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This is a brief overview of a lengthy article currently posted at AlterNet. I was shocked and pleased to see it because I ask myself the same thing daily and am always thrilled to find out I'm not alone and I'm not off-base, despite some feedback I may get from time to time to the contrary.

Texas just bum-rushed an ugly anti-abortion law through despite large vocal protests but the Republicans won, like I (and others) knew they would.And then after the vote, the police attacked the crowd, beating women and tasing people.

Disagree if you wish, the democratic process in ALEC-controlled staes in hobbled; it is an old Trans Am up on bricks in the front yard. Standing around chanting "Shame" is a huge and ineffective waste of time.

It's a long piece so I'm just taking a couple of morsels and you will have to go read it yourself. Remember, I'm just the messenger - somebody else wrote this.

Crash the fancy orange gate.

The article is so long that the  4 paragraph excerpt is never going to do justice to it. I am excerpting the "why " passage. The article focuses on Media, the "Radical Rich", and other elements and then has a prescription for increasing awareness.

Let me make this clear, since some seem to be more focused on this than getting things done:

There. On with the show.

Why Are Americans So Passive?

The rest of the world is rioting in the face of massive inequality and injustice. Have we absorbed the oppressor's consciousness?


Wealth inequity and other economic injustices are the product of deliberate policy choices – in taxation, Social Security, health care, financial regulation, education, and a number of other policy areas.  So why aren’t Americans taking action?

The “change” theories Krugman mentioned don’t tell the whole story. For one thing, it’s not true that the lives of the majority are frozen in an ugly stasis. Conditions continue to become objectively worse for the great majority of Americans. But these ongoing changes – in actual wages, in employment, in social mobility and wealth equity – have received very little media attention or meaningful political debate.

It’s not that things aren’t changing. It’s that people don’t know they’re changing. And without that knowledge the public becomes a canary in a coalmine, only aware of its declining oxygen supply when it keels over and dies.

It’s an almost classic state of alienation, in which people may be acutely aware of their own increasing difficulties (although sometimes they can be numb to that as well) but experience them in a state of isolation. That turns the anger inward, leading to crippling reactions like guilt and despair. And repeated individual failures – failures made increasingly likely in a skewed system – lead to a sense of learned helplessness.

The article ends with proscriptions I find still greatly lacking, but the emphasis on increasing media coverage of reality and how it affects the Common Person is of huge importance. Many people all suffer the same thing but they feel they are mostly alone: They think most others aren't suffering as well. As indicated by my first sentence in this post, I was surprised to find I am not alone.

Wendy Davis and the Texas Anti-Abortion protests are a spark that needs to grow. The North Carolina "Moral Mondays" is an awesome vehicle for at least getting people out of their homes and in front of the capitol building to EXERCISE ttheir First Amendmet rights to



and - most important here


And dammit, grievances we got by the trainload.

Standing around chanting "shame" to shameless sociopaths intent on ramming their policies through despite your verbal disapproval is useless. You "can" do it, but you can also piss in the ocean for all the good it would do.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Encouraging more vigorous, sustained protests and finding other ways to actively bother and agitate the bastards is the way to go for those that just have nightmares about "violence".

And no - I am not encouraging violence. The article linked does not encourage violence. Stop with that already.

Police bring the violence. They brought violence to #OWS, they brought violence to Texas women on a HEALTHCARE ISSUE. They banned tampons.Then beat and tased people.

You cannot shame these people, so, really, find something uglier to say to them.

My 2 cents.

Go read the well-done article.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (192+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Habitat Vic, Desert Rose, One Pissed Off Liberal, Just Bob, Kristina40, WheninRome, Horace Boothroyd III, roseeriter, mint julep, coquiero, CitizenOfEarth, banjolele, PhilJD, flowerfarmer, mudslide, HCKAD, a2nite, bluesheep, Gowrie Gal, BOHICA, rmonroe, dkmich, la58, SpecialKinFlag, Shelley99, ask, bookwoman, karmsy, bobswern, caryltoo, triv33, dance you monster, Crider, leeleedee, arizonablue, Dreaming of Better Days, Darwinian Detrius, 420 forever, Blueslide, Richard Lyon, Leftcandid, artisan, wayoutinthestix, temptxan, PapaChach, claude, Jaime Frontero, zerelda, The Lone Apple, unfangus, dejavu, northsylvania, cactusgal, Meteor Blades, poco, rivercard, theKgirls, Mary Mike, sngmama, HeyMikey, Athenian, koNko, TracieLynn, anodnhajo, brainwave, Chirons apprentice, gooderservice, on the cusp, wdrath, randallt, Debs2, Lefty Coaster, gzodik, JSCram3254, Shockwave, lostinamerica, congenitalefty, SteelerGrrl, ActivistGuy, Matilda, Sysero, cosmic debris, createpeace, Mistral Wind, Joieau, maggiejean, Sam Hill, Words In Action, Azazello, dotsright, jck, Sailorben, pixxer, LaFeminista, Only Needs a Beat, Pescadero Bill, Texnance, monkeybrainpolitics, poliwrangler, BigAlinWashSt, FakeNews, RantNRaven, shaharazade, Cartoon Messiah, TheDuckManCometh, tardis10, gulfgal98, bruh1, detroitmechworks, Heavy Mettle, Einsteinia, Al Fondy, Kombema, kurious, Publius2008, liz dexic, leftykook, 3rdOption, Mr Robert, martini, countwebb, FloridaSNMOM, Medium Head Boy, Matt Z, SouthernLiberalinMD, jack 1966, Renee, Ohkwai, muddy boots, lotlizard, millwood, TealTerror, spiritplumber, oldpotsmuggler, Sun Tzu, akmk, Jollie Ollie Orange, bunsk, prfb, avsp, Democrats Ramshield, psnyder, turn blue, also mom of 5, asterkitty, Alumbrados, Sarahsaturn, BlueDragon, eru, betterdemsonly, tom 47, Ed in Montana, J M F, awhitestl, protectspice, blueoasis, Magnifico, enhydra lutris, greengemini, petulans, Brian B, ARS, EdSF, LucyandByron, blueoregon, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Simplify, Book of Hearts, antirove, dle2GA, dsb, ItsaMathJoke, Pat K California, WisePiper, skybluewater, 3goldens, magicsister, happy camper, reflectionsv37, George3, rbird, equern, mookins, chimene, Aaa T Tudeattack, poligirl, ChuckInReno, 207wickedgood, Yo Bubba, FarWestGirl, hwy70scientist, Anthony Page aka SecondComing
      •  its not new (8+ / 0-)

        not at all. then it cant be a good explanation for current apathy.

        the internet is more likely to be a factor in the current apathy.

        •  Look at Egypt or Turkey. (13+ / 0-)

          People here are convinced that banging a keyboard - without getting up every now and then to actually do something - is effective.  It isn't.

          That United Stasi of America diary illustrates a very effective use of physical activism and technology.

          It's the kind of thing we geeky American tinkers should excel at.

          It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

          by Jaime Frontero on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:19:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The United Stasi (0+ / 0-)

            of America is idiotic.  In East Germany there was no free speech, and if you wrote what we wrote here you would go to jail.

            The comparison is one that shows the person making it doesn;t have much idea who the Stasi were - and most Americans would rightly laugh at the comparison.

        •  3 reasons. 1 somewhat fixable. (23+ / 0-)

          We don't have mass protests in America for 3 reasons, 1 of which is somewhat fixable.

          1. It's not just Americans, it's everybody.

          In the face of terrifying dangers and golden political opportunities, people just keep on keeping on, in a sort of twilight sleep in which they are conscious of nothing except the daily round of work, family life, darts at the pub, exercising the dog, mowing the lawn, bringing home the beer, etc.

          George Orwell

          Conditions in places like Egypt and Turkey are bad enough to break through natural human apathy. Conditions in America just aren't that bad yet.

          2. It's less trouble to vote. Egypt and Turkey don't have long histories of democracy. Their people are not yet accustomed to the idea that they can change their government by voting. (And in Egypt at least, the constitution was not democratically created, it was imposed by non-democratic means--so even the elections result in officials whose powers are not necessarily legitimately defined.)

          But in America, we can register, read the intertubes to learn something about the issues, and vote. That's a lot easier than mounting a revolution--and most Americans can't even be troubled to do what we can easily do. Remember what a pimple on the ass of democracy Blue Dog Blanche Lincoln was? Watered down the stimulus, watered down the healthcare bill. Obviously the thing to do was replace her with a progressive. Well, progressive Bill Halter ran against her in 2010, took her to a runoff, in which less than 5% of the population of Arkansas turned out to vote for Halter, and only a few more turned out to vote for Lincoln, who then lost to an even bigger GOP asshole in November.

          When less than 5% of the population is paying enough attention to do the simple things they could do to improve the situation, no mass protest movement is in the cards.

          3. Somewhat fixable: learned helplessness.

          Learned helplessness is the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.[1] Organisms that have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behavior are defined as having acquired learned helplessness.

          This is the phenomenon that leads people to say things like, "Dubya and Al Gore are not really different, so I'm either voting Nader or not at all"; "I'm going to punish the Dems by voting Green or not voting"; etc. This is caused by, in truth, the Dems not being different enough from the GOP to get the attention of the ordinary people who are mainly paying attention to TV, the dog, beer, the Kardashians, etc. Wishing that the vast mass of humanity would change its basic nature is idiocy; a large % are never going to pay a lot of attention to politics unless things get as bad as Egypt.

          E.g., turnout was up in 2006 and 2008 because Dubya was extraordinarily awful, we had the worst economic crisis in 7 decades, Obama had a life story right out of Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces, etc. But then the Dems in 2009-10 merely stopped the hemorrhaging, without bringing much actual improvement--reinforcing learned helplessness. So in November 2010 turnout was back down to its usual meh level.

          In other words, the only way to drive up turnout, aside from waiting for a crisis every 70 years, is to stop reinforcing learned helplessness. Dems have to be more different than the GOP. This requires changing the behavior of only a few thousand politicians, certainly difficult, but more doable than changing the behavior of a hundred million citizens. Citizens are a random sample, but politicians are extremely non-random. Start fixing this by:

          * Fixing the filibuster.

          * Using the EPA to crack down on greenhouse gases, thus creating clean energy jobs, as I advocated 2 years ago.

          Hope that's enough to bring the Dems control of the House, Senate, and White House in 2014.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:02:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Conditions in Turkey (8+ / 0-)

            are not nearly as bad as many would think. The reason people are protesting there is because their parents and grandparents remember the days of Ataturk, and value their secular republic, and feel it slipping away. Our revolution is remote, and Americans feel "one and done".

            "Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes begging." - Luther

            by Cartoon Messiah on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:40:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I remember our secular democracy, too. Now... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr Robert, greengemini

              ... it's less and less democratic OR secular. We have as much reason as the Turks to revolt against the increasingly anti-democratic, illiberal, and (especially in some places -- like Texas) theocratic dominionist governance we're experiencing.

