Thank you for publishing Prof Cairo's piece. As the parent of a transgender son in Wisconsin, the lead up to this election has been one of increasing anxiety and fear. Many in the GOP here also want to enact the same sort of draconian laws as in DeSantis' Florida. And all too frequently, we have only been hearing the howling from the right about these issues, with very little push back from experts and care providers (as well as parents) of transgender kids. Putting Cairo's voice out there helps in letting people know the reality of our and our child's situation.

Expand full comment

Charlie's morning dose of reality almost always depresses me. Today's put me in a hole so deep I think JVL is Mr. Sunshine.

Of course people think the other party is trying to destroy America. That is what each party has been saying for the last 40 years (at least). Between Dems saying the opponent is trying to put minorities back in chains to the GOP saying Dems are trying to destroy capitalism, it makes sense we would believe it. But voters should look no further than themselves. Until voters demand better from their leaders, we will get crappy people who manipulate because that is easier.

Keep up the great work Charlie, appreciate the truth even if it causes my Prozac intake to go way up.

Expand full comment

Tucker "Hunter's laptop" Carlson is irate over a relatively minor swipe at his adult son? My, how the turntables have....

The bit about Stan Greenberg raising the alarm that campaigning on policy accomplishments is Democrats' worst performing strategy basically ruins my day, and probably my life. It validates everything JVL has been saying, and it makes it seem like democracy here has run its course. If voters want to vote for the authoritarians because of gas prices and pronouns, while there is an alternative available that is trying to solve real-world problems, and actually cares about policy, then there is no hope.

It's good to see Liz brought the shame on MTP, but if you're not listening, you can't feel the shame, and no doubt the people she was talking to were hiding out in their safe spaces. Like when Trump used to Tweet, they'll say I didn't hear that, so no comment. And I cannot agree with her when she says "if Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party, the party will shatter and there will be a conservative party that rises in its place." The party will shatter if Trump is NOT the nominee. Because he will start the third party, attack the GOP for "rigged primaries," and that is an intolerable situation for the GOP in 2024.

Expand full comment

We're facing catastrophe, but the early voting numbers are at 2018 levels (and we all know how MAGAists feel about early voting). Joe Biden is making a terrible mistake focusing on his record because voters see it as trolling and ignoring them, but "kitchen table issues" are the way to go.

I'm beginning to think that the punditry is just saying stuff to be saying it, and they don't actually know any more than anyone else.

Expand full comment

Some people really hate what they think the Democrats do with power, but they know the Republicans have become anti-democratic and concerned with power at all costs. They don't want to vote Republican, but they just can't vote for the Democrat - in fact they feel they need to oppose the Democrat.

For those people, here's a question. If anti-democratic candidates are put into power, how much say will the average voter have - no matter what their position? As power stabilizes, there will be none. On the other hand, if the pro-democracy candidates win, there are ways to influence them toward a position closer to the center. This type of candidate wants to hear from constituents and wants to balance their position toward that of their voters.

There is almost always a better outcome when voices are heard rather than ignored.

Expand full comment
Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

I'm deeply horrified by the State Medical Boards politicizing the practice of medicine in their states.

I've said the same thing about reproductive rights, but this is so short sighted and will negatively impact access to medical care for everyone in the state.

If you were a pediatrician graduating residency, even if you were medically conservative concerning the treatment of transgender teens (I would put myself in this category. With my transgender teen patients I focus very much on a comprehensive, holistic approach to mental health, with families opting to go to the "big city" if they are considering hormones/puberty blockers) would you want to practice in FL knowing that there was a precedent that your medical judgement would take a backseat to DeSantis' political aspirations? No.

I've been saying that states with heartbeat laws and total bans were going to lose OBs because no one would want to practice there (and women would die as a result). Well, you're about to see the same effect for peds. It wont be immediately obvious, but young doctors aren't going to want to move there to practice. You'll see a gradually developing shortage in a field that is already has shortages of general pediatricians and subspecialists.

Expand full comment

If you’re finding it difficult to understand how GOP leaders are abandoning conservative principles in an effort to pursue power, read:


It’s basically: On Fascism, We Rise.

If you make your way to the end of it, you’ll realize “Elections were a relic that no longer serves us” is the new “Shining light on a hill,”.

Expand full comment

RE: "Big 'no honor among thieves' vibes from House Republican backstabbers..."

also: "...nobody should be out advocating for the election of people who will not *honor* [emp. mine] the sanctity of our election process."

Honor. What is that, exactly? Besides missing in our politics in particular and our society in general? Forget the politics for a moment. What, or who, do we as a society really *honor* these days? Military service and veterans? We pretty much seem to do that reflexively, perhaps as recompense for a time not really all that long ago when the opposite was true. But, beyond that...what? And who?

The generosity and selflessness of the common everyday men and women who flock to the scenes of disasters large and small for the benefit of their fellow citizens and the - dare I say it - common good? Or the business acumen and celebrity of the billionaires who amass their fortunes and accrue their influence and power mostly drawn, in the end, from the well of the common man? Do we more admire the nameless fellow in Florida at the moment, there perhaps from another state and at his own expense, helping other people put their lives back together? Or Jeff Bazos?

