Indeed, they are a changin'
Jimmy Fallon's update of The Times They Are a Changin' is simply brilliant. Don't miss it, and take time to read the lyrics.
Politics Shouldn’t Be Like Open Mic Night was one of today's Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times. I savored the spot-on analyses and opinions of Jonathan Rauch and Raymond La Raja. While the upwelling of progressive candidates (particularly women and people of color) is inspiring, it's also of concern. This piece lays out the challenges, and posits that we should return to more strategic, wisdom-driven selection of who will challenge (in my case) the GOP opponents.
Over-stocked primaries can lead to the election of people who can't go on to win a general election. For Democrats, these are risks we shouldn't be taking. The stakes are far too high.
Read the NYT article HERE.
No walls! What a waste.
Rebecca Solnit is a favorite thinker and writer. Her recent piece in Literary Hub, The Loneliness of Donald Trump offers unique wisdom and perspective.
She thoughtfully weaves the tale of the most mocked man in the world, engaging us in a story that portends the demise of our democracy.
"Equality keeps us honest.... Inequality creates liars and delusion...... This is why I always pair privilege with obliviousness; obliviousness is privilege’s form of deprivation."
I highly recommend it!
The white "other"
I'll admit it. I can be somewhat of a snob, particularly when it comes to white people. Yes, those terms like "trailer trash" and "PWT" (our secret term for poor white trash when we were teenagers) are familiar to me. However, I didn't grow up perceiving or labeling myself as white (although many people likely see me as such). To this day, among my Greek-American family the response to the question "Are they Greek?" will often be, "No, they're white." So, I have an additional layer of "other" that applies to white people who have no obvious ethnic ties (something tangible other than "American").
All that is to get me to two more must reads:
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
I listened to this on audiobook rather than reading it.
A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
If you are seeking to better understand how we got to where we are now in this country, these should be part of your educational process.
I recently saw the poignant and educational documentary I Am Not Your Negro which is based solely on the words of author, activist and intellectual, James Baldwin. It is a "must see" for those who are seeking to grow their foundation and understanding of African-American history in this nation.
A perfect complement and "must read" is Michael Eric Dyson's Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. It is not for anyone who's not open to deep and brutal self-reflection, nor those who'd like to maintain white-privileged stances on racial tensions and policies. However, if you're up for a mind and heart opening read from a thoughtful, knowledgeable scholar and preacher, read it. SOON!
IVANKA: Good morning, Father. Welcome to your first day of public service!
DONALD: Yeah, it’s gonna be really great. Public servants. Over 300 million of them! And they all work for me now. Amazing. Most of them voted for me, you know. They love me.
IVANKA: Public service, that’s what I was referring to.
DONALD: I heard you – public servants. Even our Blacks. And all those Mexicans. Incredible. And when you’re a president they let you do anything. Grab anything! (Chuckle) Believe me, this is the start of something big.
IVANKA: (Sigh) Never mind.
As a Democratic Precinct Committee Person, a campaign volunteer (Bernie, then Hillary), and a Voter Outreach Chair for my district, I am exhausted and despondent these days. I did my best and pushed as hard as I could. However, I found the same inexcusable strategic errors, resistance to change, and dedication to old and disproved tactics that I saw in the 2014 election. The Democratic Party is in many ways a misguided, outdated, entrenched mess from the local level to the DNC.
Here's a controversial article that posits what some of the issues were. Mark Lilla offers a perspective worth consideration (although he, too, is over-simplifying from a privileged man's viewpoint).
There is much to be done if our nation and our planet are to survive the missteps and horrific outcome of this election cycle. I'm not certain where I will refocus my energies, but it will be nowhere that embraces the status quo.
READ IT HERE:
Although Hillary has broken the glass ceiling, she must still wade through the muck of sexism
Ellen Fitzpatrick's NYT op-ed piece on Friday made some important points. It echoes my continued observations of how both men and women hold women politicians to a different (and rather bizarre) standard. As such folly continues, let's call it when we see it.
Politics Writ Large