A Look Back at a Path Forward, Plus Noam Chomsky on Trump Distractions and the Tightening Knot

A very short blog today with links to the past week’s blogs, an eight minute video from Noam Chomsky on how the 1% is using Trump to distract while they quietly disassemble democracy. The levers are tightening. I offer thoughts on how what we are seeing and what we have been seeing for decades is NOT normal.

The New Normal Is NOT Normal

I’ve written in the past about how since Reagan the 1%, led by Koch et al, have been quietly gerrymandering state legislatures, preparing copycat right wing legislation (ALEC), and altering the way the political process is conducted, all to the benefit of corporations and the wealthy. They developed Fox as a media platform that serves up propaganda on a daily basis designed to misinform, to pit us against each other and to divide and weaken our country.  The work of the 1% has been so subtle and carefully orchestrated over the past forty years, accelerating dramatically with Trump.  But much of this work has been, so behind the scenes, that most have barely noticed. And so we go on about our daily lives while they prepare the conditions for completely controlling the nation and the world.  They are developing very arcane legislative rules that constrain what can be done at national and state levels; eliminating industry regulations related to banks, energy, working conditions, fossil fuels; land and water use and they are exporting industries, breaking union agreements; and developing international treaties that promote the exploitation of labor and offer industries a free hand to exploit less developed nations.

And now, with our Democratic institutions dismantled and Trump at the helm, we have the master at distraction, a Tweet-a-holic spouting whatever comes in his head, becoming the evening news, a distraction from climate change, the extraordinary injustice of our health system, the collapse of our infrastructure, the continued consolidation of wealth; and the subtle erosion of our imaginations. The onslaught of offensive realities has been so constant, so pervasive, that over time it becomes normal. We respond with outrage to a particularly offensive gesture, but the spasmodic reaction does not translate into a sustained, unified movement to address the real problems we face.  In our next post, we will examine how our sensibilities have been dulled and how one undemocratic, greedy, policy, practice or regulation after another becomes part of the mosaic of normalcy in America. It is NOT normal and it is imperative we connect the dots. This erosion of our democracy has been intentional, strategic and effective.

As a preview for our next blog, below is an 8 minute video from Noam Chomsky who does a tremendous job of zeroing in on Trump and the GOP leadership’s efforts to dismantle American democracy. He spells out exactly how the distractions from Trump create cover for the unraveling of our government and political structures. It is a real wake up call.

A Look Back at Last Week’s Posts

The first post below was truly important with compelling excerpts from two remarkable articles from The Nation and Resilience. Readers commented on that post with some very interesting perspectives and that is provided in the third post below. While the Lujan, Sanders, Rogan comparison is interesting, if I had limited time, I’d just read the first post below and then the commentary from readers in the third post below. That post also has an action related to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its utter disregard for women voters:  the tone deaf decision to hold a fund raiser for Dan Lipinski, a longtime and strident opponent of a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, immediately after the Alabama abortion decision.  Cheri Bustos is the Chair of the DCCC (succeeding Ben Ray in that role) and she is slated as the keynote speaker.  In the post below, we had suggested your writing and/or calling the campaign operative handling the event and accepting RSVPs. But one reader, Pelican Lee, thought it best to write to Cheri Bustos herself. Couldn’t agree more, so here is her contact info:  Click here.  Tell her you are a Democrat, you vote, you donate, you canvass, you call, but you will do NOTHING for the national Democratic Party until it ceases to support Democrats who will not defend a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.

Escaping Extinction: Our Only Path Forward from The Nation & Resilience:  MUST READ

For months Retake has been framing the climate change as a crisis of capitalism that can only be solved by inventing another system. In two well crafted articles, from The Nation and Resilience, this challenge is framed brilliantly. Capitalism insists on me against you, me over you, with a thirst for profit eroding the value in caring for each other or our future. That is what must change.  Click here to read the full post.

Political Communication, Fundraising & the Different Styles of Rep. Lujan, Sen. Sanders and Seth Rogan.  Seth Rogan?

Thursday, May 16. Is it possible to raise funds for your campaign and still offer substantive, provocative communication to your supporters? Today we examine the most recent fundraising emails from Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and Bernie Sanders and and ask the question: Must constituent email be limited to urgent, 5 word sentences?  Or can it be used to educate constituents?  And we toss in a brief discussion of the new film Long Shot starring Seth Rogan and Charlize Theron because it is surprising germane to this discussion.. Click here to read the full post.

Readers Views on Escaping Extinction Plus, Dem. Congressional Campaign Committee Stoops to New Low, Fundraising for Abortion Advocate Days After Alabama, Plus News of New Energy Economy Big Win at PRC:  PNM Can’t Buy More Nuclear 

Friday, May 17.Days after Alabama essentially banned all abortions, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is staging a pricey fundraiser for a strident opponent of a woman’s right to choose. Call to Action on this. And it will be fun. The NM Supreme Court decision announced late Thursday validates NEE’s claims about PNM and voids PNMs acquisition of nuclear assets, details within. Click here to read the full post.

The video below is well worth eight minutes.

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Look Back at a Path Forward, Plus Noam Chomsky on Trump Distractions and the Tightening Knot

  1. Hi Paul & Roxanne: I have a burning desire to contribute $100 to RETAKE, but I see no online portal or anything. Your modesty is admirable but you might consider a contribution vehicle of some sort. How about a snail mail address?
    ALSO – I just made a presentation on Climate Disruption tho the SOS group in the Aldea Community Building. It went well. They asked “what can we do?”. In the end there was very informal consensus to hear your presentation in two weeks before shaping their collective action as a group. I think if you show up with a modest written ASK document for financial support, you’ll be pleased. I really did advocate that RETAKE should be high on their engagement focus list.
    Bob Kreger 505-660-9391

  2. I am so glad you highlight the gradual, horrifying erosion of democratic norms. I’ve often wondered whether it is worth the effort to pick apart and publish the distortions and lies, given that it takes orders of magnitude more effort to dismantle lies than it does to create and promulgate them.
    I also wonder whether there is any way at all to reach the Fox addicts for real discussion. Is everyone’s mind already made up, or can we all listen and learn?

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