              So again: Whatever the opiates of the masses, and however powerful the propaganda and domestic police state surveillance and disruption mechanisms, the right wing is WINNING. WTF are we going to do about it, and will it be too late by the time we wake the fuck up?

              Because the Democratic Party appears increasingly not to be our salvation at the moment.

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:19:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Too pessimistic. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dirtandiron, Ed in Montana

                We're more at a stalemate, though even that takes maximum effort to maintain. What's outrageous is that Obama and Reid aren't doing everything they can to use our few hard-won advantages to best effect.

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:27:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, Obama and Reid are conservative Democrats (8+ / 0-)

                  who don't care all that much about pressing any advantages. Their agenda items are already more or less being enacted, and include the shrinking of the welfare state, and making their big money power brokers happy. They'll both land multi-million dollar speaking gigs and corporate advisory board spots after they leave office.

                  In other words, I dispute that they care all that much. They're not just weak; they don't care about the issues we think they do, and thus it's mostly kibuki theater.

                  Sorry to be so pessimistic. Wish I were wrong, but it's taken me a long time to figure out that we're being snookered by our "own" people and party. Now we just have to decide what to do about it.

                  "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

                  by Kombema on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Once you go this pessimistic (4+ / 0-)

                  you have your answer to the diarist's question. There's nothing that can be done, so people opt for passivity. Hopelessness doesn't breed action especially in a country as diverse and sprawling as ours.

                  Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

                  by anastasia p on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

                with this at all.  The Turks are nowhere close to as rich as this country is, even with all out problems.

                •  Of course not, but Turkey isn't Egypt, either (0+ / 0-)

                  Compared to other countries in the region, Turkey is quite rich and powerful. 10th largest military in the world, huge export market to ME nations, growing economy, strong and well educated middle class, etc.

                  "Superstition, idolatry, and hypocrisy have ample wages, but truth goes begging." - Luther

                  by Cartoon Messiah on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 11:02:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  In many cases, from what I have seen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            The Electoral College stops people in their tracks.

            As soon as they realize that their vote for president can be ignored by the Electors, they give up, not realizing that their votes for the other candidates really matter.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:04:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The White House (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Has requested EPA regional offices to submit a 2014-2015 budget 15% lower than the current sequester level. Whether for show or for real, this is incredibly stupid. So much for "climate leadership" from the White House.

            "I come close to despair because so many of the pieces of the country are broken, and when you see that, you have two choices: You can give up, or you can do something about it." Elizabeth Warren

            by Ed in Montana on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:39:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This doesn't explain 2012 turnout (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            nor does it mention that the drop in turnout was not unusual in 2010 - it was nearly identical to from 2006 to 2004.

            I repeat turnout in 2002, 2006 and 2010 were very similar.

            But the simply overwhelming truth is that the path to power runs through what is the electoral equivalent of the long march. In this I agree.   It takes a number of elections, and it means taking statehouses as well as Washington.  It took conservatives 16 years (1964 to 1980).

            Consider their losses - demolished in 64 by 20 points
            - Mounted a weak and late challenge for the nomination in 1968.
            - Did not mount a challenge in '72, and were destroyed in the election of '74

            And yet:
            - In 1976 they mount the second most successful primary challenge to a sitting President in this century.
            - They win the Presidency and the Senate in 1980

            You have to have stamina to take the long view.  There is no evidence liberals or the left know that yet IMHO>

        •  TV viewing still averages 4 hrs/day in the US (6+ / 0-)

          and television "news" continues to be the primary source of information for most Americans.

          The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

          by Azazello on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:05:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  wage slavery (17+ / 0-)

          I have a family that depends on my meager wages to survive and we all know how much harder it is for the unemployed now. I'm not going to any protest that will cost me my family's only means of survival. Threaten my meager wages or my family's survival and I'll think and act differently. I know there are plenty of Americans just like me- trying to keep their noses above the surface.
          I do believe that we should humiliate verbally these sorry sacks that perpetuate our current injustice every time they foolishly venture out into the public realm. Make them live in their bubbles, afraid to appear in public lest people start chanting about how depraved and sick they are. "Greedy asshole" might be a good chant but I'm certain more clever folks can come up with better, more humiliating monikers to stick to these SOB's.

        •  The Internet is organizing people (0+ / 0-)

          On the contrary, it's not making people passive, it's connecting them. At least the activists I know. Sometimes THIS place goes off the rails, obsessing about something like the non-breaking NSA spying non-scandal and losing sight of all the other threads we could be doing something about. But that's hardly representative of everybody out there.

          Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

          by anastasia p on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:56:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think the fantasy that some day you will (23+ / 0-)

        be rich too is the great opiate. People have been convinced that birth is not destiny in this country, though increasingly it is. Perhaps the WWII generation helped to bring that around - they "rode the greatest economic rocket ride in history" (I wish I could remember who said that) and many, many, many rose above the social and economic classes of their birth. The attitude that that is always possible, and it is your fault if you don't, seems to me to be a major contributor to the failure to condemn the robber barons of today.

      •  Yes, people watch t.v. and it tells them (13+ / 0-)
        1. Everyone is doing well, including fake polls
        2. No one agrees with their radical views
        3. Attempts at organized protest are shown in way that makes the attempts look pathetic and ineffectual
        4. NEW:  Dissent can be circumvented by the government/corporations who spy on EVERYTHING 24/7
        5. Persecuton of Truth-tellers
        6. Wanton disregard for Constitutional rights by the government
        7. Militarized police force
        If people spoke to their neighbors instead of relying on the t.v. to tell them what they think, they might not be so overwhelmed by 1-7 above.  
        The curtain separating the 99% in cattle class and the 1% first class is in reality very thin.

        Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

        by Einsteinia on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:17:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it's finally been perfected (31+ / 0-)

      Big screen TVs with 24/7 cable/satellite, laptops, tablets, smartphones - for the first time entertainment is always right there. This isn't the 'information age', it's the 'entertainment age'. but it's solo entertainment - in past times people would go out and gather together; but groups of people leads to trouble such as mob anger against the status quo.

      And of course there's so much cheap fast food available - hunger was always a driving force in revolutions. That problem has been mostly eliminated through cheap cheeseburgers, pizza, fried chicken etc.

      Sharks.... tornado...... SHARKNADO!!!

      by Fordmandalay on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:36:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And drugs. (16+ / 0-)

        They have a pill for everything!

        ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

        by Kristina40 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:37:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but it's not just entertainment, it's actual (10+ / 0-)

        addiction.  Every Like, every comment, every checking for an email or a text or a tweet, every hitting of a button or key to change the screen gives a little jolt of neuropeptide that feels good, over & over.  

        One result is that there's very little "public" left, just an audience.  Everything's private and many feel uncomfortable in social or group situations with people they don't already know.  What we like to call "interconnected' sometimes seems more like millions of separate individuals nursing on the nipples of the telecom organisms.  

        So we sit & type & "share" & opinionate, & almost never go out to form a crowd or mob or movement.

        Gotta put this thing down myself, now.

        •  Other countries are connected too, though. (10+ / 0-)

          It's not like they don't have the internet or online social networks in Egypt or Brazil; every major protest or uprising in the past decade has used those networks and message boards to organize in real time.

          They have television in those countries too.

          So "we're on the internet" or "we watch a lot of TV" is an insufficient answer to the question of "why there and not here?"

          "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

          by JamesGG on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:08:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The US is always 'first', doncha know? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greengemini, hooper

            If you want to go back to the beginning, blame Henry Ford. With the advent of the cheap family automobile, Americans began to isolate themselves from others and the natural world, used less physical energy to get around, and started the consumer movement. It's a lot easier to demonstrate if you don't have to find a parking place first  :)

            Hopefully, the rest of the world will be slow in catching up.

            Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. -susan ertz

            by graycat13 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:47:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  We have a very high degree and very long history (16+ / 0-)

            (relatively speaking, who among us can remember the hardships of the Great Depression?) of comfort.

            Americans for the most part are comfortable. It's not just the TV, it's that we're watching them in relative comfort. It's not the internet, it's that we have leisure time to 'surf' the web.

            Most Americans have a job. Most Americans have a fairly secure, climate controlled living quarters. Most Americans have ready and easy access to food. Most Americans have bountiful sources of entertainment. Why would most Americans risk loosing that to protest the obvious corruption and injustice that only appears to affect other people?

            On the other hand many people in many other countries have experienced discomfort and pain, hunger and strife. They've seen people and loved ones disappeared by government thugs, and have literally had to bribe their way out of false charges the corruption is so overt. Their comfort level is always threatened and at risk. Discomfort is almost nothing new to them.

            The closest we Americans have come to any form of  discomfort, even just the threat of it, was the crash of 2007 - 2008. And that's when enough of us got together, worked hard for, and voted in "change".

            Now many Americans feel we're back to relative security and comfort (just look at that Stock Market!) despite knowing nothing much has changed.

            It's the comfort level stupid (no offence meant). Take that away, or even just present Americans with the prospect of discomfort, and the protests will begin.

            I've always held the opinion that this comfort, or discomfort level can be expressed in terms of unemployment. If it starts to reach into double digits then America has reached what one might call Discomfort Level 1. If it goes into the high teens, I'd say we're into Discomfort Level 2. If things get so bad we reach unemployment figures in the 20s, then we've reached Discomfort Level 3 - the level on which revolutionary forces start to truly kick in.

            So long as the Plutocracy can balance that comfort level, they've got a majority of Americans right where they want them - passively comfortable.

            "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

            by Pescadero Bill on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:16:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agree. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greengemini, Pescadero Bill

              If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

              by Desert Rose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:59:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think you have nailed it (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              greengemini, Pescadero Bill

              Most people just want to live their lives in peace, without too much pain and suffering. Why shouldn't they?

              After all, life is short, and giving up your life so others can have better lives is not that attractive to many.

              In fact, those that spend all their time amassing wealth and power are not necessarily the happiest people, obviously. If they were, they wouldn't have that drive to do that.

              That being said, the more pain and suffering that is caused, the more people will do something.

              Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

              by splashy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:12:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Another factor. We have been manipulated into (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            thinking that cool people don't do politics.  Many Americans like to present themselves as "above" that messy stuff.  Caring is uncool.

            I agree about the comfort aspect, but it doesn't fully explain why the unemployed or the discarded or the young don't get active.  And what about those 60s?  We were pretty economically comfortable then, but millions joined in anyway.

            The draft was a big motivator then, as climate is getting to be today.  

            •  IMHO the draft WAS the issue (0+ / 0-)

              People had "skin in the game".  The reason W. didn't have those problems was there was no draft, not to mention no tax increase to pay for it.

              It was someone else's war.  Even the bodies were hidden from view.  He learned from Vietnam, the American people didn't.

              Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

              by AppleP on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:14:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Draft was a v.big issue, but not the only big one. (0+ / 0-)

                The churches were against the war, and a lot of elders got involved, not subject to the draft.  And we didn't get attacked at home, and there was Cronkite, etc, instead of Fox.  Plus it was cool to rebel at that time.  Now it's cool to have a trndeydevice or    Today we sit home with our devices.

      •  The Entertainment Age (0+ / 0-)

        Well phrased.

        This isn't the 'information age', it's the 'entertainment age'. but it's solo entertainment -
        An additional aspect of television (and to a lesser extent radio) is the intimacy of the medium.

        We go out of our homes and make an effort to attend concerts, plays, sporting events, whatever.

        We also tend to discuss what we have just seen together as we leave the venue, listening to other opinions and points of view. (Actually, this is one of my favorite parts fo seeing live theater - the "Third Act", when we all got to a coffee shop and discuss what we've just seen)

        We bring television right into our homes, our "safe places", even into our bedrooms. Therefor, we tend to not only feel an enhanced familiarity with the characters we see in fictional television, but we are predisposed to believe the punditry because, well, they wouldn't Dare lie to us in our own homes now would they?

        (for many people talk radio operates in the same manner, though many, if not most, listeners bring that medium into their cars)

        We also don't have others to talk to who may disagree, point out inconsistencies, etc.

        "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins - Political Compass sez: -8.25, -7.90

        by ARS on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 01:44:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That and the freedom to (7+ / 0-)

      consume in general.

      "I consume, therefore I am content."

      Optimism is when you shut your lyin' eyes. ☮ ♥ ☺
      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

      by Words In Action on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Zimmerman trail is ending (4+ / 0-)

      The George Zimmerman trial is ending.

      Some fear that with the end of the trial, Americans will pay more attention to inequality of wealth and opportunity, domestic spying, or how law-makers view tax-paying citizens as the enemy.

      But don't worry: the trial of Ariel Castro (Ohio kidnapper) will begin shortly.  Charged with over 900 crimes, including kidnapping and rape of young girls, this should provide the necessary distraction for some time to come.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:58:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  40% of American adults are obese (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from Bud, TV, couches, and bad food. They are not choosing otherwise, and vote to keep this status quo.

      "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

      by awhitestl on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:24:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary. (25+ / 0-)

    My diary yesterday touches on a big reason for the passivity. They're drugged by those that repress them for the depression that is caused by the repression. The entire system is rotten to the core.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:25:28 AM PDT

  •  The Role of Media is to Speak the Truth of Owners (51+ / 0-)

    against the people. There's no other role a corporate press, sponsored by corporations, Constitutionally freed from checks and balances, can play.

    As for people being passive, we have no history of a full spectrum of Americans agitating or protesting for anything. All we have is specific subgroups such as factory workers or Blacks or women who have at times mobilized to address their particular grievances, to try to bring narrow injustices in line with conditions of greater good.

    But we don't have a history of facing an entire power structure public and private that is against all the people in principle, which we face today, with no sympathetic forces we can leverage. Even the colonists lived in an economy they mostly owned, and had sympathetic local & regional government.

    Nobody has clue 1 about what to do here and now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:29:49 AM PDT

  •  Too many are either apathetic or true believers (14+ / 0-)

    There are only two viable parties and most people are true believers in one or the other.

    For the true believers, they are either in power or out. If out, you know they're day will come. Everyone else has lost faith in both parties and don't believe they can bring about change so they don't try. Worse, they don't pay any attention at all.

    I'm old and feeble. I think I'll just leave it to the younger generations. The kids are alright.

    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

    by Just Bob on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:30:07 AM PDT

  •  It's the victory of propaganda. (51+ / 0-)

    You see it everywhere, even here. The failure to respond with vigor and righteous outrage are what will kill us in the end. Plutocrats raping the earth, murdering the planet? Reach for the remote. Or think of ten reasons why it's okay. I see it everyday at daily kos. Even many of the smartest people are completely bamboozled and bowled over by the pro-system propaganda that permeates our polluted culture. It effectively robs us of our will to resist. If we don't wise up and rise up, it will be the end of us all.

  •  This is just the usual song-and-dance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, fou, emelyn

    bemoaning a problem in vague, general terms without having any real ideas about how to deal with it.

    Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

    by Troubadour on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:37:07 AM PDT

  •  Divide and conquer (23+ / 0-)

    This is the goal of the wealthy. Preventing the unification of the low and middle classes is their number one priority, because if we ever did come together against them, it would not be pretty. They know they have an excellent scam going on here and they will do everything they can to protect it, and if that means outright lying through the media or buying politicians to drive social wedge issues (like abortion) to distract from economic issues, they are all in.

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:39:56 AM PDT

  •  Propaganda is one reason (13+ / 0-)

    maybe the only reason.
    people are brain washed thinking  the bad situation they're in is their own fault.
    brain washed in to thinking voting for the 'lesser evil' will bring change.

    I'm not into violence, but I think a small riot would do wonders to open the eyes of our politicians.  The violence of the police frightens a lot of people from going into the streets and voicing their frustration.

    I came of age in the 60's and had my share of violence directed at me by police, but I came back for more, because I had to. Looking at Tx I feel we're going backwards. It's like a bad flashback! I've been there! Same fight different day!

    Flash mobs might do it. That way they can't put us in cages. And bring some rotten produce. :)

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:45:28 AM PDT

    •  Can't change others; you can only change yourself. (7+ / 0-)

      It starts so innocently, with reasonable-sounding phrases like that. Designed to keep us from stressing ourselves out, beating our heads against the wall. Our passivity is framed as a choice we'd better make, for our emotional health.

      We may or may not have internalized the oppressor's consciousness. But we HAVE internalized decades of ideas about what makes a person psychologically healthy. And curiously, that portrait just happens a person who calmly and happily goes along with the status quo.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:27:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We are divided. (9+ / 0-)

    The popular position on economic issues tends to be the progressive position.  So, the rich divide the rest of us on race and gender and offers large swaths of organized religion a say in national and state governance as long as they preach what ownership wants on economic issues.  

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:47:17 AM PDT

  •  They've been taught that their troubles (27+ / 0-)

    are their own fault, due to their alleged laziness, stupidity and worthlessness. This is further reinforced in church, the greatest source of shame, self-loathing and the adulation of arbitrary power in history. So they turn to tv, food, drugs, alcohol, hobbies, distractions--anything but the real source of their troubles.

    Americans are probably the least politically aware, and self-aware, people in the developed world. Possible the undeveloped world too. They know that something is terribly wrong but they're clueless as to what it is.

    It's them!
    It's the blacks!
    It's the Latinos!
    It's the gays!
    It's the Jews!
    It's the terrorists!
    It's the godless!
    It's them damn Yankees!

    No, it's the sociopathic rich and their political stooges. Not all the rich. Just the sociopaths, and their weak and stupid Nth generation rich scion allies.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:57:36 AM PDT

    •  What "personal responsibility" REALLY means (7+ / 0-)

      Blame yourself. You're the only one you can change, after all. Don't try to change the world. It will only stress you out.
      And stress is bad for your health. It will shorten your life span by as much as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

      I think a desire to avoid stress-- made imperative by our health authorities and medical media-- is a more powerful factor in our passivity than we think. We don't linger on with a pattern of behavior for this long if it was making us feel all bad. In other words, Americans are passive because, on some level, passivity feels good.

      Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

      by Lucy Montrose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:35:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What good rich? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nosotros no somos estúpidos

      by a2nite on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:44:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The deteriorating condition of the american people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      cannot continue forever.
      We are not doomed, perhaps change will not come in my lifetime, but for those who have less than my 63 years behind them; I hope for someone in the future who can roll back the false facade of freedom, and convince americans that they have been and are being totally fucked.
      We need a Ghandi, or another Martin Luther King Jr., and a free media.

      ...sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport,whereas Virtue, if a pauper is stopped at all frontiers. from The Sermon, Moby Dick

      by jts327 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:42:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Red Team & Blue Team are the Same Team (16+ / 0-)

    They have sucessfully divided the people along social issue boundaries. Reptards pander to the whackos (IMO) -- rascists, homophobes, gun-nuts, anti-govt ideologes, etc.

    But both parties are corrupt corporate puppets. The historic and widening wealth gap is no accident. It didn't just happen because honest politicians made stupid errors. It happened because corrupt politicians rigged the system.

    So they have us fighting each other. Blue t-shirt against Red t-shirt. But it makes little difference who wins.

    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:00:51 AM PDT

    •  Not the "their all the same" crap again. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ExpatGirl, cactusgal, leftykook, emelyn

      This is one problem progressives have that Tea baggers don't.  Our extreme wing pushes the Oligarch propaganda of "their all the same", which certainly dampens enthusiasm on the left.  Many blue dog Dems in congress certainly need to be shook up about who they're working for, but the "their all the same" lefties are on par with global warming denialists on the right.  

      Once the Republicans take control, they corrupt the process to prevent the Dems from changing things, even if they get power.  Look around at Wis. Ohio. the Supreme Court...  They've changed the rules and the Dems have to work within those rules, and it's very hard to change those rules back, CITIZENS UNITED!

      The Oligarchs just love to see the lefties throw up their hands and say "they're all the same" and discourage any resistance, and even sit out the next election.

  •  Didn't you get the memo? (14+ / 0-)
    It is the absolute right of the State Newscorp to supervise the formation of public opinion.
    --Joseph Goebbels Rupert Murdoch

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:13:12 AM PDT

  •  The last time I was in Europe, they still (20+ / 0-)

    had real news.  

    It's been discussed ad nausea, but the news in the US is focused on celebrity worship and propaganda here.  Americans in general don't seem to want to know the truth.

    Go look around here.  You can't even discuss an article from a mainstream German paper without being insulted.  And Der Spiegel is not even a hard hitting news source.  Some of us want to be shielded from the truth.

  •  I believe a core problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusgal, GussieFN

    is a deep-seated sense of futility in the progressive consciousness. Progressive defeatism manifests itself in all-or-nothing thinking (no sense of playing for the long term), in bitter factional wars within the movement, and in "lame" (in terms of overall mood of the protesters) protests that everybody knows will "never accomplish anything."

    Yeah, we've really been kicked around here for a few decades. But our star is rising again.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:34:19 AM PDT

  •  Public apathy has long been the goal (7+ / 0-)

    of our ruling class, and they're pretty much there.

    The rabble is kept both apathetic and fearful by repeated demonstrations of their utter powerlessness in the face of implacable Authority -- such as just happened in Texas. Those ladies and their supporters could scream and carry on all they wanted; they could not win against their implacable foe, however. Nope.

    Any more than the people who rose up in Wisconsin could win.

    Or Occupy could win.

    As these demonstrations of the powerlessness of the rabble pile up, apathy is inevitable. Foregone. It's not because of teevee or other drugs; turning to them is a reaction to powerlessness rather than the cause.

