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Monday, April 29, 2024

The Israeli-Palestinian Perplex

Back to exigent concerns (in the wake of my prior transient dumbass reactive diversion).
Is hope for a real, durable, amicable, broad Middle-East peace naive?

One of my favorite conflict resolution experts:
Crisis, Contradiction, Certainty, and Contempt

A Professor’s Statement on the Current Situation at Columbia University
Peter T. Coleman

As a member of the Columbia University community for over 30 years, Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, current member of the University’s Task Force on Antisemitism, and a student of intractable conflict and sustainable peace, I felt it incumbent on me to share my take on the extraordinary challenges facing our community today.

For context, I have studied, written and wondered about the many conflicts related to Israel and the Palestinian territories for decades. I have visited and conducted research on peacebuilding in the region on several occasions, written about how the conflicts there have manifested at Columbia University in the past, and have traveled through the West Bank, including Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Nablus. I have not been to Gaza to date, although one of my top students, Naira Musallam, a Palestinian-Israeli, conducted her dissertation research there in 2010. I was last in Israel in May 2023 working with Israeli, Palestinian and international students through the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at Hebrew University (I later posted this blog on my experiences), and hope to return there this summer to continue this crucial work.

When I first visited the West Bank, I had a revelation. Some UN colleagues and I were traveling South out of Bethlehem towards Hebron on a dusty road, when we began to pass countless miles of a dilapidated refugee camp on our left (I believe it was Dheisha). This was one of the many camps where Palestinians who had fled Israel in 1948 had settled, and who still today refuse most support from the Israeli government as an active act of protest against the normalization of their ouster and a political statement signifying their struggle.

After passing by several miles of the ramshackle camp, I noticed on the right side of the road that a new, well-constructed municipality had been built, which in comparison to the camp looked like a nice suburb outside Cleveland. When I asked my colleagues about these structures, they explained to me that they had been built and were supported by the Israeli government, with running water, electricity, and sanitation. They also explained that at some point, many families from the refugee camp, desperate from the conditions they had lived in, chose to cross the road and set up home in the new buildings. However, doing so was typically seen as an unforgivable betrayal of the struggle by members of their family and community that stayed behind, who often disparaged them or cut ties with them altogether. This was just another glimpse into the complex web of multiple intertwined conflicts and moral dilemmas which constitute what many of us call the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”…
A fairly long read. Study it all carefully.
I've cited Dr. Coleman before (The Way Out).
More current Peter Coleman:
First, we are in a crisis. The current firestorm at Columbia is real, painful and deeply concerning. It was triggered most recently by the horrific combination of the slaughter, rape and kidnapping of Israeli civilians by Hamas militants on October 7, 2023, and by the Israeli government’s violent, punishing and unrelenting response to Palestinians and its deadly effects on humanitarian workers, journalists and many others in Gaza.

But the crisis at Columbia is also playing out in the context of dramatic spikes in antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate across the U.S., which preceded but were exacerbated by the current war, by the politicization and weaponization of these trends by members of the U.S. Congress who seek to delegitimize “elite” institutions of higher education like Columbia for political gain, and in the wake of 60 years of pernicious political polarization in the U.S. where we are seeing increasing tolerance for acts of political violence — as we head into what is likely to be the most contested elections in our nation’s history.

Further out, our crisis is also fueled daily by the atrocious violence playing out in the Middle East — by the dogged intransigence of Hamas and its supporters during “negotiations” over a ceasefire, their depraved willingness to sacrifice the lives of Gazan’s for their cause, and proud declarations by Hamas’ leaders of their ultimate goal to destroy the nation of Israel “from the river to the sea.” Of course, to some degree, these actions are both reactions to and justifications for the violent, aggressive, militant, expansionist policies of the far-Right Netanyahu government in Israel who for decades have shown scant interest in securing a genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace and whose support amongst the Israeli population at home has plummeted…
OK, “wicked problem,” anyone?

As campus protests proliferate across the U.S. and the world, people of goodwill everywhere are flummoxed. Read Coleman carefully.

Age-restricted, viewable only on YouTube.

