The People Must Rise Up and Remove Trump-Pence From This Horror Show Handling of the Pandemic

July 02, 2020 by Common Dreams

The citizenry must quickly mount irresistible pressure for Trump and Pence to step aside.

by Ralph Nader

 50 Comments

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. (Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. (Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

Major changes in society can be accomplished by a fast-emerging, broad-based civic jolt so obvious and persuasive that it overwhelms the entrenched powers. The most urgent job is for people to organize to get Trump and Pence to step aside from their bungling, making-matters-worse mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic. The White House should let a professional pandemic control specialist with public health experience and an appreciation of science replace the current and ongoing Trump horror show.

Many Republican operatives watching the daily Trump virus spectacle are terrified by how the President fabricates, fantasizes, confuses, and endangers the country. As Trump lowers his and their poll numbers, Republicans would welcome such a replacement.

“We the People,” are seeing the failing Donald Trump over-riding his own scientists and paralyzing any federal leadership and coordination of state efforts, as he measures all moves by his delusional ego. The citizenry must quickly mount irresistible pressure for Trump and Pence to step aside. Let Trump focus on the November election, which is all he cares about anyway, apart from watching Fox News for hours each day, lying to the public and endlessly tweeting slanders and insults.

Trump is so cruel and out of touch that he is letting his henchman cut nursing home safety regulations, end health and safety protections for workers, consumers, and communities, and pursue the end of Obamacare by stripping 23 million Americans of their health insurance. Doing this in the middle of a worsening killer pandemic is sheer madness. We have a president at the helm of a careening ship of state acting worse than Captain Queeg.

Would any community tolerate, in Maureen Dowd’s words, such “chaos, cruelty, deception and incompetence,” in their local public safety officials?

Every day the Trump virus spreads further, while its presidential enabler is making sure sick Americans are left unprotected, and workers are left unemployed.

To be sure, there have been thousands of articles, columns, editorials, and TV/radio reports of the grotesque delays, perverse actions, quackery, and faking over the grim realities by Trump and Pence. All this takes place against the backdrop of his blundering son-in-law who is overseeing and furthering corrupt corporate bailouts. But, inexplicably, reporters and columnists avoid the conclusions that should stem from their own convictions and writings. One exception is the Washington Post editorial in May 2020, calling for Trump and Pence to step aside and let people who know what they’re doing take the reins.

The country simply cannot wait until Inauguration Day, January 21, 2021. Every day the Trump virus spreads further, while its presidential enabler is making sure sick Americans are left unprotected, and workers are left unemployed. More and more innocents are paying the ultimate price for this public health and economic disaster.

The failed gambling czar, selected to be our fake president by the unelected Electoral College, crazily gives himself a “ten” rating, admits no mistakes, and refuses to learn from other nation’s comparative successes against the virus.

Putting health professionals in charge of the “war” against the Covid-19 pandemic has worked in Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Uruguay, and Canada’s British Columbia and other countries with sane leadership. These countries are showing far, far superior life-saving results and fewer economic convulsions.

Mr. Trump, if you’re not going to resign for America’s sake, at the least, step aside for your own political campaign’s sake. A coordinated civic jolt and a laser-beam demand from the people can make you and the alarmed GOP realize you are not capable of doing the job that needs to be done. Of course, if Congress wasn’t a rubber stamp, our first branch of government could stop this lethal incompetence by mandating professional pandemic management.

For those doubters of this happening, remember the ringing statement by the demanding abolitionist Frederick Douglass—”Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”  Trump is a paper mache figure who hides behind bluffs and snarls. A civic jolt can displace him much like the statutes of slavers.

Start your “step aside” demand by calling the White House opinion phone number 202-456-1111. Urge your friends to do the same. There is no time to delay.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest books include: To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn’t Too Late to Reverse CourseHow the Rats Re-Formed the CongressBreaking Through Power: It’s easier than we think, and Animal Envy: A Fable

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Governor Newsom Signs California’s Public Banking Act Into Law

Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom gets an enthusiastic greeting on Market Street at the 2005 Pride Parade (Mark Constantini/The Chronicle 2005)

By Lucille Bartholomew on October 7, 2019 (covfinancialservices.com)

On October 2, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California’s Public Banking Act, AB 857, into law.  California previously prohibited cities and counties from extending credit to any person or corporation, and required that local agencies deposit all funds to state or national banks.  

