Saturday, July 16, 2022

Lost, NOT stolen: the conservative case that Trump really did lose

Eight prominent conservatives have formed an organization for the purpose of discrediting those who would believe the United States 2020 election was won under fraudulent conditions — Lost, Not Stolen. These authors put together a report by the same name: Lost, Not Stolen: The Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election.

The members of Lost, Not Stolen remind the public that accusations such as this are “deadly serious” and should only be made if substantial evidence comes to light. This report is a compilation of every claim of fraud made by Donald Trump and his supporters in these six U.S. states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The report concludes that the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election between Donald Trump and Joseph Biden Jr. was fairly decided. In spite of this, there have been severe consequences of these false claims, including 30 percent of the country now lacking faith in the election process.

The report document contains 72 pages. Anyone clicking the link is authorized to view and read the document but not to edit it. I include on this blog post, the Introduction and the Executive Summary.


One of the members/signers of the report, retired Judge J. Michael Luttig, testified publicly before the January 6 committee on June 16, 2022. The video is a portion of his testimony and closing statement. Judge Luttig clearly and emphatically labels Trump, his allies, and his supporters as a Clear and Present Danger to American Democracy

Here is the table of contents:

Introduction..................................................................................................................................... 1

Executive Summary........................................................................................................................ 3

Arizona............................................................................................................................................ 7

1. Claims that Dominion Voting Machines Were Manipulated............................................. 10

2. Claims that Ballots Were Not Properly Counted. ............................................................. 10

3. Claims that Unsolicited Mail-In Ballots Were Sent to Voters. ...........................................11

4. Claims that Voter-Eligibility Requirements Were Not Enforced. ...................................... 12

5. Claims that Ballot Drop Boxes Were Not Fairly Located Throughout the State. ............. 12

6. Claims that Poll Officials Failed to Carefully Monitor the Election Count..................... 12

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 12

Addenda............................................................................................................................... 12

Georgia.......................................................................................................................................... 27

1. Counting Unlawful Ballots, Including by Deceased, Non-Resident, and other

Ineligible Voters. ............................................................................................................... 29

2. Absentee-Ballot Procedures.............................................................................................. 30

3. Dominion Voting Machine Fraud. .................................................................................... 31

4. Improper Election Result Certification............................................................................. 32

5. Observer Access................................................................................................................ 32

6. Third Party Funds............................................................................................................. 32

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 32

Addendum ........................................................................................................................... 33

Michigan ....................................................................................................................................... 36

1. Challenger Access............................................................................................................. 40

2. Dominion Voting Machines............................................................................................... 41

3. Absentee Ballot Drop Box Video Surveillance.................................................................. 42

4. Alleged TCF Center Fraud. .............................................................................................. 42

5. AVCB Balancing, Ineligible Voters, Unsolicited Ballots, and Third-Party Funds. .......... 43

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 43

Addendum ........................................................................................................................... 44

Nevada .......................................................................................................................................... 47

1. Voter Fraud. ...................................................................................................................... 48

2. Interference With Election Observers. .............................................................................. 48

3. Fraud by Agilis Machines................................................................................................. 49


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4. AB4 and Unlawful Absentee-Voting Procedures............................................................... 49

5. Voter Drives and Bribery. ................................................................................................. 49

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 50

Addendum ........................................................................................................................... 50

Pennsylvania ................................................................................................................................. 53

1. Extending Election Deadlines........................................................................................... 54

2. Inadequate Observation of Ballot Processing. ................................................................. 55

3. Counting Deficient—But Not fraudulent—Absentee Ballots. ........................................... 56

4. Pre-Election Challenges to Changed Voting Procedures. ................................................ 58

5. Voter Fraud. ...................................................................................................................... 58

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 58

Addendum ........................................................................................................................... 58

Wisconsin...................................................................................................................................... 64

1. Absentee-Voting Procedures. ............................................................................................ 65

Summary.............................................................................................................................. 67

Addendum ........................................................................................................................... 67


Introduction

We are political conservatives who have spent most of our adult lives working to support the

Constitution and the conservative principles upon which it is based: limited government, liberty,

equality of opportunity, freedom of religion, a strong national defense, and the rule of law.

We have become deeply troubled by efforts to overturn or discredit the results of the 2020

Presidential Election. There is no principle of our Republic more fundamental than the right of

the People to elect our leaders and for their votes to be counted accurately. Efforts to thwart the

People’s choice are deeply undemocratic and unpatriotic. Claims that an election was stolen, or

that the outcome resulted from fraud, are deadly serious and should be made only on the basis of

real and powerful evidence. If the American people lose trust that our elections are free and fair,

we will lose our democracy. As Jonathan Haidt observed, “We just don’t know what a democracy

looks like when you drain all the trust out of the system.” Paul Kelly, “Very Good Chance”

Democracy Is Doomed in America, Says Haidt, AUSTRALIAN (July 20, 2019).


We therefore have undertaken an examination of every claim of fraud and miscount put

forward by former President Trump and his advocates, and now put the results of those

investigations before the American people, and especially before fellow conservatives who may

be uncertain about what and whom to believe. Our conclusion is unequivocal: Joe Biden was the

choice of a majority of the Electors, who themselves were the choice of the majority of voters in

their states. Biden’s victory is easily explained by a political landscape that was much different in

2020 than it was when President Trump narrowly won the presidency in 2016. President Trump

waged his campaign for re-election during a devastating worldwide pandemic that caused a

severe downturn in the global economy. This, coupled with an electorate that included a small

but statistically significant number willing to vote for other Republican candidates on the ballot

but not for President Trump, are the reasons his campaign fell short, not a fraudulent election.

