The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement

The Yurica Report obtained a copy of the original Eric Heubeck essay, “The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement” that was published on the Free Congress Foundation’s website in 2001. For an abbreviated version go to: Paul Weyrich’s Teaching Manual  posted on the Yurica Report

by Eric Heubeck

This essay is based on the belief that the truth of an idea is not the primary reason for its acceptance. Far more important is the energy and dedication of the idea’s promoters–in other words, the individuals composing a social or political movement…

We must, as Mr. Weyrich has suggested, develop a network of parallel cultural institutions existing side-by-side with the dominant leftist cultural institutions. The building and promotion of these institutions will require the development of a movement that will not merely reform the existing post-war conservative movement, but will in fact be forced to supersede it–if it is to succeed at all–because it will pursue a very different strategy and be premised on a very different view of its role in society….

There will be three main stages in the unfolding of this movement. The first stage will be devoted to the development of a highly motivated elite able to coordinate future activities. The second stage will be devoted to the development of institutions designed to make an impact on the wider elite and a relatively small minority of the masses. The third stage will involve changing the overall character of American popular culture….

Our movement will be entirely destructive, and entirely constructive. We will not try to reform the existing institutions. We only intend to weaken them, and eventually destroy them. We will endeavor to knock our opponents off-balance and unsettle them at every opportunity. All of our constructive energies will be dedicated to the creation of our own institutions….

We will maintain a constant barrage of criticism against the Left. We will attack the very legitimacy of the Left. We will not give them a moment’s rest. We will endeavor to prove that the Left does not deserve to hold sway over the heart and mind of a single American.  We will offer constant reminders that there is an alternative, there is a better way. When people have had enough of the sickness and decay of today’s American culture, they will be embraced by and welcomed into the New Traditionalist movement. The rejection of the existing society by the people will thus be accomplished by pushing them and pulling them simultaneously.

We will use guerrilla tactics to undermine the legitimacy of the dominant regime…

We must create a countervailing force that is just as adept as the Left at intimidating people and institutions that are used as tools of left-wing activism but are not ideologically committed, such as Hollywood celebrities, multinational corporations, and university administrators. We must be feared, so that they will think twice before opening their mouths…

We will be results-oriented rather than good intentions-oriented. Making a good-faith effort and being ideologically sound will be less important than advancing the goals of the movement…

There is no medium more conducive to propagandistic purposes than the moving image, and our movement must learn to make use of this medium. A skillfully produced motion picture or television documentary has tremendous persuasive power…Rational arguments simply do not have this power, and all arguments made in print tend to appeal to the rational, critical faculties of the mind to a greater or lesser degree…

The visual image allows us to illustrate our beliefs and arguments to our members and others in highly compelling terms–we will be able to show all the examples of cultural decadence, irrationality and disingenuousness in public debate, combined with our commentary, selectively edited and arranged for maximum impact…

We need more people with fire in the belly, and we need a message that attracts those kinds of people….We must reframe this struggle as a moral struggle, as a transcendent struggle, as a struggle between good and evil. And we must be prepared to explain why this is so. We must provide the evidence needed to prove this using images and simple terms….

Some will argue that “conservatives” do not believe in apocalyptic fervor. The reader should simply ask himself, is he happy with the state of cultural conservatism in this country? If not, does he think it likely that conditions will improve in the future by operating according to the current rules? And if not, is he willing to witness the death of true civilization in this country so that conservatism will not suffer the ungentlemanly taint of “fervor”? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, this movement will not appeal to the reader.

[Emphasis was added by the Yurica Report.]

http://www.freecongress.org

http://www.freecongress.org/centers/conservatism/traditionalist.htm

Read the whole thing here:

The Integration of Theory and Practice:
A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement

http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/WeyrichManual.html

Articles and excerpts – August 8 through 21, 2014

False facts and the conservative distortion machine: It’s much more than just Fox News Paul Rosenberg, Salon.Com, Aug 18, 2014   Social scientists use “knowledge distortion” index to test partisanship and reality. Guess who is wrong most often?

How the Left Is Revitalizing Itself by Gara LaMarche, The Nation, August 13, 2014    There’s more collaboration between progressive groups—and more coordination among donors—than ever before.

