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marylandblue's Journal
marylandblue's Journal
January 29, 2017

For the second time in a week, I feel hopeful

Anyone else? People are fighting back and winning these first skirmishes.

January 27, 2017

How to Culture Jam a Populist

The whole world’s eyes are on Washington today, and not in a good way. As Venezuelans, we’re looking North with more trepidation than most today, even though — in fairness — the panic over Trump-as-northern-Chávez is premature. A politician is to be judged by what it does in office, not by what he says before he gets there. Beating Chávez historic economic demolition of the richest oil country in the world, during the biggest oil bonanza ever, leaving behind an inflation-ridden, bullet-stricken, hungry, ailing country — is quite an ask. But let’s see what happens.

Because in one way, Trump and Chávez are identical: they are masters of Populism.

There’s something soothing in all that anger. Though full of hatred, it promises redemption.

The recipe is universal. Find a wound common to many, someone to blame for it and a good story to tell. Mix it all together. Tell the wounded you know how they feel. That you found the bad guys. Label them: the minorities, the politicians, the businessmen. Cartoon them. As vermin, evil masterminds, flavourless hipsters, you name it. Then paint yourself as the saviour. Capture their imagination. Forget about policies and plans, just enrapture them with a good story. One that starts in anger and ends in vengeance. A vengeance they can participate in.

That’s how it becomes a movement. There’s something soothing in all that anger. Though full of hatred, it promises redemption. Populism can’t cure your suffering, but it can do something almost as good — better in some ways: it can build a satisfying narrative around it. A fictionalized account of your misery. A promise to make sense of your hurt. It is them. It’s been them all along.

For all those who listen, Populism is built on the irresistible allure of simplicity. The narcotic of the simple answer to an intractable question. The problem is now made simple. The problem is you.

How do I know? Because I grew up as the ‘you’ Trump is about to turn you into. I was cast in the role of the enemy in the political struggle that followed the arrival of Chávez, and watched in frustration year after year as the Opposition tried and failed to do anything about the catastrophe unfolding all around. Only later did I realize this failure was, in a significant way, self-inflicted.


January 20, 2017

Words of Wisdom from Kos

I don't think this has been posted here yet, but even if it has, it bears repeating and repeating...


"So my advice to donors and progressive groups trying to make sense of what comes ahead? Don’t try to build anything. Things are already being built. Instead, ride the wave. Let it carry you. If you are a donor, support the new leaders and institutions that arise from this (just like the Kochs spent countless millions supporting tea party initiatives). Embrace this new generation of activists, because these are the women and men who will deliver us to the promised land.

"In a time of darkness, this new resistance movement promises to not just mitigate the damage Trump and his Republican allies seeks to cause, but to build a new lasting progressive majority. So please please please, look for the best of what came before us, no matter which “side” it was associated with, and then embrace this future. Because it’ll be glorious."

January 7, 2017

US Consular Official Shot in Mexico, in Stable Condition

Source: Yahoo News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - An American consular official was shot in Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city in the restive western state of Jalisco, but is now in stable condition, Mexican authorities said on Saturday.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-consular-official-shot-mexico-stable-condition-174919016.html?ref=gs

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