Donald Trump and his supporters have failed to present evidence of fraud or inaccurate

results significant enough to invalidate the results of the 2020 Presidential Election. We do not

claim that election administration is perfect. Election fraud is a real thing; there are prosecutions

in almost every election year, and no doubt some election fraud goes undetected. Nor do we

disparage attempts to reduce fraud. States should continue to do what they can do to eliminate

opportunities for election fraud and to punish it when it occurs. But there is absolutely no

evidence of fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election on the magnitude necessary to shift the result

in any state, let alone the nation as a whole. In fact, there was no fraud that changed the outcome

in even a single precinct. It is wrong, and bad for our country, for people to propagate baseless

claims that President Biden’s election was not legitimate.


In the past 30 years, those tasked with administering our elections have helped create a

modern election system in which we can and should have confidence. In all fifty states and at the

national level there are transparent recount and election contest procedures designed to allow

candidates to investigate and litigate claims of voter fraud and corruption. Those procedures have

been tested in every presidential election since at least 2000 and have been found in every

instance to be sound and reliable. The Trump Campaign and its supporters had full access to

these remedies and used them in 64 proceedings in the states we examine, and in each instance,

their claims of fraud and miscount failed. Our review of each of these Trump charges affirms that


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the 2020 election was administered by trained professionals who reaffirmed their established

track record for fairness.


The performance of the system in 2020 was all the more remarkable because of the

extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which precipitated changes on

an unprecedented scope and timeline. Some of those changes may have created possibilities for

fraud, but there is no evidence that those risks materialized in reality; nor did they result in

dampening voter participation—quite the opposite. Nonetheless, moving forward, the states

should redouble their efforts to strengthen the integrity of our voting systems and make it as easy

to vote and as hard to cheat as possible for persons of every circumstance.

We urge our fellow conservatives to cease obsessing over the results of the 2020 election,

and to focus instead on presenting candidates and ideas that offer a positive vision for

overcoming our current difficulties and bringing greater peace, prosperity, and liberty to our

nation.


Executive Summary

As part of his post-election attempts to retain the presidency, Donald Trump and his

supporters filed 64 cases containing 187 counts in the six key battleground states, in addition to

utilizing some of the recount and contest procedures available to them under state law. The

former president maintains to this day that the 2020 election was stolen and the results

fraudulent.


This Report takes a hard look at the very serious charges made by Trump and his supporters.

The consequences of a president and a major party candidate making such charges are

monumental. If true, our electoral system is in desperate need of repair. If not true, that must be

said because such false charges corrode our democracy and leave a significant share of the

population doubting the legitimacy of our system, seriously weakening the country.


Every member of this informal group has worked in Republican politics, been appointed to

office by Republicans, or is otherwise associated with the Party. None have shifted loyalties to

the Democratic Party, and none bear any ill will toward Trump and especially not toward his

sincere supporters. Many of us have worked over the years in polling places as part of

Republican Election Day Operations looking for the same sort of fraud and irregularities Donald

Trump claimed in 2020. Such vigilance is entirely appropriate and must not be stigmatized as

“voter suppression.”


Fraud, irregularities, and procedural deficiencies formed the basis for challenging the results

in five of the six highly contested Electoral College battleground states of Arizona (page 7),

Georgia (page 27), Michigan (page 36), Nevada (page 47), and Wisconsin (page 64). In

Pennsylvania (page 53), Trump verbally attacked the elections as fraudulent, but his lawyers

never filed such charges in court.


For this Report, we examined every count of every case brought in these six battleground

states. We include both a narrative for each state and an accompanying Addendum listing each

case and its disposition.


We conclude that Donald Trump and his supporters had their day in court and failed to

produce substantive evidence to make their case.


Of the 64 cases brought by Trump and his supporters, twenty were dismissed before a

hearing on the merits, fourteen were voluntarily dismissed by Trump and his supporters before a

hearing on the merits, and 30 cases included a hearing on the merits. Only in one Pennsylvania

case involving far too few votes to overturn the results did Trump and his supporters prevail.

Repetition of these false charges causes real harm to the basic foundations of the country,

with 30 percent of the population lacking faith in the results of our elections.


In our system of government, these cases provided the forums in which Trump and his

supporters could and should have proven their claims. This Report shows that those efforts failed

because of a lack of evidence and not because of erroneous rulings or unfair judges. Judges,

legislators, and other election officers, often including members of his own party, gave Trump

ample time and every opportunity to present evidence to make his case. Post-election audits or


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reviews in each state also failed to show any irregularities or fraud that would overturn the

electoral results. In many cases, after making extravagant claims of wrongdoing, Trump’s legal

representatives showed up in court or state proceedings empty-handed, and then returned to their

rallies and media campaigns to repeat the same unsupported claims.

Even now, twenty months after the election, a period in which Trump’s supporters have been

energetically scouring every nook and cranny for proof that the election was stolen, they come

up empty. Claims are made, trumpeted in sympathetic media, and accepted as truthful by many

patriotic Americans. But on objective examination they have fallen short, every time.

Moreover, even if there were such evidence (which we did not find), there is an obligation on

the part of a campaign challenging the veracity of official results to bring its challenges on a

timely basis, through the established legal channels, based on ordinary rules of evidence and

logic. In our system of government, these proceedings provide the forums in which Mr. Trump

and his supporters could and should have proven their claims. They had every opportunity to use

those channels.


Once they had lost, Trump and his supporters had an obligation to recognize that the election

debate was over. Questions of election legality must be resolved dispassionately in courts of law,

not through rallies and demonstrations—and most emphatically, not by applying political

pressure and threats to induce Congress to ignore its constitutional duty and the electoral

outcome for which the people voted, and which the legal processes of the affected states had

examined and confirmed. The same system used to bring all his cases, recounts, and contests also

sets deadlines for when the process becomes final, a winner is declared, and the losing candidate

concedes. Trump failed to abide by that norm in contrast to prior losers of presidential elections

such as Richard Nixon and Al Gore.


