Poor People’s Campaign

Dr. William Barber is the impressive and impassioned clergyman who began the “Moral Monday” movement in North Carolina–a movement that has since spread to other states. I regretted missing his speech when he came to Indiana recently, and was interested to see this article about the lessons of Martin Luther King day in The Nation.

After quoting King’s admonition that we either go up together or go down together, Barber summed up America’s current situation:

King did not live to see another 24 hours of that pivotal year in American history, but 50 years later we face a similar collective crisis as we begin 2018. Extremists who’ve hijacked the Republican Party worked in concert with a charlatan to deconstruct the federal government, but a resistance made itself public in 2017, making clear that we are still the majority in this nation. Congress and many of our state legislatures refuse to represent the will of the majority. In the face of this basic subversion of democracy, we do well to remember that “either we go up together, or we go down together.” King’s assessment is more crucial than ever: Nothing would be more tragic than to turn back now.

Fifty years after Dr. King and many others launched a Poor People’s Campaign to demand a Marshall Plan for America’s poor, inequality in our nation has reached extremes we have not seen since the Gilded Age. As the Dow climbs and the wealthiest Americans get a massive tax break, 15 million more Americans are poor today than in 1968. In the same time period, the rate of extreme poverty has nearly doubled. Because of the systemic racism of voter suppression, which has been implemented in 23 of the nation’s poorest states since 2010, our political system is held captive by extremists who deny workers health care and a living wage, undermine the equal-protection clause of the constitution, attack public education, and encourage poor white people to blame people of color and immigrants for their problems. All the while, more and more of our collective resources are dedicated to a war without end.

Barber writes that a Presidency as flawed and unpopular as Trump’s will not last long, but he acknowledges the immense amount of harm being done in the meantime–especially in the nation’s courts, where lifetime appointments are being made at a pace far exceeding that of preceding administrations.

Barber details the numerous voter suppression tactics of a GOP that “cheats when it can’t win in a fair fight.” And he has nothing but scorn for the white Evangelicals who have traded integrity for power:

So-called “white evangelicals” and their Christian nationalism have become the apologists and enablers of political extremism. Their voices are so loud when joining the course of those who hate gay people, women, and brown and black-skinned immigrants, but so quiet on issues of poverty, systemic racism, ecological devastation, and the war economy. This is a form of modern heresy and theological malpractice, taught all over the country.

He also has a lot to say about the recent tax “reform” bill, the efforts to further erode America’s already inadequate social welfare network, and about the importance of building multi-racial, multi-ethnic coalitions. But his most important message is one that should resonate with all of us: this is no time to quit. It’s no time to stop resisting.

I have dedicated myself to a new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival that is going deep into Southern communities and reclaiming the moral narrative that was bought by the religious right in the 20th century.

In 2018, we are determined to see the South rise again—not in the redemption that white supremacists have long awaited with Confederate flags, but in the future that George White, the last African-American representative to Congress during Reconstruction, foresaw when he said, “This may be the Negro’s farewell to Congress, but Phoenix-like he will rise up some day and come again.”…

And when we change the South, we will shift the power balance in this nation.

In Alabama, African-American turnout defeated Roy Moore. If anyone can move the South, it’s William Barber, with his eloquence, his passion, his organizing genius –and his repeated insistence that we should never give up.

 

 

 

54 thoughts on “Poor People’s Campaign

  1. First, I want to say a loud and clear, “I TOLD YOU SO!” Trump has used the deaths of Colts player Edwin Jackson and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe as reason to pass the DACA bill with funding for his wall. He cited the illegal immigrant status of the DRUNKEN driver who killed them as the primary cause of this tragedy; ignoring the Uber driver killed 2 hours earlier on an Indiana road by a DRUNKEN American driver. Thanks to Democratic Rep. Andre Carson for immediately speaking out against Trump’s using this tragedy as a political issue.

