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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

The GA GOP machine did in early January what the American upper middle class (and all higher income brackets) have done for quite some time now: Look after their own team (family/tribe) and their team's power--even if it's at the expense of everyone else. Once the culture of economic winners in this country embraces the "fuck it, I've got mine" attitude of decadent indifference, you don't have a country anymore, you have a rigged competition.

The truth is, this kind of economic sentiment has long been in the national DNA since at least Reagan. Conservatives ignored the four decades of growing wealth inequality while focusing on limiting the scope of government and taxation--especially for the rich. As soon as it was okay to help the rich cling to power through unlimited collection of wealth and unlimited pass-down of inheritance for their family's next generation, we were destined for dynasty-building and an end to the true meritocracy. That's how you end up with people more concerned with power than the nation's wellbeing ending up in charge of things: it enters their bloodstream through the decadence of unregulated capitalism. Once you've made that deal with yourself that power and money and importance--and maintaining it at all costs--is more important than what's best for the country, you get your Trumps and Bezos' and Musks running the country because they're the ones with the most power in a system where wealth IS power. We gave it to them on a silver platter through low taxes on wealth, unlimited inheritance, and an end to the meritocracy as it existed in theory. The players can buy aces from the dealers now. The game is rigged, and those who rigged it only care about maintaining their economic supremacy over everyone else and keeping it that way for their kids in the next generation of Americans. The Chicago School of Economics gave us the Trumps of the world, and the Trumps of the world gave us the anocracy we deserved for licking their boots so clean. Conservatives today get more upset about a trans kid having an unfair athletic advantage over their kids in sports than they do about rich kids having an unfair advantage over their kids *at life*. The rich trained the bootlickers well. Focus them on culture war shit while robbing them blind. The rungs on the economic ladder are growing further and further apart, and when they get far enough apart, people toward the bottom of it will eventually just break the ladder to get to those top rungs rather than trying to climb it, impossibly. That's how you get anocracy. That's how you get clientelism. That's how you get civil conflict. It's the same story as Rome's decline.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Travis, absolutely fucking spot on!

Excuse my language but I wanted to emphasize the point 😉

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Not you TC! ; )

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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022

Fall of Rome in a nutshell:

Rome conquers much of its enemies from 300 BCE-140 BCE. The wealth of these conquests go mostly to the warrior class in a society where you need to be a land-owner to serve in the military and participate in said conquests and collect spoils.

The economic inequality that results from the unequal distribution of conquest loot elevates the position of the "tribune of the plebes"--a district-level political position with out-sized veto power that gives the people control over the senate in some aspects. The Gracci Brothers--AOCs and Bernie Sanders' of their time--begin demanding more money for the renting class from the asset-holding class. The asset class doesn't much like this, so they assassinate the Gracci Brothers, which injects political violence into the wealth inequality fight. Political gangs begin to emerge.

Gaius Marius--a popular Roman consul and general--reforms the military to allow military service for non-land-owning Romans, as they will gain their new lands upon conquest (a short-sighted solution to the "not-enough-soldiers" problem). This essentially makes soldiers loyal to their generals as voters because the better campaigns their general got, the better the lands and spoils of their battles would be. Men went to war simply to elevate financial and political status in a society where that was increasingly difficult. Thus began the era of clientelism from both sides.

Political gangs and lawyers become increasingly important in politics for both physical and legal protection from the opposing party. As bloodshed increases, senators are eventually killed on the floor of the senate (bludgeoned to death with the tiles of the senate roof) when fighting between Saturninus' gangs and Marius' gangs spills into the upper-class and kills both of them. Pompei and Julius Caeser and Cratius get rich and rise to power in the background of this conflict, and step in to fill their successor's shoes as the most powerful generals and senators in short order.

Eventually the pact between Caesar, Pompei, and Cratius for power-sharing breaks down when Caesar's daughter--married to Pompei--dies, and thus severs blood ties between competitive political elites. They go to war with each other, and they take their base with them. Rome rapidly dissolves into anocracy and ceases to function as a Republic from that point forward. Pompei and Caesar are both killed.

The whole chain is set in motion with wealth inequality and economic and political winners trying to hold onto power, and taking the Republic down with them when they cannot. Sound familiar?