After reviewing the evidence presented in each court case and the post-election reviews with

this lens, certain patterns emerge. Most obvious is that the former president’s rhetoric—before,

during and after the election—was not supported by the legal cases he tried to make or any

evidence he introduced. Cases and reviews in the six battleground states included similar charges

and similar dismissals by federal and state courts. This chart describes the nature of Trump’s

charges and the pages of each state’s narrative that describe the outcome:


Fraud or ballots improperly counted:

Arizona, page 10;

Georgia, page 29;

Michigan, page 42;

Nevada, page 48;

Pennsylvania, page 58;

Wisconsin, page 67.


Voting machines producing rigged results:

Arizona, page 10;

Georgia, page 31;

Michigan, page 41;

Nevada, page 49.


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Absentee ballot or mail-in ballot irregularities:

Arizona, page 11;

Michigan, page 42;

Pennsylvania, page 56;

Wisconsin, page 65.


Ineligible voters:

Arizona, page 12;

Georgia, page 29;

Michigan, page 43.


Observers access blocked/failure to monitor polling places:

Arizona, page 12;

Georgia, page 32;

Michigan, page 40;

Nevada, page 48;

Pennsylvania, page 55.


Post-election reviews and audits: In addition to the numerous legal cases, the six states

conducted post-election reviews at the insistence of or because of the Trump allegations. This

Report discusses those efforts, which also failed to support the allegations from Trump and his

supporters:

Arizona: Cyber Ninjas review, pages 7–10, 16.

Georgia: The Secretary of State manually recounted all five million ballots cast (page 27)

and conducted a post-election audit.

Michigan: Separate post-election investigations by a Michigan State Senate committee

chaired by Republican Ed McBloom, pages 36–40, and Michigan’s Office of the Auditor

General, pages 36, 37.

Nevada: Republican Secretary of State investigations of voting complaints, page 47.

Pennsylvania: A statewide risk-limiting audit in February 2021, page 54. Republican state

senators pursued a forensic audit that has yielded no evidence to date, page 54.

Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau, a non-partisan, independent body,

found no evidence of widespread fraud to alter the election results, page 64. The

conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty likewise found no evidence of

widespread voter fraud and no evidence of significant problems with voting machines,

page 64. Wisconsin House Republicans hired a former state Supreme Court justice to

examine the election; an interim report cited no evidence of fraudulent votes sufficient to

overturn the results, page 65.


After the dismissal of all 64 court cases and state reviews, Trump and his supporters have

continued in the sixteen months since Joe Biden’s Inauguration with claims of a fraudulent

election. Each has been refuted. Two of the most publicized examples illustrate this. In the first,

economist John Lott Jr. produced a paper in Public Choice claiming that “simple tests of voter

fraud” showed excess votes for Biden in Pennsylvania and Georgia and 255,000 excess votes in


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six key states due to artificially large turnout across several counties. That was quickly refuted by

political scientists Andrew Eggers and Justin Grimmer.1


A second example is a recent film from Dinesh D’Souza, “2000 Mules,”2 which attempts to

demonstrate rampant voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election through digital-device

location-tracking data. Yet the film, heartily endorsed by Trump at its Mar-a-Lago premiere, has

subsequently been thoroughly debunked in analyses.3 What the film claims to portray is simply

not supported by the evidence invoked by the film.


As this Report notes, in five of the six battleground states, analyses have shown that Trump

lost not because of fraud but because a small but significant subset of Republican voters

supported the GOP’s candidates down-ballot but did not vote for Trump. In many instances,

Republican candidates other than Trump won despite being subject to the same alleged

fraudulent systems that Trump supporters declaim. See pages 7, 27, 36, 53, and 64.

We are most concerned that even after failing in more than 60 court cases to produce

evidence of fraud or irregularities that would change the 2020 election results, the repetition of

the false charges of a stolen election continues.


To have 30 percent of the country lack faith in election results based on unsubstantiated

claims of a “stolen” election is not sustainable in a democracy, and it discredits the political party

making those charges. We hope that setting out the full record in this Report will help restore

faith in the reliability of our elections.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Power is GIVEN, not grabbed!




All the money in the world raised and spent to advertise on social or corporate media couldn't have overcome the former guy's thousands of lies, massive emotional insecurity, and sinister self-dealing. Remember Abraham Lincoln's famous quote:

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

When The Washington Post Fact Checker team first started cataloguing President Donald Trump’s false or misleading claims, we recorded 492 suspect claims in the first 100 days of his presidency. On Nov. 2 alone, the day before the 2020 vote, Trump made 503 false or misleading claims as he barnstormed across the country in a desperate effort to win reelection.

This astonishing jump in falsehoods is the story of Trump’s tumultuous reign. By the end of his term, Trump had accumulated 30,573 untruths during his presidency — averaging about 21 erroneous claims a day.

What is especially striking is how the tsunami of untruths kept rising the longer he served as president and became increasingly unmoored from the truth.

This (below, excerpted from pages 43-44 of The Power Paradox by Dacher Keltner) may be the most succinct explanation for why the former president lost the election in 2020.

... your ability to make a difference in the world is shaped by what other people think of you. Your capacity to alter the state of others depends on their trust in you. Your ability to empower others depends on their willingness to be influenced by you. Your power is constructed in the judgments and actions of others. This idea distills down to four principles:

Numerous natural state experiments demonstrate that Jack's [from Lord of the Flies] strategies of bullying, coercion, and violence do not prevail; rather, groups demonstrate an instinctive tendency to give power to individuals who bring the greatest benefit and least harm to individuals, to those who advance the greater good (Power Principle 5). To make abuses of power less likely, groups shape people's capacity to influence by constructing their reputations, which track their contributions to the greater good (Principle 6). Groups reward those who are good for the groups by affording them elevated status and esteem (Principle 7). And when an individual acts in ways that violate the greater good--the group's sense of its collective welfare--the group will resort to gossip and other reputational damage to diminish the influence of that individual (Principle 8).

These four principles center on a concept known as the greater good. This idea emerged from the eighteenth-century philosophical movement know as utilitarianism... to define what makes an action a good one to take. Their answer: an action is good to the degree that it advances the greater good, or what we might today call the collective well-being of a social network or, more broadly, the trust or strength of a society. Or..."The action is best, which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers, and that worst which, in like manner, occasions misery."