    We are currently in a fight for our lives; the campaign for “poor people” now includes new groups of minorities along with those who have historically been classed as deserving the poverty they live in. “Barber details the numerous voter suppression tactics of a GOP that “cheats when it can’t win in a fair fight.” And he has nothing but scorn for the white Evangelicals who have traded integrity for power:…” Ryan’s post on Facebook of the woman who “benefited” by Trump’s “tax cut” providing her with $1.50 more on her weekly paycheck, is another example of abuse of power by the GOP and their ridiculous view of what constitutes middle America benefiting from Trump’s most recent action. It also shows his disdain for all in America’s middle-class who are sinking into poverty.

    Is it my imagination that Trump is getting worse by the day? Not only getting worse but getting more and more ridiculous in his demands for obedience to his power? Pence is going to the Olympics in South Korea in Trump’s stead; to me that is a showing of Trump’s cowardice after daring North Korea to challenge this country in a nuclear pissing contest. The poor will be the ones to be called up to do the fighting, as always, and will be the first and the highest number to die to prove Trump’s power which has been boosted by the southern states and fully supported by the Republican Congress and Senate.

  2. Barber makes excellent points, but if he thinks voting for democrats will improve the lot of poor people, he’s an impassioned fool.

    There are lots of “movements” and “uprisings”. When they all coalesce into a new “people’s party” who truly represents the interests of the working classes and poor, then we will see progress.

    As for now, both political parties represent the corporate state (Fascism). I believe Senator Sanders just stated that we have become an authoritarian state. That’s been the case for decades and if you closely pay attention to the battles within the intelligence community, you can glimpse into the inner workings of the Washington Establishment.

    Not only is Trump inept, so is our political apparatus. The DNC has no answer for the working classes or poor because they’re owned by Wall Street.

  3. “So-called “white evangelicals” and their Christian nationalism have become the apologists and enablers of political extremism. Their voices are so loud when joining the course of those who hate gay people, women, and brown and black-skinned immigrants, but so quiet on issues of poverty, systemic racism, ecological devastation, and the war economy. This is a form of modern heresy and theological malpractice, taught all over the country.”

    We need to remember, 60% of the Christian churches in Germany voted to be Nazified. There’s nothing “modern” about this form of heresy. It’s a case of race trumping theology.

  4. There is something seriously psychologically wrong with the President. It is a reflection of what is seriously psychologically wrong with the vast majority of the wealthy in this country for whom enough is never enough.

  5. This change is going to have to come from the ground up. People who are and remain human – saying no to inhumanity and injustice. Whether using a religious stand or not. We live in a country that has been striving with itself for over 242 years, and we now stand in a time of abdication by our own government! Now in the time when our Constitution demands nay! Our Declaration of Independence demands! that we stand as a unified people and bring this oppression down for all! My heart is with Dr. Barber and all who are part of the American People’s resistance to tyranny! Our nation is not yet lost to these wanna-be dicatators! From the ground up from the bottom up! We have to make the voices heard – Thank you, Ms. Kennedy for bringing this to our attention!

  6. Todd,

    “Not only is Trump inept, so is our political apparatus. The DNC has no answer for the working classes or poor because they’re owned by Wall Street.”

    May I also add The Nation Magazine. I attended a private dinner in New York for their financial backers back in 2004. It sure looked like Wall Street to me.

  7. “William Barber, with his eloquence, his passion, his organizing genius –and his repeated insistence that we should never give up.”

    Perhaps. I never heard of him. I wonder HOW men like him will reach the masses? Hard to see it.

  8. I am thoroughly dismayed by the picture of our country losing its democratic basis with the
    hijinks and bigotry of Trump and company.

  9. Have you seen the latest news? 45 wants a military parade in DC. Feels a bit like Russia and North Korea.

  10. I’m getting a little tired of reading certain screeds blasting the Democratic Party without offering any solutions to fix what is perceived to be wrong. If the writers are so filled with “sturm und drang”, why don’t they bring forth what they think is needed to offset the hopeless corruption of the Republicans?