Who rules America? By Allan J. Lichtman, The Hill, August 12, 2014 A shattering new study by two political science professors has found that ordinary Americans have virtually no impact whatsoever on the making of national policy in our country. The analysts found that rich individuals and business-controlled interest groups largely shape policy outcomes in the United States. This study should be a loud wake-up call to the vast majority of Americans who are bypassed by their government. To reclaim the promise of American democracy, ordinary citizens must act positively to change the relationship between the people and our government…The study also debunks the notion that the policy preferences of business and the rich reflect the views of common citizens. They found to the contrary that such preferences often sharply diverge and when they do, the economic elites and business interests almost always win and the ordinary Americans lose…Ultimately, Gilens and Page conclude from their work, “economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.” Rich individuals and business interests have the capacity to hire the lobbyists that shadow legislators in Washington and to fill the campaign coffers of political candidates. Ordinary citizens are themselves partly to blame, however, because they do not choose to vote…Although average Americans cannot match the economic power of the rich, large numbers of modest contributions can still finance PACs and super-PACs that advance our common interests. If only they vote and organize, ordinary Americans can reclaim American democracy and challenge the politicians who still echo the view of old Vanderbilt that the public should be damned.

Don’t Dismiss the Humanities by Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, AUG. 13, 2014  The humanities aren’t obscure, arcane or irrelevant. They awaken our souls, influence how we think about inequality, and help us adapt to a changing world…To adapt to a changing world, we need new software for our cellphones; we also need new ideas. The same goes for literature, for architecture, languages and theology. 

The super-rich no longer need a middle class by Thom Hartmann, Alternet, Nov 6, 2013  They now inhabit a privatized economy and have left us at the mercy of the market…America is falling apart — and this nation’s super-rich are to blame….There was once a time in America when the super-rich needed you, and me, and working-class Americans to be successful….But times have changed, and the super-rich of the 21st century no longer think that you and I are needed for their continued success. And in some ways, they have given up on America, period….Unfortunately, these millionaires and billionaires who have given up on America and on the working class are in control of the political process in this country. Republicans are no longer investing in things that have traditionally made America – and the working-class – successful. Take America’s infrastructure for example…. America’s infrastructure is a mess….cutting funding to the nation’s infrastructure isn’t the right way to address American’s debt or spending problems. And it certainly isn’t the right way to rebuild this nation….But the super-rich don’t care about how much funding is needed to save this country, as long as they have their private schools, private hospitals, private airports and private places. The super-rich in this country are bleeding working-class Americans dry, while destroying the infrastructure of the nation that has done so much for their success….America’s wealthy elite did not make their fortunes on their own. Without a strong economy and infrastructure, America’s millionaires and billionaires would not be where they are today. It’s that simple…It’s ridiculous that working-class Americans struggling to survive day-to-day are paying more in taxes than billionaire banksters and oil tycoons….We’re all in this together. 

Do You Trust the Government? 87% of Americans Don’t August 16, 2014 14:07 By Kevin Mathews, Care2 | News Analysis

Breaking Out of the Party Box by Arthur C. Brooks, New York Times, AUG. 18, 2014

False facts and the conservative distortion machine: It’s much more than just Fox News Paul Rosenberg, Salon.Com, Aug 18, 2014

How the New Monopoly Capitalism Will Crush You to Smithereens By Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet, August 14, 2014

Real conservatives are conservationists By Barry Bickmore, Herald.extra.com, Provo, UT August 15, 2014

Some evangelicals in Republican Party are feeling left out, see no standard-bearer By Sebastian Payne, washingtonpost.com August 16, 2014

The Carnage of Capitalism By Paul Buchheit, Common Dreams, August 18, 2014

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar @kaj33, Time.com, Aug. 17, 2014

The Disease of American Democracy by Robert Reich, Common Dreams, August 20, 2014

The only way back toward a democracy and economy that work for the majority is for most of us to get politically active once again, becoming organized and mobilized. We have to establish a new countervailing power. Robert Reich

