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Reich writes: "My friends, this is a dark hour. Intolerance, cruelty, racism, misogyny, xenophobia and environmental destruction have been let loose across the land."

Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)
Robert Reich. (photo: Getty)


My Friends, This Is a Dark Hour

By Robert Reich, The Baltimore Sun

05 July 18


President Trump To Announce Supreme Court Pick July 9 On Friday, the president said he has narrowed his Supreme Court justice search to about five candidates. Among the candidates being considered are two women. Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from The Supreme Court on Wednesday.

y friends, this is a dark hour. Intolerance, cruelty, racism, misogyny, xenophobia and environmental destruction have been let loose across the land.

Donald Trump controls the Republican Party, the Republican Party controls the House and Senate, and MR. Trump may soon control the Supreme Court.

But here's the thing. Only 27 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans, according to a Gallup poll.

Moreover, the vast majority of Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump. He lost the popular vote in 2016 by more than 2.8 million. Since then, his approval rating hasn't exceeded 45 percent.

The GOP itself is no longer a political party, anyway. It is now little more than Donald Trump, Fox News, a handful of billionaire funders and right-wing Christians who oppose a woman's right to choose, gay marriage and the Constitution's separation of church and state.

Yet Mr. Trump is about to make the second Supreme Court nomination of his presidency. And that second nominee -- like Mr. Trump's first, Neil Gorsuch -- is likely to be young enough to remain on the court for the next 40 years.

If confirmed, Mr. Trump's new justice would join four other Republican-appointed justices to form a majority that will interpret the U.S.Constitution and laws in ways inimical to the values of a majority of Americans.

For example, Mr. Trump's new justice is all but certain to join the four other Republican-appointed justices in overturning Roe v. Wade, a 1973 compromise on abortion that still has the support of two-thirds of Americans.

Mr. Trump's new justice is likely to do the same in revoking same-sex marriage, also now supported by about two-thirds of Americans.

I don't have to remind you that all this comes after Republicans essentially stole a Supreme Court seat by refusing to consider President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland.

In addition to everything I've noted above, Republicans also now control both chambers in 32 states (33 if you count Nebraska, with its single legislative chamber) and 33 governorships. In many of these states, they are entrenching their power by gerrymandering and arranging to suppress votes.

Enough. The question is: What are we -- the vast majority of Americans -- going to do about this?

I have seven modest suggestions.

First and most importantly, do not give up. That's what they would like us to do. Then they'd have no opposition at all. Powerlessness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Please do not succumb to it.

Second, in the short term, contact your senators and urge them to oppose Mr. Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court.

If your state has a Republican senator, you might mobilize and organize your friends and neighbors to do whatever they can to get that senator to reject Mr. Trump's Supreme Court nominee. Or, at the least, postpone consideration of that nominee until after the midterm elections, so there's a chance to change the composition of the Senate.

Third, make a ruckus. Demonstrate. Engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance.

Many grassroots organizations are doing great work, and could use your help. Among them are: @IndivisibleTeam, @swingleft, @UpRiseDotOrg, @MoveOn. @Sister_District, and @flippable_org. I'm sure I've left out many others. Check with your friends, and check online.

Fourth, don't engage in divisive incrimination over "who lost" the 2016 election. There's no point in Hillary Clinton loyalists, Bernie Sanders supporters, Jill Stein voters, and others turning on one another and blaming each other for the outcome. We must be united.

Fifth, vote this Nov. 6 for people who will stand up to the Trump Republicans' rampage. Mobilize and organize others to do so, too. If you live in a blue state, contact friends and relatives in red states and urge them to do the same.

Sixth, help lay the groundwork for the 2020 presidential election so that even if Trump survives Robert Mueller's investigation and a possible impeachment proceeding, he will not be re-elected.

Finally, bear in mind that this fight will be long and hard. It will require our patience, our courage and our resolve.

Yet the stakes could not be higher. We're talking about the future of our democracy, and the well-being of our children and our children's children.


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Comments   

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

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Adapt and overcome.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+63 # Moxa 2018-07-05 14:21
Trump didn't just happen; nor did the takeover of the government by Republicans. While it goes without saying that the Republicans are cheaters, and pursue the lowest and most dangerous political ends, it is the Democrats who created the moral/political vacuum that allowed the Republicans, like an opportunistic infection, to embed themselves into all levels of government.

What else could it be? That is how disease occurs. Without an immune system, sickness must follow. If and when there is a true alternative to the corporatocracy, the Republicans will be gone.

