerous. game. And people like Marjorie Terror Green are absolutely frightening. And pathetic she is even allowed to be in Congress. 😦

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