Produced by Sheryl Sandberg. I'm sure she'll get "Jew Bitch" death threats.
Charge Palestine With Genocide, Too
The case for having the International Court of Justice hear two cases at once
By Graeme Wood

Israel has been convicted of genocide by protesters at Columbia and UCLA, but its genocide case before the International Court of Justice is still pending. Israel remains officially aghast that it, and only it, is subject to judicial proceedings for the crime of genocide—and that the ICJ’s rulings so far have implied that the judges think Israel might be guilty of the crime of crimes. According to reports this weekend, the International Criminal Court—a separate body that hears cases against individuals—is preparing arrest warrants for Israeli officials and possibly Hamas leaders. In the ICJ, Israel stands alone…

189 days to Election Day. Or, as Trump called yesterday, "Christian Visibility Day."
Of course.


(And, yeah, I erased his flagrantly unearned flag lapel pin.) Highly recommend you read the new Time Magazine interview with Trump. "How Far Would Trump Go?"
The 26 minute article contains a link to the entire 83 minute transcript of the reporter's one-on-one interview. ~Six months, peeps, You ought know what we're all likely facing. I could scarcely be more irritated.
More to come...

Thursday, April 25, 2024

The word "Data"

Well, after seeing the book approvingly reviewed by @ScienceMagazine
I thought a closer look was in order, pricey Kindle tag notwithstanding.

I wrote a lengthy irascible post about this. Upon reflection, I subsquently deleted everything but the foregoing (saved it all in a draft, though, just for the record). Our world is going increasingly crazy on multiple fronts, and I'm wasting our time on this crap? Sorry.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The increasingly immodest children of a modest star

What would governance look like if our planetary condition was central rather than ancillary to our political self-conceptions? What issues would become paramount, and how might this change our views? How would we act if we took seriously humanity’s profound integration into Earth’s planetary systems, demonstrated by the COVID pandemic, from the microbiological scale of the virus to the macrosystemic scale of the planet’s atmosphere? What would change as a result of human beings being revealed, not as masters of the planet, but as part of it? 

Human beings are essentially and ineluctably embedded within planetary-scale phenomena: we affect and are affected by our Earthly home. Western science, which is the bedrock of modern technology, politics, and worldviews, however, emerged in large measure in denial of this embeddedness. Springing from a secularized distillation of Christian belief (“And God said, Let us make man in our image,” according to King James’ Genesis, “and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth”), this scientific tradition rested on the precept that humans were inherently different from all of God’s other creatures. Unlike the beasts, the “fowl of the air,” and “every thing that creepeth upon the earth,” humankind was endowed with reason and a capacity, if not moral duty, for technical mastery over the natural world—a unique inheritance that set us humans apart from nature. Yet the scientific method that developed over time from those precepts—a method of inquiry rooted in the scrutiny of evidence and radical skepticism—has, by the early twenty-first century, revealed that there is no separation between human beings and the natural world. In a triumph of the scientific method, the tools of science overturned science’s most basic assumptions. This insight has been percolating for about a century, catching the attention of the occasional forward-thinking scientist, but it is now increasingly clear that the idea of humans distinguished from nature is intellectually unsustainable. It is, moreover, ecologically ruinous. The idea of “humanity apart” is, and for a long time has been, encouraging grave harm to the ecosystems in which humans dwell and the biosphere of which humans are a part. 

These discoveries have changed the face of science and, in turn, have triggered a rupture in philosophy. But these insights about the state of the world and our place in it have yet to trickle out of the scientific labs, specialist journals, and rarified seminar rooms and into the mainstream consciousness. They certainly have not yet affected how societies act. With this book, we hope to change that. Given what we now know—and are likely to still learn—about Earth and the place of humans on it, the question that animates this book is: What should we do about it? 

Our answer is that we must transform our modes and systems of governance, which is to say the institutionalized social rules that tell us how we are supposed to live in common…

Blake, Jonathan S.; Gilman, Nils (2024-04-22T23:58:59.000). Children of a Modest Star. Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition. 

Another new book. apropos of core exigent / existential concerns...
"Human beings are essentially and ineluctably embedded within planetary-scale phenomena: we affect and are affected by our Earthly home. Western science, which is the bedrock of modern technology, politics, and worldviews, however, emerged in large measure in denial of this embeddedness. Springing from a secularized distillation of Christian belief (“And God said, Let us make man in our image,” according to King James’ Genesis, “and let them have dominion . . . over all the earth”), this scientific tradition rested on the precept that humans were inherently different from all of God’s other creatures. Unlike the beasts, the “fowl of the air,” and “every thing that creepeth upon the earth,” humankind was endowed with reason and a capacity, if not moral duty, for technical mastery over the natural world—a unique inheritance that set us humans apart from nature..."
A lot to reflect upon, in light of the topics of recent posts here. 
 Not to mention new findings.
Does "sentience" bring with it "legal rights?" Irrespective of species?