To wit: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Bernie, 2020!
 
 
-19 # ericlipps 2018-07-06 13:23
Sigh . . . another hopeless plea for ****BERNIE**** to come and save us all, yea,verily, even our souls.

In 2020, Bernie Sanders--assumi ng he's still alive--will be 78. And no matter how many enthusiastic college students vote for him, he hasn't a prayer f winning the general selection (assuming he runs) as long as he goes running around the country proclaiming to one and all that he's a socialist.
 
 
+8 # EternalTruth 2018-07-06 22:35
“no matter how many enthusiastic college students vote for him, he hasn't a prayer f winning the general selection (assuming he runs) as long as he goes running around the country proclaiming to one and all that he's a socialist.”

That’s true. No matter how many people vote for him, he will lose the election. The question is, how blatant does the coup have to be before the people care enough to do something about it. The 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen. That’s a fact. No one with the available information could argue otherwise with a straight face. Yet, what did we do about it? Mostly we bitched and moaned for eight years. We had some big impressive marches that accomplished exactly squat. Our democracy has failed. Let’s march again. I’m sure it’ll help this time.
 
 
-1 # rogerhgreen 2018-07-08 16:30
In this case "Eternal Truth" is eternal nonsense. Have a look at Mexico for an example. AMLO had the presidency stolen from him but he persevered and he won. He didn't hide what he believes, either.
 
 
+1 # RICHARDKANE.philadelphia 2018-07-08 03:14
He will win if Oprah Winfrey is VP
 
 
-4 # chapdrum 2018-07-07 00:34
Moxa: As one of only two permitted parties, the Republicans are by default embedded.
That is not the fault of the Democrats. What the latter is responsible for is its tacit complicity (via its passivity) with Don.
 
 
+5 # Moxa 2018-07-07 13:45
What I meant by "embedded" is not that they exist, but that they are in power, being in control of the two houses of Congress, most governorships, most state legislatures, the Supreme Court and of course the presidency. This IS the fault of the Democrats.

Donald Trump is a symptom of the underlying problem which is that there is no real opposition to the Republicans. When the Democrats begin to represent the American people instead of the donor class, the Republicans will be out of power fast.
 
 
0 # chapdrum 2018-07-07 16:46
Again, I invoke default. The Republicans are in control (in all the arenas you cite) because they win elections (whether legitimately or through their well-developed election fraud schemes). Insufficient opposition to Republicans well predates the rise of Don. The Democrats, in my view, have more in common with Republicans than they do not.
 
 
-10 # chapdrum 2018-07-05 15:50
I never would have known this otherwise. Thank you, Prof. Reich.
 
 
+55 # librarian1984 2018-07-05 17:23
RMF, JCM, eric: Please pay attention to #4.

FlufferNutter: Pay attention to #8, which is in code and invisible ink: There's no Russians under your bed.

I'd also like to add some advice for the DCCC and DNC:

A) Leave the primaries alone. Stay out of them and let the voters choose their own candidates.

B) Get new leadership. Include progressives.

C) Sanders won 43% of the vote, and many others wanted to vote for him but were afraid to. LISTEN TO US!! It's our party too!
 
 
+19 # BetaTheta 2018-07-05 20:46
Actually, there are a number of Russians under your bed: Vladimir Vladimirovich and his trolls/hackers. I don’t think anyone here is so naive as to think all superpowers don’t meddle in each other’s politics.

Unfortunately, they have lots of company down there with the dust bunnies: Kris Kobach, Karl Rove, the Kochs, and a lot of other sleazeballs out to hijack majority rule.
 
 
+1 # lfeuille 2018-07-06 20:09
Yeah, but it is payback for our meddling in their elections. It's tit for tat and not the major crime it is made out to be. And it was awkward and not very effective. It did not lose the election for Hillary. Republican meddling had a much larger influence on the outcome along with her deficiencies as a candidate.
 
 
+22 # economagic 2018-07-06 05:27
Yes, and let's not overlook the obvious, no. 1. Defeatism is not yet as prevalent here as in some other forums, but it seems to be on the rise. I strongly recommend that anyone whose comments tend toward "nothing can be done (until, unless, etc.)" read FDR's First Inaugural Address, and also Churchill's speech to the House of Commons upon the retreat from Dunkirk (the "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds . . ." speech). That generation of leaders--and they were true leaders--faced an immediate existential threat the like of which we in this country will not see for several years, and then only if we keep repeating "We are doomed, all is lost."
 
