Hi Howard,Appropos of our discussion the other night, I am motivated to lay it out long form: The Donald is not uniquely dangerous, just uniquely obnoxious. Reagan may have already been partly disable by Alsheimers, but he and the men around him (Attorney General, CIA Chief, Chief of Staff, and Veep) sold weapons to the Iranians as a way to get money to the Contras. This to get around Congressional legislation specifically barring aid to the Contras. These are the Iranians that had held a bunch of Americans hostage, and reportedly financed the bombing that killed hundreds of American Marines in Lebanon in 1983. The Contras were ruthless assassins and drug dealers. Not to mention trickle down economics, anti-unionism, messing with Social Security, and on and on. Oh, and remember Welfare Queens? And, now that I think of it: Reagan who launched his campaign in a town famous for the murder of civil rights workers, and layed a wreath at an SS cemetary! And Tricky Dick? The War on (some) Drugs (and users) was all about putting blacks and protesters in jail. We know that now. And he sabatoged peace talks with North Vietnam in 1968 to bolster his own presidential candidacy. He had a list of Jews in the DOJ. The guy was a piece of work, though I can't think of anything he did that was terribly harmful economically to the masses. (There may be things and I just don't know them.) Bush The Former? See Reagan, above. Bush the Latter? See the Middle East today. Hundreds of thousands dead. Millions of refugees. That's kind of a big deal. Obama was a monster, too. He didn't stop droning weddings and funerals. He bailed out the banks and not their victims. The Stock Market thrived, yee-haw. He deported more people than all previous Presidents put together. Etc. He did happen to be the most elegant, the most eloquent President in recent history... And it's not fair to leave Bill Clinton out of this either. Hello, NAFTA? Hello, Welfare Reform? Hello, Glass-Steagle repeal? Holy crap those thing were awful! Being unutterably corrupt is not new. Being mean to everybody but the rich is not new. What is new is The Donald says the quiet parts out loud. Not that it isn't horrible that he does so, it is. It coarsens the culture. But the others act the part of President while they do horrible things. Donald acts the same as he always has (when we weren't watching his show). Especially juxtaposed with Obama the Elagant, he does not act like a President. He acts like a thug, a baby, a buffoon. And it's torture. He triggers people. That's the thing. He is the kind of person that many of us hate on sight because we've met the type-- or near enough-- before. And that visceral reaction-- not the outrages themselves-- drives the "latest outrage" merry-go-round that so many are on. The point is: activism is good. It always was. But the idea that it is uniquely called for right now because this President is worse than all the others-- well, he's only worse in that he's a buffoon. And that buffoonery should not make us unhappy day after day. I was too young to hate Nixon very much. I wasn't paying attention yet. But I spent years of my life organizing against Nukes and against the U.S. in Central America. And, of course, I spent years in depression and paranoia when Bush II reigned. Looking back, the activism was good and the depression and paranoia was useless. The other point, though: It's absolutely glorious that people are motivated by The Donald to vote and to vote Democratic. I'm hoping he has set the stage for the next President to be the leftest in decades. I think GOTV and unhackable Paper Ballots are the two most important activities going forward.
Dear Democratic Party of the USA,
I give you the winning Democratic strategy for 2018. Just say things like this over and over again:
"The Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress. They have had control all through 2017 and 2018. Whatever didn't pass is on them. Whatever did pass is on them, too.
"Republicans don't get to blame the Democrats this time around. They don't get to call, "Hey! Obstruction by Democrats!" There was no obstruction. The Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress. Whatever didn't pass is on them. Whatever did pass is on them, too.
"They don't even get to say Democrats were unhelpful. They don't have to be helpful! The Republicans have majorities in both houses of Congress. Whatever didn't pass is on them. Whatever did pass is on them, too.
"2018 isn't a referendum on Trump. He's not running. 2018 is a referendum on the Republican Congress in the first two years of Trump. Do you like what they've delivered and not delivered over the last two years while they have had majorities in both houses of Congress? If not, then elect Democrats!"
Whatever the other issues, come back to this one again and again.
"What has this Congressman or Senator /and his Republican colleagues/ with majorities in both houses done for you? Have they used those two years well? If not, then elect Democrats!"
There. If you use that strategy, you'll win.
Oh, and at least in red states, I'd suggest running candidates who support concrete universal benefits expansion, and other measures that benefit wage earners. Just stand for "Everyone Gets Truly Affordable Health Care" even if you can't deliver it. We like that. And maybe some day you even can deliver. Stand for a Living Wage. I mean, come on. These are not far left ideas, and they never were, even if they were treated as such. No, they are standard demands of people in a civilzed country, and you'd do well to start wising up about that, because the people are wising up about it.