Articles and excerpts – Faith and/or Religion

The Right’s Stupidity Spreads, Enabled by a Too-Polite Left by George Monbiot, The Guardian/UK, February 7, 2012 — …There are some very clever people in government, advising politicians, running think tanks and writing for newspapers, who have acquired power and influence by promoting right wing ideologies…they now appeal to the basest, stupidest impulses…former Republican ideologues, David Frum warns that “conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics”. The result is a “shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology” which has “ominous real-world consequences for American society”… Confronted with mass discontent, the once-progressive major parties… triangulate and accommodate, hesitate and prevaricate… They fail to produce a coherent analysis of what has gone wrong and why, or to make an uncluttered case for social justice, redistribution and regulation. The conceptual stupidities of conservatism are matched by the strategic stupidities of liberalism. Yes, conservatism thrives on low intelligence and poor information. But the liberals in politics on both sides of the Atlantic continue to back off, yielding to the supremacy of the stupid…

Conservatives’ Reality Problem by Timothy B. Lee, Contributor, Forbes, November 9, 2012conservatives have been increasingly bold about rejecting the consensus of scientific experts in favor of ideologically self-serving pronouncements.…George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq http://progressivevalues.org.s150046.gridserver.com/iraq-update-june-18-2014/ was a good example of the kind of damage that can be done when elected officials choose ideology over expertise……

Conservatives With a Cause: ‘We’re Right’ By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times,  September 30, 2013 … “Because we’re right, simply because we’re right,” said Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, …And many, if not most, people they talk to — colleagues, friendly constituents, activists, members of advocacy groups — reinforce that opinion, bolstering their belief that they are on the right side not just ideologically, but morally as well…

Will Republican Voters Believe Anything? The Right’s Hyperbolic, Dysfunctional World By Gary Younge, Alternet.org, March 28, 2011  Polls suggest there are between one in three and one in four Americans who would believe anything…What is relatively new, however, is the level of logical dysfunction and hyperbole within the American right…

The Results Are In: America Is Dumb and on the Road to Getting Dumber By CJ Werleman, AlterNet, June 4, 2014

The Long, Sordid History of the American Right and Racism By Robert Parry, Consortium News May 20, 2013 

Fear of a Black President By Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic,The Atlantic, September 2012…

The Persistence of Racial Resentment By Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, February 6, 2013


When Beliefs and Facts Collide

by Brendan Nyhan, New York Times, JULY 5, 2014

Excerpt

Do Americans understand the scientific consensus about issues like climate change and evolution? …With science as with politics, identity often trumps the facts…. Once people’s cultural and political views get tied up in their factual beliefs, it’s very difficult to undo regardless of the messaging that is used.citizens participate in public life precisely because they believe the issues at stake relate to their values and ideals, especially when political parties and other identity-based groups get involved – an outcome that is inevitable on high-profile issues. Those groups can help to mobilize the public and represent their interests, but they also help to produce the factual divisions that are one of the most toxic byproducts of our polarized era. Unfortunately, knowing what scientists think is ultimately no substitute for actually believing it.

Full text

Do Americans understand the scientific consensus about issues like climate change and evolution?

At least for a substantial portion of the public, it seems like the answer is no. The Pew Research Center, for instance, found that 33 percent of the public believes “Humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time” and 26 percent think there is not “solid evidence that the average temperature on Earth has been getting warmer over the past few decades.” Unsurprisingly, beliefs on both topics are divided along religious and partisan lines. For instance, 46 percent of Republicans said there is not solid evidence of global warming, compared with 11 percent of Democrats.

As a result of surveys like these, scientists and advocates have concluded that many people are not aware of the evidence on these issues and need to be provided with correct information. That’s the impulse behind efforts like the campaign to publicize the fact that 97 percent of climate scientists believe human activities are causing global warming.

In a new study, a Yale Law School professor, Dan Kahan, finds that the divide over belief in evolution between more and less religious people is wider among people who otherwise show familiarity with math and science, which suggests that the problem isn’t a lack of information. When he instead tested whether respondents knew the theory of evolution, omitting mention of belief, there was virtually no difference between more and less religious people with high scientific familiarity. In other words, religious people knew the science; they just weren’t willing to say that they believed in it.