 
0 # RMF 2018-07-06 13:52
economagic:

You didn't reply to my post in the Wasserman column of the 57 smears -- but there were a lot posts and you probably didn't see it so I repost it here. My post responded to your comment that:

"[W]e disagree on virtually all points regardless of whether you recognize it....If you want to try to persuade me, start by responding directly to my replies to JCM and ddd-rrr above with serious counter-argumen ts NOT based on LOTE....

OK, my post from the 57 smears column in response to your questioning reply therein is shown below:

As you know, the magic of economics is at it's core grounded in institutionalis m, informed by empirical and statistical information.

So, in an institutional sense, I ask you the same question I asked librarian:

HOW WILL REFUSING TO VOTE DEM UNSEAT THE GOP?

In short I fail to see how trying to get everything you want, but achieving nothing, no matter how "pure" that effort may be is a winning strategy.

[Trumpolini's ascendancy to the WH is clear and convincing evidence that nothing of progressive value was obtained in the 2016 campaign.]

Recall that Keynes admonished us to not forget we are all dead in the long run, clearly implying that gambling present gains against impractical or high-risk future goals, perhaps decades into the future, is a very bad bet over a too-long investment horizon.

Another great literary figure distilled that conclusion to it's essence by simply calling it "tilting at windmills."
 
 
+5 # tedrey 2018-07-07 00:07
And I repeat, as you may have missed it, HOW WILL REFUSING TO RUN THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN WITH THE MOST POPULAR PROGRAM IN THE COUNTRY AGAINST TRUMP HELP UNSEAT HIM AND THE GOP?
 
 
-6 # RMF 2018-07-06 12:27
librarian -- you appear sadly misinformed on a host of issues, both economic and political, but you are a master of disinformation.

You tell the few rational ones among us to focus on #4.

But consider that Reich's ultimate conclusion in #4 wisely observes "WE MUST BE UNITED."

So you cite #4 as authority, but then as a Bernie or bust/Dem basher argue the exact opposite.

Indeed, contrary to Reich's prayer, it's difficult to be united when your camp of Bernie or bust/Dem basher types continually threaten to pick up your marbles and go home.

And your addition of an 8th point is totally absurd -- you and many others here, Rodian etc, must be the only ones remaining to claim the Putin/Russian crowd did not unlawfully aid Trumpolini gain the WH. EVEN SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE ACKNOWLEDGES RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN SUPPORT OF TRUMP CAMPAIGN.

And finally you say it's your party too -- aside from being a non sequitur, this is simply another disinformation straw man. Yes, it's your party too, if you want it to be, but advocating Bernie or bust strategies MAKES YOU AN ENEMY OF PROGRESSIVE GOALS.

THE REPETITIVE DEM BASHING IN YOUR POSTS CLEARLY INDICATES YOU ARE NOT SIMPLY A MISINFORMED LIBERAL BUT RATHER ONE OF PUTIN'S MOLES.

And by the way you didn't answer the two questions in my last post so I WILL DO IT FOR YOU:

What is Bernie's net worth.
Ans: $2,000,000

How will refusing to vote Dem unseat the GOP?
Ans: It won't but it DOES HELP THE GOP.
 
 
+5 # Benign Observer 2018-07-06 14:27
What's the snark about Bernie mean? So you don't support Sen. Sanders but you're going to tell us what progressives' goals are? Now that IS interesting.

Answer ME a question. What do you think about Sanders?
 
 
-3 # RMF 2018-07-07 10:30
PS to benign obs, librarian, et al -- since as typical many here are all-in on promoting Benie, even his best-seller books, should we not consider whether that was his plan all along -- run an unsuccessful Dem bashing campaign, but then cash in with the book deals, reality TV style? I probably CONTRIBUTED MORE CASH to Benie's primary campaign than many of the Dem bashers here, only to observe with dismay his stab in the back to the progressive cause during the main campaign. After watching his luke warm, disgraceful "support" for Hillary and Dems against GOP (his Hillary on a bad day speech for ex) rest assured I won't make that mistake again -- Bernie won't get my support or cash next time around. Of course I don't begrudge Bernie from writing his books or making a buck - we live in a market economy after all -- but when it comes to supporting the Dem nominee against a fascist GOP candidate, I expect robust full-throated support for the Dem nominee/platfor m, a standard od conduct which Bernie failed to meet.
 