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Define "Civility."

Spoiler alert: it's not a synonym for "politeness," "manners," "decorum," "agreeableness," "deference," "passivity," or "humility."
I don't recall at the moment how I ran across this book. Deep into it at the moment. Much to recommend thus far.

Impressive woman. Master’s degree in social policy from the London School of Economics. Now adjunct faculty at Indiana University (in her “spare time“). A stickler for precise etymology-grounded definitions of core terms—very helpful in de-conflating widespread misunderstandings which only serve to routinely throw sand in the gears of discourse.

I'm particularly liking the author's long walk through the major historical philosophers. When I began my studies toward my Master's in Ethics & Policy Studies in the mid 90's, my first seminar, "History of Ethics," had 11 required texts. It was basically a history of (mostly western) philosophy beginning with Plato, and winding up amid 20th century philo thought leaders. I can attest to both Alex's broad & deep coverage and her assessments. Excellent.
(I had a 2nd seminar that fall: "Argument Analysis & Evaluation" (pdf). Lordy. I was still working at my Medicare QIO analyst day gig at the time.)
Worth it to recall again the foci on my interest in this stuff. We have no shortage of serious issues to attend and resolve constructively and peaceably (Klingenstein's War Against Evil Woke Communists a.k.a Democrats notwithstanding). To that end, in 2019 I asked "is there a Science of Deliberation?"

What do you think? And what have I missed in my (somewhat overlapping) tabulation?
One thing leads to another. Got onto this via the video interview above.

The Utah Republican Governor Spencer Cox and my Maryland Democratic Governor Wes Moore. Will have to dig in to all of this stuff. 
Disagree Better: Healthy Conflict for Better Policy

Americans need to disagree better. And by that we don’t mean that we need to be nicer to each other, although that’s helpful. We need to learn to disagree in a way that allows us to find solutions and solve problems instead of endlessly bickering.

The “exhausted majority” of Americans want this, and the science is clear about interventions that reduce polarization. As doers and builders, Governors are in a unique position to model what healthy conflict looks like.

The Disagree Better initiative will look at the problems of polarization, elevate the solutions that groups around the country are already implementing, and feature Governors showing what disagreeing better looks like. Through public debates, service projects, public service announcements and a variety of other tactics, Americans will see a more positive and optimistic way of working through our problems...
There are others (some of whom I've previous;y cited) working this turf (click the logo graphics).
All quite worthy.



Nothing could be more important to true "learning." I've riffed on the topic for a long time. e.g., see one of my posts from a decade ago (some link rot at the bottom).

We have to care about getting at truths. Being curious implies that we're OK with not knowing things a priori. Our current know-it-all western culture impedes that motivation.


Who doesn't want to be "influential?"
The Promise of Strong Civility

Civility is strategic and pragmatic and so not just a matter of niceness. We can use strong civility in the service of persuasion when we think carefully about our communicative interactions with others and the necessity of preserving social democracy. Communication practices matter when we are faced with questions about how to live well with others, and strong civility holds the promise of pointing us toward the kind of communication practices that might both build relationships and make sociopolitical change through persuasion possible. We foreclose opportunities for persuasion when we treat others with incivility, and we replace persuasion with the kinds of rhetorical forms of division that can only end in victory or defeat. We cannot build a democratic way of life with those kinds of communication practices as a foundation. We do not mean to offer civility as a cure-all or an antidote to the erosion of democratic institutions and the laws and policies that surely preserve and protect our democratic system of government. Analyses that ask questions about those institutions of governance are essential to fulfilling the promise of our democratic future but so are analyses of the communicative practices that we use within the social spaces that make up the deliberative imaginary. The promise of strong civility is that it offers us a set of specific practices and habits capable of building a democratic culture and not just a democratic system of government.

