A challenge to the conventional wisdom

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 10.10.34

Here are the real fucking political truths these “progressives” don’t want to admit:

  1. From civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, health care reform, immigration issues… the Democratic Party has been at the forefront moving the discussion and policy forward.
  2. They’ve done this without the luxury of veto-proof majorities in Congress and without a lot of help from state legislatures.
  3. In fact, some of this progress was made IN SPITE OF Republican control and obstruction.
  4. If you fucking want FDR-like progress, you better do everything you can for FDR-like majorities in Congress.
  5. If you don’t give a Democratic president massive Democratic majorities in Congress and in the states, then you can eternally SHUT THE FUCK UP about how Democrats are “letting you down.”
  6. Democrats in 2017 are more progressive than Democrats of FDR’s time.
  7. The problem isn’t Democrats have moved to the right (they haven’t) but Republicans have moved significantly farther to the right.  This movement along with the media’s incessant “both sides are the same” gives the perception Democrats have moved to the right as well.
Advertisements

More smart analysis from Ta-Nehisi Coates

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 09.58.13

The focus on one subsector of Trump voters—the white working class—is puzzling, given the breadth of his white coalition. Indeed, there is a kind of theater at work in which Trump’s presidency is pawned off as a product of the white working class as opposed to a product of an entire whiteness that includes the very authors doing the pawning. The motive is clear: escapism…. The left would much rather have a discussion about class struggles, which might entice the white working masses, instead of about the racist struggles that those same masses have historically been the agents and beneficiaries of. Moreover, to accept that whiteness brought us Donald Trump is to accept whiteness as an existential danger to the country and the world. But if the broad and remarkable white support for Donald Trump can be reduced to the righteous anger of a noble class of smallville firefighters and evangelicals, mocked by Brooklyn hipsters and womanist professors into voting against their interests, then the threat of racism and whiteness, the threat of the heirloom, can be dismissed. Consciences can be eased; no deeper existential reckoning is required.

The lasting impact of Trump

Screen Shot 2017-09-21 at 09.42.42.png

The Dolchstoss myth that’s sure to take hold if Trump is impeached or quits under pressure will be virulent. The tale his devotees will raise their children to swear by will describe the nefarious way that coastal elites, partisan Democrats, the liberal media, and a whole slew of other pseudo-Americans—from Muslims relishing our surprise introduction to sharia law to transgender weirdos, man-hating feminists, and America-hating Obama zombies, not to mention pusillanimous establishment Republicans—all conspired to deprive them of the greatest president ever: the only one they felt ever spoke for them. There will be talk of armed insurrection. Aspiring Dylann Roofs will look for an enemy headquarters to shoot up. It will be ugly.

What we see of history ain’t the whole story

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 19.30.13

Senator William Mahone was one of the most maligned political leaders in post-Civil War America. He was also one of the most capable. Compared to the Roman traitor Cataline (by Virginia Democrats), to Moses (by African American congressman John Mercer Langston), and to Napoleon (by himself), Mahone organized and led the most successful interracial political alliance in the post-emancipation South.

pub. 08/2017

Where *and when* you can find Confederate symbols in the US

Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 07.11.39

But two distinct periods saw a significant rise in the dedication of monuments and other symbols.

The first began around 1900, amid the period in which states were enacting Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise the newly freed African Americans and re-segregate society. This spike lasted well into the 1920s, a period that saw a dramatic resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, which had been born in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.

The second spike began in the early 1950s and lasted through the 1960s, as the civil rights movement led to a backlash among segregationists. These two periods also coincided with the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the Civil War.

pub. 04/2016

Lesson plans and suggestions for teachers in this era of overt bigotry and violence

Screen Shot 2017-08-14 at 09.47.02

While such discussions are often seen as politically charged and teachers like to steer clear of politics, these conversations are about fundamental American values, and age-appropriate ways of discussing hatred and tolerance in a diverse and vibrant democracy are as important as anything young people can learn in school. Civics education has taken a back seat to reading and math in recent years in “the era of accountability,” but it is past time for it to take center stage again in America’s schools.

pub. 08/2017

For more tips and resources, see the Resources lists, What to Do and What to Read.

It took me a long time to read this article because every paragraph was newly infuriating

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.05.38

The state is as politically divided as the rest of the nation. One can drive across it and be in two different states at the same time: FM Texas and AM Texas. FM Texas is the silky voice of city dwellers, the kingdom of NPR. It is progressive, blue, reasonable, secular, and smug—almost like California. AM Texas speaks to the suburbs and the rural areas: Trumpland. It’s endless bluster and endless ads. Paranoia and piety are the main items on the menu.

pub. 07/2017