 
0 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 13:32
Now that you've exposed your true colors you can't stop, can you?

You andJCM often begin posts with this lie, an old troll trick: your imaginary 'vote for Bernie' until you 'realized' what an immoral thief he was.

When people read JCM, RMF and longingfortruth 's posts I hope they'll consider the source. These aren't progressives who support our agenda or Sen. Sanders. They're party operatives sent to gather info on us, sow dissent and plant doubts in our minds.

And what have they been telling us nonstop? Vote for ANY Democrat. Don't split the vote. Trust the leadership. Don't criticize the party.

That tells us what they're afraid of and what they want us to believe.

Well, RMF, take this message back to your bootlicking bosses -- we're not voting for corporate Dems.

If you want our money, our support, our votes -- MOVE LEFT.

We want expanded Medicare FOR ALL, and we want it soon.

We want a massive cut in the military budget and a return of our troops.

We want a green economy and money out of politics.

Start there.

This is a sincere warning to the corporate Democrats: the primaries had better be fair and the support had better be there for whoever wins nominations, including progressives.

And Steny Hoyer needs to vacate his leadership position. The fact he survived that hidden tape shows how corrupt the party leaders are. Not acceptable.
 
 
-2 # RMF 2018-07-07 16:26
BO; As typical you can't or won't address basic issues head on, but instead smear me with claims that I am somehow a paid Dem troll...that's a very weak argument but guess it's all you have remaining when you can't address basic electoral/campa igning issues.

The most basic question being:

HOW WILL REFUSING TO VOTE DEM UNSEAT THE GOP?

If you want to take over the Dem party that's fine.

But when it comes to election outcomes defeating the GOP is of paramount importance, not taking second place to any other goal.

(I am confident I am as progressive, or more so, than many others here on RSN. But as a progressive I know the worst outcome always occurs when the GOP gains power.)

You call Bernie a thief -- well, I can't speak to his motives, nor would I allege that he had larceny in his heart.

But his failure to give robust support to Hillary's campaign, esp in a close race, could have produced just that effect -- I am thinking in particular about his "I can't tell my supporter who to vote for" speech. This is NOT HOW POLITCS WORKS -- you work to defeat the GOP, even if that means compromising some principles in the short run -- by handing govt to the GOP we will (under best case scenario) suffer for decades under the yoke of a RW Sup Ct.
 
 
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 21:35
He campaigned harder than she did. Your gaslighting doesn't work. We were here. We watched it in real time, remember?

What you don't get is that when you start out smearing Sanders it negates everything that follows. But you just can't help yourself. The contempt just oozes out of you.

You think you and your bosses are so smart? But you geniuses have lost MORE THAN A THOUSAND SEATS.

Yeah, you're SO brilliant. 33 states are GOP now. We controlled Congress for decades -- and now we can't even buy it.

So, apparently your overinflated self-worth is not based in fact. What is it then -- wishful thinking?

HOW DOES REFUSING TO UNITE BEHIND SANDERS UNSEAT THE GOP?
 
 
-4 # JCM 2018-07-08 07:59
BO: Talk about projection and lying. It was you who said she would rather have rump than Hillary even now. That's like saying you want more pollution, more financial theft. You want the EPA to be destroyed. The state department crushed, more tariffs, tear down our allies, build up putin. Hate immigrants, remove millions of people from healthcare, try to wipe out the Safety Net. Bring back pre-existing conditions. For profit universities that rip off student (Like Trump University), think that dictators are great while demeaning our friends. And not believing in Climate Change. And you call me a troll. That's right I am a troll (independent and unpaid) for Democracy that has been stolen by rump and the republicans. You on the other hand would rather empower those who have stolen our Democracy by telling people to punish the Dems by splitting the vote. Third party votes will not get you a better party, it will only get you more republicans. Who is paying you for your deceit? If you really cared about our Democracy then you would realize our main goal is to unseat the rump and his republicans. The way to advance the Dems is to support progressives as much as you can, vote for them in the primaries but if they don't make it to the election you have to vote for the winner of that primary. From longfortruth: "At this point in the Trump presidency anyone encouraging you not to vote or to vote for a third party is on someone's payroll." Who's paying you BO?
 
 
0 # BetaTheta 2018-07-06 14:35
RMF - As a British parliamentarian would say, "Heah, Heah!"
 
 
0 # Benign Observer 2018-07-06 18:53
And Bill the Cat would say, Acckkk!!
 