    Dividing the resistance is exactly what Republicans want. Those divisions enable their agenda from Hell. Instead of gnashing teeth, do something that promotes viable candidates to replace the Republicans. Run for office yourself, if you think you have something special to add. It’s getting very close to that time for “put up, or shut up”!

  11. Peggy,

    “Have you seen the latest news? 45 wants a military parade in DC. Feels a bit like Russia and North Korea.”

    Why not. Fascist leaders have all been militaristic.

    Earlier this morning, I received the following from http://www.socialeurope.eu on Donald Trump.

    “When the Southern Democrats became Republicans, they changed the nature of the party. Before, it was mostly middle and upper class. When its center of gravity moved south, the average income did too. The South is the poorest region of the U.S. White southerners are more impecunious than those in the North or West. The Republicans’ problem was that rural white voters had few interest in common with Wall Street. Appeals to religion (especially abortion and other social issues) and JINGOISM served to cement the loyalties of people who had little to gain from tax cuts or deregulation. Except, of course, for regulation of guns: affection for guns was the signal for adherence to other elements of rural culture [RACISM].”

    “Jingoistic, gun loving, lower class whites became the base of the Republican Party. Primaries assured their political dominance. Trump, with his racist dog-whistles and nationalist appeals, was a natural favorite. He represents the cumulated effect of structures put in place during the last half-century of party politics. Donald Trump was an unintended consequence of these trends, but he is not an accident. He may have won the election with the help of the Russians, and more likely because his Democratic opponent was unpopular with her own party, but his candidacy was a Republican affair. Trump is the natural endpoint of Republican evolution.”

    “Europeans observe events in the United States and tremble with the familiarity they recognize from their own history. Indeed, the origins of the Trump phenomenon seem eerily similar to what lay behind the rise of authoritarianism in 1930’s Europe, and to more recent politics. Yet American populism has its own roots, deeply embedded in its racist past and peculiar institutions. This, of course, is not reassuring, but understanding the past is always instructive.”

    jin-go-ism (jin’go iz’em) n. [< phrase "by jingo" in patriotic Brit song] chauvinistic advocacy of an aggressive, war-like foreign policy—jin'go-ist n. —jin'go-is'tic adj.

    ~Webster's New World Dictionary

  12. I’m with Vern. For those who think the Democratic Party is owned by Wall Street and can do nothing for ordinary American and the poor among us, tell me how the Republican Party is doing on behalf of ordinary Americans and the poor. The Republican Party is hopelessly involved in Wall Street greed and has no regard for us proles, and while there are some in the Democratic Party who may share this greedy view of things, I have found the big majority of Democrats open to policy views that include single payer healthcare, living wage laws, fairer taxation of the rich and numerous other such remnants of the halcyon days of the New Deal when wages rose in tandem with the Dow and economic growth was in the stratosphere.

    We are on the cusp of a history-making wave the likes of which we had with LBJ in 1964 or with FDR in 1936, when he won 46 out of the then 48 states. This is no time to fight among ourselves and lose out on the possibility of defeating Trumpism, Tea Party ism, Putin, the Kochs and Mercers. No, our party is not perfect, but it is much nearer perfection than our greed mongering and neo-Nazi opposition. Let’s understand that our party is one of the big tent and that with such diversity we as individuals cannot insist on perfection over adequacy and throw out the baby with the bath water. We can argue policy after November, 2018.

  13. As a daily reader of your blog, I am delighted you chose to highlight the Reverend Barber. He is a true man of God, doing God’s work and fighting for democracy in dark times. I have had the privilege of attending several of his rallies, in fact, my minister was arrested at one. If you have an opportunity to see him speak in person it is an opportunity not to be missed.

  14. Vernon,

    “I’m getting a little tired of reading certain screeds blasting the Democratic Party without offering any solutions to fix what is perceived to be wrong.”

    First things first. We also need to do the same thing with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    From the marketing classic: “Positioning: How to be seen and heard in the overcrowded marketplace” by Al Reis and Jack Trout (McGraw-Hill, New York, 2001) p. 61-2:

    “With hundreds of variations of product category on the market, the chances of finding an OPEN HOLE today are very slim.”