Mr. Kahan’s study suggests that more people know what scientists think about high-profile scientific controversies than polls suggest; they just aren’t willing to endorse the consensus when it contradicts their political or religious views. This finding helps us understand why my colleagues and I have found that factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines. With science as with politics, identity often trumps the facts.

So what should we do? One implication of Mr. Kahan’s study and other research in this field is that we need to try to break the association between identity and factual beliefs on high-profile issues – for instance, by making clear that you can believe in human-induced climate change and still be a conservative Republican like former Representative Bob Inglis or an evangelical Christian like the climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.

But we also need to reduce the incentives for elites to spread misinformation to their followers in the first place. Once people’s cultural and political views get tied up in their factual beliefs, it’s very difficult to undo regardless of the messaging that is used.

It may be possible for institutions to help people set aside their political identities and engage with science more dispassionately under certain circumstances, especially at the local level. Mr. Kahan points, for instance, to the relatively inclusive and constructive deliberations that were conducted among citizens in Southeast Florida about responding to climate change. However, this experience may be hard to replicate – on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, another threatened coastal area, the debate over projected sea level rises has already become highly polarized.

The deeper problem is that citizens participate in public life precisely because they believe the issues at stake relate to their values and ideals, especially when political parties and other identity-based groups get involved – an outcome that is inevitable on high-profile issues. Those groups can help to mobilize the public and represent their interests, but they also help to produce the factual divisions that are one of the most toxic byproducts of our polarized era. Unfortunately, knowing what scientists think is ultimately no substitute for actually believing it.

The Upshot provides news, analysis and graphics about politics, policy and everyday life. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/upshot/when-beliefs-and-facts-collide.html?_r=0

 

For the Bible Tells Me So?

Ultimately, this is where biblical authority rests for Progressive Christians: in relationship.

By Mark Sandlin, June 18, 2014

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Progressive Christian community here.

“It says so right there!”

If you’ve ever had a conversation about a difficult topic (like sexuality, atonement, or social justice) with a Christian who might not self-identify as “progressive,” the odds are you’ve had to respond to this kind of “logic.”

What far too many of us get wrong in that moment is that we keep going. That is a mistake.

It is a mistake because in that moment you should realize that two worlds are colliding. Continuing the conversation is going to lead nowhere while, most likely, further entrenching both sides. It’s a mistake because, to quote Cool Hand Luke, “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”

At the root of this miscommunication is a difference in understanding about the interpretation and authority of the Bible.

Realistically, though, it’s just the tip of the iceberg of a much larger problem. It’s indicative of a divide that is growing in the United States and to understand the divide within the Church we must first understand the one outside of it.

It is tempting to frame the issue as a disagreement on what we value in general or even as a struggle between belief and logic. In the end though, it is about power—either empowering people by including them in asking questions and establishing authority or establishing power over them by telling them what “the answers” are and excluding them from the process.

The whole thing is rooted in control. It’s a question of consolidating control or diversifying it. It becomes a question of homogeneity verses diversity. Should power and control be limited to the few or entrusted to the masses? Do we have a government that is operated by a limited number of powerful people and companies, or is it a government of, for, and by the people?

When this national struggle of where authority should rest and how many people get to take part in it is played out in the Church—particularly in relationship to what biblical authority looks like—the secular concept of “too big to fail,” which protects the powerful and ignores the masses, is parlayed into “too important to be questioned.”

Like “too big to fail,” “too big to be questioned” also protects the powerful but, more importantly, it protects the power itself, power derived from religion. There is little in this world that can control a soul like blind faith. “Too big to be questioned” leverages that reality and insures that the answers that best serve those in control are the only “correct” answers.

Women in the pulpit? “No. Women in their proper place.” It’s the only “correct” answer.

Same-sex marriage? “No. Traditional marriage: one man, one woman.” It’s the only “correct” answer.

Government helping the least of these? “No. They need to help themselves.” It’s the only “correct” answer.

“It says so right there!”

The brilliance of this approach is that it doesn’t need to actually say that “right there.” You just need people to believe that’s what it says. Believe it because you say so. Believe it because it allows them to feel more righteous, more pious, more accepted, and more loved by God. It’s the carrot that keeps people heading in the direction that the powerful ordain. And, it separates the wheat from the chaff, at least in the minds of those who “believe.”

