The post also includes a report on Marathon Oil receiving $1 billion COVID bailout only to then layoff 220 NM workers. Plus DNC video of Michelle Obama, a woman of dignity, ditto for the entire DNC Day 1.what a contrast to current rhetoric,.
Democratic National Convention Day I
After my commentary and a few updates and my commentary on last night’s Convention, we provide a new wrinkle to our November election strategy. We close with a surprise music video that closed the Convention’s first day, and also provie the full 15 minute speech from Michelle Obama. What a breath of fresh air.
I had planned to write a bit today about how the nation has lost the capacity to conduct respectful, dignified civic discourse. On the national level, especially among the GOP, we no longer disagree and debate among colleagues, we spew hateful rhetoric among despised enemies. I am eager to discover the ratings for last night’s convention opening, because in this kind of heated political environment, I would not be surprised if few viewers watched. They’ve had enough.
That would have been too bad. It may be more a consequence of a thirst for any evidence of dignity, compassion and empathy from national leaders, but both Roxanne felt that the convention effectively created a stark contrast between Biden, as a decent common man who cares about individuals, and Trump who cares for no one but himself. Yes, the entire two hours was a bit too manicured and “produced,” but the Dems took advantage of the absence of podiums, balloons, and mindless hurrahs for every campaign slogan to instead focus on people, common people and how they are being ignored, even sacrificed mindlessly.
While there was certainly sharp criticism of Trump, the the rhetoric was focused on people, normal everyday people, essential workers if you will. I want to mull this a bit more and read the reactions of others, including Retake reader comments offered today, but my reaction was similar to CNN commentary from Van Jones when speaking of the video segment on Biden and how he commuted for 30 years every day to work on a train and how he spent a good deal of time during those commutes getting to know the workers as people, asking them questions about their lives, their families, their grandchildren. Jones commented: “You can’t fake that.” This morning Heather Cox Richardson quoted Conservative commentator Bill Kristol: “I figured they’d be savvy enough to do no harm. But that was an impressive, even compelling, couple of hours.”
Perhaps, the warlike political combat of the last four years has worn me down and I am just thirsting for a Jimmy Stewart moment or to go for a walk with Lassie, but I found the segment on Biden’s 30 years of commuting touching and reassuring. He cares about people.
Can you even imagine Donald Trump showing any interest in anyone but himself? That contrast was a running theme throughout the night and it was done very well.
During the segment on Biden’s commute, the commentary of the train workers spoke volumes, not of Biden’s positions on issues, but about how he treated them and how he cared about common people. Despite my not liking these kinds of choreographed testimonials, it was impossible not to feel comforted by the contrast between this man and the other guy who disparages everyone, everyday.
In sum, there was almost no discussion of policy or positions or budgets. Lots of video on people, lots of speeches addressing a need to come together, to pull together, to have empathy and compassion and, at least right now, that felt like the perfect tone. It set an impossible not to appreciate contrast between current leadership and what a Biden administration would be. It spoke to a nation that I think is tired of fighting with each other over everything and making every issue a conflict between bitter enemies, where the people impacted by those issues are largely forgotten.
We have a Congress that went on a month long vacation without reaching an agreement to offer relief to tens of millions of Americans. That simply should not be possible, not if those in charge have a shred of empathy for those people who are out of work and struggling to get by. I am guessing that were Biden president, he’d have had Senate leaders from both parties over to the White House for a talk and a deal would have emerged. It may not have been the Green New Deal, but it would have been the COVID relief needed desperately now.
We will have time to debate issues and policies and Retake supporters are fully aware that Biden is not Elizabeth Warren, AOC or Bernie, but it seems that Biden will meet with those folks, listen to them, and treat them with respect. And then right after Michelle Obama finished her speech, the convention ended with the Retake Our Democracy theme song from the Buffalo Springfield, “For What Its Worth” or as it is known, “Somethings happening here….” We have played that before every show on KSFR, but it has an entirely different impact when sung by a black man. You’ll find the video of the rendition at the end of this post.
That is my takeaway from last night. How about you?
News In Brief:
We offer up four News In Briefs today: one Trump’s strategy to win the day, another on an emerging 50 year water plan for NM, and a third powerful piece from The Atlantic on what we’ve stolen from our kids. Finally, the fourth NIB is for those who missed the DNC last night, as it captures reasonably well, the first night and how different it was from all prior conventions.
Following the News In Brief links, we offer one quote that underscores our need to emphasize voting safely in person using early voting. Trump has much up his sleeves and none of it is good. The quote references Trump’s plan to have his GOP supporters vote in person while most Dems vote by mail. In such a scenario, he could lead when we go to bed, only to watch the lead disappear once mail ballots are counted. And you can imagine where that is headed.