    “With a plethora of products in every category, how does a company use advertising to blast its way into the mind? The basic underlying marketing strategy has got be “REPOSITION THE COMPETITION.” [The same goes for POLITICAL STRATEGY AND TACTICS]

    “In other words, to move a new idea or product into the mind, you must first move an old one out.
    “The world is round,” said Christopher Columbus. “No, it’s not,” said the public, “it’s flat.”
    To convince the public otherwise, fifteenth-century scientists had to prove the world wasn’t flat. One of their most convincing arguments was the fact that sailors at sea were first able to observe the tops of the masts of an approaching ship, then the sails, then the hull. If the world was flat, they would see the whole ship at once.

    All the mathematical arguments in the world weren’t as effective as a simple observation the public could verify themselves.

    Once an old idea is overturned [for example that the Democratic Party as it now stands is an effective oppositional force] selling the new idea is ludicrously simple. As a matter of fact, people will often ACTIVELY SEARCH FOR A NEW IDEA TO FILL THE VOID.

    Never be afraid to conflict either. The crux of a repositioning program is undercutting an existing concept, product, or person.”
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    The Democratic Party needs to reorganize and get itself together before it’s too late. It’s impossible to do it from the inside. It has to be pushed from the outside.

  15. Vernon Turner:”I’m getting a little tired of reading certain screeds blasting the Democratic Party without offering any solutions to fix what is perceived to be wrong.”

    Don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. You’re not the arbiter of the content of this forum. If it bothers your delicate sensibilities so much,move on. Obviously constructive criticism of the party doesn’t seem to bother the proprietor of this blog. Again,if it bothers you so much,get your own blog.

    Btw,Marv,you’re right. Any influence for change wrt the Democratic Party must come from outside the sphere of its dependence upon the donor class. Sanders proved by having the $27.00 donations from ordinary Americans that it IS possible to forego such influence.

  16. Come to think of of it,I do believe those $27.00 donations from ordinary Americans is the impetus for all of the Sanders “hate” coming from the establishment Democrats.

  17. Gerald,

    “I’m with Vern”

    “No, our party is not perfect, but it is much nearer perfection than our greed mongering and neo-Nazi opposition.”

    If you’re talking about “neo-Nazis,” you better do more than call names. The Democratic Party isn’t even willing to call names as you have just done.

    With all due respect to FDR, Herbert Hoover didn’t have the military marching in the streets before he was elected. Please give me the name of who in the Democratic Party is going to stand-up to all that. Is it going to be your announced favorite, Elizabeth Warren?

  18. Enlightening post John. How did this happen? Obviously,too many are being left behind in this economy and how has it been enabled? Why hasn’t the amount of real people falling into poverty been addressed effectively by the party of the people? We know Republicans will never address it. If we do not question the influence of the donor class upon our party (as some do not want to read anything negative wrt the Democratic Party) how can poverty be addressed and effective action(s) taken? 50 years is a long time for having deaf ears to a problem.

  19. There are a couple of observations that are essential to understanding the current America at a crossroads. One is that this didn’t come on us suddenly. It’s been building for 3 or 4 decades, arguably longer. It’s complex as the range of opinions here daily attest to. It’s quite out of step with the rest of the world that we used to be an opinion leader in. What’s n cessation is to restore democracy itself not just make an adjustment in the direction of democracy.

    Our opportunity to take back the country needs to be equally relentless and organized.

    First things first. Send a message to the pseudo-majority Republican Party. You no longer represent us. Send a message to the Democratic Party. We’re behind you but you’re not as progressive as is needed. The donor class may be easy money but grass roots voters vote in huge numbers for adaptation to the inevitable future not the receding past. The American people are behind you and that’s enough.

    All Ds in ‘18 and ‘20. Sorting them out is the second step.

  20. Would it surprise anyone to learn that Fake President Donald Trump is eventually going to announce he’s going to be Pope? Why would that be a surprise?