We can see the promise of strong civility more clearly if we return to our description of democracy as a wicked problem. Wicked problems are multilayered and elusive, which means that we will not ever find a perfect democracy. Instead, our description of democracy as a way of life is meant to highlight the fact that no perfect set of principles or institutions will ever give rise to an ideal form of democracy. Instead, our commitment to democracy as a way of life is supposed to return us to the rough ground of “wicked problems” that we will never solve perfectly but that we continue to work at collectively anyway—problems like how best to achieve a free and equal society when some members of that society, when granted freedom and equality, will look to oppress and demonize others. The promise of civility lies in its usefulness in traveling the rough ground of wicked problems that are always already part of our democratic culture. Strong civility remains the best available means of preserving social relationships with strangers while still seeking out provisional and uncertain solutions to intractable problems. In other words, strong civility opens up possibilities for collaboration and cooperation in such a way that the social fabric remains intact while we are working with strangers who might think differently and have different values. As communication scholars and rhetorical theorists, we prefer the rough ground of imperfect and practical solutions to intractable problems rather than ideal sketches or perfect forms of life that we can never achieve. Civility might not be the ideal weapon to wield in the fight to save democracies from dying, but it is a necessary value for temporarily holding together disparate groups of people so that we can find the best possible solutions to some impossibly difficult problems.

On Reddit, a subforum (“subreddit”) called “Change My View” gives us a glimpse of how persuasion is made possible by civility. Founded in 2013 by Kal Turnball, a Scottish teenager, “Change My View” promotes and requires respectful conversation. Strict rules essentially prohibit the use of incivility, but more important, the subreddit demonstrates how persuasion is more a matter of meeting people where they are instead of where you want them to be. Strong civility, in this case, is also a matter of listening with respect and for the purposes of understanding, but those modes of communication are also understood as key factors in the process of persuasion. This is perhaps where the greatest promise of civility lies: in the ability to teach us all how we might more productively approach the project of persuasion in ways that will hold our democratic culture together while generating the kind of change we want but do not know how to get. In other words, if we lose civility, we may lose the best means we have of changing people’s minds, and it is hard to see how we might live a democratic life without healthy and robust practices of persuasion. “Change My View” might give us a small window into how we might save our democracy, or the fact that it remains a subreddit tucked away in a distant corner of the internet might be a sign that it is too late. We cannot say whether our democracy will die or thrive in the coming years, but we do know that if it thrives, it will do so through communication practices that foreground care, cooperation, collaboration, and forms of civility that allow us to live well with others.

Keith, William; Danisch, Robert. Beyond Civility: (Rhetoric and Democratic Deliberation) (pp. 170-172). Penn State University Press. Kindle Edition.
I've cited them before. Another fine read. 
We can see the promise of strong civility more clearly if we return to our description of democracy as a wicked problem. Wicked problems are multilayered and elusive, which means that we will not ever find a perfect democracy. Instead, our description of democracy as a way of life is meant to highlight the fact that no perfect set of principles or institutions will ever give rise to an ideal form of democracy. Instead, our commitment to democracy as a way of life is supposed to return us to the rough ground of “wicked problems” that we will never solve perfectly but that we continue to work at collectively anyway—problems like how best to achieve a free and equal society when some members of that society, when granted freedom and equality, will look to oppress and demonize others…
Recall my prior post?

The author wraps up nicely.
We may think that anger gives us power. But in fact it drains us of it, because we are trying to change the behavior of others through harboring a lethal emotion. Maybe it’s the Irish in my blood, but I have a long memory and sometimes find it difficult to forgive quickly—and to let past grievances stay forgiven. For some reason, it seems safer—and makes me feel less vulnerable—to stay angry instead of letting go. Often, hurts and frustrations I’ve endured manifest in unhealthy ways. At other times, I’ve found many life-giving outlets for the frustration—journaling, kickboxing, talk therapy—that have been helpful. But I’ve found that forgiving eradicates the root cause of the hurt, and is the ultimate solution.

Too often, it seems that people use woundedness as an excuse to lash out at others. They use their wounds to fuel their righteous anger, and justify harming anyone who gets in their way. People forget that violence—verbal, emotional, or physical—hurts themselves as much as it does others. It debases them. Harming others makes them less human. Our hurts are never an excuse to hurt others, and hurting others will never make the world a better place.