Sunrise Movement Says Wins by Corporate Democrats Like McGrath and Hickenlooper Must Be ‘Moment of Reckoning’ for Progressives

July 01, 2020 by Common Dreams

“These were not races that progressives could afford to sit out, but too many organizations did.”

by Jessica Corbett, staff writer

 28 Comments

U.S. Senate candidates Andrew Romanoff of Colorado and Charles Booker of Kentucky were defeated in Democratic primary races in June.

U.S. Senate candidates Andrew Romanoff (L) of Colorado and Charles Booker (R) of Kentucky were defeated in Democratic primary races in June. (Photos: Andrew Romanoff/Facebook; Charles Booker/Facebook)

After a pair of U.S. Senate candidates backed by the Sunrise Movement was defeated by more corporate-friendly centrists in recent Democratic primary races, the youth-led climate group’s political director expressed hope Wednesday that the losses would serve as “a moment of reckoning for the progressive movement, and that all of us reflect on what we can do to build power and take advantage of these races going forward.”

“These were winnable races if more organizations decided to prioritize them.”
—Evan Weber, Sunrise Movement

“I’m not going to say these races are important moral victories that mean we need to work harder next time; the truth is, these races were ours for the taking and progressives blew it,” the movement’s Evan Weber said in a statement. “These were not races that progressives could afford to sit out, but too many organizations did.”

Sunrise had endorsed former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, who was beat Tuesday by former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. They were competing to challenge Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in November.

The movement had also supported Kentucky state Rep. Charles Booker. After all the votes of last week’s election were tallied, he was defeated by Amy McGrath, who will face off against GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“The final results show we could have won,” Weber said Wednesday. “Despite being outspent by almost $20 million in Kentucky, and 7-to-1 in Colorado, we fell only just short. These were winnable races if more organizations decided to prioritize them.”

He further warned of the potential electoral and political consequences of these two losses, explaining:

Voters are tired of cookie cutter Democrats who pretend they’re Republicans and who listen to consultants and donors, instead of working people. When voters learn they have a choice and hear about our candidates, they want to vote for people like Charles and Andrew. These candidates need us to have their backs and help them get the resources they need to spread their message.

That didn’t happen in time for Charles and Andrew, and because of that, Democrats’ chances of flipping the Senate seats in Colorado and Kentucky just went way down. That makes everything else we’re fighting for a lot harder, from a Green New Deal to Medicare for All.

Weber urged U.S. progressives to get “serious” about matching the party establishment’s discipline while also acknowledging that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), which works to elect party members to the upper chamber, “is not an easy beast to take on.”

When Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) “decides to anoint somebody, he pulls out all the stops, and puts so much money in their bank account that they don’t even know what to do with it,” Weber said, referencing the DSCC’s support for the victors in Colorado and Kentucky.

“We’ve proven in these races that we don’t need to match their spending dollar for dollar if we run candidates who better speak to the electorate,” Weber added, “but we will keep losing these races if we don’t come in early enough to make a difference, if we refuse to support movement candidates together when they make the brave, difficult choice to step up and run for office without bank accounts full of cash.”

Despite the recent defeats, Sunrise celebrated victories in New York last week when first-term Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lead House sponsor of the Green New Deal, swept her primary race in the 14th Congressional District and former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman won his race in the 17th District.

Sunrise has endorsed Dr. Arati Kreibich—a city council member and neuroscientist who is facing off against right-wing Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey’s 5th District on July 7—as well as Mike Siegel, a civil rights attorney and former public school teacher who will take on Pritesh Gandhi in Texas’ 10th District on July 14.

The movement is also supporting other progressives in upcoming Democratic primaries, including Alex Morse‘s challenge to Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on September 1 as well as Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich), whose election is on August 4, and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the lead sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution in the upper chamber, whose primary fight against Rep. Joe Kennedy III is on September 1.

