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Very arresting, this mix of politics and personal. Not so easy to say something different about the midterms from what everyone else is saying!

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Thank you Trina! Appreciate it.

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Nov 12, 2022·edited Nov 12, 2022Liked by Sam Kahn

"but something significant seems to have happened on the left, a distancing from extreme progressivist positions, a sort of note-to-self that elections, in the end, are won by retail politics and by appealing to voters who want stability, who are not fundamentally ideological."

As someone who has lived in Texas the past 45 years, I have always described myself as a proud bleeding-heart liberal to conservative friends I've made here. But I have absolutely come to abhor the extreme Progressive wing of the party, with their all-or-nothing attitudes, their over-abundance of wokeness to an absurd degree, and their utter lack of political intelligence.

They have always shielded themselves from accountability for lost majorities by claiming it was because the democrats didn't go far enough, never able to see that while most of them live in progressively-safe districts, the majority of office holders within the Democratic Party do not.

I hope with all my heart that you are right about the distancing, but my intellect tells me you're not. We will continue to go through this, along with every demographic within the party believing that "the Democrats wouldn't have won without us" - be it the progressives, the blacks, or the young, always threatening to "sit this one out" if they don't get everything they want.

A white, middle-class boomer who embraces diversity in our party, but abhors the constant threats - the truth remains that we win elections because of ALL of us, and if you are one who thinks your group should stay home - good luck with what results, because it's more likely to impact you negatively than it will most of us moderates.

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It seems Progressives snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. Just think of how the Sanders movement focused attention on the class divide. We were having real discussions on inequality in economics. Then Clinton won the primaries and any discussion of class vanished. Some of my DSA friends see this as being on purpose to let rich liberals feel on the right side of history without their taxes increasing. I agree with most ' woke' positions ( used to call them Enlightened) but the language young progressives use is guaranteed to alienate most Americans. Example; use ' fairness' instead of 'equality'. Instead of talking about how something hurts Communities of Color talk of hurting the Working Class regardless of color. Bernie or AOC try to use more inclusive language that doesn't ignore the White part of the working class. We know dividing the White workers from Black ones was a conscious strategy to suppress the emergence of a multi racial class consciousness

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Agreed. It's really a problem that Republicans - Bannon was particularly skillful at this, as was Trump - stole the language of class conflict from Democrats. Talking about class is the bread-and-butter of the Democratic Party, and I suspect that the future of the Democrats - and of everything, really - is to come up with a winning discourse focused on class and economics.

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Thank you again. Yes, the feeling is that the Dems have a 'Goldwater moment' every single election and keep forgetting that progressive positions that play in the cities just don't in the heartland. That being said, I must say I've been heartened that, relatively speaking, the Dems kept it together over the last few election cycles. I really thought that 2020 was going to be a mud fight between the progressive wing of the party and everybody else and to a surprising extent it wasn't. I'm not exactly sure what to attribute this to, but party discipline has been more of a strength than not recently in the midst of the election cycle.

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Nov 12, 2022·edited Nov 12, 2022Liked by Sam Kahn

I'd like to make a personal comment to your friend's 13 yo daughter, if I may.

I'm an old boomer now, but I was suicidal in my youth as well, for different reasons, of course. My family and friends were entirely supportive, while deeply concerned, and kept telling me that things would get better, that I would be happy one day. Of course, they were absolutely right, but at that age, I had no real life experience, so the message I got was that somehow, someday, I would wake up one morning and magically feel better, with nothing having really changed, and I just didn't buy it.

What was missing in their messages to me, what I came to learn a bit later in life, was that life is fluid, like a river. What I saw as my reality at the time would become a completely different reality as life flowed through its magnificent journey. Try reminding her that her life at 13 is completely different than her life was at 10. Ask her to imagine how much it can, and will, change by the time she is 16, 20, 30.

Once that became a part of my own life experience, it was the one thing that kept me from ever becoming suicidal again. Life throws tragedies and difficulties at us seemingly randomly, each and everyone of us. Yet once I learned it wasn't the final outcome, I could work my way through anything it threw at me, and the joys and beauty I have also been able to experience throughout the now, long journey, have been more than ample rewards.

Please extend my best wishes to her, and her family.

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I deeply appreciate the note. Thank you for sharing and thank you for the wisdom from working through everything that you worked through. For my friend, it sounds like there are states she gets into that are terrifying and basically impossible to deal with. He says, "Never in my life did I think I would be dealing with something like this." So, a long, slow road - and, yes, everybody has to be so patient.

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Nov 13, 2022Liked by Sam Kahn

Great piece.

Love the illustration, but I think The Cid was ON a horse though, rather than a house. I think that was the Trojan’s, and they were in a house that was like a horse. Which is a bit like the extreme politics of either side, and how between them they tried to destroy Troy.

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Ah yes, thank you! Reminds me that I need to fire the proof-reading department. Although, come to think, maybe it's even more impressive and intimidating if his corpse rode into battle strapped to a house?

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Please don’t fire them, I’d hate to be responsible for anyone’s economic woes. Maybe just strap them to horse for a few hours, facing the wrong way…

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With these camoles, they'll just mishear and strap themselves to the nearest house. They're all fired!

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