In November 2016, too many people were fooled.

In November 2020, enough people spoke with One VOICE and removed the power granted to him four years earlier, which he, every single damn day, abused to the overall detriment to the country and to the world. Like a three-year old toddler throwing a PROLONGED tantrum, the guy who never learned how to cope with being told no has not ended his tantrum and likely will not stop until society succeeds in isolating him in a 6 by 6 cell surrounded by concrete walls.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Paradox of Power and Influence

 


Excerpted from pages 20-21

The Prince offers a philosophy of power suitable to such violent times, treating power in its purest form as "force and fraud." We gain and keep such power by committing coercive and unpredictable acts that are impetuous, fierce, and violent. We hold onto such power by appearing virtuous even though we harbor other intentions. This kind of power quiets (or kills) rivals and critics, inspires allegiances, and mutes the masses. Through coercive force and fraud, we dominate.

But counterexamples to this conception of power readily come to mind. Many of the most significant changes in our history--the adoption of women's suffrage, civil rights legislation, the free speech movement and its influence upon the protests against the Vietnam War, the overthrow of apartheid, the rise of gay rights--were brought about by people who lacked economic, political, and military might; they changed the world without coercive force.

One recent study examined 323 opposition movements from 1900 to 2006, in places ranging from East Timor to countries of the former Soviet bloc. Some of these movements used the tactics of coercive force--bombs, assassinations, beheadings, torture, and civilian killings. Others relied on nonviolent tactics--marches, vigils, petitions, and boycotts. The latter were twice as likely (53 percent versus 26 percent) to lead to achieving gains in political power, winning broad support from citizens, and contributing to the fall of oppressive regimes.

People resort to coercive force when their power is actually slipping. In our professional lives, people who endorse Machiavellian strategies to social life--lying, manipulating, and stepping on others to rise in the ranks--actually report experiencing less power and influence than the average person.

I have been on both sides of the equation, as an activist (who has hit the proverbial wall a few times), to having failed in a marriage relationship (which nevertheless eventually produced a well-adjusted adult daughter).

Not only that, in a fundamentalist Christian sect (which had some nationalistic ambitions for a while), I witnessed first hand what Professor Keltner notes as four of his 20 principles of power. The four he categorizes as abuses of power.

  • Power leads to empathy deficits and diminished moral sentiments
  • Power leads to self-serving impulsivity
  • Power leads to incivility and disrespect
  • Power leads to narratives of exceptionalism

We have VERY recent history with ALL four of those abuse of power principles in the former president. EVERYthing about how he conducted himself before taking office, while in office and since having to have been pried out of the Oval Office with a metaphoric crowbar demonstrates abuse of power,

 In Arizona, we've had Ev Mecham, Andrew Peyton Thomas, Russell Pearce, Susan Bitter Smith... each of whom suffered self-induced downfalls due to abuse of power in one way or another.. But Doug Ducey, currently in the last six months of his second (and final) term as governor, has been far more savvy than many. 

He rules heavy handedly, but has a knack for staying away from scandal. Until now, perhaps.

Since the beginning of his first term, he has been in cahoots with a Christian Nationalist with too much influence at the state capitol, Cathi Herrod. Apparently, Ms Herrod, head of Center for Arizona Policy, and wife of a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, has had Ducey's back.

Two of her signature efforts have been to undermine public k-12 education and eliminate the personal sovereignty and bodily autonomy of half the population of the state. "Extreme court" Justice Alito and his five friends killed Roe v Wade. And Ducey just recently signed a universal school voucher bill which will undermine our public schools and provide education-based oligarchs with a rich vane of gold to skim off the top of taxpayer funds that should instead be laser-focused on providing better pay for public school educators. 

My vision, however, is that Direct Democracy is our SUPERPOWER. In that light, a referendum campaign has been launched to get Ducey's oligarch gold mine bill on the November ballot for the PEOPLE to VETO.

*****

Speaking of the paradox of power, Republican Congressional Representatives from Arizona have quite a dubious reputation lately. One of them, Paul Gosar, running for re-election in the redistricted CD9 doesn't think he'll have any general election opponent.

CD9 Democratic primary voters can change that by writing in David Lucier's name on their ballots for that seat in Congress. Lucier has a very long record of service in Arizona and has registered as a write-in candidate, so votes for him will be counted. David Lucier has my full endorsement.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

HOW is nonviolent struggle MORE powerful than violent advocacy? Are you really COMMITTED to winning the Culture War?

I mean REALLY. Are you COMMITTED to winning the Culture War? 


Who won the battle in this image from Bloody Sunday? Who won the war? Hint: it wasn't the guys beating up the nonviolent protesters.

No doubt the concept appears, on its face to be counterintuitive. But journey back with me to with me to touch on the work of the likes of Charles Darwin and UC Berkeley psychology Prof. Dacher Keltner. Keltner authored The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence and is founding director of the Greater Good Science Center. Then back to March 1965. 

Susan Cain, author of Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, quotes Keltner, 

"We are impelled to relieve the sufferings of another," wrote Darwin, "in order that our own painful feelings may at the same time be relieved."

For Darwin, says Keltner, "survival of the kindest" would have been a better moniker. Darwin was a gentle and melancholic soul, a doting husband and adoring father of ten, deeply in love with nature from earliest childhood.  

Better than more common expression, attributed to Darwin, "survival of the fittest," that is.  

One of the most important contemporary examples to illustrate and demonstrate the POWER of nonviolent struggle and starkly contrast it with violence was Bloody Sunday in March 1965.

On March 7, 1965, police, state troopers, and a citizen “posse” violently attacked civil rights marchers attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, United States. More than 15 marchers were hospitalized for injuries suffered in an event known as “Bloody Sunday.” 

The marchers, organized by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), were attempting to walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s capital. The Selma-to-Montgomery march was intended to draw attention to the violations of civil and voting rights in Alabama and throughout the South. 