It is time for that kind of biblical “interpretation” to die.

Progressive Christianity is leading the way. As we open the biblical texts and explore them more fully, as technology gives more people access to scholarship, and as we learn to listen more closely to all voices (particularly the marginalized, those the world might see as “the least of these”), we are finding one consistently expressed, overarching, biblical theology: the persistence of love.

Considering the life and teaching of Jesus, it really shouldn’t be surprising. It is the commandment he taught us to hold above all others: Love. It is the commandment he taught us sums up all the others: Love God and your neighbor. It is the commandment he taught us to extend even to our enemies: Love.

Love offers hope. Blind faith offers obedience.

Love offers communion. Blind faith offers division.

When you hear, “it says so right there,” recognize that “what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” It’s not a difference in interpretation. It is not even just a difference in opinion. It is a fundamental difference in approach that is rooted in the controlling ways of the larger society in which we reside. There is no true common ground upon which to grow this conversation. So don’t even try.

Instead, nurture the soil; create common ground. Instead of arguing, extend love. You don’t have to be “right” on this; as a matter of fact, the way they see it, you can’t be. You do, however, have to love one another.

Ultimately, that is where biblical authority rests for Progressive Christians: in relationship. It’s a relationship between each individual and the text, which is augmented by our relationship with God, which is ultimately defined by our relationship with others—even those with whom we disagree.

How do I know? Well, because the Bible tells me so.

Mark is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He is a co-founder of The Christian Left. His blog, The God Article, was recently named as one of the “Top Ten Christian Blogs.” He also writes for The Huffington Post and Sojourners. Last year he received the “Award of Excellence” from the Associate Church Press. He’s married to an amazing Baptist minister and has two fabulous teenagers. More than anything (other than peace and justice), Mark wants to have a beverage in one hand and a book in the other as he and his wife look across the shores of Ocracoke, North Carolina. He is a certified geek.

http://www.patheos.com/Topics/2014-Religious-Trends/Progressive-Christian/For-the-Bible-Tells-Me-So-Mark-Sandlin-06182014?print=1

Articles and excerpts – July 29 to August 7, 2014

The Worst Ideas of the Decade Compassionate conservatism by Reihan Salam, Washington Post, December 2009  – Compassionate conservatism won George W. Bush the White House in 2000, a year Democrats should have taken in a landslide. But over the next eight years, it badly undermined the Republican reputation for competence and fiscal rectitude…While compassionate conservatism elected a Republican president, it may have set the stage for an era of crony capitalism in which real entrepreneurship and growth are snuffed out for a generation.

The Worst Ideas of the Decade – The prosperity gospel by Cathleen Falsani, Washington Post, December 2009     …The “prosperity gospel,” an insipid heresy whose popularity among American Christians has boomed in recent years, teaches that God blesses those God favors most with material wealth.…Nowhere has the prosperity gospel flourished more than among the poor and the working class. Told that wealth is a sign of God’s grace and favor, followers strive for trappings of luxury they can little afford in an effort to prove that they are blessed spiritually. Some critics have gone so far as to place part of the blame for the past decade’s spending binge and foreclosure crisis at the foot of the prosperity gospel’s altar…

Watch This Religious Scholar Obliterate Charlatan Joel Osteen and the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ Fraud! (Video) Rika Christensen, The Raw Story in AATTP, August 6, 2014 …The prosperity gospel comes from greed, and is likely one of the roots of the religious right’s ridiculous favoring of the wealthy, and condemnation of the poor. / references The Worst Ideas of the DecadeThe prosperity gospel by Cathleen Falsani, Washington Post, December 2009

New Study: Republicans Lie More Than Democrats by: Dan Arel, The Center for Media and Public Affairs, August 5, 2014

None Dare Call It Treason By Richard Reeves, Truthdig.com, Aug 6, 2014  … the senior leader of that [Republican] party, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is on record as saying in 2010: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” In fairness, McConnell later added, “I don’t want the president to fail; I want him to change.” Didn’t happen. The president hasn’t changed. So the only option left for Sen. McConnell and his sidekick, House Speaker John Boehner, is presidential failure, failure of the sovereign. Under our system of government, the president is that sovereign. And the classic definition of treason, going back to 12th-century England, is: “The offense of acting to overthrow one’s government or to harm or kill its sovereign.”…

