Thursday, October 25, 2018

Thomas Friedman - Making America America Again

Thomas Friedman (NY Times) has the formula for How to Make America America Again: Elect Democrats and win back the House or the Senate.

Friedman should be comforted by 538’s election forecast that gives the Dems an 83.9% chance of winning control of the House. Closer to home, in its election update email, 538’s average of polls for AZ CDZ2 has Kirkpatrick up by 11.2 points, a figure higher than the 4.9 in 2016 and the Republican advantage of 1.5 points in 2012. So Friedman, probably, can rest easy. But his story is interesting anyway and, probabilistically, AND, the Dems have a 16.1% chance of NOT winning the House. So read the article and then GOTV!

What is there left to say about the terrible murder of moderate Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and its aftermath? Only one thing, and I have said it before, but I feel it even more strongly now: In the midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone else to a voting station to vote for a Democrat.

I don’t say that because I’m particularly liberal and want to shift the whole country to the liberal agenda. I say that because I’m particularly American and I want to put the best of American values back at the center of our diplomacy and politics. President Trump has spent two years attacking our best values — truth and trust — and I believe that Democrats getting a lever of power is necessary, but not sufficient, to reverse that.

Democrats could blow it if they get back a lever of power and use it just to bully Trump and Republicans the same way he has them. But I’ll take that chance. Because there is a basic respect for truth, science and decency in the Democratic caucus and because I know that two more years of the G.O.P. holding every lever of power and blindly following Trump’s basic disrespect for truth, science and decency will make it impossible to elevate America’s best values.

Truth without power today is just background Muzak to the march of the Trump administration.

[snip]

In sum, words today are not enough, investigative journalism is not enough, television special reports are not enough, documentaries are not enough, endless columns and editorials calling out Trump are not enough — even an audiotape of Khashoggi being killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul may not be enough — because the truth is just not enough today — not as long as we have a president who has no shame, who is backed by party that has no spine, that controls the House, the Senate, the White House, the Supreme Court and, indirectly, a major television network that has no integrity.

One day I hope the truth will be enough again. One day I hope great journalism will be enough again. But today only a lever of power — the House or the Senate — will make it so. Facts, science and truth — without power — are just leaves floating through the air in the age of Trump, scattering aimlessly without impact.

So, this year: No third party, no Green Party, no throwing up our hands and saying, “They’re all bad.” All of that’s for another day. For today, in these midterm elections, vote for a Democrat, canvass for a Democrat, raise money for a Democrat, drive someone else to a voting station to vote for a Democrat. It’s the only hope to make America America again.

Nothing else matters. Pass it on.

Read Friedman’s essay for more of his reasoning (in the [snip]) about what is at stake in this election. (h/t Sherry Moreau)

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