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PUTIN DECLARED TRIUMPHANT IN REFERENDUM ALLOWING HIM TO RULE UNTIL 2036 – FIVE HOURS BEFORE POLLS CLOSE

Opposition groups cast doubt on projection of overwhelming support for amendments that would allow Putin to stay in power past 2024 

Oiled by the Kremlin’s election machine, the result of Vladimir Putin’s vote on constitutional reform – one that would allow him to rule until 2036 – was never in doubt.

But the decision by Russia’s election commission to publish “preliminary” live results five hours before polling closed was a novelty that shocked even the most cynical of observers.

The initial projection of 73 per cent in favour of amendments was broadly in line with exit polls published by state pollsters FOM and VTsIOM. They projected 70 per cent and 76 per cent respectively, also before the end of polling.

Opposition groups painted an altogether different picture. At 5.30pm local time (3.30pm GMT), their own exit polls projected a near tie in Moscow (47.76 per cent for, 52.24 against) and a heavy defeat for the president in his home city of St Petersburg (38.2 percent for, 61.8 per cent against).

The constitutional plebiscite was an unusual electoral exercise for Russia, with polling stretched over seven days and in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. Authorities said the unprecedented measure was necessary to ensure safe voting.

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For critics, it was a trick to boost turnout from a population tired of their longtime leader.

The vote is taking place in a tricky period for Mr Putin, who has lost much of his glow after a torrid few months of largely absent Covid-19 crisis management. According to Levada Centre, Russia’s most independent pollster, Mr Putin is still trusted by 59 per cent of Russians, but that figure is down 30 per cent from a post-Crimea high of three years ago.

In open polling, ie when Russians are asked to name the politicians they most trust themselves, support drops to 29 per cent. The figure is lowest among young voters, with less than one in 10 expressing affiliation.✕

This week’s ballot asked for a “yes” or “no” answer to 206 amendments in entirety, with the proposal to reset term limits buried deep amongst them. It was “technically impossible” to ask voters to go through the changes one by one, authorities claimed.

Invariably, official campaign literature focused on the other 205 amendments, targeting populist pressure points from marriage as a heterosexual union, to indexation guarantees for pensions and other social benefits. In his address to the nation on Tuesday, Mr Putin made no mention of the all-important clause on term limits.

On their part, officials claimed the vote to be Russia’s cleanest yet. Deputy elections chief Nikolai Bulayev talked about a “breakthrough” in the low number of complaints received.

Mr Putin said that election manipulation methods such as forced voting, “rounding errors” in counting and inflating turnout were “inadmissible”. But there was evidence of all methods being rolled out – and more.

On Thursday, the first day of voting, Pavel Lobkov, a journalist for the independent Dozhd television channel, reported he had managed to vote twice. He was later questioned by police for his efforts, with prosecutors now threatening criminal charges for “election fraud”.

A week earlier, a colleague from the same channel was taken in for questioning after he uncovered a corrupt scheme to register elderly voters for electronic voting. Some of the most egregious manipulations during the week were recorded in the northern capital of St Petersburg.

There, election officials were recorded by local journalists stuffing papers into the ballot box. At another polling station, an election observer claimed officials refused to give him access to voting numbers.

When journalist David Frenkel followed up on these claims a day later, he was seriously assaulted by a police officer and another unidentified man. He ended up in hospital with a broken shoulder bone.

The election monitoring group Golos reported a total of 1,500 separate infringements during the seven-day vote. Ella Pamfilova, Mr Bulayev’s boss at the election commission, dismissed the claims, and Golos as a “toxic and degraded” organisation.

Ilya Azar, the journalist who has become an unexpected alternative protest figurehead, has announced a protest for 6pm local time (4pm BST) in Pushkin Square. He was responding to a “coup d’etat”, he said in a Facebook post. But in an open admission of the impossibility of protesting in Russia, he said he would not be openly encouraging others to join him.

“Let every man decide for himself,” he said. “They should know 20,000 rouble [£230] fines and 30-day jail terms are very likely.”