- From The Intelligencer: “How Trump Is Trying to Ensure an Early Election Night Lead”
- From The Albuquerque Journal: “Planning for New Mexico’s water future: 50-year plan will support existing research projects”
- From The Atlantic: ‘What we’ve stolen from our kids.“
- From Vox: “Five Winners and Two Losers from Day One of Democratic National Convention“
50-year plan will support existing research projects
“If that’s the plan, it’s well on its way to implementation, as a new national survey from Pew Research indicates. Asked how they intend to vote, 80 percent of Trump supporters say they will vote in person (either on Election Day or earlier) and only 17 percent will vote by mail. Among Biden supporters, 58 percent say that will vote by mail as opposed to 40 percent who will vote in person.”From The Intelligencer: “How Trump Is Trying to Ensure an Early Election Night Lead”
Statement on Marathon Petroleum Receiving $1 Billion in Coronavirus Funds While Laying Off 220 New MexicansAugust 12, 2020 – ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today, ProgressNow New Mexico released the following statement regarding news reports that Marathon Petroleum Corp. will receive more than $1 billion in taxpayer-funded relief while laying off 220 employees at its Gallup refinery.
“Shame on Marathon Petroleum for taking advantage of the situation we are in,” said Lucas Herndon, Deputy Director of ProgressNow New Mexico.“Going after $1 billion in taxpayer-funded relief funds to restore their corporate bank accounts while simultaneously laying off 220 employees living in one of the hardest hit areas of the pandemic is as greedy as it gets. “Instead of paying their high-priced tax lawyers to manipulate the system for their own benefit, they should be figuring out ways to soften the blow to these hard working New Mexicans who are just trying to put food on the table right now.“It’s high time we stop bailing out this dying industry that pollutes our air, land and water and treats people like they are numbers on a spreadsheet. Instead, we must reform our tax system to benefit working families and move New Mexico toward a more sustainable economy that values people over profit.”From Progress NowNM: “Press Release, Aug. 12″
Creating a Team to Work Together on the Election
We encourage all Retake supporters to form a team of people who will work together on whatever kind of campaign you plan to support. Forming a team will help you sustain your personal election activism while also injecting a bit of fun, as you will be engaged with friends who otherwise you may not be communicating with.
To do this, you will likely want to use Doodle to find a time that works for you and your friends and Zoom to convene the meeting. Click the link below to get to a page that outlines how to easily form a team. The page also includes links to a handy step-by-step guide for using Doodle for free and for setting up a free Zoom account.
Click here to get to the Retake Election Team page with all you need to get started.
Michelle Obama’s 2020 DNC Speech
Quite a contrast between this woman and the man in the White House right now. A very impressive speech.
The Retake Our Democracy theme song and it sure has a different meaning when sung by a black man.
Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics
I do not know the presidential history of the USA but I imagine that Trump has been the worst president this country ever had. However, every president seems to have had its own war. Check out this data about Obama: https://www.cfr.org/blog/obamas-final-drone-strike-data
“The strike was the last under Obama (that we know of). The 542 drone strikes that Obama authorized killed an estimated 3,797 people, including 324 civilians. As he reportedly told senior aides in 2011: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.””
And every president has presided over an Empire. Of course, to Americans, especially white Americans, they were all presidents of a ‘democratic’ nation state/republic.
We will achieve true and lasting change when ‘White Americans’ learns with mind and heart that they have been ‘useful’ members of an empire. An empire that itself, like its presidents and its people, have been a mere tool of the super rich. Those making money from the military/spy/industrial complex, the bankers, and those ‘investors’ behind transnational corporations. They have used the USA to globalize their power industry by industry, like Big Ag for example.
Trump just follows a previously set agenda by the old and new ‘Robber Barons’ of America. An agenda designed to control and exploit Americans. An agenda with 2 important priorities. To dumb down Americans so to control them better and to impoverish us to the last man, woman and child.
I hope that all this became clear under the crassness and brutality of President Trump. Although it has been happening all along.
It’s an interesting convention so far. Kind of fun to switch back and forth between the different caucuses.
I do miss the crowds and the funny hats, though.
Last night was good for the soul. For two hours, at least, we were reminded what the soul of America is through the voices of our ordinary people. And our music.
I am so wearied by outrage. The outrages.
As Frank Bruni says in his column today, this is no time to parse what was said but rather to gather to the table for the feast.
I was reminded of the teachings of the Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh (who tried to broker a peace with us during our war with them) that we all harbor the seeds of hatred and murder as well as seeds of compassion and peace.
Which seeds will we water?
Clearly Trump is watering the former.
Last night’s convention did the opposite. Keep it up, Dems.
I thought the first night of the DNC went quite well. It was a well produced event and had what my wife and I thought was a fine mix of speakers representing the diversity of our country. In the end I felt a bit of hopefulness regarding what we are still capable of as a nation. And I sure as hell am thankful for Michelle Obama and her ability to give voice in such a clear manner to an overarching reality, which is the recognition that sitting in the White House is a man who is not fit for the job. Her reintroduction of “empathy” and its relations with social justice and, hence, progressive democratic values, was a helpful primer regarding what we should aspire to, and practice, post-Trump. For now, no amount of empathy should hold any of us back from recognizing how dire the current situation is in terms of the nation’s future and from being election-activists as if our lives depended on it (because they do).