    Every day, Trump introduces a new outrageous lie; sometimes more than one. And every day, the sound thinking Democrats provide perfectly logical reasons why the latest Trump claims are ridiculous. But meanwhile, Trump is working on another fabrication.

    Never before has one person gotten so much publicity, both good and bad. If Trump’s name could be silenced for seven straight days, the chances are good he’d get a migraine headache and his hair would turn orange. Let silence rule.

  21. To All –

    For the past two months I have been seriously mulling a run for a state senate office and today decided that it would be a brutal and exhausting exercise in futility to do so.

    Here is why I finally made the decision not to run…..

    -I was informed by the state Democratic party that I live in one of the three worst districts in our state to run for office as a democrat.

    -Local county and city elected offices are filled by Dems that ran as Rs in order to have a chance at getting elected.

    -The person currently in this senate seat was caucused in a year ago when his predecessor gave up the seat to run for Congress. That was Jim Banks and he won his bid for Congress with the assistance of a lot of dark money from out of state.

    – I would be brutalized in the campaign for the general election by the same dark money and I have decided that it is just not worth it.

    So folks, this is why so many good people who would like to run for office choose not to because they know going in that they would lose. Why put yourself through that?

    Until this state does something about the gerrymandering that has rigged the elections the Rs will remain safely in office.

  22. Nancy,

    I have a friend in Florida who made the same agonizing decision that you did. I will tell you the same thing I told him. You never know, look at what happened in the Virginia Delegate races (where I live) If you change your mind, I’m not rich but good for $100.

  23. Marv – Yes, Elizabeth Warren, who is my favorite at this juncture. Of course, we are a few years away from 2020 and I am open to the candidacy of others during the interim. I agree with you that it is time to call a spade a spade. As for neo-Nazism in high places, I parenthetically note that Trump has not proposed sanctions against the new Holocaust-denying fascist government of Poland, and have to wonder if he doesn’t agree with them. I also note that he has decided not to follow a veto-proof bill he had to sign by refusing to enforce sanctions against Russia, to Putin’s delight. Unfortunately, I think that investigation of these glaring omissions in foreign policy are not within the portfolio of Mueller, but the Congress if not so cowed could appoint a commision to investigate in depth Trump’s rationale for not “faithfully executing the laws” as required by the Constitution.

    There is a lot more going on (and not going on) than name-calling, a trap at which Trump excels. We have serious and unaddressed problems just under the surface in desperate need of attention and, hopefully, solution, and I continue to think this is no time for cat fights within our party. We can indulge in that luxury after chasing the foxes out of the henhouse.

  24. Pete,

    I wish it was that easy.

    The next few months should be really interesting as we start to see Trump/Pence/Bannon attempt to mesh our military with the Alternate Right, at first only in the minds of men, then their whole bodies.

    Is this not unbelievable? No it’s very believable, if you have access to a new edition of the Nazi Playbook.

  25. John Neal –

    Thanks for the offer. I have until the end of today to change my mind because I would have to make the trip to Indy from northern Indiana tomorrow to file as a candidate.

    Finding money and people/volunteers to help with a campaign would be a huge task.

  26. So William and Todd.

    I often agree with many of the points you make about the Democratic Party’s many faults. But a question:

    Who are you going to vote for in the forthcoming 2018 elections? The Socialist Party? The Green Party? The Libertarian Party? The new Bernie Sanders’ Party?

    Which of those parties do you think could attract enough voters to vote for their candidates in enough states in order to win enough seats to take control of, at the very least, the U.S. House of Representatives, and hopefully the Senate as well?

    None of the things you advocate for — or against — are or will be possible to achieve (many of which are things many Democrats are also in favor of or against) , if the Republicans retain control of both the Congress and the Presidency.

    Realistically — no matter how much some of us would like a better option, there is presently only one other U.S. political party that has a chance in hell of electing enough Representatives and Senators to accomplish removing the Republicans from controlling Congress. That, in my opinion, is probably the best we could possibly hope to achieve in 2018 (personally I’m not counting on the Republican controlled House to impeach Trump no matter what Mueller might eventually report).