I fall short of the ideals of both civility and of quick forgiveness daily, and it often has negative consequences for how I interact with others. Without creating a fresh slate each day, it’s easy to operate in the world hobbled, wounded and bumping into other wounded people without the grace and emotional wealth required for life with others. I continue to remind myself of these lessons, and have found encouragement in the words of the apostle Paul, who wrote “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

As far as it depends on you. We are more in control of our emotions—and of our responses to our emotions—than we realize. When we fill our souls with endeavors that give us life, such as curiosity, friendship, and beauty—we are less likely to be litigious about the small things in life. We are less likely to walk through our every day running into and up against others—our self-love is less likely to bump up against the self-love of others. We are not on our own. We are not monads, and we don’t live in a vacuum. Adopting a reverence for life in all of its forms, choosing to be kind to all living things, ennobles us and the world around us.

Conversely, when we harm others, even in the name of pursuing a greater justice, we, too, are also hurt. When we are hurt by others, as William Blake noted, we hurt ourselves if we choose to drink the bitter poison of resentment—when we let our anger fester—and fail to forgive. This is how Erasmus defined civility in his handbook for young people five hundred years ago. This principle of good living together in community, alongside the many others that we have explored in this book, is remarkably timeless.

Together, as we’ve discovered throughout this book, they comprise the soul of civility.
[The Soul of Civility, pp. 367-368].
Much to recommend in this book. apropos,
"WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT the individual genetic and developmental differences that impact the sensory portions of our nervous systems, it’s remarkable that we can agree on a shared reality at all."David J. Linden
New book coming out.
Amazon blurb:
A clear-eyed and urgent vision for a new system of political governance to manage planetary issues and their local consequences.

Deadly viruses, climate-changing carbon molecules, and harmful pollutants cross the globe unimpeded by national borders. While the consequences of these flows range across scales, from the planetary to the local, the authority and resources to manage them are concentrated mainly at one level: the nation-state. This profound mismatch between the scale of planetary challenges and the institutions tasked with governing them is leading to cascading systemic failures.

In the groundbreaking Children of a Modest Star, Jonathan S. Blake and Nils Gilman not only challenge dominant ways of thinking about humanity's relationship to the planet and the political forms that presently govern it, but also present a new, innovative framework that corresponds to our inherently planetary condition. Drawing on intellectual history, political philosophy, and the holistic findings of Earth system science, Blake and Gilman argue that it is essential to reimagine our governing institutions in light of the fact that we can only thrive if the multi-species ecosystems we inhabit are also flourishing.

Aware of the interlocking challenges we face, it is no longer adequate merely to critique our existing systems or the modernist assumptions that helped create them. Blake and Gilman propose a bold, original architecture for global governancewhat they call planetary subsidiaritydesigned to enable the enduring habitability of the Earth for humans and non-humans alike. Children of a Modest Star offers a clear-eyed and urgent vision for constructing a system capable of stabilizing a planet in crisis.

Saw ir reviewed in Science Magazine.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Time's 2024 Man of the Year:

A post-Presidential first.

Well, I guess we'll see...


"Just four years ago I was a very popular and successful President of the United States, getting more votes than any sitting President in history. Tomorrow morning I’ll be in Criminal Court, before a totally conflicted Judge, a Corrupt Prosecutor, a Legal System in CHAOS, a State being overrun by violent crime and corruption, and Crooked Joe Biden’s henchmen 'Rigging the System' against his Political Opponent, ME!"

"I will be fighting for myself but, much more importantly, I will be fighting for our Country. Election Interference like this has never happened in the USA before and, hopefully, will never happen again. We are now a Nation in serious Decline, a Failing Nation, but we will soon be a Great Nation Again. November 5th will be the most important day in the History of the United States. MAGA2024! SEE YOU TOMORROW."

"I’ve got 8 Biden cases (lawsuits!) going on at one time. They want to take money I would use for the campaign, and my time. Never been done before in our Country. Crooked politicians and corrupt prosecutors and Judges. November 5th is the most important day in the history of our Country. WE WILL WIN! MAGA2024."



A predictable maudlin circus. Very little of substance to even comment on. This judicial soap opera is predicted to last from 4 to 6 weeks. Of course, Donald had to take a last verbal shot after court.

Friday, April 12, 2024

We in the “First World” are ALSO “Tribes on the Edge.”

We in Baltimore were graced by a compelling talk given by Celine Cousteau last night. The “Baltimore Speakers Bureau” saved the best for last this year.
"Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together,
All things connect."
—Chief Seattle
To which I'd add
"Nature may be red in tooth and claw,
but it is not merely so."
—Sam Harris


At approximately 5:15 PM Eastern time, I saw a CNN TV news story that Iran had launched a huge wave of missile and drone attacks (hundreds of them) directly from Iran and aimed at Israel. It is now a bit after 8:30 PM, and many of them have been shot down, but a number have gotten through. Going to be a very bad night.

