Beat the Press

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Jen Sorensen

Please don’t say “Defund the Police”

Words matter.

Yes, the goal of “defund the police” — as anyone who is knowledgeable is aware — is to shift resources so police aren’t handling every single problem, many of which do not require a gun. It’s about getting rid of the military gear they don’t need and which, to be honest, is exactly what we’re protesting. It’s about retraining them and reorganizing them.

It’s the exact same thing that has been proposed for the past 100 years or so every time there is a major riot but which, for some reason, never seems to happen.defund-the-police

But the words — the words are the problem.

People hear “defund the police” and they think “And replace it with anarchy?  And have no police at all?”  And that’s not what it means.

But now we have to explain it. And words matter.

Politics is as much about advertising as anything else. You need to sell your product to the public.

Having a slogan that can be misinterpreted and abused by your opponent is not the way to sell your product.

There was a poll done a while ago where people were asked whether they supported Obamacare. A large percentage said no. The exact same people were then asked if they liked the Affordable Care Act, and the exact same people were in favor of it.

Words matter.

Note: This is NOT the same thing as watering down your policy to appease moderates. If you’ve read my blog over the past eight years or so, you know I do not believe in that — I think our views are the majority ones and we should stand by them.

This is only about the words used to accomplish those goals.

Do I like the fact that you can sell politics like you do toothpaste? No, of course not. But dammit, when I got my Political Science degree, and when I worked on campaigns as a campaign manager and also as a media contact for campaigns, I knew this was the case. Image is more important than reality. What you say is often more important than what you do. If you refuse to acknowledge that, you lose.

You will note that Biden and other politicians know this too, which is why they are avoiding the phrase “defund the police” while still agreeing with everything we’re saying about reforming the police.

We’re not giving anything up by using terms to help us win while avoiding words that could cause us to lose. Being stubborn about using the term “defund” (no matter how correct it may be) might hurt our cause.

EDIT to clarify (based on comments made on my Facebook page):  I am talking about political candidates and their operatives, not protesters. Protesters bringing this to everyone’s attention is a good thing. Protesters can also chant “Fuck Trump” all they want, but I would also advise any candidate to not use that slogan, either.

The Real Flag

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Matt Davies

Protests Don’t Accomplish Anything

So after a week of protests, all four cops have been arrested, other cops are being arrested and/or investigated over their overreactions in other cases, Minneapolis may be disbanding their police force, other cities are demilitarizing their police, the Marines have banned Confederate flag symbols, Confederate statues are coming down, and even Republicans are starting to say “Black Lives Matter.”

But yet people are still saying “protests don’t accomplish anything.”

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Declaring war

Declaring war

Clay Bennett

What every black friend of yours knows

Every single black person you have ever met has a story to tell about how they were treated differently and how they are constantly wary of doing anything that some crazy karen or racist cop might take the wrong way.

Just like every woman can tell you a story about how she was mistreated, ignored, or passed over because of her gender.

If you’re not aware of that, then you’re part of the problem. (And maybe your “black friends” aren’t as close as you think they are if you are denying what every one of them experiences.)

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Nice state you got here…

nice place

Ruben Bolling

How to Protest

“People who are protesting should not be destroying property!”

“Okay, then they’ll just block traffic.”

“Blocking traffic is something they shouldn’t be doing, either!”

“Okay, then they’ll just take a knee during the National Anthem.”

“No, they shouldn’t do that either!”

“So basically, you’re saying they should never protest ever.”

“It’s about time you got it.”

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Why They Kneel

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Mike Luckovich

A Question for the Trump People

by Guest Blogger Peter David

It would be easy to focus on Trump because, as always, not a week passes where he doesn’t say or do something stupid. This week he threatened two states because their Democratic leaders were endeavoring to make sure that people could vote by mail, threatening to try and withhold financial support because of their attempts to encourage election fraud. trumpmaskThis despite the fact that election fraud is not an issue and absentee voting doesn’t tend to favor either Democrats or Republicans. Basically he’s renewing his whole quid pro quo, threatening to keep help out of the hands of people who need it unless those people knuckle under to his demands. And why not? The GOP covered his ass in January, so he believes he can do whatever he wants with impunity.