    There are many ancient parables that set out the conundrum. One of the oldest is:

    Do you hold out for the whole loaf of bread that might never come, or take the half loaf that is available for the taking right now? If those are the only two realistic options for obtaining food, which option would a starving woman or man choose?

  27. I’m joining Marv and others. I’m in, and don’t worry about losing. Abe only won 3 out of 11 tries, including the big one. Nancy for president!

  28. William @ 10:26 am. I agree with your post. >>> Vernon Turner:”I’m getting a little tired of reading certain screeds blasting the Democratic Party without offering any solutions to fix what is perceived to be wrong.” Don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. <<> Access to affordable, quality health care is an important issue that affects all Hoosiers. For far too long, too many middle class families and seniors feared that one medical emergency could bankrupt their families.<<< The key words are "Access" and "Affordable". He does not define "Affordable". Affordable for who??? So you can have access if you can afford it.

    It is very clear Donnelly is committed to the For Profit System of Health Care.

  29. For some reason my whole post failed to print out.

    William @ 10:26 am. I agree with your post. >>> Vernon Turner:”I’m getting a little tired of reading certain screeds blasting the Democratic Party without offering any solutions to fix what is perceived to be wrong.” Don’t read it. It’s as simple as that.

    ======================================
    Bernie Sanders offers solutions:
    He points out that the owners of Wal-Mart and Amazon are cleaning up, paying their workers so little that they must rely on Medicaid and food stamps to survive, and taxpayers foot the bill.

    Sanders then invokes the growing citizen movements demanding real change – Medicare for All, fair taxes on billionaires, trade deals that help working people not multinationals, a $15 minimum wage, free tuition at public colleges, universal childcare, equal pay for women, criminal justice reform and more. The promises are clear, often explicit, given force by the popular mobilizations that demand them. http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/robert-borosage/77603/can-democrats-catch-a-wave-in-2018
    ============================================

    Can you imagine Joe Donnelly echoing any of Bernie’s points?? I cannot.
    In fact from Donnelly’s Web Page:
    Access to affordable, quality health care is an important issue that affects all Hoosiers. For far too long, too many middle class families and seniors feared that one medical emergency could bankrupt their families.<<< The key words are "Access" and "Affordable". He does not define "Affordable". Affordable for who??? So you can have access if you can afford it.

    It is very clear Donnelly is committed to the For Profit System of Health Care.

  30. ive challenged my neighbors,all trumpers, to, take a months pay,and move to inner city,chicago,newark,detroit,san berdo. and see what its like to, rent an apt,find a job,one that will support your family,(with a farm background) being theres no place to park a car,or,the insurence is so high,take a bus,to and from day care, or school where you dropped off your kids. do the 8/10 hours,repeat. live near nothing but concrete and walls, police harrasment,small stores for groceries,break bread with,,,,,fellow neighbors… maybe this is what all of congress should do,before they represent anyone.
    yes,i grew up in newark nj. 1960s and broke that bread,and shared my lunch. and i was a white kid,in a very diverse neighborhood. thats why i support the aclu,public education,civil rights,paid college ed,medical for anyone who needs it. mental health without question,and living wage jobs, as my connection with my neighbors gets deeper,on thier rap about welfare and crime etc, i remind them,a good paying job IS the best deterent to crime,,,how many jobs have you created today? kinda leaves em looking down…

  31. David, I agree,nothing good will be accomplished by Republicans. Unfortunately,the idea of voting for DINO’s such as Donnelly and hoping the Democratic will finally come around and help/be effective is futile and useless. I will not act as if I’m some kind of battered spouse hoping they will change with every second chance given to them. The problems Dr William Barber confronts have been plaguing America for 50 years. Where have the Democrats been for the preceding 50 years? What did they do to offset the expanding numbers of people entering poverty? What did they do when they had majorities in the House and Senate and even the WH? David F, please answer that.