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founding

All correct, with a concommitant feature: from Marius to Sulla to Cataline to Caesar, you can trace the degradation of the Horation/Cincinnatian ideal. By the time of Caesar pretty much the only figure left who gave a damn about it was Cicero, and look what happened to him! That the ideal was never even close to being honored in practice to the extent it was believed in by the very people whose behavior destroyed it does not mean it was real and vital.

You mention the blood ties that failed and the result was breach of the peace between the contenders. When blood ties are all there is to keep the peace, that means civil bonds have dissolved.

In WWII Bush 1 showed up at the bridge -- not just him, but the bulk of the upper and middle crust. Downhill from there, his son in my generation ducked the contest and took advantage of his position to play with jet aircraft on weekends and have his teeth cleaned at public expense. At least he showed up for work occasionally and followed the admittedly corrupt rules by which to avoid the trouble and vexation of offshore military service. Some who opposed the war also answered the call in a different way -- honorably opposing it -- but most of us did not. Our moral outrage suddenly abated when the draft did. Now we have the Trumps and Greitens and all their ilk, who collectively can't boast even a remnant shred of Horatian principle. A nation of Catalines. And proud of being so. A sucker monument in Arlington is not for them.

I think all the dour killjoy moralists who over the centuries warn that wealth and luxury inevitably destroys public virtue have a point. America, another republican example.

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100%. Upper crust has no stake in the struggles of the nation anymore. The people I felt the worst for in the Late Republic were Cato & Cicero. Both loved the Republic deeply and tried their best to preserve it. All for nothing.

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founding

Two very different Romans, the new man and the oldest of the old. Both washed away by history.

In none of the history I've read do I find encouragement that republics endure for long. Caste systems endure, empires do fall but if they do not perish with civilization itself, merely engender successor empires.

Republics don't last because for a republic to prosper the parties contenting for pre-eminence need to want to govern, not rule. When they give up on the idea that governance is desirable, or conclude that it is no longer possible, they turn to the only alternative, which is striving to rule, for at that point it is rule or be ruled.

Time and history just ran out for Rome. And for Florence. And Venice. And now America.

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Very good synopsis of Republic to Empire to…..

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It's the shortened down Dan Carlin version if you will :-)

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Good synopsis, but a bit short to my recollection on the civil wars that wracked Rome for a generation or so before Julius's time. Primed the people to crave order even if it came from a tyrant. We have no such excuse. Yet.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

Funny, I was jsut thinking about Rome, in particular that Julius Caeser is said to have invented the virtue Magnanimity. Prior to him, it was straight ahead kill 'em all, burn everything and take the women. Caesar instead enlisted the defeated as allies. The reason I was thinking this is that I began thinking about the disgraced "Normals."

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"Ask not what the share-holders can do for you--ask what you can do for the share-holders" was always going to be our ticket onto this shit show of a train ride folks

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Seriously, I think this has been one of our biggest problems. It's not that I don't think investment is important, and I'd like to hear some economists weigh in on the problem. But it's hard not to feel like we're doing something wrong when a company's shareholders become more important than their customers. Once a company goes public, it's only a matter of time before they abandon any pretense of having any sort of ethics beyond a commitment to growing profit margins. It's why everyone wants to be your everything these days - and monopolies are becoming the norm. And we're all made to be complicit, because our retirement funds depend on the continued fattening of our stock portfolios. I feel like there has to be a better way to generate economic growth, even if I have no idea what it is.

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They used to run businesses on “three legs,” - customers, employees, stockholders. That model started disappearing in the 80s.

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Employees used to be considered company assets, even if their salaries were an expense against profit because of their contribution to the profit. At some point, companies and their shareholders began seeing employees as not only liabilities on the balance sheet, but actual liabilities. It might have contributes to the divergence between production and wages that started in the 1970s. https://economics.stackexchange.com/questions/15558/productivity-vs-real-earnings-in-the-us-what-happened-ca-1974

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That is soooo true. I remember reading articles about it from principled businessmen and some pundits about the change. I have talked about it with people since, but many accept it and say, " that's business". The problem is for democracy to work, there must be a feeling of responsibility to the public.

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In that order, I assume?

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The business of business is profitability or something like that.