Rather puny outcome, given the more than 300 missiles and armed drones launched by Iran. Who'd they put in charge of this attack? Abdul the bin al MyPillow Guy? All jokes aside, expect more bad stuff in the wake of this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The U.S. White Nationalist Flea Market of Ideas.

 a.k.a. The “Claremont Institute”
On one level, the jokes just write themselves. However, this stuff is really not funny. Stay tuned for some serious fracking on this poignant, sorry motherlode of rhetorical fallacies and Incel-resonant White Male Victimhood pearl-clutching and indignantly harrumphing MEGO sophistry.
[Note: "The Claremont Institute" is not affiliated in any way with the SoCal Claremont Colleges. I called the school to confirm that.]
The movement now called MAGA has long existed in the American political bloodstream; fittingly, Trump’s companion motto, “America First,” originated in 1940 among isolationists at the outbreak of World War II. Across every iteration, this movement’s ideology was and is loosely defined by nationalism and traditional social values, fierce opposition to liberalism as a slippery slope to communism, and a tendency toward paranoia and conspiratorial thinking. For most of the postwar era, this worldview remained on the fringe of American politics—that is, unpersuasive to most Americans, and systematically frozen out by the two major parties. In contrast to the mainstream GOP, the fringe passionately opposed immigration and trade and rejected bipartisan compromise, even tolerating violence.

In spite of, or maybe because of, being so marginalized, a core tenet of this belief system was that its adherents were surely right, and most Americans surely agreed with them, if only their views could be heard—that America was inherently and immovably a right-of-center, conservative country, no matter how many times the voters said otherwise. This faction managed to persist and even grow despite the repeated electoral setbacks that befell its champions, from Barry Goldwater to Pat Buchanan. By the 2010s, with the rise of the Tea Party backlash to Barack Obama’s election, the coarser side of the American right was gaining strength but still decidedly an outside force pressuring the Republican Party. The movement lacked someone with the political talent, charisma, fame, or resources to popularize its ideology (as Ronald Reagan did for his sunny small-government conservatism)—until Trump. The America of Trump’s first inaugural—“this American carnage”—sounded shockingly dark to anyone not already steeped in the harsh pessimism that had long festered on the outer edge of the American right. To those who were, listening to Trump sounded like finally, for the first time, being recognized and represented.

Trump never missed an opportunity to use his presidential megaphone to elevate these views, from defending white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville to railing against “deep state” enemies. He both welcomed more people from the radical fringe into the Republican fold and at the same time mainstreamed their views to steadily radicalize the existing rank and file. In his final year in office, two genuine crises collided to radicalize millions more Republicans with astonishing speed. First, the pandemic upended all semblance of normalcy, injected politics into daily life, and fueled a spasm of conspiracy theories that presented attractive alternatives to experts asking for major sacrifices; suddenly, as government officials started exercising powers unseen in living memory, many Republicans found it a little less far-fetched, a little more credible, to believe that Democrats wanted to control their lives and take away their freedoms. Then, massive street demonstrations responding to the murder of George Floyd created an atmosphere of social upheaval, racial unrest, and, based on portrayals in right-wing media, rampant lawlessness and destruction. Trump’s campaign messaging rolled it all up—the “China virus” and the “thugs”—into a vast voter-fraud conspiracy arrayed against him and his supporters. The widespread misinformation about the virus and the protests primed Trump’s supporters to reject the result of the election. The names, dates, and places of the supposed theft, to the extent they were ever specified, were always changing and never really mattered. The essence of the stolen-election myth was the latest, biggest expression of insisting America must tilt right, that, as Trump would repeat at his rallies, “this nation does not belong to them, this nation belongs to you.”

Arnsdorf, Isaac (2024-04-08T23:58:59.000). Finish What We Started. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition. 
Click the cover page above.


I am an inveterate Rick Wilson fanboy. After a brain-numbing day of reading everything, I never wanted to know about the hatemongering AntiWoke non-cosmopolitan Stephen Miller, (See prior post; I finished the Miller bio) this provides a good respite, for me, anyway. Not that I totally, uncritically buy into all of this AI Gartner hype cycle.

More shortly…