Which, so far, he can. Inspectors General threaten to ride herd on him? Fire them. People testified before Congress over his actions or reported their concerns to their superiors? They’re gone. Walk around in public without wearing the face mask that his own people are saying should be a part of one’s apparel in pubic? Screw that: the press would take delight in depicting him wearing one, so why not risk being exposed or infecting others?

Because with Trump, it’s all about weakness. He doesn’t want to appear weak in any way, shape or form, because to be weak is to be a loser, and he absolutely cannot ever lose. Ever. This is so much a part of his persona that he literally could not say that the tests he’s taken for the Coronavirus were negative, because to him, a negative test was a failure, and failure is a loss. So he actually said, “I tested positively towards negative.” This yutz actually has the nerve to claim that Biden can’t speak properly when his own twisted psychology prevents him from saying, “I tested negative.” Meanwhile he continues to attack journalists, especially female ones, who have the nerve to ask him actual questions about his contradictions and vagueness. Indeed, for some reason he’s started talking like Yoda: “A rude question that is.” I know he’s been accused of being a Russian puppet, but it was never intended to be a literal charge.

But you know what? Screw Trump. I feel like talking briefly about his followers.

They are the ones whom experts have been describing as being members of a death cult. Although they claim that the left wing is viewing the pandemic through the haze of partisanship, this is actually a classic example of something Trump does all the time: Accuse the opposition of something that you yourself are doing. Because the fact of the matter is that it’s the Trumpies whose perceptions are being governed entirely through the haze of cult membership and tribal partisanship. They condemn Democratic governors for the unspeakable crime of worrying about citizens’ health and obeying the advisories of medical experts and epidemiologists while lauding GOP governors who place the economy above health concerns. Meanwhile evangelical intellectuals are loudly proclaiming that it’s silly to elevate fear of death over spiritual concerns and that people should be ready to die if it will serve the greater good, i.e., the economy and attending services so they can donate to the churches.

And the reason I say their opinions are tribal is because we all know that if Hillary Clinton were President and she were saying the exact same things that Trump was—that the country should reopen, that doctors’ advice should be ignored—the Democrats would be appalled and the right wing’s heads would be exploding. They’d be demanding she be impeached and loudly declaring, “That’s what happens when you put a Democrat in charge!” But no, instead they line up behind Trump, endorse his talking points no matter how stupid they are, and oh, do they hate Democrats. Indeed, that’s really why they love Trump: Because they believe he irritates the left, and it’s all about aggravating the left. Nothing else matters.

So allow me to address their perceptions, their lies, their distortions:

We wanted to be proven wrong about Trump. We really did.

We wanted our concerns to be groundless, our worries to be misplaced. We wanted to believe he would grow into the job, that the whole racist, brainless thing was an act to get elected. That he would rise to the challenges of the position. That he would protect us, and would protect the United States’ position as leader of the free world. That he could grow to be the man we needed.

We wanted our fears that, if confronted with a genuine threat to American health and safety, he would rise to the challenge.

Why?

Because WE LIVE HERE, you dumbasses. Our fates are tied in with yours, and we do not benefit from friends and family members dying, jobs disappearing, and businesses go bankrupt.

We are not so obsessed with Trump losing that we’re happy that over 100,000 people are going to be dead by June 1, that the economy has crashed, that the entire country is spiraling down the drain. Hell, my daughter was supposed to attend a BTS concert tomorrow; that’s not happening. Who knows if it ever is. No one knows anything. We’re living on suppositions, guesses and speculation, and we’re no more comfortable than you are. The difference between us is, our opinions are not shaped by cult like devotion, and yours are. You can and do hate us with all your souls, and by and large, we don’t return that hate. We just feel sorry for you and shake our heads, wondering if there is anything that can shake your faith. Apparently the only thing that can is if you die from the Coronavirus.

Which you’re very likely to do as you hold your idiotic protests and ignore basic safety measures, strutting around with your guns to prove how tough you are. You’ll infect each other because the virus doesn’t give a damn what your political affiliations are. It’ll just make you sick and possibly kill you.

To quote your leader: Sad.

Peter David is a writer whose novels include many of his own stories as well as novels in the world of Star Trek and Babylon 5 (and others).  Besides novels, Peter has written comic books (Incredible Hulk, Aquaman, Supergirl), television shows (Babylon 5, Space Cases, Ben 10), short stories, blogs, and more. Check out his web page and his wikipedia page and prepare to be overwhelmed.