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Of course. I just can't imagine running a business and constantly feeling like "I've got to get bigger!! BIGGER!!!" Isn't it healthier for a market to grow via more suppliers and greater competition, rather than having everything sucked into the dark mass of a single behemoth? When you're a public company, every successful quarter sets a new standard for what you have to accomplish the next time. Just listening to quarterly earnings presentations depresses me.

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My family's business was chugging along nicely. Then a magazine came by and wrote a very nice article about us. Overnight we had five times the number of clients, and had to hire more people. We learned that growth can lead to loss of quality, and mediocrity becomes acceptable. After a while, we cut back on clients through attrition, laid off the extra staff and returned to chugging along nicely. The concept of enough is unpopular.

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That's refreshing to hear. 😄

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laughing thru my tears...

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Another way you could summarize what you wrote is that they embraced the slogan, "America First" as meaning "Me First." Clearly, they were not concerned about all Americans. Furthermore, they derided anyone who understood the bankruptcy of the America First sentiment in a world that depends on international trade of raw materials, finished products, and labor. It is well-known that many Republicans depend on overseas labor (and illegal immigrant labor, too) while complaining about overseas labor in their pretend populism. Republicans have relentlessly redistributed wealth of the bottom 50% upward while deriding any efforts toward sustainable equilibrium as unacceptable redistribution of their wealth, and the base goes along because they see themselves as merely temporarily embarrassed millionaires whose ships will be coming in any day now.

Nick Hanauer, a self-described plutocrat, has been sounding the alarm for some time. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014/ His fellow plutocrats work very hard to aim the pitchforks at people with even less wealth and power than the pitchfork-bearers.

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Great article by Nick. Saving that one in my reading list to refer to again. Thanx

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

Well said Travis!

The game gets rigged everywhere power and money are involved. A case in point, Bloomberg ran a recent article highlighting a $5 billion no tax dividend paid to the brothers who own Chanel. It turns out payments from UK firms to other out of country firms, including "family offices", are not taxed and Cayman Islands have no tax on dividends. At the same time Britons are being asked to tighten their belts and forgo salary increases to help their economy.

It is great to see corrupt oligarchs getting their comeuppance, but I suspect greater inequity exists under the "legal" auspices of government policy bent to the will of the powerful and wealthy.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-06-10/chanel-owners-get-5-billion-in-dividends-as-sales-of-luxury-goods-boom

Brothers Behind Chanel Worth $90 Billion After Massive Windfall

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I have enjoyed your comments, Travis, in some cases as much as the piece being commented on. (And this was a really great one, Tim.)

Maybe I'm just being nosy, but I would love to hear what your background is and your field. I have guesses: a scholar of some kind, maybe a professor or researcher?

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He has already said that his military experience had a massive impact on his views. He might also be a voracious reader.

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I do read a lot :-)

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

I have known a lot of professors/scholars/researchers who don't know much because they do not read voraciously and widely.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 26, 2022

I was, and still am, just a dumb kid from Bayside, Queens tbh. I turned 15 the day before 9/11 and went to juvi about a month later and did a 2-year stretch there. I signed up for the Marines when I got out at 17 to go to Afghanistan in 2003 (lol). I ended up doing x3 tours in Iraq as a combat engineer across the years 2005-2008 instead, assigned to various infantry units to do explosives work and IED hunting for them in the Sunni Triangle. I got out and went back to NY in '08 just in time for the financial crisis to hit. I used the GI Bill at SUNY Maritime while working a security gig at 60 Wall St (where DJT's tax returns were no less) for four years, where I studied environmental science and did ROTC while also seeing the TARP bailout protests and Occupy Wall Street up close at the weekend security gig. I commissioned as a Naval officer and did oceanographic intelligence work for the Navy with respect to anti-submarine warfare from about 2014-2018, earning my MS during that time in geospatial information systems and analysis from Penn State's online program. Did a deployment to South America during that time and saw a lot of how fleet operations work. Got out in 2018 and took up work in Colorado as a cartographer, where I also learned how to cultivate cannabis at scale through an internship gig I had on the side. Nowadays I map water for the federal gov and do precision shooting and competitive pistol on the side. I also teach people how to grow cannabis on their own and have been working on a book to help future veterans for about a year now. That's my life/career and talent-set in a nutshell. I've lived in NYC, Charleston, SoCal, Mississippi, N Carolina, and now Denver. I ended up liking the mountains on the weekends.