Americans across the nation watched footage of peaceful protesters beaten until they were bloody, injured, and, as in the case of legendary SNCC activist John Lewis, suffered concussions. 

Days later, after a second attempted march (“Turnaround Tuesday”), a white minister died from injuries suffered. This media attention galvanized the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. A third march, led by Lewis, Ralph Abernathy, and Martin Luther King, Jr., reached Montgomery on March 25, 1965. 

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed five months later. Lewis remembers, "President [Lyndon] Johnson signed that Act, but it was written by the people of Selma."

Among the things Civil Rights hero John Lewis taught us,

Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and redeem the soul of America.” John Lewis made this statement on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 1, 2020 commemorating the tragic events of Bloody Sunday. Bloody Sunday occurred on March 7, 1965 as peaceful protesters were beaten by law enforcement officers for crossing the bridge. Lewis and others like Amelia Boynton Robinson were beaten so badly they were hospitalized.

By the way, Diane Nash, an original member of SNCC, just days ago on July 7, 2022 [57 years after Bloody Sunday] was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Diane Nash is a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who organized some of the most important civil rights campaigns of the 20th century. Nash worked closely with Martin Luther King, who described her as the “driving spirit in the nonviolent assault on segregation at lunch counters.”

Who will be the Diane Nash of the movement to establish the personal sovereignty (and hence, the bodily autonomy) of women in 2022? 

 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Do you want to win the Culture War? Let's get started! Appended July 6, 2022


Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects that which is loved. We cannot access the depth of loving ourselves or others without our rage.

Kaur, Valarie. See No Stranger  (p. 106). Random House  Kindle Edition. 

It occurs to me that the pain imposed upon all American women, especially of childbearing age (and younger) by the Trump Court is at least as sharp and as egregious as if all of the hair on my (hairy) torso were to be covered with a giant band-aid and yanked off all at once. Enduring such a procedure would leave my skin raw, likely for days. The RAGE caused by stripping away women's personal sovereignty and bodily autonomy will last even longer.

However, I foresee a great and long enduring movement in which women will lead gigantic social change. Tens and hundreds of million women. Hundreds and thousands with incredible leadership and artistic talent who will erase every last drop of Christian Nationalism and Dominionism from our shores. Writers. Singer songwriters. Actors, playwriters and screenwriters. Painters and sculptors and mixed media artists. All expressing with keen insight and exquisite passion a vision that will take what was expressed in the Preamble to the US Constitution and make it come alive in ways heretofore rarely even imagined.


 


But first, direct action is immediately necessary to reclaim the nation for her people. Here are excerpts from resources containing some of the insight I have found over the last few years. By no means are any of these sufficient in themselves. They are just samples.


How Nonviolent Struggle Works (and other writing by Gene Sharp)


Sharp wrote that “some conflicts do not yield to compromise and can be resolved only through struggle.” 

“Regular institutional procedures are rarely available” to solve “conflicts that, in one way or another, involve the fundamental principles of a society, of independence, of self-respect, or of people’s capacity to determine their own future.” 

Traditionally, it is believed that in those conflicts there exist only two alternative ways of acting: passive submission or violent action. There is, however, a third alternative: struggle by means of nonviolent action.

The basic concept and the foundation for political struggle by means of nonviolent action rest on the belief that “the exercise of power depends on the consent of the ruled who, by withdrawing that consent, can control and even destroy the power of their opponents. ” 

“Nonviolent action is a technique used to control, combat, and destroy the opponents’ power by nonviolent means of wielding power.

Frequently it is presumed that “power flows from violence and can only be controlled by greater violence.” In fact, “power derives from sources within society that people can restrict or cut off by withdrawing their cooperation. 

The political power of governments can indeed be very fragile. Even the power of dictatorships can be destroyed by the withdrawal of the human help that makes the existence of the regime possible.” 

Political struggle by means of nonviolent action is based on this observation. In this work, “the basic characteristics of nonviolent struggle are described, misperceptions are corrected, and there is an account of some of the features of its vast history. It is the history of actions performed by ordinary people—not pacifists or saints—struggling imperfectly for a variety of causes. 

Using nonviolent action, people have achieved higher wages, broken social barriers, changed government policies...

***** 

(1) The indirect approach to the opponents’ power. Even in military conflicts, argued Liddell Hart, generally effective results have followed when the plan of action has had “such indirectness as to ensure the opponents’ non-readiness to meet it.” It is important “to nullify opposition by paralyzing the power to oppose” and to make “the enemy do something wrong,” Liddell Hart wrote. Against opponents using military means, always confront them indirectly by nonviolent means, so that their repression can be made to rebound against them to undermine their power position. Finally, the sources of the opponents’ power are reduced or removed without being confronted by military means. 

(2) Psychological elements. These operate both within the opponent group and among the resisters. The effect of surprise in war is the incapability of the opponents to react effectively. In nonviolent struggle this incapability is produced not by secrecy but instead by the nonviolent resisters’ reliance on nonviolent means. At times, surprise in nonviolent action may weaken its effectiveness. Open announcement of the intention to use nonviolent methods may reduce nervousness among troops, make more severe repression less probable, and increase the chances of inducing disaffection.

Morale among the resisters is also important. It is crucial that the population understands that the opponents’ military might does not give them either control or victory. The resisters’ confidence in nonviolent action is fundamental, along with skill, endurance, and enthusiasm.

(3) Geographical and physical elements. The physical possession of particular locations is of secondary importance to the fulfillment of the conditions which make possible the operation of the mechanisms of change in nonviolent action. Neither possession of, nor gaining of control over, particular places is regarded as extremely important because the operation of the technique of nonviolent action depends primarily upon the will and actions of human beings. Particular places may become important if they have high symbolic value. In such cases, the methods of nonviolent obstruction, nonviolent raids, and nonviolent invasion are possible methods to be applied. The place at which a crucial resistance action is to be taken will need to be chosen carefully. At times it will also be necessary to arrange places to hold support services, such as hospitals, camps, kitchens, and the like. [...]