On Roboethics and the Robotic Human By Fred Guerin, Truthout | News Analysis August 3, 2014

 

Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael Roth, President of Wesleyan University, author of Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters in an interview on NPR, August 03, 2014 …in an economy that places a premium on high-tech skills, is a liberal arts education even relevant? On whether higher education is necessary for success – …Today the shifts in the economy mean technological change will only produce accelerated pace of innovation, of changing relations to audiences. A broad, wide-ranging education is the best way to be able to shape that change rather than just be victimized by it. On the cost of paying for college – Higher education in the United States has traditionally functioned as a vehicle for social mobility. And as costs have escalated and financial aid has not kept up with those costs, elite education has become a way of cementing privilege rather than…

How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath By Scott A. Bonn, Psychology Today, Alternet.org, July 31, 2014 – Key traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include:

  • A disregard for laws and social mores
  • A disregard for the rights of others
  • A failure to feel remorse or guilt
  • A tendency to display violent behavior

In addition to their commonalities, sociopaths and psychopaths also have their own unique behavioral characteristics as well. Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are volatile and prone to emotional outbursts, including fits of rage…It is difficult but not impossible for sociopaths to form attachments with others. Many sociopaths are able to form an attachment to a particular individual or group, although they have no regard for society in general or its rules… Psychopaths, on the other hand, are unable to form emotional attachments or feel real empathy with others, although they often have disarming or even charming personalities. Psychopaths are very manipulative and can easily gain people’s trust…

Articles and excerpts July 15 to 29, 2014

GOP’s 30-year spin job is over: Why we are NOT a center-right nation, July, 2014 http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017205489

Outside Money Drives a Deluge of Political Ads By ASHLEY PARKER, New York Times, JULY 27, 2014

How Capitalism Is Cheating Young Americans by Paul Buchheit for Buzzflash at Truthout, July 28, 2014

Deep in the Tell-Tale Heart of the Texas GOP by Michael Winship, BillMoyers.com, July 22, 2014 …the official 2014 platform of the Republican Party of Texas, 40 pages of unrestrained, right-wing bluster against you name it — women, minorities, immigrants, Muslims, gays, Obamacare, the Internal Revenue Service, red light cameras, the EPA, the World Bank, vaccinations…No level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms.” …we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.” …Roe v. Wade must be overturned… Climate change is “a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or ‘climate justice’ initiatives.” … what may be the most troubling are the platform planks urging the elimination of virtually any federal authority, the repeal of certain parts of the Constitution or insisting on archaic interpretations that most of us thought were put to bed more than a century ago…ANY federal enforcement activities within Texas “must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.”…what’s left of the Voting Rights Act would be repealed and more stringent restrictions on who’s allowed to vote would be put in place, further disenfranchising minorities…

A New Wave of Wacko Evangelicals Swept GOP Primaries—and Could Win Several Seats in Washington By CJ Werleman, AlterNet, July 25, 2014 

Motivating Corporations to Do Good by Eduardo Porter, New York Times, JULY 15, 2014

The Coming Democratic Schism by Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, JULY 15, 2014

Right-Wing Militias Are Thriving — and the Media Won’t Talk About It by Paul Rosenberg, Salon, posted on Alternet.org, July 22, 2014 

What Country Does The Most Good For The World? This Video Has The Answer By Justin Acuff on July 17, 2014  What country does the most good for the rest of the world? Simon Anholt’s “Good Country IndexIreland, Finland, Switzerland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, and Belgium. The United States comes in at 21st. China is ranked 107th, and the Russian Federation is 95th. In the category of international peace and security, [the United States is] ranked 114, sharply dragging down the rest of our score.

2014: The election about nothing? By Aaron Blake , Washington Post, July 25  …Amid the jumble of timely issues, a funny thing actually happened: Almost all of them became less important to Americans. A new poll from CNN/Opinion Research, in fact, shows not one issue is seen as “extremely important” by a majority of Americans — the first time that’s happened since before the recession. Just three years ago, three different issues were seen as extremely important by a majority of Americans: the economy, the deficit and health care…. And that makes messaging in the 2014 election — as well as predicting what happens — particularly difficult.