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founding

What an impressive CV... so you have seen a lot and thought a lot. What do you think? Is there any hope that America -- I don't think we can accurately call it the "United" states any longer -- something like an electoral republic of laws not men? If you do -- how does that happen? Or is the question, how does an honorable person live in a dicatatorship?

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Jun 26, 2022·edited Jun 26, 2022

I tend to rest my hopes on the notions that:

- this country tends to pendulum back and forth between left/right rule, and that neither tend to stay in power long-term (barring successful J6 repeats) because most of the country doesn't like the full breadth of their policy positions

- while the loudest political nutjobs always make the news, there are 4-5 normies for every political nutjob, and the collective power of normies wins over extremists just about every time

- somebody overseas will eventually do something dumb and attack us, which will give us a national cause for unity

- even Trumpers are too decadent to *really* cut themselves off from that sweet- sweet state capital money (read: big city liberal money) that gets redistributed to the rurals on a state-by-state basis

- if all else fails, the liberal country that emerges from this mess will out-compete the conservative country that emerges in terms of economic productivity and globalized trade, which means you can buy a lot of imports to provide logistics against future domestic insurgencies indefinitely, whereas the insurgency will likely need to survive off of the land--something that can be targeted domestically with things as simple as targeting soil biomes via viruses that attack the soil's bacteria and fungal networks. Then they don't eat. Fire also comes in handy during long-term siege operations--which William T Sherman can tell you all about, especially if you target the local fire-fighting infrastructure first to prevent them from extinguishing the damage. Small towns are more vulnerable to siege works than large cities. Fewer ways in/out via vehicle and their logistical supplies are more vulnerable.

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I live in a sort of small town outlying suburb of a University town in Michigan. You probably have heard of it, it’s a football team with an institution of learning and research attached. My sub is moderate conservative upper middle class professional and went for Biden. and I am literally about 500 yards from the surrounding areas which are deep red, Trump flags, people with inflatable Trump lawn figures, and who drive around in pickup trucks decorated with belligerent MAGA signs and flying Trump and Gadsden flags. Not only that— punisher symbols, blue stripe fascist American flag images, and lots of gun imagery—such as the outline of Michigan (which resembles a mitten) holding a firearm.

These people spent a lot of time inT rump parades last election— trucks and boats and motorcycles, driving and sailing around like “wide awake” marchers in the 19th century, or Brownshirt rallies in Deutschland in the 20th.

They are armed. I expect to see them more and more even cruising in my neighborhood, showing their strength in shows of intimidation. If they turn from thus far performative assholery to actually brandishing and then using their weaponry I don’t see where it stops, or how we can turn it around. Because the other side wants the violence, and we just want to be left alone to enjoy our safe, upper decile, professional class nice life and our comfortable high incomes, high value big houses, and good schools and careers.

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founding

Nailed it. Absolutely nailed it.

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Jun 26, 2022·edited Jun 26, 2022

Maybe it's not so much "f-it, I've got mine" as f-it, that dream of one nation with liberty and justice for all is over, the tide of history can't be stopped, no one can swim against it, it's go along or drown; at some point the only thing to do is try to live as best you can with your head down -- and hope somehow the black ladas won't come for you or your family as long as you show you are not going to make waves. And if you can do it carefully, pick up some boodle yourself in the general looting. The Paul Ryan strategy.

I fear this has just started. What we are seeing is the American Cultural Revolution picking up speed. We even have Red Guards. And the only thing to do is stay out of trouble at all costs.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

There is truth in what you say; but the greatest enemy of meritocracy is now the extreme left. When I was young, CCNY was the Harvard of the working class; but it was just one of thousands of public schools throughout the country offering topnotch education to those who could achieve at that level. But meritocracy is now alleged to be racist; and these elite public schools have been destroyed by open enrollment.

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Wow!

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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022

I partially blame the shows "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" and "MTV Cribs" and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" for driving the multi-decade decadence sprees. Made being rich the goal of your efforts, not building a better society. Having the richest family. That become the cultural goal.

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Its tough to blame the media. They make whatever the people will watch. It always comes back to our personal responsibility.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

Just because you can does not mean you should. Personal accountability. Media is not excluded from this.

