Change starts from the bottom up. If you’re waiting for your elected officials to go against the grain, to foment change, you’re going to wait forever for something which never comes to pass.
The most important article you will read today is this:
“One Small Step for Democracy in a ‘Live Free or Die’ Town – A Cautionary tale from Croydon, N.H., where one man tried to foist a change so drastic it jolted a community out of political indifference”
I’ve never heard of of the Free State Project, have you?
Probably because I live in the mainstream news bubble. Like most people. I’m not a crackpot trying to undermine America. Therefore I’m out of the loop. Check it out:
Bottom line? These wingnuts have moved to New Hampshire to remake the government in their “libertarian” viewpoint. And this resulted in the firing of the one and only policeman in Croydon and the lowering of the school budget from $1.7 million to $800,000. Yes, the Free State Project infiltrated this one town of 800 and remade it to its liking. And what about the populace? It was PISSED!
This is happening all over America. The worst is people who take over the school board yet home-school their kids. They want to change the curriculum which their kids are not exposed to.
This is a stealth operation. Kind of like the Federalist Society, albeit with even a lower profile. These are long-term plans, which end up with results like the Dobbs decision, throwing abortion back to the states, effectively eliminating it in so many of them.
We are asleep at the wheel. We figure someone else is doing the hard work, but this is not the case.
So what did they do in Croydon? Under a state law they held a special meeting where a quorum of half the town’s population was required and took a vote on the school budget. End result? 377 voted against the cut, 2 were in favor of it.
Yes, we can undermine the tyranny of the minority, if we just wake up and participate.
But when you scratch the surface of Ian Underwood, the man responsible for the cuts, you find it gets even worse. He doesn’t want to pay for someone else’s kids’ education. I don’t have any children, but I’ve been paying for public schools my whole working life. And I’m fine with that, I don’t want to live in a land with uneducated nincompoops, it’s bad enough they’re banning books and declaring what you can and cannot teach in classrooms as it is.
Also, no arts, no extracurricular activities, they’re unnecessary. I won’t bother to quote statistics, but I will say one of the reasons popular music is so rotten in America is because of the lack of school arts programs. Isn’t it interesting that Canada and the U.K. and Sweden all punch way above their weight when it comes to popular music. It’s a result of EDUCATION! And a bit of government funding.
So next we have the Kavanaugh dinner at Morton’s. You know, where they were protesting outside.
First and foremost, corporate made a big mistake, it bit back, end result being the restaurant was inundated with false reservations. You see if you align with the minority, you’re at risk of the wrath of the majority.
Targeted protests like this have a result, as opposed to the mass gatherings that resemble music festivals. You’ve got to go where the people live, you’ve got to make it personal. Actions have consequences.
Needless to say, the right-wing was up in arms. And what was the left-wing response? TO DOUBLE DOWN!
That’s the problem with Democrats, they cower in fear. Meanwhile, tons of lefties came out and laughed, tweeted away, names you would recognize. As for Fox News? Of course, they thought it was heinous, but the goal here isn’t to convince the minority watching that execrable channel, but to awaken those who are asleep, and motivate them!
This is paying back the right and treating it with some of its own medicine.
And some of the analyses are priceless.
“There Is No Constitutional Right to Eat Dinner – Claims that Justice Brett Kavanaugh had his rights violated by protesters outside a D.C. restaurant fail on originalist grounds.”
The Dobbs decision was illogical, originalist thinking is irrational. This article illustrates it. Too bad so many people have had such poor educations, too often blind in parochial schools, to understand this.
Never underestimate the power of the individual:
“Post-Roe, Her Facebook Group Went Viral – Veronica Risinger made a little online spot for neighbors to share information on abortion. Then 30,000 people joined.”
This is the future of change, not showing up with a sign at some government building hoping for a smidgen of coverage in the local news that almost no one sees. This is how the Republicans do it, why can’t the Democrats?
As for Congress solving our problems:
“Putting the Public Back in Public Service – A group of academics and lawmakers, citing a new study that found voters feel shut out of congressional deliberations, is pushing to engage citizens more directly in the work of Congress.”
Here are a couple of relevant passages:
“‘There is strong evidence that they actually don’t even know the views of their constituents,’ said Steven Kull, a psychologist who heads the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. ‘They might know the squeaky wheel who shows up at a town hall meeting, but they don’t really know.’”