    I’ll vote for Sanders if given the choice.If not,I will not hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. I will sit the presidential out. Hell,The Democratic Party didn’t want my vote after I voted for Bernie in the primary. I voted local and opted to leave the presidential empty. It’s my vote,not yours. Until the DNC becomes the party of the people, I will not support it. I’m not going to support a party that has become indebted to the investment/donor-class and willfully ignores the constituents Dr William Barber has given voice. 50 years is a long time to be tone deaf and blind to the needs of millions of people. I’m supposed to ignore that and move along to get along? Fuck that. The DNC will never get the message if millions of us continue to support it. If your rice bowl cracks because many of us are unwilling to blindly follow brand loyalty–so be it. Enough is enough. I’m not buying into the canard” don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”….Because candidates such as Joe Donnelly are not good to begin with. Candidates don’t have to be perfect. But if someone wants my vote,they need to EARN that vote. I’m not voting to satisfy you or anyone else. The DNC hasn’t learned a thing and is continuing to alienate many of us. Hell,It’s my belief the DNC and its acolytes HATE the progressives more than they hate Republicans–which really makes a lot of the “unrest” within the party kayfabe. One example; if Trump is evil personified,why have the Democrats agreed to give him and his administration increased spying powers? There you go. Kayfabe. I’m not voting for ineffective and compliant leadership to the Republican Party. It’s my vote. These two commercial enterprises (Demo & Repub) are the root of the country’s problems. Most of our problems have solutions,what is unforgivable is both parties have been willfully ignoring to remedy them for (as we have proof of) 50+ years. You’re more than welcome to continue supporting such tragedy. I will not. Fifty years is a long time. Enough is enough.

    Sorry for the long winded response….But you did ask.

    Now,flame away.

  32. we should have a anti trump,parade, across America,the same day. we use to protest vietnam, and the local radio once spoke out against the demons of nixon and the war.
    i remember, maybe its time to clean house,and get some voter,KNOWLEGE on the move,at the same time. solidarity,,,when we need it most,,,, new que,,,
    “fox news must be stuck on the Spin cycle..”…

  33. Jack,

    “as my connection with my neighbors gets deeper,on thier rap about welfare and crime etc, i remind them,a good paying job IS the best deterent to crime,,,how many jobs have you created today? kinda leaves em looking down…”

    Done the right way the divide can be narrowed. Like you, I know it can be done. For a few years, I was the lone attorney in the most rural county in Texas with a K.K.K. presiding judge. People when pushed the right way can start to listen. I never lost a jury case.

  34. Pete:” Send a message to the Democratic Party. We’re behind you but you’re not as progressive as is needed. The donor class may be easy money but grass roots voters vote in huge numbers for adaptation to the inevitable future not the receding past.”

    Pete,I disagree with this. One,they will not get the message if we continue to support the Joe Donnelly’s in the party. Secondly,the DNC didn’t learn a thing from Bernie’s campaign and his use of small dollar donors. They ridiculed him and his supporters (this happened on this very blog) and told us to go to hell and consequently chose to court the white/suburban/republican voter. Watch,they will/are continuing to court that demographic and have no intentions of diminishing their reliance upon the donr/investment-class. How will Joe Donnelly help the constituents of Dr William Barber? I can answer,he won’t.

  35. Oh,the divide could be narrowed. There are concerns that transcend “team” affiliation(s). The majority of Americans –regardless of political party affiliation– supports a real and genuine healthcare system…Of course, it’s not happening and this also suggests why it’s advantageous for certain interests to keep us bickering at one another over semantics and less pertinent subjects. The insurance-lobby is quite strong. In America,the amount of money one has is indicative of the amount of representation one can buy.

  36. William,

    “The DNC will never get the message if millions of us continue to support it. If your rice bowl cracks because many of us are unwilling to blindly follow brand loyalty–so be it. Enough is enough.”

    Agreed. Maybe a miracle will occur and the DNC will be forced to change its direction because of the pressure caused by those of us on the outside.

