With every passing day, it looks less like we have one nation divided by differing political beliefs and more like we have two warring countries battling each other within shared borders. One side represents and seeks to preserve the United States. The other seeks to destroy it.
If the goal of the GOP is, at it appears to be, gut our democracy, to disenfranchise massive portions of our population, to impose the views of the minority on the majority, to attack principles like tolerance, that no individual is above the law, and equity...
...to literally reject reality and demonstrable facts and embrace an alternative reality founded in lies and dangerous to the health of the nation, our environment, our ideals and our standing in the world, then we have left the realm of political debate.
A third of eligible U.S. voters seem committed to this toxic agenda. Worse, their views and their leaders seem to be growing ever more extreme. They reject rational debate, mutual understanding and compromise. They embrace confrontation, obstruction and destruction.
Their view, like that of extremists worldwide, is zero-sum nihilism. Either they get their way or they will destroy the whole thing. Their movement is funded by the greed of an elite that sees the extremists as the populist engine to drive their narrow agenda of self-enrichment.
This elite lives in a bubble so removed from the rest of society that it hardly matters to them what the state of the lives of the rest of us might be. They operate above and beyond the reach of the law and see politicians as useful idiots...
...and government as a needless constraint on their power. They don't believe that less government equals more freedom as those they fund preach, they believe less government equals more freedom and more wealth for them and that's all that matters.
The question we face is what do we do about it. The divisions described here have grown worse for forty years. They are manifested not just in the decay of political discourse in the country and the dysfunctinality of our system...but in grotesque inequality and suffering.
Clearly, while some of the extremists glibly speak of civil war, that is not an option. But neither is politics as usual. We are where we are because one side has embraced scorched earth tactics of insurrectionists while the other clings to the illusion...
...that old norms of behavior can work. No, it is time those who seek to preserve and defend and continue the struggle to perfect the U.S. adopt new tactics that acknowledge the gravity of the threat we face and the tactics of this very real enemy within our borders.
Vast aspects of our system are based on an assumption of common interests, of good faith, of shared principles, of a common view of reality. All of those are breaking down because one side rejects or ignores or is oblivious to them.
Other elements of our system are antiquated--like the way the Senate grants disproportionate power to the less populous states or the way the electoral college does likewise--and being taken advantage of by the minority to impose their will on the majority.
To combat this, we must reform our system. Ultimately, we must recognize that the Constitution of the U.S. is flawed and in need of some serious updating. But to be able to act on that, the majority must first find a way to maintain their rightful voice and role.
(Cognizant of the risks inherent in what the founders called "tyranny of the majority." While protecting against that, though, we must recognize the country was founded to reject the idea of the tyranny of a small, over-empowered minority with wildly divergent views & values.)
At the core of this battle is preserving the mechanisms by which the views of the majority are expressed--voting and the processes within our government institutions. The opponents of democracy recognize the centrality of these mechanisms.
That's why they have focused on perverting and undermining them via voter suppression, gerrymandering, campaign finance laws that give the rich more power, and packing the courts. And it is time those who seek to preserve the country recognize the centrality of all these areas.
Preserving voter rights and eliminating the filibuster at least in cases where those rights are at stake are today the front-line issues in our battle to win what is effect a kind of Civil Cold War within American society. These are existential issues.
Democrats, all democrats--big D and small d--must open their eyes at this moment and recognize that we are at the precipice of losing everything we value in our society because we have deluded ourselves for too long about the nature and threat posed by today's extremist GOP.
If we do not choose to defend voter rights now, if we do not reform the filibuster to allow that, if we do not then work to build our pro-democracy majority and frame the threats we face from the opposition accurately, then we will lose what generations have fought for...
...without a shot being fired.
Yes, it all sounds very dramatic, like something that would happen in another era or a far away land. That sense of it could not happen here has however been the best defense of those devoted to making it-the end of our democracy-happen here & now.
And now is the last moment we have to open our eyes and recognize the urgency of this moment, the gravity of the threat we have, and the value and irreplaceability of what we now stand at risk of losing.

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More from @djrothkopf

11 Sep
A couple of years before 9/11, I participated in a scenario exercise about terror threats that Wall Street might face. It was on the top floor of the World Trade Center. It was sponsored in part by Cantor Fitzgerald.
Tragically, a number of those who attended from that firm died in the attack. Not too long after the attack, I recall running into Howard Lutnick, the chairman of the firm, and I will never forget the look in his eyes, how haunted he was by the losses on that day.
On the day itself, I was on the phone with a friend whose apartment had a view of the World Trade Center. He stopped talking and just started repeating "oh my God, oh my God" and then he told me to turn on my television because a plane had flown into one of the twin towers.
Read 24 tweets
8 Sep
Another failed NY Times oped by Bret Stephens. Is it a bigger failure for Stephens (who is consistently bad...but seldom this bad) or the editors at The NY Times (who chose to give this kind of fact-ignoring, reality twisting sophistry a platform)?
Biden has presided over a logistical miracle w/the vaccine distribution, an unprecedented economic recovery, more job creation than any other in his first 6 months, undoing of Trumpian damage done by executive order, record appointment of judges (& w/unprecedented diversity)...
...reentering the Paris Accord and the WTO, leading the world in vaccine diplomacy, ending a 20 year disaster of a conflict, getting 125,000 people out of Afghanistan in a matter of weeks in the face of huge challenges, making combatting the climate crisis a priority,...
Read 7 tweets
6 Sep
And now, the latest Biden report from the Conventional News Network...

It's been a rough summer for the president folks because...
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--Afghanistan exit chat (although yes, the president ended a futile 20 year war and the administration managed to evacuate 125,000 people so far in one of the biggest humanitarian airlifts every and ending wars is chaotic by nature)
Read 13 tweets
1 Sep
From Afghanistan to infrastructure, the climate crisis to defending democracy, China policy to inequality, today America is having a major debate about its priorities going forward. In many ways we have squandered the first decades of this century. It is time to rethink that.
President Biden has argued that rather than investing $3 trillion in wars--the vast majority of which goes to a handful of major U.S. defense contractors--we should invest it in the real sources of our security and strength: our people, our infrastructure, R&D, health, education.
He has argued that rather than focusing on wars that cannot be won, we should prepare for the challenges of the coming century, great power rivalries, competitiveness, and addressing urgent needs like the climate crisis.
Read 9 tweets
31 Aug
In the months & years ahead we need to do a deep accounting, not just within the government but on the national level, of the flaws in our system, our politics & our society that lead us to make mistakes on the scale of the Afghanistan War, the Iraq War & the "War on Terror."
While the war in Afghanistan began with a natural impulse to seek justice in the wake of 9/11, the policy process guiding it quickly was hijacked by opportunists with personal agendas that were ideological or industry-driven. Lies became the foundations for massive national endea
But they were not effectively challenges. The Iraq War was an indecent and indefensible distraction from the mission to get Al Qaeda and Bin Laden, but the majority of the foreign policy establishment supported it and accepted many lies without questioning them.
Read 25 tweets
26 Aug
I largely agree with Dan's view here. The idea that "the blob" is after @jakejsullivan is nuts. The sources cited in the article ranged from not credible to just wrong. But I would go further. Jake is precisely the national security advisor we need.
And look, I say that as a certified member of the original blob. Also as someone who has written two books on the NSC, countless articles, and met with every national security advisor who was alive in my lifetime.
Jake has the right experience, temperament, relationship with @POTUS and respect for process. He is brilliant, creative, widely respected and has a clear vision for where US foreign policy should be headed.
Read 4 tweets

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