    Even those who get actively involved in government quickly find out they must toe a very fine line if they expect to get anywhere or accomplish anything at all.

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:35:30 AM PDT

    •  OCCUPY is the single best answer. (4+ / 0-)

      OCCUPY all ALEC-controlled Statehouses

      OCCUPY DC.

      My best suggestions.

      •  Seriously. What do you mean Occupy all (4+ / 0-)

        ALEX controlled statehouses?  Do you mean continue to get arrested.  Because that is already happening in NC.  No passivity there then.  Or do you mean occupy them by voting out the bad ones?  It just seems like a slogan with no real meaning unless you say what you think people should do AND how you think that will change something.  Because other than bringing attention to the problem in NC, which is an excellent thing, protesting at the ALEC-controlled NC statehouse hasn't stopped them one minute.  The attention that is being focused on the ALEC-controlled legislation is fantastic.  But ultimately the goal is to vote them out.  So in stead of OCCUPY do you mean vote?  Or do you just mean protest with no goal at all other than disruption or attention?

        "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

        by stellaluna on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:08:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is true (5+ / 0-)
          Because other than bringing attention to the problem in NC, which is an excellent thing, protesting at the ALEC-controlled NC statehouse hasn't stopped them one minute.
          Voting hasn't helped either.

          Plus it hasn't been sustained long enough

          This is a fight where we are CONSTANTLY admonished to not even look like we have thought of "violence" ever ever ever.

          So it has to be sustained for a long long time.

          Many will say "That's not feasible" and that may be.

          What ARE we left with?

          We're pretty well fucked.

          Waiting to vote every 2 years is simply putting up with being fucked, and I am unsure how else to present it, other than to suggest voting got us where we are.

          But Im not suggesting violence. I feel I have to say that repeatedly.

          •  I think your point is a good one. But voting in (5+ / 0-)

            and of itself is not the problem.  Nor is our political system.  In theory our system works.  What we need is awareness.  Awareness of what is being do to and and for us in our name.  We need to find a way to make people understand how they are being manipulated to ignore what is being done to them.  Violence won't accomplish that.  Nor will mass protest.  Unless people understand the root of their misery violence will just be violence and protest will just be for the benefit of protesters.  But the education we need to do has been held in the control of what has for so long been called "the media".  The media no longer educates people about the source of their misery.  In fact it deflects it.  That's why misunderstood protest with violence is so counterproductive to a cause.  Because it allows the media and the powers that be to immediately characterize and discredit the protest.  Real education of the people about their condition has to occur somewhere.  In NC the Moral Monday protests are doing that.  Will it be enough?  Don't know yet.  But they are frightened.  There is now talk about the legislature hurting the NC economy and the reputation of the State.  Talk in the mainstream media.  That can make a difference.  

            "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

            by stellaluna on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:23:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Passivity as a stress relief tool? (5+ / 0-)

    I REALLY think we all need to look more closely at the "stress is bad for your health" meme, and what following it really entails in our everyday lives. What do we DO to relieve stress? What actions do we take?

    Remember, racism is, at base, about feeling uncomfortable around people of color. What just happened in Texas is an extreme statement of men feeling discomfort around women.

    Have we become so dedicated to avoiding stress, to seeking comfort-- for our health and happiness mind you-- that we have become smiley-faced monsters?

    Real Democrats don't abandon the middle class. --John Kerry

    by Lucy Montrose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:36:27 AM PDT

    •  Law of diminishing returns (5+ / 0-)

      There is a point at which stress is motivating and a point at which it becomes debilitating.

      The Rich have worked to make our stress debilitating.

      Austerity is a huge spike in our coffin.

      •  Austerity in the U.S. is nothing more than (6+ / 0-)

        a method used to bring about a coup de etat. The obviousness of that coup being drowned out in a cacophony of nonsensical, continuous appeals to the Constitution and the founding fathers by republicans and Reagan worshipping, flag waving bullshit artists.

        Factually, for a county that produces its own currency, has the largest economy in the world and is the most wealthy, austerity is not the first choice of problem solving that comes to mind in any rational thinking human. There is a purposeful deeducation in America of how the U.S. government, taxes and money works.

        Tea baggers will believe anything they're told from the Koch machine. Fence sitting, coffee drinking everyday Americans will believe anything the "news" tells them or Wall Street vomits out of its rancid sewer. There has been far too much conditioning of the populace to believe that Wall Street is the end all be all of everything in the U.S. and therefore, there is simply no way around it: if something fails on Wall Street, then we're all cooking rats on a stick under a bridge. The inundation of misleading information continues thusly:

        "Our government is $17 trillion dollars in debt and going broke. The federal government is like a house: when you're deep in debit you can't keep spending! If the government keeps spending on unnecessary things that are unconstitutional, we're all gonna die, die DIE I tell you! Wall Street will collapse!"

        Bullshit! Wall Street is nothing more than a spoiled child: when it hears something it doesn't like, it threatens to break everything in the house until it gets its way. But I digress...

        So, ladies and gentlemen, we need to be austere, say the corporate thugs and the republicans. But what they DON'T say is that they're gonna implement austerity by use of the sequester for the sole purpose of pushing their far-right economic political ideology into reality, without having to pass legislation to do it - and blame it on everyone else.

        Think about it for a moment: what's been cut without a single stroke of a pen? LIHEAP, Head Start, public defenders, national parks, public housing, SNAP, federal employees, cancer clinics, on and on. Yes, also the military, but see, that is short lived and there's a plan come September:

        "President Obama has a choice: increase military spending and pay for it through deep cuts or privatization of Social Security and Medicare, or we're shutting the government down!"

        And they will continue to obstruct and obstruct and obstruct until the next election in 2014 to keep the cuts going. Somewhere in their deluded, criminal minds they reason that they will keep the House and gain more in the Senate. Once that's done, they have a "mandate frum Amurika" for their facist economic platform.

        When one looks at things from this angle, it demonstrates why they are busy with vaginas and other useless pieces of legislation, dragging their feet with immigration, dragging their feet fixing the voting rights act and not jobs.

        "Why aren't the republicans focusing on jobs?", people ask. They did already. You don't get any until they gain a mandate. They know if they allow democratic legislation through it will be nearly impossible to overturn when they do gain power.

        Meanwhile, the Koch brothers hold regular strategy sessions with top republicans....

        Gotta keep telling Americans we must be austere. I mean, just look how successful austerity has been:

        Citizens United: total austerity.

        Corporations and lobbyists will spend billions on the 2014 elections: real austere.

        CEO's make 1000 times the wage of the working man and woman, spending it on million dollar renovations to their $30 million dollar homes. Honest to goodness, good ole U.S. of A. austerity.

        Banksters lining their pockets and sailing their yachts with welfare checks from the government: austerity galore!

        "But, we're talking austerity for government.", they will say.

        Oh right, governmental austerity like this:

        You can find $185 billion for corporate farmers but nothing for SNAP? Very austere.

        You can find trillions to kill people in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not for universal health care. The austerity blindeth me!

        You can find a trillion to bail out Wall Street, but not for unemployment or a job guarantee. My god! Such spartan-like austerity!

        You can find billions to fund corporate expansion, but nothing for the infrastructure. That austerity is saving us a fortune, innit?

        You can find any amount of money to fund a plutocracy, but not for democracy! Oh, austerity! Gentle, kind and merciful austerity: I am not worthy to lick the bullshit from thy boots!

        And from their lazy-boy thrones, average Joe American looks up during a commercial break from American Idol and says: "Yeah, but what can I do about it?"

        I call bullshit on the whole thing!

    •  It's part of the modern expectation that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy Montrose

      constant happiness is the ultimate good. It's a recipe for civic disaster, especially since it's been conflated with consumption.

      Optimism is when you shut your lyin' eyes. ☮ ♥ ☺
      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

      by Words In Action on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:45:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People are the most active in two situations... (18+ / 0-)

    ...when they are secure enough to take the risk, or when they have nothing left to lose.

    Heading out to the streets is always a risk.  For one thing (probably the most important thing), you have to leave work to do it.  Taking off from work to engage in political activity can lead to you losing your job, either out of outright retaliation, or just because you alienate co-workers who disagree with you.  So generally, people who are active either are not worried about losing their job, or have no job to lose.

    Thom Hartmann once explained on his show how the activism of the 60's was driven by a strong job market.  People weren't worried about losing their jobs, because finding a new one wasn't difficult.  That gave them the freedom to take time off and march.

    But it's different today.  We've been in a situation for a long time now where most of us have jobs, but fear that we might not be able to replace them if we lost them.  Nothing is better at keeping people quiet than that.

    All is not lost, however.  In a sick case of "bad news might be good news", if Republican politicians continue to do nothing to increase employment, the ranks of the hopeless will continue to swell until they reach a critical mass.  And if that happens, Egypt and Brazil ain't gonna have nothin' on us.


  •  I believe in civil disobedeance (10+ / 0-)

    and non violent forms of protest. But there will undoubtedly be violence. It is already being perpetrated by the right with their knee jerk, fascist tendencies.

    Something that would be very helpful is for our POTUS to take the civil, bi-partisan gloves off and get after this fight. There will be no working with Republicans and their Tea Party douche-baggery. More executive orders, more investigations into right wing hate groups, more questioning the tax exempt status of "churches" and other political organizations, more Presidential vetoing rhetoric of stupid waste of time House legislation etc.

    This is war. It's a war that can be fought peacefully, but make no mistake, it is war. Frankly, right now, we are getting our asses kicked.

    I keep hearing people say, ohhhh, there is no way the Republicans will win the next election. They are not electable...Really??? This country re-elected George W Bush. Gerrymandering of congressional districts insures House obstruction. Falling back on election results is a recipe for more backwards governance.

    -7.5 -7.28, A carrot is as close as a rabbit gets to a diamond.-Don Van Vliet

    by Blueslide on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:57:57 AM PDT

  •  The 1950s were a time of repression (6+ / 0-)

    and conformity. There was major rebellion and push back in the 60s. Since then we have had a steady drift toward passivity. It is not unique to the US. Similar trends have happened in Europe. I think that there are many factors involved, but the corporate and governmental elite are definitely doing their best to exploit the situation. They have acquired control of the media and have developed much more sophisticated marketing techniques for manipulating public opinion.

  •  We're lazy. We expect to get good (5+ / 0-)

    government without organizing or working for it.  We think stern emails or blog posts are activism so we don't groom the next generation of public servants in our counties or states.  We're busy making a living so we don't register voters or talk to our neighbors about issues that affect all of us.  We don't show up for every election, just the sexy ones.  We grouse and complain about compromise and decide it's hopeless so we get less active in the game.  

    We also forget our successes and don't work to make sure they're not neutered down the line.  

    We're the people who created this mess and finding a scapegoat is our #1 priority, followed closely by making sure we feel justified in continuing to do the same silly things.  There is no Savior.  We have the exact government we deserve.  