Why Today’s Right-Wingers Surpass Wingers of the Past By Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers.com, July 26, 2014 

The Existential Battle for the Soul of the GOP By Norm Ornstein, National Journal, July 23, 2014 What happens when extremism becomes mainstream?

Motivating Corporations to Do Good by Eduardo Porter, New York Times, JULY 15, 2014

The Coming Democratic Schism by Thomas B. Edsall, New York Times, JULY 15, 2014

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton By Marianne Williamson, www.marianne.com, posted on HuffingtonPost.com, July 21, 2014   I want a woman president…We only want to vote for you if you run like hell away from that corporate box you’ve landed in…There are the seeds of political revolution in the air — a rebelliousness, a rambunctiousness — that America has been sorely missing. It’s faint, at least on the left, but it is there… The Tea Party, sans a codependent relationship with the Republican Party, is causing a real problem for establishment Republicans. And once progressives break free of their codependent relationship with the corporate Democrats, you’re going to have a real problem on your hands too…
In the final analysis, we really do love democracy — and watching it dismantled as it’s being dismantled, and corrupted like it’s being corrupted, has taken a lot of us from denial to real depression to a collective “Hell, no!” that will have electoral consequences in 2016…Corporate Democrats might have gained some power for the party, but at the cost of its soul…I want to hear what’s true from you…I want you to name the real problems so we can trust you’d provide some real solutions…

Will Americans Set a New Record for Political Apathy in 2014? by Joshua Holland, BillMoyers.com, July 23, 2014

How All of Us Are Paying a Heavy Price for Corporate Greed By The Thom Hartmann ShowAlterNet, July 23, 2014 

Republicans’ Senate Chances Rise Slightly to 60 Percent, Data Show By Amanda Cox and Josh Katz, New York Times, JULY 27, 2014 

My party has lost its soul: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and the victory of Wall Street Democrats - A former Clinton aide on how Democrats lost their way chasing Wall Street cash, and new populism the party needs by Bill Curry , Salon.com, Jul 27, 2014

Bob McDonnell’s Corruption Trial in Virginia Symbolizes Growing Political Partisanship By TRIP GABRIEL, New York Times, JULY 27, 2014 – In Politics, the ‘Virginia Way’ No Longer Reflects Its Genial Southern Roots – ……. This state, which once took pride in the “Virginia Way,” a plain-vanilla politics of civility, consensus and relatively clean government, has become a setting of national political melodrama ……

What Moderate Republicans? By Andew Sullivan, The Dish, Oct 8 2013  There is effectively no Republican party any more. There is a radical movement to destroy the modern American state and eviscerate its institutions in favor of restoring a mythical, elysian, majority-white, nineteenth-century past. This crisis is proving that more powerfully than even watching Fox. We need to see what is in front of our nose: a cold civil war has broken out between those properly called conservatives, defending the credit of the government, empirical reality, and adjustments to modern life and those properly called radical reactionaries declaring our current elected president and Senate as illegitimate actors, bent on the destruction of America, and therefore necessitating total political warfare, even to the point of threatening to destroy the global economy.

Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments of Progressivism By Emma Roller, National Journal, July 18, 2014   “What does it mean to be a progressive?”

“We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.”

“We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.”

“We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.”

“We believe that no one should work full-time and still live in poverty, and that means raising the minimum wage.”

“We believe that fast-food workers deserve a livable wage, and that means that when they take to the picket line, we are proud to fight alongside them.”

“We believe that students are entitled to get an education without being crushed by debt.”

“We believe that after a lifetime of work, people are entitled to retire with dignity, and that means protecting Social Security, Medicare, and pensions.”

“We believe—I can’t believe I have to say this in 2014—we believe in equal pay for equal work.”

“We believe that equal means equal, and that’s true in marriage, it’s true in the workplace, it’s true in all of America.”

“We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.”

“And we believe that corporations are not people, that women have a right to their bodies. We will overturn Hobby Lobby and we will fight for it. We will fight for it!”

the main tenet of conservatives’ philosophy, according to Warren? “I got mine. The rest of you are on your own.”