 
-1 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 13:36
How embarrassing for you, giving your 'heah, heah's to party hacks.

Phi Upsilon.
 
 
+4 # librarian1984 2018-07-06 14:47
I answered both.

You pretend to support Bernie but you smear him a lot. You say you're a better progressive because you did what he asked and voted for HRC. He also told us not to listen to him, to vote for who we wanted to vote for. The vast majority of progressives voted for HRC. She got millions more votes than she would have just because Bernie campaigned for her. And what's her reaction? She badmouths him and blames him. She blames Obama. She blames millennials and Russians ...

Personally I believe Trump's had financial ties to the Russian mob for years, like many other wealthy Americans. I believe his campaign tried to get opposition research, like every other campaign. I also believe the investigative process has been politicized beyond any utility, that the press is no longer reporting but manufacturing consent, and that people are believing what they want to believe. That if people want to impeach him they could have done so with the Emoluments Clause from day one but many, including Democrats, are reaping benefits from this charade.

That's my personal opinion, and I know most people here don't agree with me but a few do. That doesn't make any of us trolls.

What I've tried to communicate many times is that I'm willing to wait for Mueller's results and we can go on from there, AND IN THE MEANTIME we should be attacking Trump and the GOP's policies, that endless speculation wastes our time. But I guess that's the point.
 
 
-1 # RMF 2018-07-07 16:52
librarian:

So which is it?

Are we now to understand that you are taking back your "No Russians under the bed?" comment AND instead now embracing the Senate Intel findings.

You are giving conflicting responses, so which is it now, can you clear that up for us?
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2018-07-06 15:05
The crux of #4 IS awfully inconvenient when 99% of your posts hinge on looking back in order to start arguments, so I can understand your attempted, if awkward, maneuver. As I seem to remember, Mueller said that was troll goal #1, sowing discord. And who does that more than you?

Let's delay examination of the 'ultimate goal' for just a moment, and focus on the explicit instruction: stop focusing on the past, stop blaming each other. That's pretty straightforward . So why can't you do that? You and JCM bring it up more than anyone here and Reich just asked you to stop but you skip that part to say it's progressives' fault -- EXACTLY what Reich just asked you not to do. But somehow that's my fault? I hope your livelihood doesn't depend on your being rational.

As for the second question, I gave you a decent answer which you glibly ignore. So please don't act like you're reasonable and honest when it's perfectly clear your priorities are not aligned with electoral victory or honest debate.

There are two parties involved in elections: politicians and voters.

We have clear evidence of Democrats' corruption and ineptitude -- look at Wasserman's 57 list -- so why is it you ONLY attack progressives? Have you got ONE WORD of criticism for the party?

Let's hear it! And let's hear you say three nice things about Bernie.

Otherwise ... I think you know where I'm going here.
 
 
-3 # ericlipps 2018-07-06 13:26
"Afraid" to vote for Bernie Sanders? where's your evidence?

About the only reason to be afraid to vote for Bernie in the primaries would be that in the general election he'd be run over by tens of millions voters stampeding to the polls to vote for (God help us) Trump--ANYONE but a SOCIALIST.
 
 
+7 # Benign Observer 2018-07-06 17:21
Ah, I see the third stooge has arrived. Perhaps 'afraid' because of the incessant establishment mantra telling us he couldn't possibly win?
 
 
+4 # tedrey 2018-07-07 00:15
I think we all realize that, largely because of Bernie, the reaction to the word "Socialism" has changed as rapidly and dramatically as that to "same sex marriage." That card oesn't play any more.
 
 
+2 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 11:23
A 2016 poll showed 43% of IA voters self-identified as socialists. Iowa!

I know that because I heard Hillary mocking it in her warm, fuzzy way last year.

The world is changing, thankfully.

Besides, a politician could call themselves a dingleberry -- if they're promising economic relief people will support them.

You are so stuck on labels, like the msm about an inch deep. Look at the substance once in a while.

Bernie and a wave of progressives can sweep in in 2020 and the Democrats are scared to death. But many of us are ecstatic.
 
 
-2 # RMF 2018-07-07 16:42
BO,

As a (now retired) economist I studied socialism in depth, including the work and writing of Oskar Lange, one of the most respected theoreticians on modern socialism.

But few voters are schooled in socialism, what it means, or even knows we live in a mixed economy. To try to educate them on a term that in the mind of many voters is linked with Soviet Russia is a risky strategy.
 
