When people are locked into hate, fear and preoccupation with feeling under assault, they are easier to control. Higher brain functions are frozen out.

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November 8th. "Be there. Will be wild."

But unlike radical Republicanism, there's no need for body armor and bear spray. To win America's battle for the survival of democracy and freedom, you only need to recognize the main enemies: bad ideas and lies, not necessarily the "bad" people who promote them. And then show up for the fight!

Ukrainians are currently in a physical, life and death struggle against a truly bad man. But it's Putin's horrible ideas and lies they're fighting against as much as his soldiers. If American freedom fighters expect to defeat an authoritarian takeover on their own soil, they need to win the battle of ideas and emotions at the ballot box.

Awash in so much personal weaponry, a US shoot-em-up civil war would be a really, really bad idea. So naturally, the Republican base, in rapidly increasing percentages, are itching for exactly that.

Just ask the CEOs of the bullet factories. They're profiteering like there's no tomorrow (and no peace), continually playing catch-up to replace their deadly stock on the empty shelves as the crazies make runs on all the gun shops across the country.

Show up on November 8th and "Throw the bums out!" Free, fair, and peaceful elections to defeat an implacable enemy is a wild concept.

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How should the Democrats respond to this?

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Mr. Hartman is mostly correct about the scope of the GOP 2022-24 advertising approach:

"Republican strategists know that a terrorized populace will quickly defer to a strongman authoritarian leader who promises to keep them safe from the evil monsters they’ve identified."

However, in all fairness, the fear campaign we have all lived through during 2019-22 may have been the most harrowing, and, sadly, the one leaving the most mental agony and fear with our current children (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445752/). For those of us who have been in the classrooms and wore masks, we can attest to the worst fear we have ever seen in children, and we don't call them 'spreaders.' (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32371442/)

The political nightmare that we have all allowed to be a permanent fear machine in all public campaigns ought to shame all of us adults born since post WWII; it's a cancer we stood by and allowed to happen. Blaming one political party, or both, do not solve the problem, when we are 'it.' Surprisingly, one by one, we have the power to simply say no, simply turn off the TV, and simply contribute to peace makers and cancel subscriptions to media that don't have a balance.

For progressives not to flock together, instead of living among their conservative co-citizens is not a bad idea either.

For conservatives to be mindful that their future may rest on conceding some slack on things such as insane laws that allow pharmaceuticals to advertise in support of addicting drugs, and laws that allow students to become perpetual slaves to mindless debts. Perhaps the word 'discussing' is a better term than 'arguing and name calling.'

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