    Watch Texas women over the next few years and we'll show you how to do it.  Watch North Carolina Dems, they'll show you what it takes.  Ask yourself how your hometown might change with you on the school board or the city council.  Ask yourself how many hours you've spent improving your local Dem party.  Ask yourself how often you've been willing to be "rude" when some moron spouts off about the Takers on SNAP.

    Politics is hard work, 99% of it is a long, slow slog marked by small victories that grow into large changes over time.  We'll get good government when we're all off our asses.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:01:07 AM PDT

    •  But there is a need to recognize (4+ / 0-)

      when the system has been gamed to the pint of ineffectiveness.

      We are there.

      (I am not advocating violence)

      •  I don't agree. The first union organizers didn't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ExpatGirl, Odysseus, ORswede

        face being fired, they were fired at.  They were beaten bloody time and again and they kept showing up.  The first feminists faced being locked up in snake pits for hating housework.  You could be declared insane because you we're sick of 18 hour days and 0 rights.  They fought anyway.  We didn't get a voting rights act by blogging, people were killed fighting for simple human rights.  We're lazy and we use The Elite Corporations and The MSM as excuses for avoiding being fired, fired on or tased, slammed into walls, or called names.  We've become so dependent on corporations we don't fight them, we bitch and pay anyway.  It's hard work to start your own business or live in a small space because it's environmentally preferable or shop locally or start a co-op.  we like big houses and all the accompanying toys and comforts.  We like our cars but feel justified blaming Obama for not stopping oil drilling.  We don't bother to take over school boards, we bitch about the RW having all the power.  This is on us, and it's time to admit it and do something about it.  We're the people, let's figure out how to be heard.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:32:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome diary! (9+ / 0-)

    I've written bits in comment sections about this before and usually mention (probably too often) that I've just come back to the States after 15 years living in Africa. I was a writer, comms consultant and publisher in Africa (and will be here too I suppose after I get a few things sorted) and my 'beat' was progress since independence and, sometimes, nation building.

    My work necessarily required a lot of delving into history and factors creating both a positive and negative present. During my 15 years, I was incredibly fortunate to be given an audience with a number of people prominent across the continent - Morgan Tsvangirai, Mamphela Ramphele, Mosiuoa Lekota, members of the ANC militarized resistance arm, government ministers trying to rebuild countries destroyed by American-supported dictators and policies, and many many more. All of these people taught me so much and the lesson I treasure the most was understanding that America is far from unique. If something can happen in one place in the world, it can happen anywhere. And resistance against oppression follows a fairly definable course.

    Morgan Tsvangirai explained to me that sometimes people are so busy surviving the latest blow (to their dignity, their rights, their daily lives, etc.) that they never stand up to say 'no more'. I learned from South African struggle fighters that we are looking at a long hard slog that will become more dangerous as it progresses. It is one thing to understand this concept superficially but living there and seeing the descent of the country over the last 15 years, I have a whole new understanding of just how long it can take.

    These white men (and the smattering of white women supporting them) are dangerous but not unique. The world has seen them before. And the fight against them won't be unique either. Ultimately, they are playing a very dangerous game. You can't deprive huge segments of the population of liberties and rights they have had for decades without expecting things to eventually explode in a very, very big way. Rest assured, it is coming and it isn't going to be pretty.

    All that said, the change isn't going to come from the top down. Successful resistance is a grassroots affair. We are starting to see it emerge and it will get louder and less 'passive' as the fight goes on. We have talked about the War on Women for years now but what we saw was just the build up. We were passive because the battle was localized and, really, the losses weren't too bad. Now they are and the game has changed. Add in civil rights and gay rights and labor rights and government spying and attacks on education and more and I think it is safe to say, America is about to be torn to shreds. We really aren't as special and unique as we think we are.

  •  Two most recent periods of uprising were union (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, mightymouse

    organizing in the 1920's and 1930's and anti Vietnam war protests.

  •  Why are Americans so passive? (4+ / 0-)

    When you are up to your neck in alligators, it is hard to notice what is going on in the world.

  •  Did you go to the Stewart/Colbert rally in 2010? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    One of the largest crowds in Washington history showed up to see a comedy show on the Saturday before the critical 2010 elections, and then many didn't bother to show up at the polls the following Tuesday.

    What the hell does that say about what kind of people we've become?

  •  doesn't cannabis make one passive? (3+ / 0-)


    actually Americans are successfully propagandized. they have colonized our minds.

    and Americans are isolated - community is often weak. the TV is too often the best friend.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:31:20 AM PDT

    •  Cannabis is a magical thing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp, protectspice

      and it can do whatever the people who loie about want it to.

      I can make you a passive commie, or a viloent attacker, as was attempted JUST THIS WEEK in the Trayvon Martin murder trial.

      My fave is "amotivational syndrome."

      I smoked pot all through college...all through grad school, though every one of the numerous jobs I have had where the GOP has managed to get me laid off (I blame them eldlessly and nobody can stop me)

      Right now I'm laid off so I can't smoke. I have to have clean pee to be acceptable to the next job that will lay me off.

      It motivates me to work so I can get back to pot smoking.

  •  We're over-entertained, spoiled, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    and under-educated.

    That, and places like this make people afraid to get engaged in politics.

    We're part of the problem, not the solution, to voter passiveness.

    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:32:52 AM PDT

  •  Doc, your diary is terrific, and the comments (5+ / 0-)

    and discussion are the best I've seen in ages.

    Personally, I feel like we've let ourselves be bullied right down into the ground, and now they're pissing on our graves. Poor pitiful US...  

    They may take our freedom, but they'll never take our lousy, fucking, low-paying jobs!

  •  Habit, and excuses (2+ / 0-)

    I've been trying to motivate people for 35 years, one rear-guard battle after another as the forces of neoliberalism, authoritarianism and hegemony gained strength.  Now the habit of identifying with those attacking the self-interests of working people, and sitting by and doing nothing  while your own are hung out to dry have calcifeied into stone.  Americans are incapable at this point excpt being the  cooperative justifiers of their own exploitation.  The public proudly cheers on the cops that beat down that handful that dares, foolishly, to stand up for the rights of the millions that would prefer to have their faces kept down in the mud.

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:44:59 AM PDT

  •  "a home owner could never be a socialist... (4+ / 0-)

    he hasn't the time" (c 1927), [or she, women can own property now/]

    I swear that was a quote from my long ago college days, but I don't find the internet to be so good for obscure quotes, sorry I can't attribute

    it takes a lot of time to feed the kids, get a job to get the money to feed the kids, get a car to get the job to feed the kids, get the washing machine to get the kids clothed, to get the job to get the clothes to get the job to get the car, ad infinitum...

  •  Not Passive, Just Distracted (4+ / 0-)

    by Minor, Trivial Shit like figuring out How to Pay for
    their Next MEAL or the next Rent Payment.

    Folks living on the Edge of Poverty don't spend a Lot
    of time or Energy thinking about Politics.

    The "Little People" have to Run as Fast as They Can
    just to stay in the same Miserable place they are Now.

    The Wall Street "Crash" screwed the Middle Class.

    Anyone that believes that was an accident should read
    "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:53:17 AM PDT

  •  Americans are intellectually and mentally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    LAZY. They forget that the gray organ between their ears and in their head has to be exercised. It's done by learning and thinking. There are plenty of megalomaniacs and power freaks who will gladly fill that mental void of laziness. A damned good example will be found in any organized religion. Look at successful propaganda.

    True progressives are free thinkers who exercise that gray organ by learning and thinking on their own. Great diary, doc z!!

    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

    by orlbucfan on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:53:21 AM PDT

  •  In 2000 there were no demonstrations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp, Words In Action

    when the election was stolen.  

    Fancy that.  That really tells you something.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 07:57:32 AM PDT

  •  What action works? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, xxdr zombiexx

    Strikes aren't particularly effective.
    Petitions are ignored.
    Protesters wind up with felony records.
    Recall elections are hit and miss.
    Voting efforts have drawn fire, making it ever harder to vote.
    Occupy had no stated goal, other than to change the conversation.  The plants caused so much trouble, many people wrote it off as a bunch of anarchists.
    I am up for suggestions.  This should not be the burden for our youth to take on.  We all need to do something to change the trajectory of our dwindling democracy.
    I feel helpless because I am helpless.

  •  Here is the turning point of the article (4+ / 0-)
    Wealth inequity and other economic injustices are the product of deliberate policy choices – in taxation, Social Security, health care, financial regulation, education, and a number of other policy areas.  So why aren’t Americans taking action?

    The “change” theories Krugman mentioned don’t tell the whole story. For one thing, it’s not true that the lives of the majority are frozen in an ugly stasis. Conditions continue to become objectively worse for the great majority of Americans. But these ongoing changes – in actual wages, in employment, in social mobility and wealth equity – have received very little media attention or meaningful political debate.

    It’s not that things aren’t changing. It’s that people don’t  know they’re changing. And without that knowledge the public becomes a canary in a coalmine, only aware of its declining oxygen supply when it keels over and dies.

    It’s an almost classic state of alienation, in which people may be acutely aware of their own increasing difficulties (although sometimes they can be numb to that as well) but experience them in a state of isolation. That turns the anger inward, leading to crippling reactions like guilt and despair. And repeated individual failures – failures made increasingly likely in a skewed system – lead to a sense of  learned helplessness.

    All of the countries that are in the streets still have strong communal structures are not nearly so totally suburbanized (even low-income neighborhoods are suburban in most US cities outside the old industrial belt.)

    Rural areas in the US are the most communal, with churches forming the community centers, and have not yet experienced the hard times except among farm workers.  So they are not likely to be angry and they are far from the urban streets of protest.

    Other countries were not so much whipped into individualistic overemphasis through the use of the terror tactics of the Red Scare of the 1940s-1950s that stigmatized the word "socialism" and "communism" or the similar propaganda campaign of the 1980s that stigmatized the word "liberal".  No do other countries have political operatives manipulating people's primary social networks, like churches and social clubs, to propagandize a certain political point of view and stigmatize the other point of view as that of "traitors".  Nor is the practice of social exommunication for political views in personal social networks as extreme in those other countries.  In the US, there are families that can no longer talk to each other about anything because of the insidious propaganda of conservative zealotry that has infected communications.

    Other countries have 24-7 political propaganda but because it comes from the government or is sponsored directly by a major political party, it is discounted as the propaganda it is.  For over 20 years, conservatives ran 24-7 propaganda unchallenged in areas across this nation where there wer only one, two, or a few media outlets.  And FCC ownership rules changes have made this even easier.  What were public service stations that folks relied on for accuracy became propaganda stations without their notice until they were hooked into the worldview.

    In 2000, Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community pointed out the corrosion of social capital in the US.  This trend has not reversed itself, even with the growth in sociality provided by the internet.