SF Vietnam War vet Lee Thorn, peace activist who aided Laos, dead at 77

Kevin Fagan June 29, 2020 (SFChronicle.com)

Six years after he went to Laos to launch the first pedal-powered wireless computer designed for remote villages, San Franciscan Lee Thorn's project was creating a new network of medical computers in Vietnam to help rural clinics trade up-to-date information over the Internet. The peace activist has died at 77.
1of3Six years after he went to Laos to launch the first pedal-powered wireless computer designed for remote villages, San Franciscan Lee Thorn’s project was creating a new network of medical computers in Vietnam to help rural clinics trade up-to-date information over the Internet. The peace activist has died at 77.Photo: Kevin Fagan, The Chronicle
Lee Thorn, right, a Vietnam veteran and founder of San Francisco's Jhai Foundation, explains to Laotian schoolgirls how the world's first wireless, bicycle-powered PC will operate. Associated Press photo by Apichart Weerawong
2of3Lee Thorn, right, a Vietnam veteran and founder of San Francisco’s Jhai Foundation, explains to Laotian schoolgirls how the world’s first wireless, bicycle-powered PC will operate. Associated Press photo by Apichart Weerawong
San Francisco peace activist Lee Thorn has died at 77.
3of3San Francisco peace activist Lee Thorn has died at 77.Photo: Chris Stewart / San Francisco Chronicle

The Vietnam War left a terrible mark on Lee Thorn, searing him with post-traumatic stress disorder from guilty memories of loading bombs onto jets to rain fiery death upon Laos. So he left a mark in return.

After mustering out of the U.S. Navy in 1967, he co-founded Veterans for Peace and then devoted his life to trying to heal the impoverished nation he helped devastate all those years ago.

Throughout decades of tireless campaigns, Thorn uplifted poor villagers in Laos by installing pedal-powered computers and supporting jungle coffee farmers, medical clinics and bomb-clearance campaigns. Just before he died of cancer at 77 on June 25 near his San Francisco home, some of his final words were about the country he had come to adore.All the stories, all the timeUnlock The Chronicle for 95¢SUBSCRIBE

“I tried to do the best I could to make up for what we’d done there,” he told The Chronicle by phone from his hospice bed at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, where he died. His voice was barely perceptible, weakened by the disease. “I wish I could have done a lot more.”

When reminded of the efforts he’d made and how he had overcome the homelessness and alcoholism he sank into after the war, he managed a chuckle.

“Yeah, it’s been a pretty good ride, hasn’t it?” he whispered.

Thorn made his first stride into activism after his 1967 honorable discharge from the Navy when, as a student at UC Berkeley, he co-founded the Veterans for Peace group. A forerunner of the veterans anti-war movement, the group grew to 65,000 members by 1972, as Thorn combined efforts with fellow Vietnam veteran and future Secretary of State John Kerry and activist-singer Joan Baez. When it later merged with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Thorn settled into a career as a community organizer for peace, disability rights and anti-poverty causes.

Lee Thorn with helpers Theresa Kingston and Damon Styer paste labels on coffee bags. Chronicle photo by Katy Raddatz

Lee Thorn with helpers Theresa Kingston and Damon Styer paste labels on coffee bags. Chronicle photo by Katy Raddatz

In 1998, he read a newsletter article by Bounthanh Phommasathit, a Laotian woman who had fled the village of Phon Hong in the 1970s to become a social worker in Ohio. She wanted to help her people back home. Thorn and a friend stuffed backpacks with medical supplies, delivered them to Phon Hong, and the widespread reaction by veterans and Laotians was so positive he founded the Jhai Foundation with Phommasathit’s help.

Jhai means “hearts and minds working together” in Laotian, and until its recent closure it provided economic and technical help to poor villages throughout Laos. Its biggest moment came in 2003, when Thorn recruited tech pioneer Lee Felsenstein to create a computer that could be powered by bicycle pedals and communicate through Wi-Fi cards tacked to mountaintop trees.