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Right of course. And most MLM do try to be responsible. The problem is when you have amoral (or utterly immoral) "persons" being "personally responsible" for the avalanche of propaganda on the right, like the Murdochs, Pere et Fils. (Not James though... he seems menschy).

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founding

When my wife and I set up our first checking account, I was stunned when I was offered a come-on for a vacation loan. Borrow money to GO ON VACATION! Beyond stupid. A nation of people borrowing money they don't have to do something that lasts until the morning dew evaporates by midday's sunshine -- and then being trained by a peccant culture deliberately contrived to make people want to do it again, and again, and again. That was decades ago. And it's only gone downhill from there. Now we have the internet and Facebook and social media -- the perfect delivery system for addicting people to stupidity.

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Jun 25, 2022·edited Jun 25, 2022

Started with infomercials imo. Beginning of the end.

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Knew he was a complete douche then and there

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All we need for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. Or worse become passively complicit. Hackneyed but true. Perhaps whats most astonishing is for a significant number of people to believe patently untrue, bizarre spins on reality eg the Italian lasers rigging voting machines for Biden. As a psychiatrist I am saddened by humans accepting bizarre delusions as gospel. However, history reveals there is nothing unusual about this. The complicity of the political class in this Merde is also both despicable and unsurprising. Now if we just give McConnell the Sudetenland we can assure peace in our time.

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founding

“The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” ― Plato, The Republic

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Of course you are correct. However, casting the actual vote is the most important. Almost makes me want to move to WI for the sole purpose of voting Ron Jon out.

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It would be a pleasure to piss off the Biggs man - but I’d prefer to piss on him. Think it’s time he found the best criminal defense lawyer he can afford.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

"From their perspective, the violence that Sterling had warned about was hypothetical—merely empty threats."

Man, these people are naive as fuck

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They're a little nervous about Eric Greitens though. Did you read Henry Oleson in WaPo? It's just TOO FAR now that they are menacing nice Republicans like himself.

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Like I said, naive

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What exactly is the socialism that's worse than Trump? The Democrats would be moderates in Europe, and the Republicans would be neo-nazis.

The Republicans literally demonized Obama as the anti-Christ because he thought that all Americans should be able to go to a doctor. That was pure evil to Republicans. There's no way Democrats can placate Republicans.

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Socialism means rich people will be less rich, and they've been demonizing it since the concept emerged, typically with divide and conquer tactics turning the have-slightly-mores against the have-less.

Humans are fairly emotionally fragile. To be born into wealth is to live with the nagging knowledge that it was unearned by merit, and rather than accepting this and working to prove merit, it's more common to rationalize innate class superiority. Nobility, social darwinism, etc.

After all in a level world they'd have to earn their distinction.

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Sweden is a hellhole. Haven’t you heard? If Trump gets into the WH again I might risk some “socialist” country tho.

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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022

A friend of mine who says he’s a libertarian knows an awful lot about Sweden for someone who’s never been there. Tells me rape is out of control there because…socialism.

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Your friend is badly misinformed. Two different occassions I lived in Sweden for a month or more.

Felt very safe as a young woman there.

You cannot seriously believe that socialism causes rape? And if your friend believes that, I would recommend broadening your social circle.

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Thanks for the advice. I work with him, so he's not a social friend, he's a work friend. I know he is misinformed, that was my point.

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The uneducated and incurious are the bane of reasonable people.

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The uneducated and incurious are easily fooled, which is why the Republicans are against public, secular education.

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🤣 oh those scary swedes!!!

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I fear you may be correct, Eric. I do not see how any of this can be made right without many years of violence, and possibly even the Civil War that the Right is striving to revive.

I'm beginning to believe they cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be placated, they cannot be trusted. They're more and more like rabid creatures. Out of their minds, and dangerous to society at large.

That said, we do not have time to save our Democratic Republic, because Climate Change is well and truly bearing down on us, making politics moot. Or so it seems to me.

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Not fast enough. There will.many years of environmental destruction before we get to that point.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

“It’s my hope that more can be nudged to do the same so we don’t catch the next threat to our democracy right in the chest.”