    Finally, folks don't go into the streets when times are hard but when something is suddenly taken away from them, real or imagined, and viewed to be a permanent taking away.  Or,  in the case of labor unions, when folks have had enough of declining expectations.  As the article points out, after the 2009 stimulus, the decline was like boiling a frog, a slow and steady drumbeat of "this is the new normal".  That likely was a deliberate media strategy on the part of some set of someones in order to dampen resistance to the theft of the future that is going on.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:19:25 AM PDT

  •  I feel it is not that they are so passive as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, shaharazade

    misdirected anger....just my take.   A person who is held down emotionally and physically by fearmongering will steal, kill, hard drug and take themselves out of their own reality if they are not strong enough to fight back.   Then they now have games, computers, entertainment, to keep them busy as a distraction.   We have more violence in this country because people do not blame the folks they should but the black man, the women, other minorities are the cause they are so miserable.  

    Upthread it was said they have a pill for everything.. Big pharma.....True.  The war on drugs and Nixon and Reagan's big idea was to institutionalize ..the prisons for people who could not step into line......Then television and corporations started pushing their pills on TV to the point you could not watch Mickey Mouse without a Celebrex or Viagra commercial. Step out of line and the man come and take you away.   We dropped the ball in the 70's.  We should have kept on keeping the fight going for equal rights and that is our fault.   We knew what life was like before civil rights and womens push for equality.  We knew and we thought we would never have to revisit those fights plus bigger ones.  Vietnam and every other war distracted an entire generation.  God Help us.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

  •  As Americans find it increasingly hard to make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp, shaharazade

    ends meet, they are told by the media and some politicians that it's their own fault. So one, they feel guilty because they aren't doing 'something' right, and two, they are frustrated because they don't know what they are doing wrong.

    The other reason, and this is from my own perspective, is because people are really too busy just doing what needs to be done to pay that much attention.  When my kids were small I did not have time to pay attention.  I worked and did all the things needed that go along with having a job and kids.  

    For some people it is even harder. I have a car, but I am very aware of how hard it is to do things when you don't have enough money to own a car even if you DO have access to public transportation. For those who don't even have that, good luck with getting anything done in less than double the time it would take me to drop off kids at daycare, go to work, pick up kids at daycare, get dinner, then go home.  Dr.'s appts? Get out of here.  Dealing with banking? HAHAHA. Applying for any benefits? They make it hard for a reason.  

    If you don't start out life one step ahead, you are 2 steps behind before you even start and you are constantly falling further behind. Those who make the time to be activists while still dealing with all the other crap being poor entails have my admiration.  Those who don't, well they have my admiration too.  Why? Because they have to work twice as hard to only have half as much. I do not berate them for not paying attention because they don't deserve that shame.

    As for those who do have access to more but still don't pay attention, I would say they feel overwhelmed.  They also are told constantly that they can't make a difference. They don't know where to start. They are also afraid of what it means to get involved. Making the decision to protest is not an easy one for all. For me, it means showing my employer, who is right wing republican, what I believe in and it risks my job. If I were to be arrested it would cost me money and time that I just don't have. I would miss work and they would want to know why? My kids, when they were younger would be left home alone. For others, just putting an Obama sign in their front yard or on their car is a statement that has implications with their neighbors.

    When we constantly complain about people who don't vote or don't pay attention, we are being very arrogant and it really needs to stop.

    A better response would be to talk to people one on one and get them interested in an issue that affects them personally. Help get people registered to vote, get them to the polls and allow them to ask questions without acting like they are dumb. I will say though that I see a lot more curiosity from those around me who didn't pay attention before. They are starting to connect the dots. They are becoming outraged about issues they never seemed to care about before and they are speaking up.

    My Mother is a case in point. She has in the past been somewhat racist towards blacks and Latinos and not interested in talking about Gays because she was very uncomfortable with the subject. She has gotten to the point (and this is someone without a computer or cable) to where she is talking about issues in a very progressive way. She is coming to the same conclusions that many of us here can only find on progressive sites. My Uncle, an Iowa farmer, is also very aware of what is going on. He is the last person I expected to be very up on politics and this has only happened in the past few years since he has retired.

    So please stop with the "If only people would vote" and "Why is everyone so passive" commentary. It is just not helpful.

    Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world--and never will. Mark Twain

    by whoknu on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

  •  I know why I am less interested in raising hell (7+ / 0-)

    Because when the shit hits the fan, I hear--Don't worry GM, we are behind you.

    Only what they don't say--they are 50 yards behind me.

    The favored tactic is divide and conquer. And from what I have seen is that it works quite well.

    Get people alone, threaten their livelihood with an arrest record or a state sanctioned slap suit, or suggest the accusation of "terrorism" and what happens?

    Their lives flash before their eyes.

    If they lose their job, or their security clearance, if they have an arrest record, or the label "terrorist" associated with their name, it's mighty hard to find a job. All the big corporations are associated with the government now. So the T-word is the equivalent of a military person receiving a Bad Conduct Discharge in some ways.

    So the Politicians and their little corporate handlers know it.

    Suddenly, it's not angry citizens--it's unruly mobs--how much closer to that is the latter label to the "T" word?

    And when that happens, there is no justification for an unruly mob. Anger can be justified but unruly? Hell you might as well be tagging the capital or crapping on the lawn or busting windows out for all they care.

    IT doesn't matter if those things never happened or never will happen. What matters is that the right words are used, that trigger the desired security response.

    So no, they have no shame. Only a desire to control. And they are being bold right now. They have no fear of the media that they control. They have no fear of us--because we cannot talk to each other, we as a country are too divided down lines of economics, education, political party, race, religion and gender. America is like shattered pieces of glass on the ground, splintered into so many small pieces, that we have been unable to glue ourselves back together. We can find NO common ground.

    Those of people who can see and act, past that are targets. Not only by the security forces, but with the purists one can find inside each splinter group.

    And that means no solidarity. No mass courage. No sticking together, no coherent front.

    Most reasonably intelligent people can discern from that, not to stick their head up too high, because it exposes their neck.

  •  I think we need a global people's revolution, (5+ / 0-)

    culminating in a global people's representative group presenting a list of demands at the United Nations.  Americans just aren't going to do the job by themselves. There simply aren't enough of us that are interested in trying.  But a sustained and coordinated global revolution just might work.  That's where we're at man.  

    "America is the Terror State. The Global War OF Terror is a diabolical instrument of Worldwide conquest."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:24:22 AM PDT

  •  Violence is going to be required (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the problem is that the right is a hell of a lot closer and much better prepared for it than the left.

    Nothing is going to change until there's blood on the streets though.

  •  where to aim our outrage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp

    What is missing is a TARGET.  Where do we direct our outrage?  Show us THE monster. The monster that if taken down will fix all of the problems.

    Where is a leader?  An articulate charismatic leader. oh that's right those people get killed.

    Which issue is the most important to tackle first? Is it just the "system".  

    Until those questions are answered first, the outraged have no direction.  We are not leaders, we are joiners.
    and we have learned not to trust anyone with our hopes.
    We've been burned before.  Our hearts have been broken before.

  •  Because we follow the rules. (3+ / 0-)

    Course the "Rules" are set up to ensure that actual effective tactics are forbidden.

    But ONLY for lefties.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

  •  Fate of Empires (4+ / 0-)

    by Sir John Glubb may have explained it best. Substitute football, Dancing with the Stars, Facebook, for the Roman pastimes and I believe we are looking at our fate. I thought we had some real momentum with Occupy. Even back in the lead up to the Iraq invasion my husband and I took the streets of NYC to protest with thousands. We got disgusted, snickering looks in Grand Central Station and the event was never given much air time, like we had never marched.

    As the nation declines in power and wealth, a universal pessimism gradually pervades the people, and itself hastens the decline. There is nothing succeeds like success, and, in the Ages of Conquest and Commerce, the nation was carried triumphantly onwards on the wave of its own self-confidence. Republican Rome was repeatedly on the verge of extinction—in 390 B.C. when the Gauls sacked the city and in 216 B.C. after the Battle of Cannae. But no disasters could shake the resolution of the early Romans. Yet, in the later stages of Roman decline, the whole empire was deeply pessimistic, thereby sapping its own resolution. Frivolity is the frequent companion of pessimism. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. The resemblance between various declining nations in this respect is truly surprising. The Roman mob, we have seen, demanded free meals and public games. Gladiatorial shows, chariot races and athletic events were their passion. In the Byzantine Empire the rivalries of the Greens and the Blues in the hippodrome attained the importance of a major crisis.

    "Live right. Think left." Gregory Peck

    by bookwoman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:04:15 AM PDT

  •  Passive!?!@#$ Hooey. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zenox, xxdr zombiexx

    We're revolutionaries. Native American genocide. Kidnapping. Slavery. Civil War. Bondage. Mafia. Gangs. SDS. Black Panthers. KKK. Wall St.  Blood-thirsty gladiator "sports" like Boxing and Football.  Netroots. Tea Party. Antiabortionistas. Militias.   We're immigrant people willing to abandon deserts of no opportunity and settle into new digs no matter what sacrifices that entails. We run and fight in a continuous hunt  to find a safe haven for our own.

    The law always protects the upper strata from where priorities and goals are established and resources are allocated to organization and infrastructure.

    Those who are not in the upper strata create subcultural organizations.

    As the threat level recedes so does the need for action. The threats we face, compared to food, shelter, freedom, and liberty, are actually small and conceptual. As bad as it is to not be raped and murdered in many neighborhoods, the vast majority of people working their asses off to stay above water are safe, secure not driven to give it all up to escape some perception of misery.

    We're not passive. We're big. We're not desperate. These successful societies like Finland, Norway, etc. are each smaller than NYC alone. Even Germany, hardly utopia, is a 1/4 of our population.  

    America is diverse. Organized in satellites and hierarchies, hamlets - even within cities - and most of our many action organizations are dramatically less agile and less readily & less rapidly adaptable as the upper strata can be.  

    There are many solutions short of changing the whole. Americans are not passive. We don't waste a lot of time just listening to talk. We follow pathfinders or we find new paths.


    •  We're exceptional. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp, dadoodaman

      Optimism is when you shut your lyin' eyes. ☮ ♥ ☺
      Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

      by Words In Action on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:01:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And taken together, the EU is 190 million larger (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      than the USA.

      Granted, many member states of the EU have a very long way to go towards Scandinavian and Northern European social democratic standards.

      But I always have to laugh when someone points to a country like mine, Finland, and says: they are so small so its easy.

      Or, even better, that it is easy because we have a "homogeneous" population.

      No, the fact of the matter is that since the 1980s especially and the post-Cold War era particularly, the USA and its people aren't at all interested in social democracy.

      It isn't a matter of size, it is a matter of mind set.

      Nothing like seeing a country with a strong federal government that controls almost 10 million sq km of a continent rich in resources and protected from any potential land threats by two massive oceans crying because it is too big and has too many awesome free people, so it can't possibly build a social democracy.

