Great column. I’d like to point out that while slavery may have been engineered by a “small minority of white people [who] were once brutal slaveholders,” it was maintained by the whole populations of the slave states—i.e today’s red states. It was a group effort and still is with the racist right wing GOP the engineers. It’s disgusting.

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We now live in the Deep South, by choice, for a variety of reasons; the people are decent, polite and many go to church. A lot of people here like to live in the country-side, because they can't abide what they see in our big cities. Surprisingly a lot of people have intelligent conversations about politics and the ridiculous behavior of the legislative branch's elected members, and surprisingly many areas used to vote overwhelmingly Democratic tickets in the Deep South:

"In 1960, all 22 U.S. Senators from the South were affiliated with the Democratic Party. Today, all but three are Republican.[i] For decades, historians and other researchers have debated what drove the exodus of white Southern voters from the Democratic Party. Were they turned away primarily by economic self-interest? Or did they abandon the party because they came to view it as too progressive on issues of racial equality?" (https://economics.princeton dot edu/working-papers/why-did-the-democrats-lose-the-south-bringing-new-data-to-an-old-debate/).

Obviously the The US Democratic Party deliberately adopted a platform that alienated the majority of the voters in the US South. There is no excuse for that bit of arrogance.

However, Mr. Hartman is absolutely correct, when he states that:

"Name one single piece of legislation since 1980 that has been proposed by Republicans, passed a Republican-controlled Congress, and been signed into law by a Republican President that primarily helps working or poor Americans more than it does fat-cats on Wall Street, polluting industries, or billionaire industrialists"

Somehow, in a practical and respectful way, we need to figure out how to have conversations and determine how we can put our country back together again. There are many fringe positions in both camps that are sincere issues that we, perhaps, could agree to leave alone until we have, for example: 1. A federal voting bill with a guaranteed, secure Vote-by-Mail system, 2. Medicare for all, and 3. A public service system trading two years of service for all young people at age 18 for a free college and trades education.

Mr. Hartman suggests "It’s all theater to distract us..." So, instead of voters accepting as "news" and "investigative journalism" from the current corporate media outlets, why are we not seeing thousands of passionate young people create local digital news outlets? The www dot commondreams.org does an excellent national model staffed by young volunteers, completely advertising free and donation supported; why can't every county and every city have something like that?

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"Obviously the The US Democratic Party deliberately adopted a platform that alienated the majority of the voters in the US South. There is no excuse for that bit of arrogance." - Teach1

Actually, there is an excuse -- a damn good one! But there is no excuse for arrogant Republicans deliberately lying about it.

The Democratic Party was the party of racists until Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights and and Voting Rights Acts. After goddamn liberal progressives committed those two horrible mortal sins, the racists flocked to the Republican Party. The history is clear: Racism is NOT a fringe position in the modern GOP; it is the cause celebre that animates them. Thus, the Critical Race Theory freak-out is their latest anger issue, which is not even a thing in public education other than as an obscure course in law school.

In other words, obviously, it's just more despicable winger lies to cloak the congenital immorality of their phony "conservativism." To this day, Southern bigots vociferously deny their own history, trying and failing to rewrite it, debunking Nixon's "Southern strategy" with lots of so-called "studies," feigning intellectualism to cover up willful ignorance.

Respecting the truth is the best way to have a respectful conversation.



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The greatest grift ever known is led by the masters of the factions that enabled themselves to control our government and generate the largest pile of negative externalities ever inflicted on our planet. Regardless of why the morbidly rich do what they do (essentially some combination of the 7 Deadly Sins, led, I think, by Hubris and Greed and a severe lack of empathy), they need a few things to maintain their status quos. First, they need a critical mass of hubristic and greedy elected officials who will do whatever their faction masters tell them to do. Second, these faction-owned public sector decision-makers need a sufficient number of folks to vote them into office, so they created a sweet spot in the electorate (like Trump cultists and cult-liteists) and learned how to bamboozle the shit out of them. Third, they target those of us who have authoritarian-follower tendencies using their contracted propagandists with the usual fear/anger cycle of racism, religion, misogyny, et al. Fortunately for them, it seems like there are enough white authoritarian-followers who will vote for Graham and the others (especially with the newest round of voter suppression/election fraud legislation). Fourth, lather, rinse, repeat.

I am always dubious of either/or answers to questions, especially when it concerns an issue like why Southern voters changed parties in the '60s. I think it's naïve to ascribe such high-minded motivations (like that Princeton study suggests) when it's really just the same shit the oligarchs have used for hundreds of years to manipulate their marks, and that's just plain old racism and tribalism. Or maybe the Civil War was really a war caused by northern aggression.

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...which is what true-blue racists teach their children.

You nailed the central schism in American politics: hubris, greed, lack of empathy. "Morbidly rich" brings to mind "financially obese" -- living up to the cartoon characterization of a fat guy in a three-piece suit pushing a wheelbarrow of cash into Capitol Hill.

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The GOP wants the same as Putin ; in America !! Traitor's to Decency:

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It's probably a mistake for the GOP to step-up their cancel-culture activities when they just convinced their base it was our "thing", not theirs. This tact they have taken will not stop her confirmation, and it has given Judge Jackson a chance to come across as unflappable. It's been quite a contrast to how Kavanaugh "flapped" all over the hearing room.

Focusing on the culture war works with their base, but will it work with the unaffiliated voters? That's who will determine the upcoming elections. Trying to make this intelligent black-woman and esteemed judge look bad may not be a good strategy. I think they should have punted on this one in order to court the votes of the BIPOC not in a party. Being kind to conquer is an alien concept for this Republican Party.

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