 
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 21:38
But trusting the same leaders using the same strategies who've lost 1000+ seats is a SMART strategy?

And you're an economist like you supported and voted for Sanders?

Yeah, right.
 
 
-2 # mashiguo 2018-07-05 21:05
Trump is not the cause. Trump is the Symptom. If you didn't know the hour was dark in 1980, in 1988, in the 90's with your boss Bill, in 2000 with W, with 8 years of BO, with Trump v. Clinton being vomited out at us by the DNC, then you ain't got nothin'.

keep it up, faux unity = trump win in 2020.
Resistance = sneering while giving trump more than he wants.

If you can't be part of a revolution sit down and shut up mr. reich. you are the problem.
 
 
+1 # EternalTruth 2018-07-06 22:55
Red thumbs cuz the truth hurts. Pretty words and gotv aren’t going to solve this problem. Direct action on a massive scale is needed, whether peaceful or otherwise (what’s the quote I’m looking for? “The gears of democracy are greased with the blood of patriots” or something like that). I’m afraid that by the time things get bad enough for most USians to take action, there won’t be anything left to save
 
 
+2 # mashiguo 2018-07-07 11:09
The quote you are looking for is from the declaration of independence:
"...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it..."

It's time. Talk is empty.
 
 
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-07 12:55
What declaration of independence? Facebook has banned it as Fake News and offensive speech. It has been removed from Facebook. Soon it will be removed from all archives.
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-07 13:00
Here's a link on Facebook's ruling that the Declaration of Independence is "hate speech."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzjiH-19usI
 
 
+3 # mashiguo 2018-07-08 00:03
who gives a flying fig about the toilet paper that is Facebook?

Anyone who pays any attention to Facebook is part of the problem. Not only have they been had, they are actively feeding the surveillance state and the rise of dictatorship.
 
 
0 # Benign Observer 2018-07-07 13:50
"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and institute new government, laying its foundations on such principles ...

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long-establishe d should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience has shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

"But when a long train of abuses ... evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such a government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

I'd say we've had long enough to evaluate the original design, and to discern that there are some improvements that could be made. Congress, for instance, has had approval ratings in the toilet since they began. Both parties are corrupt, bought and paid for, and they work only for their donors. Nothing even trickles down any more.

And presidents? When's the last time we had a good one, FDR?

Yeah, I'd say something's broken.
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-07 20:59
I'd say it is time to invoke old TJ and get to work altering or abolishing it. Since it won't be altered in any way that we can manage, we'll have to abolish it.

And since government derive its power (and legitimacy) from the consent of the governed, we abolish it simply withdrawing or refusing our consent. We do that by not voting. We don't vote. If a majority of people don't vote, then consent is withdrawn no matter which imposter believes he or she was elected. If these imposters try to govern, they do so illegitimately and we have no obligation to pay taxes to an illegitimate government.

When there is no money in the government to steal, the illegitimate imposters will just go away. At this point we can start all over. I would follow the model of the Jacobins of the French Revolution. They began Jacobin societies in more than 4000 communities all over France in order to bring ordinary people into the process of governing by deciding what they thought should be done collectively.
 
 
0 # EternalTruth 2018-07-08 10:47
We stop voting, and then stop paying taxes? The majority already don’t vote so by that theory the government is already illegitimate. Try to stop paying taxes and they’ll just take the money they want anyway (unless your wealth his somehow hidden from government eyes, whether in your mattress or in offshore accounts). Then what do you do?
 
 
0 # EternalTruth 2018-07-08 01:01
That’s not the quote I was thinking of, although it’s the same author. This quote establishes the right of the prople to to alter or abolish tyrannical rule. The other quote (blood of patriots) posits the necessity of revolution to maintain a democracy. Putting the quotes together yields the idea that corruption in government is inevitable so unless you’re willing to fight (and die) for your freedom, you will lose it.
Most of us are way too soft to take the steps necessary to preserve (restore really) our democracy.
 
 
0 # EternalTruth 2018-07-08 00:29
Here’s the quote I was thinking of:

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

But I mixed in a little of this one:

“There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all.” – Mario Savio
 
 
0 # elkingo 2018-07-05 23:30
Futile, all of this. Mass popular uprising. Remove these people now, by any means.
 
 
+3 # EternalTruth 2018-07-06 23:01
Are you crazy? Someone might get hurt!
 
 
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-07 21:01
I just gave the means.

And to Eternal, No one will be hurt.
 