      •  Good comment & Agree 100% about mindset. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The US can learn a lot from Finland. I wish we would. But there is no EU model yet and what there is is not so richly successful or fertile for lessons as Finland.

        But, Finland is about the same size as Colorado and size and scale are factors for implementing change. And as you imply this is not just political change but cultural change.

        I don't know but I bet that the total number of like-minded Americans who would absolutely form a social democracy today would be far in excess of 10 million. Also, I bet they're more likely to be in positions of influence.  

        Not excuses, just factors, context.      


  •  or perhaps it's the same choice (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    that every country that accepts authoritarianism makes: they fear their own freedom and what is unknown rather than known.

    The problem for these folks is that even the known is slowly being stripped away.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 09:27:02 AM PDT

  •  why? Because many secretly hope (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    to make it into the big-time and get  to go with so-and-so on his/her superyacht to Cannes.

    Roughly 10 years ago there was a survey in which over 1/2 or Americans admitted to believing that they would be "somewhat or substantially wealthy" within 5-10 years - as a result of their investments, hard work etc.. All I can find now is this - which is similar but shows some signs of reality-intrusion:

    Hope springs eternal -- for the young. More than half of those aged 18 to 29 (54 percent), believe they will get rich. Meanwhile, cynicism sets in with the passage of time. Only 34 percent of respondents in the 30 to 49 age range believe they will be rich, while one out of five (21 percent) in the 50-plus age group think so.
    My take on these numbers:

    the 18-29 crowd who think they will be rich are passive because they hope to become the 2%.

    the other 1/2 of the 18-29 crowd think they will (at best) be working stiffs are overwhelmed with debt and worry, and/or parents who struggle and can't give them the ladder-up that Mitt got from his parents

    •  Damn.... I forgot about that dynamic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp
      Because many secretly hope (1+ / 0-)
      to make it into the big-time and get  to go with so-and-so on his/her superyacht to Cannes.
      So true.

      I used to make fun of those wingnuts staking out their mailbox waiting for the ship Bush promised them to come in...


  •  Your argument makes no sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emelyn, virginislandsguy

    You appear to be arguing with your own points.

    You complain of this:

    Standing around chanting "Shame" is a huge and ineffective waste of time.
    Standing around chanting "shame" to shameless sociopaths intent on ramming their policies through despite your verbal disapproval is useless.
    But then you have this:
    increasing media coverage of reality and how it affects the Common Person is of huge importance
    Wendy Davis and the Texas Anti-Abortion protests are a spark that needs to grow. The North Carolina "Moral Mondays" is an awesome vehicle for at least getting people out of their homes and in front of the capitol building to EXERCISE ttheir First Amendmet rights to



    and - most important here


    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:09:14 AM PDT

    •  Did you read the linked article? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp

      Can you sort which of those statements come from the linked article?

      I appreciate your effort to find fault with me but your cherry-picking is not of the highest quality.


      •  None of those statements in linked article (0+ / 0-)

        Those are your arguments, presumably using the article as support. I would suggest that women in Texas shouting "shame, shame" at the legislators in the Capitol are beginning the process of several of those things recommended in the article.  It is getting media attention, not only locally but nationally. It definitely addresses the problem of isolation, letting people know they are not actually alone. (especially in combination with similar draconian legislation occuring in other states, and women's reactions there as well). It is clearly political engagement beyond the electoral process. Since, like the article, you are not proposing violence, what else would you have those women doing?

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:24:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Passive? (0+ / 0-)

    How can you say this? Why, our legislatures approve the aggressive use of force, both foreign and domestic, every day!

  •  Thanks, zombiedr. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    Is this your response to the thread I started in the other diary, or just a lucky coincidence?

    The main thing that needs to happen IMO as a first step is an end to the knee-jerk shaming of the majority of Americans as hypnotized sheep (your diary does not do this, IMO).  I think that way of looking at things makes people on here who pay attention to politics feel a lot better about ourselves, but isn't really a useful, strategic, or reality-based way of dealing with the issue.

    Thanks for throwing some other things into the pot. Going to the article now.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:13:01 AM PDT

    •  It is a posting of an article at AlterNet (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp

      I posted it because the title caught my eye and I always like things that make me feel like I am not alone in my perspective.

      Saw it and jumped on it.

      As far as "shaming people as sheep"

      (A) I recently told a kossack "ba-a-a-a-a-a" as a reply to their ridiculous suckuppance with the NSA/4th amendment violation thing. You would think that was the worst thing ever to come out of my mouth. I was told to "be civil". So I hold off on the observation.

      (B) We need more sheep like this and we might get somewhere...

  •  Of course Americans are passive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And they are, frankly, spoiled.

    Americans in the middle class+ enjoy a higher standard of living than anyone in any class in history. And even Americans on the lower economic and class rungs are privileged in comparison to their counterparts in most other non-Western nations.

    Easy access to television, movies, entertainment and cheap food makes more a more passive, contented population. This is a lesson China has learned very well.

    Perspective. For most of the world, it's frankly a luxury to be able to blog, protest and worry about things like Glass-Steagal, student loan rates, and big corporations. Hell, a just HAVING student loan is a luxury. Those things are easy to worry about when basic needs, and much more, are being met for the majority of the population. And even then, it's very few people who bother with such things, because their material needs are being met.

    Dammit Jim, I'm a lawyer, not a grammarian. So sue me.

    by Pi Li on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:17:09 AM PDT

    •  "They're more poor than you" is neither (0+ / 0-)

      terribly elucidating nor very helpful. I don't think anything you wrote substantially builds on the diarist's points (where there is agreement) or advances a credible alternate theory (mainly because your comment boils down to the Rush Limbaugh/Heritage Foundation definition of "not poor").

  •  NCLB, bad food, and TV. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    Among the three, the much more interesting question is: why is anyone NOT beaten down and anesthetized?

  •  Why oh why, indeed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpecialKinFlag, xxdr zombiexx

    After working on a project for a few months that seeks to define and explain the growing income inequality in the US, the indifference of the public is puzzling, at first.  

    Using traditional measures of inequality like GINI, the US is now at the bottom of the world's 20 largest economies, along with three other countries:  China, Mexico, and Brazil.  It's startling to think of placing the US in the category where it is, instead of with the advanced Western democracies.  How is the US the same as, or different from China, Mexico, and Brazil?  

    Secondly, there's a very large percentage of people in the US who never engage at all with the political system.  It's possible for people to live their whole lives without having any interest in participating in it.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:44:37 AM PDT

    •  This is worthy of a discussion in itself. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mark Lippman
      Secondly, there's a very large percentage of people in the US who never engage at all with the political system.  It's possible for people to live their whole lives without having any interest in participating in it.
      I would argue that many people, maybe even most, engage with the political system every day.

      Try getting food stamps without engaging the political system when you are stigmatized while trying to feed your family during rough times.  Shop with them and see people judging every purchase you made that day.

      Try not to engage the political system when you hit the unemployment line...

      Try being elderly and on SS and not be afraid while the political system uses you as a football...

      Try to not engage the political system when you need to visit a doctor or buy medicine...

      •  For whatever reason, there's a critical mass of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        people who don't make those connections, or don't believe they matter, or don't believe it's possible to make a difference.  I don't think of Americans as passive so much as inert.

        What is there in the US that urges individuals to promote their own self-interest through the political system while there is much that works to discourage participation.  There's a fundamental problem with a representative democracy that doesn't invite broad participation by persuading citizens that they do have a stake in the government.  

        In a word, Nihilism is the seed that was sown.

        There is no existence without doubt.

        by Mark Lippman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:53:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The media, being a business, is a huge part of the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx


    Internet helps.

    Also, folks get tired of fighting a truckload of issues and feeling ineffective in the process.

  •  Why? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    The linked article was good. It pretty much covered the present state of passivity in our society. I would add that Americans regardless of where they stand on the fictional political spectrum of left right center, are addicted to fear. They have had the fear and systemic violence pumped at them for more then a decade by the owners of the place. From entertainment, cooked up and stirred culture wars to our endless state of war on anything and everything. From politics that threaten our vagina's, our means of making a living  to 'terrorist's are gonna kill yer family'. Fear abounds in every aspect of our life.

    False security is hawked and sold as the answer to our internalized misplaced fear.  Vote Democratic otherwise we will unleash the RW mainaic's on you. Vote to be protected from other which is absurd because the other is the assholes who own our party our government and our economy.  Voting as extortion rather then a two party system of representation. Strange because what is going on globally is the opposite of 'security' by intent and design.

    In the Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein's said the the first step to countering the Shock Doctrine was for people    to stop being shocked by these fuckers and their applied global disaster capitalism. Community was the other antidote recommended. That's a hard one to accomplish in our society where divide and conquer along with fear, is working to keep the power right where they want it.

    The two-party system is failing, too, as corporate forces complete their corruption of the GOP and seize an ever-increasing chunk of the Democratic Party.

    That’s one of the reasons why voter turnout may not be the best indicator of political awareness. Even pronounced financial hardship won’t result in increased turnout or participation in electoral politics if neither party is clearly articulating the majority’s needs or actively fighting for its interests.

    Axelrod calls this insanity 'the world as we find it'. BS. Clinton called it 'inevitable'. The NWO always claims they are inevitable. Blaming each other for our present condition is just a waste of time and only empowers the intolerable status quo. Voting at this point does not even keep the wolves from the door. The system is broken, it has been captured by those who mean us harm. The lesser evil just doesn't cut it.

    OWS and even the people's movement that voted for some 'audacious change' where success's they were not grounded in fear but courage.  I liked the authors Actions section. I also liked what the 'Paulist Libertarian' Glenn Greenwald said 'courage is contagious'.

    Come gather 'round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You'll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin'
    Then you better start swimmin'
    Or you'll sink like a stone


  •  Here's why Americans are so passive in my view (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    on the cusp

    The truth about this is painfully simple.

    The American people are passive because they're kept in debt which keeps them demoralized and hopeless to the point where they won't even turn out to vote. Here's a Youtube video below on that very point where Michael Moore interviews a rather famous British labor politician by the name of Tony Benn on that very simple point. The truth doesn't have to be complicated. It usually isn't. Ergo, this is therefore a very simple point. It is lies that have to be complicated because there you have to actually misled people from the simple truth. So it's simply a straight forward as being kept in debt, demoralized and hopeless? The short answer is yes.
    To that end, please check out the video below of the interview of Tony Benn by Michael Moore.

    sig...You just ran into a hardcore progressive who's just another working stiff with an MBA degree & therefore a vociferous labor union supporter [smile]

    by Democrats Ramshield on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:18:32 AM PDT

  •  I don't think Americans are passive at all (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunny skies, NoMoreLies

    One good reason why there hasn't been a mass uprising.  

    We still believe in our institutions and the power of the ballot box.  
    That's waning with each election but far from gone.  

    The fact is, the American people voted for change in 2006, 2008, and 2012.  The 2012 Obama campaign was nothing more than a warmed over 2008 campaign.  The opposition provided nothing.  Pardon me, they did:  Akin and Mourdock.  That made voting for a 3rd party in swing states a difficult decision.  

