Managers in corporate America tell employees that “Even though we achieved our goals last month/quarter/year, we need to do better.”
Sport coaches, fresh off a win, will tell their players “We can’t let up, we made some mistakes but we got the win. We have a lot to work on before the next game.”
And couples will tell their friends and therapists “We’re doing well, but like any couple we have keep working on things.”
The gist of each of the messages is this: Do not get complacent.
Complacency invites stagnation at work, loss of purpose in sports, and contempt in relationships.
And in politics complacency fuels the worst in many citizens who are anti-democratic people, beholden to foreign interests, and who support the worst ideals of opposition parties.
Think of the fascist actions of Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis and former president Donald Trump. Think of Fox News and other right-wing, white nationalist, and republican efforts in every state that fill your news feed.
We are watching Ron DeSantis tell Floridians they cannot say the word “Gay”, that schools and universities cannot teach Black History, that college professors can be stripped of tenure, and that school teachers can be fired for defying his orders.
We see Donald Trump escape charge after charge, ignore subpoenas, pay small fines, steal classified documents and refuse to return them, orchestrate a literal insurrection and remain free to hold rallies where he still denies he lost the 2020 presidential election. He confidently promises more violence during the next election, sides with Russia, China, Hungary, and other nations who wish harm to the United States, and tells everyone the proof of the corruption at the FBI, Secret Service, Capitol Police, is obvious because they won’t do what he tells them.
And he accuses the Biden Administration of hundreds of “crimes” which can loosely be described as: Not doing what he tells them to do.
And we get to see how Rupert Murdoch and Fox News hosts, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and others, admit under oath they lied on air during the election, that they knew they were lying, and that they knew that telling the truth to their millions of viewers — that Trump not only lost and was blown out would be bad for their revenues.
But even though they were forced to admit they were lying, we see how Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy gave Tucker Carlson exclusive and confidential video of the January 6th insurrection.
And what did Tucker the liar do with the footage? He and his team edited it and tried to show that the violent insurrectionists were “Just tourists visiting the Capitol.”
That’s right, the Fox News host who is regularly championed by Russia’s state TV is being allowed to push more lies and propaganda over the air with impunity all while the network is in an active lawsuit for… lying on air.
But it not only television and politics. We see it in corporate America as well.
Walgreens decided to stop selling birth control in states run by republicans after receiving a letter from republican senators and governor. Only after national outrage that was led by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom who said the state would no longer do business with Walgreens, did they tepidly begin to backtrack.
California to not do business with Walgreens over abortion pills issue, Governor says
March 6 (Reuters) – California will not do business with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O), state Governor Gavin…
We saw Marjorie Taylor-Green yell, scream, and act an entire fool at the State of the Union address by President Biden. And we are regularly subjected to evening news stories about her, Reps. Lauren Boebert, Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley, and Marsha Blackburn who all continue to deny President Biden won, call for civil war and for red states to leave the united states, among other inflammatory trash.
If you are a democrat seeing republicans running roughshod over precedence, law, rules, regulations, and social and political norms, you have to be alternatively frustrated, angry, exhausted, and pissed off.
And while Democrats can point to the Biden administration’s long list of success stories, legislation, and domestic and international relations, you can still be mad that republicans continue to work just as hard to make life miserable for all but a subset of their constituents.
They’ve focused their efforts “investigating” Hunter Biden, threatening to impeach President Biden, tweeting misogyny at V.P. Harris, supporting the NRA, threatening private businesses who provide coverage for abortions, restricting voting rights, banning books, threatening to shut down government, and generally doing whatever they can to actively harm Americans so voters can be mad at the president and vice president.
They have no policy agenda other than spreading hate, anger, fear, and lies.
But what republicans are good at is controlling social media news feeds, local television news stories, and major newspaper headlines.
Republicans control most of the media, and not just Fox News. CNN is conservative and their owner said they want to cater to conservative viewers, MSNBC goes so far left they criticize the president almost as much as CNN and Fox. The New York Times decided they needed to give more space for conservative views, and the social websites Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are each owned and run by conservative republican men who prioritize republican messaging across their platforms. And the ever popular TikTok is owned by China.
The old media criticism “The Liberal media” hasn’t been that way for decades, if ever.
It is natural to be upset and even angry. But where should the anger be directed?
Some will always blame democrats for what republicans do. No matter how hard democrats work to preserve democracy and keep the worst of republicans out of office or restrained in office, some in the media and public will always believe democrats should do “more.”
More fighting, more hearings, and more arrests of leaders of the insurrection.
When one party refuses to honor the rule of law, writes new laws to prevent people from voting, and even try to dismantle the democratic party (Florida), matching their energy is important.
Because failure to contain them will be devastating to every marginalized community.
We know that without the majority, democrats are limited in what they can do at the federal level. And in the states controlled by republicans, there’s even less they can do — at the moment.
That is why we see so many harmful policies and why it can seem democrats are losing even when they are winning.
The Biden/Harris administration is historically successful. But no matter how successful they are, they and the rest of the cabinet has to present a unified message like those that started this article: “We are doing good, but we know there are those still struggling, so we are going to continue to work hard over the next two years.”
Pep talks aren’t BREAKING NEWS but instead they lean towards boring and perfunctory and not exciting enough to break through into our national consciousness.
People who follow politics know what President Biden has accomplished, and they know the value of Vice President Kamala Harris — domestically and internationally where she has shined and is broadly respected.
They know the dynamic duo are perfect for the moment, and know they are the team to lead us even further away from the garbage dump that were the Trump years.
It is too bad that democrats, unlike republicans, also need a Public Relations team to consistently get their messages out and share their successes on cable and network news. But good news doesn’t sell as many ads as bad news so televised news is still all about fear, bad news, and attacks on the democratic party.
An informed electorate is good but an electorate that isn’t purposely misled is even better.So what are democratic voters to do?
It isn’t sexy or very exciting, but as the sports coaches like to remind their players: “We win by doing the fundamentals. By remembering our assignments and roles. And by communicating with and among each other, and trusting each other to do what we are trained to do.”
Translated: We need to vote, help register others to vote (if we are able), and communicate our efforts and success stories to one another.
That is how democrats win. By voting in large enough numbers to overcome gerrymandering, voting restrictions, and electorate apathy. There are more democrats in the nation, more people agree with democratic positions on healthcare, abortions, minimum wage, student loan relief, police accountability, preserving social security, school funding, corporate accountability, and support for international allies.
The key then is getting our voters out for every local election, school board election, district, state and of course, midterm and federal elections.
Excellent summary of the trauma we Democrats live with daily.
Your solution is perfect…register more Democrats.
Thank you for the much needed pep talk.