The idea was to give internet access to Laotians living in huts with no electricity so they could find current prices for rice, silk and chickens and not be lowballed by city buyers. Thorn and Felsenstein — who invented the Osborne 1, the world’s first portable computer — led a team to Laos to install the so-called Jhai Computer, and after several tries the Jhai took hold as the first pedal-powered wireless computer designed for Third World villages.

Thorn expanded his efforts in Laos to include exporting coffee beans to America, installing wells, and supporting efforts to clear unexploded bombs and mines from the countryside. U.S. forces dumped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos, making it the most heavily bombed nation per capita in history.

Asked what disturbed him most about participating in the Vietnam War, Thorn would say it was his hitch on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger loading cluster bombs and phosphorous rockets onto warplanes headed over the ancient Plain of Jars and other targets in Laos.

At night, he screened on-board films of the sorties.

“Guys would die, and I would close down inside a little more each time,” Thorn recalled. “What we were doing, killing that many people from the air, broke something inside of me.”

Thorn was born in Kansas City, Mo., to Lee Everett Thorn II, a movie theater executive, and Shirley Thorn, a school nurse. After his Navy service and as he built his career as an activist, Thorn married, divorced, and struggled with homelessness and alcoholism before getting clean and earning an MBA at the University of San Francisco. In 1988, he married Bernadette McAnulty, and they remained together in San Francisco until his death.

“My dad understood that real change in the world is what matters,” said Thorn’s son, National Public Radio host Jesse Thorn.

“To have unconditional acceptance in the place where he went to seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and to know his work engendered gratitude and not resentment, meant so much to him,” he said. “And I felt it when I went to Bounthanh’s village in 2005, and everyone treated me like I was their child.”

Michael Blecker, director of the veterans aid group Swords to Plowshares, said Thorn did other vets with PTSD a service by being so open about his struggles — and did everyone else a bigger service with his reconciliation work.

“Lee was the real deal in every respect as someone who was tormented, tortured by what he went through,” Blecker said. “He did his homework and made sure he understood the story. He was an activist, a scholar, a organizer. His fingerprints are everywhere in the efforts to heal from the war.”

Thorn is survived by his wife; his sons Jesse of Los Angeles, John Thorn and Brendan Thorn of San Francisco; and three grandchildren.

Services are pending.

Kevin Fagan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: kfagan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @KevinChron

Photo of Kevin Fagan
Kevin Fagan

Follow Kevin on:https://www.facebook.com/SFChronicle/KevinChron

Kevin Fagan is a longtime reporter at The San Francisco Chronicle. He specializes in enterprise news-feature writing and breaking news, taking particular pleasure in ferreting out stories others might not find — from profiling the desperate lives of homeless drug addicts to riding the rails with hobos, finding people who sleep in coffins and detailing the intricacies of hunting down serial killers.

From 2003 to 2006, Kevin was the only beat reporter in the United States covering homelessness full time. He has witnessed seven prison executions and has covered many of the biggest breaking stories of our time, from the Sept. 11 terror attacks at Ground Zero and the Columbine High School massacre to Barack Obama’s election as president, the deadly Mendocino Complex, Wine Country and Ghost Ship fires and the Occupy movement. Homelessness remains a special focus of his, close to his heart as a journalist who cares passionately about the human condition.

He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Jose State University and was raised in California and Nevada.

Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee Could Defy “the Madness of Militarism” as Co-Chairs of the Democratic Convention’s Biggest Delegation

June 30, 2020 by Common Dreams

Khanna and Lee have a tremendous—indeed, historic—opportunity.

by Norman Solomon 

For Khanna and Lee (above)—two of the most eloquent and effective members of Congress on matters of war and peace—the upcoming convention offers an opportunity to directly challenge the Democratic Party’s default embrace of what Martin Luther King Jr. called "the madness of militarism."(Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

For Khanna and Lee (above)—two of the most eloquent and effective members of Congress on matters of war and peace—the upcoming convention offers an opportunity to directly challenge the Democratic Party’s default embrace of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.”(Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

One of the few encouraging surprises in the lead-up to the 2020 Democratic National Convention is that co-chairs of California’s huge delegation will include Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee. Progressive activism made it possible—winning caucus races to elect strong Bernie Sanders delegates in early June and then organizing a grassroots campaign for Khanna to become chair of the state’s entire delegation.

