Making it happen: Week 23
Yep, did it again. ICG volunteers Pennie Burns, Linda Chamberlain, Dave Mason, Amy Nowatzki, Lani Roberts, and Sarah Bellinson & friends completed another 520 SwingLeft voter engagement letters this week! These letters are being stockpiled for mailing the last week of October, to encourage recipients to VOTE. The campaign we’re working on targets traditionally under-represented registered voters in Texas who SwingLeft believes are unlikely to move soon, and unlikely to vote. Woohoo! Gold stars on collars!
We’re grateful for donations to fund our letter-writing campaign from Amy Nowatzki, Ruth Tsu, Lani Roberts, Pennie Burns, and Claire Culbertson, and for the enthusiastic recruitment efforts of Pat Evenson-Brady and Krista Thie. Woohoo! More gold stars on more collars!
Make it happen: Choose your action!
DUMPING TRUMP and FLIPPING THE SENATE will only come from big efforts on our parts! How do you want to do your part?
Act on the two calls-to-action above.
Get in on our SwingLeft voter engagement letter campaign. Click here to request and pick up a prepared packet of letters and envelopes.
Not a letter-writer? OK… Can you donate to support others’ letter-writing efforts?
Trumpocracy, Trumpocalypse: More than Linguistic Change
Before 2018 we had not used or even heard the words “Trumpocracy” or “Trumpocalypse.” Before November 2016 we had not even imagined them. Things have changed.
In his 2018 book Trumpocracy, David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, argued that Trump and his Republican accomplices were forging a new U.S. regime type, one that challenged long-established political norms and mixed government, family and business “in the style of authoritarian Third World kleptocrat.” Now Frum has published a sequel, Trumpocalypse, in which he notes how Trump played down the threat of the coronavirus, squandered critical time during the early days of the crisis and, typically, deflected accountability.
Book reviewer Carlos Lozado sums up the reality of these expansions of our political lexicon: “If the first book described a system of governance, the second surveys the outcome of that system after nearly a full presidential term. One is prediction, the other, assessment.”
There is an emphasis on hope, however - the full title of the new book is TRUMPOCALYPSE: Restoring American Democracy. Frum envisions “feasible small reforms” such as ensuring that presidential candidates make their tax returns and financial assets public, finally killing off the Senate filibuster, providing statehood for D.C., adopting a modern Voting Rights Act, and depoliticizing federal law enforcement. Also a comprehensive carbon tax, an immigration overhaul, a reorganization of defense spending, and a long-term, reconciling change of heart and mind both within the U.S. and in the wider world. A BIG vision, to be sure, but the alternatives aren’t good.
[Content credit to WaPo book critic Carlos Lozado.]
“An Incalculable Loss”
The cover of last Sunday’s New York Times lists the names of 1000 Americans, dead of Covid-19, just 1% of the current count of covid deaths in the U. S. The headline reads, “AN INCALCULABLE LOSS. They Were Not Simply Names on a List, They Were Us.”
For the list, NYT scoured more than 1,000 obituaries and death notices honoring those who died. Some of the entries -
"emergency room doctor who died in husband's arms"
"volunteer youth football coach"
"first in her family to graduate college"
"liked his bacon and hash browns crispy"
"saved 56 Jewish families from the Gestapo"
Prof. Heather Cox Richardson, current national truth-sayer of historical perspective, points out that the dramatic cover is about more than just numbers. It’s a rejection of the toxic selfishness of the anti-mask crowd and the “reopening” terrorists, and “reminds us that we are all in this together… or should be. At least, this has been our principle in our better moments, and some people have taken it quite seriously indeed. On Monday, Memorial Day, we will honor those young men and women who did not believe that being an American meant refusing to inconvenience themselves to help their neighbors.”
“Just think, a year from now, we might be enjoying a Memorial Day weekend, vaccinated against COVID-19, with President Biden in charge of our country, and Democrats in control of the senate.”
- Maggie, a mom in Idaho. On Twitter 5/23.
“A perversity of today’s political culture is that those with the most time and inclination for full-time self-promotion, such as U.S. senators, eclipse those, such as governors, who are preoccupied with serious responsibilities.”
- In a WaPo article on Gina Raimondo, governor of Rhode Island, as a good VP possibility 5/24.