(6) The issue and concentration of strength. Wise strategy and tactics require a careful selection of the points on which to fight. This can only be done by taking into consideration the political, psychological, social, and economic factors of the struggle. There is no substitute for genuine strength in nonviolent action. It is impossible to be too strong at the decisive point. To be effective, nonviolent action needs to be concentrated at crucial points, as already discussed in this chapter. These points are selected after consideration of one’s own strength, weaknesses, and resources; the objectives, position, strengths, and weaknesses of the opponents; the importance of the issue itself; and the probable consequences of defeat or success. “Adjust your end to your means,” wrote Liddell Hart. It is necessary to be realistic without losing faith. Avoid exhausting confidence or the capacities of others in vain efforts where you cannot win. In special circumstances it may be necessary to act despite weaknesses. If so, a realistic assessment of the situation is still required. The development of strategy and tactics should be based on an assessment of how one’s existing strength can be used to best advantage and how one’s weaknesses can be bypassed or corrected.

In the struggle to attain freedom, it is necessary to behave like free people.

Strategy is at least as important in nonviolent action as it is in military action. It is important to choose the course of action and carry it out carefully and intelligently. It is quite inadequate simply to say that one will be moral and do what is right. There may be several courses of action which are all morally “right.” What is “right” may involve maintaining or creating maximum opposition to “evil.” If so, the problem is how to do this in order to meet one’s moral responsibility and maximize the effects of one’s actions. Those actions must be carefully chosen and carried out at the right time. The better the strategy, the easier you will gain the upper hand, and the less it will cost you. As in war, strategy and tactics are used in nonviolent action so that the courage, sacrifice, and numbers of the nonviolent resisters may make the greatest possible impact. The specific acts of protest, noncooperation and intervention will be most effective if they fit together as parts of a comprehensive whole, so that each specific action contributes to success. It is also important to have acceptance by the grievance group of the strategy for the struggle in order to avoid divisions.

Sharp, Gene. How Nonviolent Struggle Works The Albert Einstein Institution. Kindle Edition. 




Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead (a memoir) by retired (and former Sec'ty of Defense) Marine General James Mattis

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A clear-eyed account of learning how to lead in a chaotic world, by General Jim Mattis--the former Secretary of Defense and one of the most formidable strategic thinkers of our time--and Bing West, a former assistant secretary of defense and combat Marine.

"A four-star general's five-star memoir."--The Wall Street Journal

You make mistakes, or life knocks you down; either way, you get up and get on with it. You deal with life. You don’t whine about it.

You don’t always control your circumstances, but you can always control your response.

My early years with my Marines taught me leadership fundamentals, summed up in the three Cs.

The first is competence. Be brilliant in the basics. Don’t dabble in your job; you must master it.

Second, caring. To quote Teddy Roosevelt, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

In a family, you watch out for your younger brother. You’re interested in him—how he grows, how he learns, who he wants to be. When your Marines know you care about them, then you can speak bluntly when they disappoint you.

Third, conviction. This is harder and deeper than physical courage. Your peers are the first to know what you will stand for and, more important, what you won’t stand for. Your troops catch on fast. State your flat-ass rules and stick to them. They shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. At the same time, leaven your professional passion with personal humility and compassion for your troops. Remember: As an officer, you need to win only one battle—for the hearts of your troops. Win their hearts and they will win the fights. Competence, caring, and conviction combine to form a fundamental element—shaping the fighting spirit of your troops. Leadership means reaching the souls of your troops, instilling a sense of commitment and purpose in the face of challenges so severe that they cannot be put into words.

The Marine philosophy is to recruit for attitude and train for skills. Marines believe that attitude is a weapon system. We searched for intangible character traits: a quest for adventure, a desire to serve with the elite, and the intention to be in top physical condition.

“I’ll tell you what leadership is,” he said. “It’s persuasion and conciliation and education and patience. It’s long, slow, tough work. That’s the only kind of leadership I know.”

Keep training and encouraging local forces. Stay professional and polite. Whenever you show anger or disgust toward civilians, it’s a victory for the insurgents. Victory is not an abstraction. We will train Iraqi forces and patrol until the last terrorist is dead.

READ, READ, READ

Several years later, I was training in the jungles of northern Okinawa when, without warning, I was temporarily put in command of a 180-man company. On a Saturday morning, the sergeant major requested that I drop by for a quiet discussion. Technically, I outranked him, but no lieutenant with his wits about him is slow to respond when his top noncommissioned offer wants to talk with him alone. “You are a very persuasive young man,” he said, handing me a book about a Roman centurion, “but it would be best if you did your homework first.” Before going into battle, you can learn by asking veterans about their experiences and by reading relentlessly. Lieutenants come to grasp the elements of battle, while senior officers learn how to outwit their opponents.

By studying how others have dealt with similar circumstances, I became exposed to leadership examples that accelerated my expanding understanding of combat.

Mattis, Jim; West, Bing. Call Sign Chaos (pp. 41-42). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

 


The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

In the year 170, at night in his tent on the front lines of the war in Germania, Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of the Roman Empire, sat down to write... what he wrote is undoubtedly one of history’s most effective formulas for overcoming every negative situation we may encounter in life. A formula for thriving not just in spite of whatever happens but because of it.

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

In Marcus’s words is the secret to an art known as turning obstacles upside down. To act with “a reverse clause,” so there is always a way out or another route to get to where you need to go. So that setbacks or problems are always expected and never permanent. Making certain that what impedes us can empower us. Coming from this particular man, these were not idle words. In his own reign of some nineteen years, he would experience nearly constant war, a horrific plague, possible infidelity, an attempt at the throne by one of his closest allies, repeated and arduous travel across the empire—from Asia Minor to Syria, Egypt, Greece, and Austria—a rapidly depleting treasury, an incompetent and greedy stepbrother as co-emperor, and on and on and on. And from what we know, he truly saw each and every one of these obstacles as an opportunity to practice some virtue: patience, courage, humility, resourcefulness, reason, justice, and creativity. The power he held never seemed to go to his head—neither did the stress or burden. He rarely rose to excess or anger, and never to hatred or bitterness.