And when it comes to politics, is it the folks who actually speak truth to power, or the folks with the power and who tell us they're *fighting* for *us* that we honor? These days it seems the honor is simply in the "fighting", not in fighting for an honorable cause. And that's a shame. More than a shame. But one would never know it, since shame has long departed our society as a valid social construct as well.

There was a time in our history when men could - and would - say to each other "...we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." And while the value of the fortunes involved weren't all equal, the value of life and honor were. And unless or until we, as a society, find again the value in honor (and shame), it will be the "thieves and the backstabbers" who end up calling the shots for all of us.

Expand full comment

(sarcasm alert)

What a ridiculous thought that politicians should tell us what they did for us at taxpayer expense, and what they plan to do later, rather than simply tell us that they feel our pain or try to scare the bejeezle out of us with ominous warnings of impending doom if we vote for someone else instead (see: Johnson, Ron, et al.).

Why should we demand something as out-of-date as accountability from our elected leaders? That's not tribal. Get with the times already and stop acting like those dead old forefathers who gave us that thing they used to call a stable democracy.

Expand full comment

Don Gates wrote:

The bit about Stan Greenberg raising the alarm that campaigning on policy accomplishments is Democrats' worst performing strategy basically ruins my day, and probably my life. It validates everything JVL has been saying, and it makes it seem like democracy here has run its course. If voters want to vote for the authoritarians because of gas prices and pronouns, while there is an alternative available that is trying to solve real-world problems, and actually cares about policy, then there is no hope.

This is something I have been saying for years. PEOPLE DON'T VOTE FOR POLICY. I am pretty sure that any consultant with half a brain and a background in rhetoric/persuasion has been telling the Democrats this for at least a couple of decades.

People do not even really vote for kitchen sink issues... because if you look at these supposed kitchen sink issue votes, what have they gotten the mass of people? Tax cuts for the rich, mostly. High stock market prices that don't benefit people who do not invest in the market (directly or via a retirement plan of some kind).

What is going to fix inflation? Nothing that the US government can do. Thhe US government COULD try and force gas prices down, but they would have to overcome the resistance of Big Oil to do that and would need help from people like the Sauds (who have already told us to go FD ourselves).

The so-called kitchen sink issues that people talk about often seem to break down into one of two things:

1) A vote against whoever happens to be in power (regardless of what they could or could not ACTUALLY do to fix the problem--and the answer is usually that they could not fix the problem and neither can their opponents);

2) A rationale/justification to vote for the people you want to vote for on the basis of identity/belief, even though they are basically toxic pieces of shit and you would be embarrassed to admit you agree with them (of course, embarrassment is an increasingly rare bird these days).

About 80% on the electorate that is going to vote (which is about 60% of those eligible in most cases) is already locked in. A chunk of the people left over are "leaners." meaning they lean one way or another--and they will vote their lean if they can find a decent excuse to do so.

The rest are the wild cards that actually decide elections.

You need to give people hope and aspirations. You need to inspire people. Talking about policy doesn't do that. You need to engage with their emotions and beliefs.

The Republicans have been doing this for decades. The issue is that the emotions and beliefs of their base are largely negative, selfish, and cruel towards the Other... and rather than LEADING their base out of that, they capitulated to them--because it was easier to follow than it was to lead.

Expand full comment
Oct 24, 2022·edited Oct 24, 2022

The red tsunami is here, and the only remaining question is how widespread the damage will be. Even here in Connecticut, we are starting to sweat about the Gov and Senate races, which is made all the worse by the lunatic R candidates. I'm to a point where I can't imagine less than 53 R Senate seats and +40 in the House, and perhaps Whitmer and some other D governors go as well.

This will be the most important lame duck session in a long time, maybe ever. I hope, at least, that the debt ceiling gets raised until it becomes Trump's problem again, and Ukraine aid is authorized at least through next year.

Expand full comment

Political affiliation is so ingrained in people’s identity these days. The principles my parents taught me in the 90s, have made me more of a democrat than a republican, but both of my parents will vote (R) no matter what. They don’t see that the party is no longer what it was 20 years ago, that it doesn’t align to the principles espoused all those years ago. No, instead democrats and their supporters are the enemy.

I believe the civil war we’re trying to avoid has already started. Can our country revert course? Yes. Will we? Absolutely not. That would mean many folks admitting they were wrong or made poor decisions. How often does that happen anymore?

Expand full comment

Is "independent" a euphemism for "moron?" Gas prices could only be controlled by the government if we nationalized oil companies.

Expand full comment

After reading through many of today's comments, I just want to express my EXTREME GRATITUDE that the Consitution and its Amendments do not leave the administration of rights up to "common sense."

Expand full comment

One half of Democratic election consultants "Stop talking about Trump and the Republicans and decline of democracy! Talk about your achievements and everything you've done in the past 2 years. Sell your successes! ".

The other half of the consultant universe advising the Democratic party -"Shut the hell up about all the work you've done. It’s not that voters don’t care. Voters actively turn against Democrats when they hear this."

Square this circle for me please.

Expand full comment

Thanks, Charlie....for all you do!

Expand full comment