 
+20 # tedrey 2018-07-05 23:34
If the Democratic regime would run progressives under Ocasio-Cortez' or Bernie's platform, Trump would be out!

If they don't, Pelosi and Schumer will have confirmed Trump and negateded the Democratic Party for good. I expect they will do just that. So we have to find Prgressives without them.

Look, of course don't vote Republican. But, just as important, *never* vote establishment Democrat for any office when there's a progressive available (Democrat, independant, Green); there are a great number running this year across the slate, and across the country.
 
 
+11 # tedrey 2018-07-05 23:47
Don't miss the RSN article out right now:

Progressives Poised to Shape Agenda if Democrats Take Back House

That, friends, can be the future. This year there are plenty of progressives in the running.
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-06 20:00
ted -- I agree that this is the future. The Progressive Caucus is too weak now. Its leadership must be more forceful.

Co-Chairs

Raúl Grijalva

Mark Pocan

First Vice Chair

Pramila Jayapal

Vice Chairs

David Cicilline

Keith Ellison

Ruben Gallego

Ro Khanna

Sheila Jackson Lee

Jamie Raskin

Jan Schakowsky

Mark Takano

Whip

Matt Cartwright

Senate Member

Bernie Sanders


House Members

Alma Adams

Nanette Barragán

Karen Bass

Don Beyer

Lisa Blunt Rochester

Suzanne Bonamici

Michael Capuano

André Carson

Judy Chu

Katherine Clark

Yvette Clarke

Wm.Lacy Clay

Steve Cohen

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Elijah Cummings

Danny Davis

Peter DeFazio

Rosa DeLauro

Val Demings

Mark DeSaulnier

Debbie Dingell

Lloyd Doggett

Adriano Espaillat

Dwight Evans

Lois Frankel

Marcia Fudge

Tulsi Gabbard

Jimmy Gomez

Luis Gutiérrez

Jared Huffman

Hakeem Jeffries

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Hank Johnson

Joe Kennedy III

Ruben Kihuen

Brenda Lawrence

Barbara Lee

John Lewis

Ted Lieu

Zoe Lofgren

David Loebsack

Alan Lowenthal

Carolyn Maloney

James McGovern

Gwen Moore

Jerrold Nadler

Grace Napolitano

Rick Nolan
 
 
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-06 20:02
continued --


Donald Norcross

Eleanor Holmes Norton

Frank Pallone

Chellie Pingree

Jared Polis

Lucille Roybal-Allard

Linda Sanchez

José Serrano

Carol Shea-Porter

Adam Smith

Darren Soto

Bennie Thompson

Nydia Velázquez

Maxine Waters

Peter Welch

Frederica Wilson

John Yarmuth



Sadly, this is just not a very "progressive" bunch. But it is a start.
 
 
0 # janie1893 2018-07-06 01:20
Do enough Americans care enough?
 
 
+3 # tedrey 2018-07-06 12:29
We'll find out. Do you?
 
 
+7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-06 05:57
I don't think Trump controls the republican party. It is still divided. Many in the party only tolerate Trump but they don't like him or trust him. He's just not an ideologue. He's a pragmatist. And he's outside the organization.

I agree that his supreme court nomination will be a conservative along the lines of Roberts or Gorsuch. That's not what the nation needs. But I think the SC will not overturn Roe v. Wade. That would cause an instant crisis in the US. Too many people would rebel. Roe v. Wade is too good of a fundraising and campaign tactic for republicans.

I think Democrats still have a long way to go. They are still dominated by the same people who led the party into its current state -- loss of impact at all levels of government. The party is seen as corrupt and in the pockets of billionaires. The Demo party is not yet ready for a re-unification. The center right neo-liberals have not given enough. If they don't give in to genuine progressives, the party will lose more in 2018.

"Third, make a ruckus. Demonstrate. Engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. Fight lies with truth. Join the resistance."

Yes, indeed. Demos need to always be truthful, even about their own problems.
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2018-07-06 19:54
Trump does control the Republican party. Many of them don't agree with him on everything but they are afraid to cross him so they vote with him anyway so their personal opinions don't matter.
 
 
+11 # Benign Observer 2018-07-06 07:51
Some good news and some bad:

Scott Pruitt has resigned.

Ed Schultz, a passionate voice for workers and unions, and a loyal supporter of Sen. Sanders, has died at 64.
 
 
+6 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-07-06 10:44
Sad news about Ed Schultz. I thought he was a good journalist. MSNBC made a real mistake in firing him. But RT gained.
 