Whatever we face, we have a choice: Will we be blocked by obstacles, or will we advance through and over them?

That the challenge makes them better than if they’d never faced the adversity at all. Now it’s your turn to see if you’re one of them, if you’ll join their company. This book will show you the way.

What blocks us is clear. Systemic: decaying institutions, rising unemployment, skyrocketing costs of education, and technological disruption. Individual: too short, too old, too scared, too poor, too stressed, no access, no backers, no confidence. How skilled we are at cataloging what holds us back! Every obstacle is unique to each of us. But the responses they elicit are the same: Fear. Frustration. Confusion. Helplessness. Depression. Anger.

What do these figures have that we lack? What are we missing? It’s simple: a method and a framework for understanding, appreciating, and acting upon the obstacles life throws at us. John D. Rockefeller had it—for him it was cool headedness and self-discipline.

As it turns out, this is one thing all great men and women of history have in common. Like oxygen to a fire, obstacles became fuel for the blaze that was their ambition. Nothing could stop them, they were (and continue to be) impossible to discourage or contain. Every impediment only served to make the inferno within them burn with greater ferocity.

This book will share with you their collective wisdom in order to help you accomplish the very specific and increasingly urgent goal we all share: overcoming obstacles. Mental obstacles. Physical obstacles. Emotional obstacles. Perceived obstacles. We face them every day and our society is collectively paralyzed by this.

So this will be a book of ruthless pragmatism and stories from history that illustrate the arts of relentless persistence and indefatigable ingenuity. It teaches you how to get unstuck, unfucked, and unleashed.

Holiday, Ryan. The Obstacle Is the Way (p. 1). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.



 Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday

Lincoln, a man who taught himself military strategy by poring over books he checked out from the Library of Congress, laid out a map across a big table and pointed instead to Vicksburg, Mississippi, a little city deep in Southern territory. It was a fortified town high on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, held by the toughest rebel troops. Not only did it control navigation of that important waterway, but it was a juncture for a number of other important tributaries, as well as rail lines that supplied Confederate armies and enormous slave plantations across the South. 

“Vicksburg is the key,” he told the crowd with the certainty of a man who had studied a matter so intensely that he could express it in the simplest of terms. “The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” As it happened, Lincoln turned out to be exactly right. 

It would take years, it would take incredible equanimity and patience, as well as ferocious commitment to his cause, but the strategy laid out in that room was what won the war and ended slavery in America forever. Every other important victory in the Civil War—from Gettysburg to Sherman’s March to the Sea to Lee’s surrender—was made possible because at Lincoln’s instruction Ulysses S. Grant laid siege to Vicksburg in 1863, and by taking the city split the South in two and gained control of that important waterway. 

In his reflective, intuitive manner, without being rushed or distracted, Lincoln had seen (and held fast to) what his own advisors, and even his enemy, had missed. Because he possessed the key that unlocked victory from the rancor and folly of all those early competing plans.

Holiday, Ryan. Stillness Is the Key (p. 4). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.



Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday

It’s a type of storytelling in which eventually your talent becomes your identity and your accomplishments become your worth. But a story like this is never honest or helpful. In my retelling to you just now, I left a lot out. Conveniently omitted were the stresses and temptations; the stomach-turning drops and the mistakes—all the mistakes—were left on the cutting-room floor in favor of the highlight reel. They are the times I would rather not discuss: A public evisceration by someone I looked up to, which so crushed me at the time that I was later taken to the emergency room. The day I lost my nerve, walked into my boss’s office, and told him I couldn’t cut it and was going back to school—and meant it. The ephemeral nature of best-sellerdom, and how short it actually was (a week). The book signing that one person showed up at. The company I founded tearing itself to pieces and having to rebuild it. Twice. These are just some of the moments that get nicely edited out.

Holiday, Ryan. Ego Is the Enemy (p. xx). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 






In this timely, highly original, and controversial narrative, New York Times bestselling author Mark Kurlansky discusses nonviolence as a distinct entity, a course of action, rather than a mere state of mind. Nonviolence can and should be a technique for overcoming social injustice and ending wars, he asserts, which is why it is the preferred method of those who speak truth to power.

Nonviolence is a sweeping yet concise history that moves from ancient Hindu times to present-day conflicts raging in the Middle East and elsewhere. Kurlansky also brings into focus just why nonviolence is a “dangerous” idea, and asks such provocative questions as: Is there such a thing as a “just war”? Could nonviolence have worked against even the most evil regimes in history?

Nonviolence: the History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky





Gandhi on Non-Violence (edited by Thomas Merton; Preface by Mark Kurlansky)

In 1931 Gandhi wrote, “Whether mankind will consciously follow the law of love, I do not know. But that need not perturb us. The law will work, just as the law of gravitation will work whether we accept it or not. And just as a scientist will work wonders out of various applications of the laws of nature, even so a man [in 1931, even Gandhi apparently wasn't even thinking in terms of women who lead, but it still applies] who applies the law of love with scientific precision can work great wonders.”

Gandhi, Mahatma. Gandhi on Non-Violence (New Directions Paperbook) (p. 7). New Directions. Kindle Edition. 



Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

A book I have only just begun to read. It was written 30 years ago or so but was prescient. In other words, Octavia Butler had incredible insight and vision. All of human life is about stories. Here's what Goodreads' blurb says:

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

Women may not want to hear a lot of what I have to say. But I hope they enthusiastically read and digest what visionary women leaders like Valarie Kaur and Octavia Butler have written and have to say, as well as leaders and philosophers such as Jim Mattis, Ryan Holiday and Mohandas K Gandhi have had to say about fighting (nonviolently) and winning.