Now, for Khanna and Lee—two of the most eloquent and effective members of Congress on matters of war and peace—the upcoming convention offers an opportunity to directly challenge the Democratic Party’s default embrace of what Martin Luther King Jr. called “the madness of militarism.”

Mainline media outlets have recognized the symbolism, if not the potential, of what just occurred. Reporting has explained that progressive clout prevented Gov. Gavin Newsom from becoming the chair of the delegation, with the result that co-chair positions went to Khanna, Lee and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.

“For the past two weeks,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Sanders supporters have argued that his March 3 primary win in California meant a progressive like Khanna—an early endorser of the Vermont senator and a national co-chair of his presidential campaign—should be the face of the state’s delegation.”

Humanistic values insist that corporate Democrats must accommodate to progressive agendas, not the other way around.

The newspaper added: “The agreement is a definite win for California progressives, who got Khanna and Lee. While Lee backed California Sen. Kamala Harris in the primary, she’s an icon on the left for her history as an antiwar activist and her support for most of Sanders’ platform. . . . Progressives managed to block Newsom, who endorsed Biden in May, from a leading role. While Democratic governors typically lead their state’s delegation to their party’s convention, Newsom is persona non grata for California progressives.”

On Monday, Politico summed up: “Bernie Sanders may not be the Democratic nominee, but his followers are flexing their muscle in California.”

Politico pointed out that “the grassroots decision to sidestep Newsom was a clear departure from tradition—and a signal that progressives who backed Sanders don’t intend to be sidelined.” Along the way, “the vote underscored Khanna’s rise as a progressive wing leader to watch—and cements his role as the captain of the Bernie movement in California. . . . He has galvanized progressive support with his active legislative record to curb the president’s war powers and end U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, among other issues.”

Now, Khanna and Lee have a tremendous—indeed, historic—opportunity. Their full-throated voices for peace and justice should be widely heard in the context of the upcoming national convention.

This is a heavy burden of expectation to place on two members of Congress who are not in top “leadership” positions. Meanwhile, the burden should also be swiftly taken up by activists throughout the country.

Much is possible in a short time. As one of more than a hundred Sanders delegates elected in California a few weeks ago, I was inspired to see what we could achieve by working together to replace traditional power brokerage with genuine progressive leadership.

Warped budget priorities that have bloated the Pentagon’s spending are thefts from desperately needed funds for health care and a huge array of social programs—just as militarized police forces and bloated law-enforcement costs are continuing to drain the funds of local governments. In the midst of the pandemic, the need is vast and urgent for a massive redirection of funding, away from militarism and toward long-term measures to save lives.

Humanistic values insist that corporate Democrats must accommodate to progressive agendas, not the other way around. This certainly means disentangling the party from the military-industrial complex and multibillion-dollar health care profiteers.

While Dr. King condemned militarism’s madness, he also denounced the cruelty of inequities in funding that undermine health. “Of all the forms of inequality,” he said, “injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.”

Moral positions on these profound issues are in sync with public opinion. Over the last decade, one poll after another after another after another has reflected substantial support for reductions in military spending. Exit polls during this year’s primary elections consistently showed overwhelming support for Medicare for All.

Understood broadly and deeply, the madness of militarism is not only the normalized frenzy of preparing for war and waging it. The madness extends to ongoing financial, social and psychological investments in routine institutionalized violence—from militarizing police to glorifying suppression of civil unrest to devoting humongous resources to further military endeavors at the expense of vital social programs—methodically taking lives instead of saving them.

Such destructive patterns can’t be effectively challenged while deferring to hidebound party leaders. As co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention’s largest delegation, Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee will only have a chance to change history for the better if they’re willing to clearly and forcefully speak essential truths that powerful Democrats don’t want the public to hear.

Norman Solomon

Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of RootsAction.org. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State.” He is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.

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