“In a new study based on a survey of more than 4,300 registered voters last year, Mr. Kull’s group found that the public’s low opinion of Congress stems at least in part from the impression that lawmakers ‘have little interest in the views of their constituents, have a poor understanding of the public’s views and do what the majority of Americans would do less than half the time.”
So if you’re depending on your elected officials in D.C. to be aligned with your viewpoints, you’re dreaming.
So the situation was articulated perfectly today by Ezra Klein:
“The danger Democrats face in November is hopelessness and apathy among their base. Why turn out to vote if nothing will pass anyway, and if the Supreme Court will gut whatever slips through the Republican blockade?” –What a Reckoning at the Supreme Court Could Look Like
This describes my hopelessness exactly. I’ll still vote, but the only way I can survive emotionally is by disconnecting from the fracas in D.C.
You see the majority wants abortion rights. The majority wants stricter gun control. But elected officials beholden to vocal minorities are thwarting this. While we remain silent.
But reading the stories above I am given hope.
You see unlike the gun rights/mass shootings stories, abortion is personal, it affects essentially everybody. And when I read about the Kavanaugh/Morton’s situation, and the left-wing pushback to the right-wing blowback, I am given hope. This issue just won’t die, it has legs, when seemingly nothing else does in America today.
What price will Elon Musk pay for pulling out of the Twitter deal? I’m not talking about financially, for which he should pay handsomely, I’m talking about image-wise. You’d think marching through business and the legal system as if the rules don’t apply to you would cause a long-lasting hit to his image. But that probably won’t be the case. Especially in a country where Donald Trump repeatedly broke the law and it looks like not only will he emerge unscathed, he’s got a good chance of being president once again.
I wish this wasn’t so, I wish there was a moral code. But not enough people have one. The same Free Staters who feel they shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s education.
But it’s worse than this. All the anti-tax agitators, they lament the government spending THEIR money. Okay, stop paying, and the roads will have potholes and the bridges will collapse and it will be chaos 24/7 and if you die in the process, don’t go looking to the government to make you whole.
Even worse are the rich, who want to control how the money is spent. Now let me see, you made your money in a single vertical… Do we really want you running the country? History is littered with the rich and celebrities who gained office on their names and then failed in their duties. You see it’s more complicated than that. You wouldn’t want a home-schooled doctor to operate on you and you don’t want an amateur running the government. But that does not mean you don’t want a hand in selecting who is in power.
I can’t believe the Dobbs decision. It does not compute. Abortion is gone? Oh, don’t tell me you can get it here and there, the fact that you can’t get it elsewhere is unfathomable. Why does the minority rule over the majority? You want to take away my rights but whenever we tell you to do something for the good of society, like getting a damn vaccine, you cry FREEDOM and the sanctity of the human body. Shouldn’t that work both ways?
It doesn’t, just like with the inane Supreme Court Dobbs decision. Where stories from the past were cherry-picked to create a decision that was a foregone conclusion in the minds of the justices. They didn’t weigh the law and the facts, they just figured out how to create a legal narrative that fit their conclusion.
I am not preaching to the other side. They already know all this. The Democrats were ahead online, but they’ve been superseded by the Republicans, it happened years ago. Good luck getting change re: misinformation. The goal is not to complain, but compete! Go online yourself, make some noise, and create a group.
Just one more thing…
Yesterday in the “Wall Street Journal” behavioral economist Dan Ariely fielded a question from a conservative who was weary of airing his views at parties after soccer games. He felt being neutral was to his benefit.
Ariely’s response was priceless:
“Studies have shown that when you don’t take sides, people tend to assume you hold the opposite views of the group. Research also shows that people tend not to like or trust people who remain neutral on controversial topics—particularly when withholding an opinion appears to be strategic, such as when a conservative politician deliberately avoids taking sides on an issue in front of a liberal audience.” –WSJ
You think it behooves you to be silent, to avoid disruption, to have your life run smoothly when exactly the opposite is true!
You’ve got to play. That’s the only way out of this mess. It’s personal. I know so many are defeated, I certainly am. But when I keep reading stories of personal triumphs, especially online, I gain hope.
We can do this.
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