I hope so as well. Your efforts (and those of the rest of the Bulwark staff)contribute to turning the tide. Keep up the good work! You have this Centrist Democrat’s continuing support.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Thanks to Tim Miller's writing this week, I have been introduced to both the term "Fag Hag" and to the portmanteau "Manchinema". It has made a lousy week infinitely more amusing. That's all.

I'm going to be cracking up at Manchinema for at least another 72 hours.

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My favorite part of the week has been all the quotes coming out of the hearings. Eric Herschmann alone should do standup.

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Except for the fact that he defended Trump at his first impeachment. I wouldn't watch him wash his car.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

OMG. Tim, why did you leave Clarence out of the book? That seems so important; I hope there are other stories like that. Have you spoken to him lately and if so, what did he have to say?

Congrats, that's a huge accomplishment.

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Lots of other stories like that! It was my favorite part that didn’t make it glad i found a way to repurpose.

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Great read, Tim. Crenshaw is just one more lying POS... who'll equivocate and outright lie to get the job he wants... so he can wield his power over others. I'm pretty much hating all of them. Especially this morning and this scotus.

Nevertheless, you did a wonderful job exposing crenshaw's untrustworthiness.

Cannot WAIT to receive my copy of "Why We Did It", and am hoping it helps me understand my fellow Americans. And perhaps offer me a way to speak with them. As it stands, I have trouble talking to tRump followers because I cannot drum up any respect for them. Which makes conversation difficult at best. But your book looks amazing. I eagerly await its arrival (plus the gift copy I ordered for my adult son.) Keep up the great work TM.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Also, congrats on next week Tim! Can't wait to read the pre-order!

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Good piece, Tim! I especially like the “normals” part. But….”Roe news”isn’t gonna last just a few days. Now the gates of hell are gonna open into retro mindset of criminalizing contraceptive use, all LGBTQ rights, equal protection under law, womens’ right to vote, Medicare, etc and the start of brown shirts asking for your papers at the grocery store….I’m hyperventilating? I hope so. I’m gonna read your book for sure! (At least I think I will….) Keep up the good work!

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"People prefer to tell themselves stories that are convenient. We prefer stories in which the hardship was out of our hands. Where we did the best we could given the circumstances. Stories that center the trauma we overcame rather than the sacrifice we avoided."

And, sadly, those who suck at telling themselves self-serving narratives are likely to get steamrolled by life.

"Team Normal went about their business and convinced themselves that doing so was just the latest little sacrifice required by their career."

That way, the story gets to be about the sacrifice they made rather than the one they avoided.

Many people like to think of themselves as self-sacrificing, as if the choice were between making a sacrifice versus not making one, and often they're right in a sense. There was a sacrifice and they made it. See?!

That there's sacrifice either way, and making *a* sacrifice doesn't ensure you made the *right* sacrifice is a sadder, grimmer story. Not only harder to tell, but also harder for others to hear, even when it's more truthful.

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Really excellent observation midge.

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"And, sadly, those who suck at telling themselves self-serving narratives are likely to get steamrolled by life."

I thought I was a cynic, but I see I am a tyro. The conviction that the key to a fulfilling life is self-knowledge has been stood on its head and you see self-knowledge as an impediment. Are we to be philosophical enemies?

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To *really suck* at self-serving narratives isn't to see yourself as you are, but to find it difficult to interpret yourself with any charity whatsoever. It isn't impartiality. Rather, instead of bias in favor of yourself, it is bias in the other direction. It is doubt that any story where you come out looking good could possibly be true, even when it is. It is such a terrible way to live that it's no wonder humanity tends to be biased in the other direction.

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Jun 25, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Well. Tim, your piece is beautifully written, and I look forward to your book, which should arrive next week. I somehow found some hope and solace in your words , and those of the commenters. This is where I come when it all becomes too much to bear, and I find comfort knowing that there are still some “ fighting the good fight”. And yet…

I am currently sitting on the far southeast corner of a patio in a small cabin at 9000 feet in the mountains, hoping for enough service to finish this thought, while awaiting a huge thunderstorm late tonight. It seems appropriate to my mood. My little getaway got hijacked.