 
+4 # Dale 2018-07-06 09:58
Human evolution took a wrong turn
The Neanderthals are back!
They call themselves Republicans
But they are Zombies, risen from the grave of history
Now chasing Homo Sapiens with their big sticks
Clubbing every social advance of humankind
Torturing and killing non-white peoples in distant lands
Grasping all with their greedy hands. Sucking the blood from America lands.
Jailing and deporting those considered aliens in the Zombie Mecca
The Zombies in corporate boardrooms
Bankrolled by their friends on Wall Street
For decades machinated to distort the Nation´s flag
And replace it with a Made-in-China tag
The stock market appreciated While America depreciated.
Faced in 2008 with “Change We Can Believe In”
They coerced and blackmailed the reasonable, yet complaint politicians
To appoint the financiers and murderous Generals to controlling government bureaucracies
And to follow their dictates to declare Wars and roll back social progress
Manly stuff by Dems, nothing less than degress.
In the Heartland, the Banksters succeeded in reversing the American Dream,
Immiserating the masses,
Even many white-skinned machos and office lasses
The Zombies, their mental substance mummified
Stand stupefied
Because they have no human sensibility
They are dead inside.
(continues, see Dale Johnson Amerikaganistan , Dystopia Inc. amazon.com $5.99)
 
 
+2 # Robbee 2018-07-06 10:26
"(dickhead) may soon control the Supreme Court." Robert Reich, 5 July 18

the supreme court? soon control?

dickhead's 1st appointment put conservatives solidly in charge

dickhead's 2nd appointment puts conservatives in charge for the rest of our lives

any hopes of a progressive supreme court died in nov. 2016 - stick a fork in it!

for the rest of our lives we must take it for granted that -

1) everything workers need to be declared constitutional will not be

2) everything workers need to be declared unconstitutiona l will be declared constitutional

the only avenue to declare constitutionali ty left to us is to amend the constitution

in 1992 bubba clinton campaigned and promised to reform campaign finance

in 2015 bernie campaigned and promised, in spring 2016, to propose to reform campaign finance

in 2016 hillary campaigned and promised to reform campaign finance - albeit the timing of hillary's promise was conditioned 30 days after she became prez, sort of a reform-hostage situation

win or lose, NONE followed-up on their promises

now,
- every day another outrage against human rights?
- progressives piss and moan?
- yet who proposes ANY EFFECTIVE REMEDY?
- public funding, only, of federal, state and local elections?

as forms of resistance i support each of reich's "7 modest suggestions" - but NOT with any illusion that the supreme court was NOT LOST to corporations in nov. 2016 FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES! we resist and move on!
 
 
+3 # Adoregon 2018-07-06 11:58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWCcLW08dsU

The Second Coming
W.B. Yeats --1919

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
 
 
+4 # chapdrum 2018-07-06 13:20
Adoregon: Brings to mind W.H. Auden (from 1939).
"We would rather be ruined than changed."
 
 
+2 # ericlipps 2018-07-06 13:30
Nice quote, but you can substitute "Washington" for "Bethlehem." And perhaps "elephant" for "lion."
 
 
+3 # rivervalley 2018-07-06 13:57
I take issue with Robert's claim that the Republican's "stole a Supreme Court seat". This is wrong; they did not steal it! The Democratic Party, headed by Chuck Shummer handed the seat to them on a platter. The issue was an contimues to be that the Democratic Establishment are either Republicans in disguise or WHIMPS. No wonder Trump is running wild. We need a Democratic Party that is willing to fight for the changes we need.
 
 
+1 # Benign Observer 2018-07-06 17:23
Amen!
 
 
+3 # lfeuille 2018-07-06 19:59
It wasn't Schumer, it was Reid who established the rule of no filabuster for SC nominations back when the Dems were in the majority. Schumer has never been Majority Leader. Once the Republicans took over, they had no incentive to change the rule.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-07-08 08:07
It was McConnell that added the SC. Reid only made it for federal judges.
 
 
0 # JCM 2018-07-08 08:32
I would like to clarify my position. Simply:

To change the Democratic Party, we must support progressive ideas continually as best we can.

We must support progressive candidates during the primaries as much as possible.

We must vote for the winner of the Democratic primaries.

Not voting or voting third party will not unseat the republicans but will give them an advantage to win.

There are blue dogs that I would like to get rid of but are still better than any republican.

We must unite our purpose to remove rump and the republicans.
 

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