  37. William,

    I hope my earlier post wasn’t viewed as “flaming.” It wasn’t intended as such. As I said, I agree with much that you and Todd post about the flaws of the current Democratic Party. I, too, liked much of Sanders’ platform. If he had been the Democratic Candidate, I would have supported and voted for him. But he wasn’t.

    My only comment concerning your determination to sit out the 2018 elections by not voting (unless there is a candidate wholly to your liking) is that as far as I know, after many decades of experience, few of us ever get everything we wish for. Sometimes we get some of what we hope and wish for. And even more rarely, do we get what we actually need.

    At this point in history, IMO, what we absolutely need is to defeat the Republican party (in it’s current Tea Party, anti-government incarnation) in order to even preserve what’s left of our democracy and ideals. Then there’s at least a possibility of progress, even if it turns out to be not as much as we really need or want.

    The alternative would seem to be to get used to Military Parades held in honor of Dictator Trump!

  38. Mucho kudos to you Sheila on doing a piece on the Rev. William Barber! He is like a breath of fresh air and tells it exactly the way it really is from a Christian, a true Christian, perspective instead of the malarkey that is being pushed by all these televised evangelists that have leapt onto the Trump bandwagon out of their own push to intertwine the gospel with conservative Republican politics. I have listened a great deal to what he says and, in a very eloquent way, he’s speaking up for what Christianity is supposed to be not this sham that exists today. He reminds me of Dr. King given the vantage point he speaks from but is so humble about what he does and how it does it that he would likely be embarrassed at being compared to Dr. King.

    What he is saying, which is akin to a voice from the wilderness, is also similar to what Dr. King wrote in his famous “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” where he extolled southern clergy where the vast majority of white clergy in the south spurned his fervent requests for help given what was happening to civil rights protesters throughout the south at the time. He fills a void that is nearly totally absent today where Christians that should be speaking out against the injustices that are occurring nationwide keep silent and instead support those that commit those injustices. I think with Dr. Barber is trying to say among many other things is that religion is of man not God and that Christians throughout this country need to start standing up for what is spelled out in the gospels instead of standing with the Pharisees as they are doing right now.

    What we have experienced in our own state of Indiana over the last 4 or 5 years is a good example of how wrong headed things are right now and where people that could stand up and make a big difference in where this country is currently headed are either silent about what is happening as this country becomes more fascist in its leanings or are actively supporting it.
    Dr. Barber is a man of God that really needs to be paid attention to since he, and hopefully others, we’ll get this country to wake up to the eighth in division that is being preached at pulpits throughout this country instead of what should be being preached. In doing so a sizable chunk of Trump’s base could potentially evaporate as people come to their senses.

    Maybe that’s wishful thinking but in order to stop what is happening in this country we need a utilize everything that we can possibly think of to this stop this juggernaut from going further.

  39. Tom,

    You might want to read a few of the broadcasts over Radio Free Europe by the Rev. Paul Tillich during W.W. II. Tillich came to the U.S. from Germany to teach at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

    The broadcasts are contained in “Against the Third Reich: Paul Tillich’s Wartime Broadcasts into Nazi Germany.” You can read them on Kindle for $2.99. One of the best contains a discussion of MANUFACTURED HATRED. Trump and the Republican Party aren’t doing anything new.

  40. My, my! Testy responses. I guess the mirror in some homes don’t work. Then vampires don’t see themselves either.

  41. Thank you for your good work and research. I would like to see a combination of the WPA and the Marshall Plan. Both of those. projects’structures have already been formed, enacted and tried.

    The errors and mistakes are known. It would be better, especially for the recipients, if the Project could be ready to go quickly, rather than two or three years from now.

    I personally benefitted from the WPA when I was a child. I began my first lessons toward professional musicianship in a WPA class at the neighborhood library here in Indy. I am forever grateful to the Roosevelt Administration for this gift.

    To this I would like to add that these projects could be for the impoverished middle class – those who still seem prosperous but who are waylaid in debt.

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