I keep thinking of words I heard a lot growing up- “America, love it or leave it!”. So, my husband and I are looking at leaving, and have been for awhile. There is little left to love, and the fight coming seems to be beyond my abilities. I can’t see myself shooting at my neighbors, although I do own a very nice 20 gauge shotgun, which I have enjoyed with clay pigeons and tin cans in the past. But against my rampaging neighbors? I think not. I am tired of driving past the “F … Biden “ banners and the rows of tattered , unlit , DISRESPECTED, American flags which used to stand for so much that was good and great in the world and in my heart. I am tired of “Boeberts in them thar hills” and Tina Peters in my local election office. And that is just local. Nationally…. I am so heartsick and weary beyond reason.

Can it get better? Are there enough of us to overcome the national frenzy toward self-destruction?

So, watching the lightning in the valley, the storm is getting closer. It’s been a long day. Time for bed. Maybe tomorrow will be rain washed, clean, and bright. Or maybe just more floods, mudslides, and forest fires. I guess we keep on keeping’ on, as my Mom used to say.

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Cindy, you painted a sad and beautiful word picture with this post.

My husband and I have started talking about emigrating. I've told our three adult kids that if they decide to emigrate, we'll do what we can to help them. Why would my daughter want to live in this country now?

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

There is something wrong with part of the populace. They have to win, no matter what. There can be no compromise. JVL references this attitude when he talks about youth sports.

Today's court decision shows that even there, their side has to win. As noted in the dissent, the majority could have said "whether a State may prevent a woman from obtaining an abortion when she and her doctor have determined it is a needed medical treatment." There can be no compromise.

And decisions like that are what it's all about. It's why people voted for Trump: he will get us the judges we need to overturn RvW. It's why people put up with Mitch McConnell. He is willing to destroy the Senate to make sure he gets judges on the court who will overturn RvW. No compromise. The belief that a woman cannot be trusted with her body is absolute.

And this philosophy has worked...at least until yesterday with the modest action on gun safety. It only took another classroom of kids dying to break through.

Unfortunately, the commitment to the win has not broken through with supporters of former President Trump. I was asked this week by a wonderful, educated, thoughtful Trump-supporter if even after all the evidence presented over the last two years, if I REALLY believe Biden won.

What.the.fuuuuuuuuck.

In a WaPo article about the right rallying against Eric Greitens, they noted that a PAC was trying messaging against him. His wife beating, affair, and bribery doesn't move the needle with Missourians. What works? Mentioning that he went to the 2008 Dem National Convention.

Spousal abuse, infidelity, and bribery are not disqualifying positions for Republicans anymore.

At some point, Democrats will realize they have been in a knife fight for 15 years. At some point after that, they might even learn to knife fight. But it will probably be too late.

All this and there are still just two major political parties.

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Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022

Thanks for the heads up. Your Trump-supporter friend has clearly become a first-in-class gaslighting expert, a technique that the more astute Trump-supporters have learned at the knee of their cult leader. We all need to recognize their tactics when they start spouting them.

If any of my (still) Trump supporting family and friends ask me, "if even after all the evidence presented..., I REALLY believe Biden won," I will now know to answer,

"Well, paraphrasing Rudy Guiliani, 'I haven't seen any evidence presented, but I've heard a lot of theories'."

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"Spousal abuse, infidelity, and bribery are not disqualifying positions."

In today's Republican Party they are considered qualifications as long as they invoke the name of Jesus to bless their mess.

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founding
Jun 24, 2022·edited Jun 24, 2022

I ask would them to provide you with evidence and sources so you could give it a deeper look. If the person is actually intelligent, they might find facts that cause cognitive dissonance at the very least. My own experience is friends from that camp “don’t have time” to look for credible sources.

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Excellent.

You could roll a grenade through MAGA world and not worry about blowing up a single hero.

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Jun 24, 2022Liked by Tim Miller

Tim, you are such a fabulous writer. Can't wait to read your book. Hope you're working on another one already!

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Stefanik is my rep. I’ve tried to figure for some time if she justifies her actions because she’s fighting incipient “socialism” or due to raw ambition or out of fear from people like those who threaten the lives of Kinzinger’s family.

It’s probably some combination of the three. I don’t care. I just want to see her burn in the history books next to Joe McCarthy.

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More the fear of constituents and avarice for power than the socialism angle I think, though it's a song they all have to sing.

They've gone so far down the hole defending the indefensible that if they let up for one minute and admit publicly that the opposition party isn't literal Satan incarnate then the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

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