There are now, at this time, some key women running for offices in Arizona which will have dramatic impact on matters of personal sovereignty and bodily autonomy.

When Republican Maricopa County Attorney Alistair Adel resigned a few months ago, Democrat Julie Gunnigle, who had narrowly lost to Adel in the 2020 election, declared her intent to run again for the position. Because Arizona allows candidates for elected office to collect nominating petition signatures online, Gunnigle qualified for the primary election ballot in ONE day, garnering thousands of signatures. Julie is clear and emphatic in declaring she would not prosecute anyone for any alleged violation of abortion-related laws. Julie will be on the general election ballot (no primary election opposition).

Additionally, two excellent, strong women candidates are running for statewide office this year in important races for women's rights in Arizona. Katie Hobbs (incumbent Democratic Secretary of State, running for governor) and Kris Mayes, a former chair of the Arizona Corporation Commission (which regulates utilities among other responsibilities) is the sole Democrat running for Arizona Attorney General. 

Speaking of the Arizona Corporation Commission, two more strong, visionary and brilliant women I know are running for the two open seats on said commission this year. Sandra Kennedy (incumbent, running for re-election) and outgoing (well, she IS outgoing, but her multiple term tenure on the council is also coming to an end) Tempe City Council member Lauren Kuby. I support ALL of these women candidates.

Not to be overlooked, matters of direct democracy are on the front burner this very day. Several citizen initiatives are still (until July 7th, next week) collecting signatures to be put on the general election ballot this year. Just today (Tuesday), I found the closest location where the initiative petitions to guarantee women's healthcare rights (including the right to decide what to do when facing pregnancy) could be signed by registered voters. So, I went there and was delighted to see a steady line of citizens signing them.

If all of the locations have been and are likewise busy with signers, there's a great chance we will be able to obviate the sinister Dominionist effort unleashed last week by Trump's court. Find a location near you with a petition to sign

Last but not least, the Stop Dark Money initiative will be key to minimizing the influence of the Dominionists/Christian Nationalists and other nefarious influences which currently drown out the Voice of the People. 

Let's get (or stay) busy working to get these women and these initiative measures on the ballot, passed and permanently into law for ourselves, our children and grandchildren!





Direct democracy is OUR SUPERPOWER! For the next few days, imagine (and work toward) the seemingly impossible and make it possible. The linked page lists Arizona locations with petitions for the Reproductive Freedom initiative. Please sign it and send your friends.

*****

Appended on July 6, 2022


Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable, or to dare greatly. Whether the arena is a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation, we must find the courage to walk into vulnerability and engage with our whole hearts.

In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. 

We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.

-General George S. Patton

George Smith Patton (1885-1945)

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, social scientists have seen Trump coming!





If only they had tried to warn us... well, some did try. But for about 67 years, nobody (or, unfortunately, too few) people paid enough attention to grasp the significance. And even if THEY had grasped the significance, too few (probably some of the same social scientists) understood the reality and dynamics of cults when the book was written. I'm thankful for my early adult experience inside a fundamentalist Christian sect (I left the cult more than 30 years ago). That, along with my reading over the last three decades has given me perspective to be able to recognize former President Trump's cult of personality and the damage to genuine freedom for We The People it has caused. 


Historian Theo Zenou is working toward earning his Ph.D (in History) at Cambridge University. The following is excerpted from his opinion column published online at the Washington Post on June 11, 2022.

If “The New American Right” seemed obsolete when it was first published, that changed quickly. By the early ’60s, it was obvious [Sen. Joseph] McCarthy had spawned a movement with real staying power made up of anti-communist organizations.

Take the John Birch Society, which in 1962 counted about 60,000 members and an estimated 9.5 million sympathizers. Its founder, a candy tycoon named Robert Welchthought “traitors inside the U.S. government would betray the country’s sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist New World Order, managed by a ‘one-world socialist government.’”

Or take the lesser-known Liberty Lobby, founded by an avowed admirer of Nazi Germany. This white supremacist group prophesied an apocalyptic struggle “between the white and the colored world, of which Russia is the Lord.”

Bell’s team of academics revised “The New American Right” and rereleased it in 1963 as “The Radical Right.” [Note that at the archive.org link you have the option to download the book in the format of your choice for no charge] It would become a must-read for students of modern American history.

The intellectuals held that the radical right not only loathed communism but also liberal democracy and the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution. As Bell noted wryly, its partisans stood ready “to jettison constitutional processes and to suspend liberties, to condone Communist methods in the fighting of Communism.” They blasted free elections and the peaceful transfer of power, lamented the independence of the judiciary and opposed civil rights.

If the Soviets wanted to destabilize the republic, they could hardly have found keener agents than the radical right.

Hofstadter called these activists “pseudo-conservatives” (a term borrowed from philosopher Theodor W. Adorno). They posed as conservatives but in truth were authoritarians with a nihilistic urge to watch the world burn. “Followers of a movement like the John Birch Society,” Hofstadter wrote in one of the book’s essays, “are in our world but not exactly of it.” They lived amid what their successors would come to call “alternative facts.” 

(more, at this link to Washington Post where you can read Zenou's entire column for no charge)

Zenou's historical insight in invaluable. I enthusiastically encourage you to read the rest of his column. 

So many people (well more than half of the US, I believe) want to fight the nihilistic path Trump and his followers have set their sights on.  Clearly, what Zenou the historian set forth in his essay reflects especially the four years of the Trump administration and the vehemence and obfuscation he and his sycophants have engaged in since January 20, 2021.

How many pundits, politicians and practitioners of the social sciences have warned since January 6, 2021, that the insurrection was only a practice run?

It's my view that the fight is winnable, but will be neither easy nor straightforward.

Ideas, minds, and hearts in individuals generally only change as a result of significant emotional events. Short of catastrophes, art is what stirs emotion(s) in people.

Support the arts. Engage in artistic expression yourself. Encourage young people and adults to develop skills in the arts and then encourage them to express their heart in the arts. Do it with urgency.