    As time goes on and conditions get more desperate, I think you will see that mass uprising.  Given the amount of firepower in this country, it won't be pretty.  I believe that is the other reason why we try to hold things in check.  

    We're at a dangerous crossroads.  

  •  Because of articles like this (0+ / 0-)

    that breed helplessness and passivity by telling us the situation is out of our control so let's just sit and rail or stare at our navels. I see too much of this here, a lot of obsessing about a non-existent NSA spying  "scandal" while the country's burning. That eruption is so convenient that if I were more paranoid I'd believe the Koch brothers planted it to get progressives' undies in a bunch and make them total ineffectual at fighting back.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

    by anastasia p on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 11:54:25 AM PDT

    •  In fairness, it is phrased as a question (0+ / 0-)

      and it is comparing Americans who are supposed to be so much freer than other countries, with those countries who are out in the streets and challenging their government over things.

      It IS a complex thing.

      Clearly the folks protesting down at the court house in Texas weren't apathetic and the article does make some detailed analysis near the end part of which is media artifacts and partly the stresses of our crappy economy.

  •  They are tired, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    and they are sick in so many ways. Let's hope that the coming cataclysm leads to us getting healthier. Or we're fcked.

  •  More problems than solutions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx
    The article ends with proscriptions I find still greatly lacking,
    In a nutshell I see the above as the real problem.  It isn't lack of knowledge.  No matter who I talk to it seems that everyone has a laundry list of issues.  People agree that we are reaching the point of a failed state.  They just don't know what to do about it.  I had breakfast with a friend the other day who is as right wing as they come but we both agree that the system isn't so much broken but rigged in favor of those in power.  We sit and bitch.  We vote and at least I'm politically active but I see little result for it.  I read diary after diary about the problems but the solutions are very skinny.  

    It seems to me that the system will continue to provide just enough social welfare cover to prevent and an outright revolt while continuing to slowly tighten the screws.  I now believe that there is no longer a good spit of difference between the Democrats and Republicans and we will continue to vote for the lessor of two evils.  

    What I want is a list of realistic solutions and I'll be there with bells on.  

    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:19:12 PM PDT

  •  A coalition (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    must be formed including Women (anti-gun Moms and those fighting the war on women) and African Americans (all the  current and past injustices). And my Enviro friends. And Educators and Labor and the Poor and People with disabilities. As long as we are fighting separately, we will, as Benjamin Franklin said, hang separately.

    "The will must be stronger than the skill." M. Ali

    by awhitestl on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 12:33:35 PM PDT

  •  Manifest Destiny. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    A country that spans from sea to shining sea is one that depends on its media to get a picture of other countries, unlike, say France or Germany, or even China or Russia.  If people in such a country are constantly told that, despite the evidence of their senses and their reason, everything done by their country is good, that it is the best of all possibilities, that its outcomes surpass all others, then I think it is a country whose citizens are less likely to raise up and protest in large numbers.  

    Enough of us haven't seen episode one of 'The Newsroom'.  We still think we're number one.  

  •  Great start to a diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    but you should really expand on this thought and take it to the next level.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:13:05 PM PDT

    •  What next level? (0+ / 0-)

      I know people here would click a link to finish reading so I took what I could with the 4 paragraph thing.

       I have few bright ideas other than continuing the Occupy Movement - which could be jumpstarted at most any moment.

      A follow up that focuses on the article recommendations would be something.

      It seemed prudent to clarify I am not advocating violence and I have thought that maybe following up on "why" of non-violence....

      Not to dump work on you, or anything, but if you had bright ideas based on this I'd be all for handing it off to you to carry down the court.

      More people would read something you posted than if I posted the same exact words.

  •  The Democratic Party has successfully co-opted... (0+ / 0-)

    the left to the extent where there really isn't an actual left-wing in this country any more.

    Hell, roughly half the people on THIS site support the Dick Cheney approach to personal privacy because it has the Barack Obama seal-of-approval. (This isn't hyperbole--as I write this there is a diary on the REC LIST by someone ironically named WinSmith proving my point)

    I can get angry with no positive way to channel it or I can try to avoid it and salvage what's left of my sanity.

    I am an economic Keynesian, a social libertarian, a foreign policy internationalist, and militantly anti-authoritarian in every way shape and form.

    by zemongoose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 02:55:34 PM PDT

  •  I am not passive, I am angry, despairing, & tirede (0+ / 0-)

    I feel like my entire life I have been fighting -- the civil rights movement, the anti-nuke movement, the women's movement, the anti-Vietnam-war movement, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, anti-the-next-wars, everything. I've marched in more marches, held more signs, shouted myself hoarse. I've stuffed envelopes, done "visibility" on street corners, gone door to door for Gene McCarthy and Howard Dean and Obama.

    I come from a long line of political workers; my great-aunt, I think, was a street organizer in the Russian revolution of 1905 and then a union organizer in New York. My father was blacklisted in the '50s along with pretty much everyone we knew, except the Rosenbergs who were executed.

    What I see is that virtually everything we have worked for over the last 50, 60, 120 years is being rolled back so fast and so effectively that we will soon be back in the wonderful 1880s, except for the adding in climate change that is quickly destroying human habitation.

    I am so angry I can't see straight, so despairing it's hard to get out of bed, and so so tired of fighting and refighting the same battles.

    You can call that "passive," but that's not how it feels.

  •  Most people in most countries are passive by your (0+ / 0-)

    standard vast majority of the time. In some countries (e.g. France) protests are socially acceptable and occur more often. But in most countries people protest either when smth terrible happens locally (murder or rape can trigger protests) or conditions are so bad that they feel that a protest is not going to hurt them. US is still a rich country and things are not as bad as they are in Spain or Greece. So sporadic protests (e.g. OWS) make sense. If things get dramatically worse, there may be more protests.

  •  Age distribution is critical (0+ / 0-)

    The boomers are aging. We were in the streets when we were young. Back then we were what on called "The pig going through the python." Today, we watch more TV than other age groups. We are looking forward to are already retired with Social Security and Medicare.

    The "Arab Spring" includes nations with a high percent of young people.

    There are obviously factors other than age but let's not forget the critical role of this variable.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:07:53 PM PDT

  •  protests don't work anymore! one rw jackass with (0+ / 0-)

    a big microphone is worth 1000's of protestors. that's what happened to OWS, and most protests the last 25 years. it's just one more problem with ignoring talk radio. it's just fucking stupid. the biggest political mistake in history.

    it's so loud and coordinated it short circuits feedback mechanisms a democracy needs- protests are just one eg. why would the target audience for protests pay attention or feel pressure if the local (or the national network of) RW talk stations get a free speech free ride to spend weeks after the protests to attack the protestors and distort their objectives?

    and egg on and excuse the cops?

    OWS biggest mistake was not including RW radio stations in their protests.

    i hate these questions- the answer should be clear. we waste a huge amount of time wondering why this country is so fucked up and why americans are so passive and the answer is right there on the radio for everyone to hear. and it really is right there because the same coordinated messaging can be found in very part of the country. the same think tank coordinated messaging - over and over and over.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:31:03 PM PDT

    •  and why even try? much of the activism of the last (0+ / 0-)

      25 years has been WASTED because the left ignores the right's best weapon.

       americans try to make change and all the corporate think tanks have to do is watch and then when the change gets close tohappening they design some PR to distort the purpose, swiftboat the advocates, and motivate an ignorant talk radio army of teabaggers/base to scream in outrage in opposition at the last minute. or they use the same mechanism to pass voter suppression, or other anti-democractic bullshit. these made to order talk radio minority constituencies have been kicking democracy's ass and it only works for them because the left gives that corporate megaphone a free speech free ride.

      americans are passive because democracy doesn't work and they don't know why.

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:42:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We don't realize yet that we have been screwed (0+ / 0-)

    When the nightly broadcast news repeats the theme over and over again that we as a population have been thoroughly screwed by our government and The Owners, then we will wake up. When it admits that this is year 30 of a global planetary crisis in which your government is doing close to nothing but subsidizing fossil fuels and the media is acting as if the science is controversial we might have a rational reaction. We are in a state of official denial that will not change until it is obvious that we are screwed. Almost no one but a few of us here on DKOS are aware of the magnitude of the problems that we face. It's not surprising that an unaware population stressed out about maintaining their current lifestyle is totally passive. The Tea Party was a great strategic move. It took protest and co-opted it to the Right. That alone delayed enlightenment by 10 years.

  •  this reminds of the bill moyers (0+ / 0-)

    show that got him in trouble at pbs and made him a target of the bush administration.  it was not a political show either.  it was just a show about what overseas outsourcing did to one small town.  i was shocked at the anger from just airing the truth.  if we can't deal with what is going on then we can never cope with it.  i think this is what you are saying.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:38:42 PM PDT

  •  Because it is planned this way... (0+ / 0-)

    ...we are kept working for some dream that will never come voting for the possibility of better and not getting it.

    It is hard to object when you have no power and are working all the time just to get food and shelter.

    Add to that propaganda and you get what we have today.  The embodiment of 1984.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 05:42:50 PM PDT

  •  ???Why analyze??? !!!ORGANIZE!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sorry.

    This is NOT an exercise in mass psychological analysis.

    This IS a call to ACTION.

    What is WRONG with you people???

    What is it going to take to get you to really DO something about the issues confronting us?

    Are you HAPPY??? Are you CONTENT with the way things are going?

    Because that's the same old same old. And while I'm a full fledged Democrat, I don't believe that the sole answer to our problem is to elect more Democrats. Not when some of the get in office and piss on us. (Baucus, Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, etc.)

    We have to MOVE the national conversation.

    That is the ONLY way.

    Did you think in early 2011 that Obama would be reelected in a virtual cake walk? Well, it certainly helped that the GOP had all their problems selecting a nominee...)

    You can thank the OCCUPY movement for that. Why? because we MOVED the national conversation. Who wasn't aware of the 1% meme???

    So when we began talking percentages, the GOP put their foot in their mouth when the 47% came out, and everyone jumped down Romney's throat, even if his foot was already blocking the way.

    Protests are good, but they don't have to be the ONLY way.

    Good grief, we have so many opportunities to ORGANIZE; here, other websites, twitter, facebook, even small meetings.

    Good grief, people, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

    A gold-plated invitation?

    It ain't gonna come.

    Sorry for the rant, but I've been speaking about this for a long time. And if we don't, you can say adios to the Senate in 2014. Yeah, we'll probably re-take it in 2016, but who wants to live for 2 years with Turtleface on TV smirking at you???

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 06:19:16 PM PDT

  •  Because they have easy access to pot (0+ / 0-)

    and pharmaceuticals to pacify them? and encourage the idea that their problems are personal.

    half snark, sometimes it's hard to know what's the symptom and what's the cause.

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