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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Nearly overshadowed by the pro-Trump mob assault on the Capitol last week were two great political outcomes that hold an important underlying lesson for Democrats — we win when we listen.

Voters in Georgia last week elected Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the runoff elections for the United States Senate, swinging control of the Senate to Democrats. On election morning, there were breathless headlines in The New York Times, The Washington Post and other national news outlets about how Joe Biden’s policy agenda hung in the balance. Half a billion dollars of political money flooded into Georgia for the 8-week-long runoff. Some 275,000 TV ads aired, most of them in the Metro Atlanta market. Polls showed the races effectively tied as voting opened. …


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Photo via Reverend Warnock Twitter

Republican politics, in the times of Donald Trump, keep sinking to ever deeper lows. The attacks on Reverend Raphael Warnock’s faith in the Georgia senate race are the latest sign of decline.

For over a month now, Republicans have pushed a video of Warnock, the senior pastor of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and a candidate in Georgia for the U.S. Senate, giving a sermon about a lesson as old as the Book of Joshua, where scripture charges, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose ye this day whom you will serve.” …


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Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Sometime today, if all goes according to custom, Pennsylvania will join Michigan in formally certifying the vote and the obvious will become the undeniable — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next President and Vice President of the United States. For their administration to succeed, indeed for America to succeed, we have to do more than “turn the page” on the Donald Trump years. We need to confront our social and political realities, without flinching, and shape our own better tomorrow.

More Americans participated in this presidential election than ever before in our history. Though the COVID-19 pandemic presented unusual challenges, our voting systems on the whole performed well. According to the accounts of officials and party observers present, the vote was fairly counted and recorded — delivering to Joe Biden the highest vote count ever. But our democracy is damaged, and not just by Donald Trump’s evidence-free complaints of voter fraud and characteristically childish refusal to concede. …


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Photo by C Drying on Unsplash

In the summer of 2017, at a private gathering of former senior policymakers, the conversation turned to the mounting examples of Donald Trump’s erratic and impulsive behavior as president. Republicans and Democrats alike were present, all with leadership experience at the highest levels of power. These were early days for the administration. But Trump had already embraced the North Korean dictator as a pretend peacemaker, and publicly favored the Russian president’s denial over evidence verified by our own intelligence sources of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. A couple of weeks later he would compliment the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville and ram a car into a counter-protester, killing her, but Trump’s lifelong disdain for Black and Brown people was already well known. …


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Chris Wallace during a 2018 interview of Vladimir Putin. Photo via Wikimedia, edited, credit Russian Federation www.Kremlin.ru

Tonight, Fox News’ Chris Wallace will moderate the first presidential debate. Ahead of the debate, he laid out five debate topics, including one titled “race and violence in our cities.” Reaction was swift: Refinery29 ran a headline that said the topic “seems like a racist dog whistle,” CNN’s Steven Holmes called out the topic as tone-deaf, and MSNBC’s Joy Reid asked, “is this a debate or an episode of Fox & Friends?” Fox New’s latest efforts to conflate race and violence had already raised suspicions.

Here we go again.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s videotaped killing, Americans have taken to the streets in cities and towns across the country. Participation has been intergenerational and multi-racial. Rich, poor and middle-income citizens have participated. Emotions are often high and some of the rhetoric is hot. Yet overwhelmingly marchers have been peaceful, even solemn. According to an analysis of incident reports by HuffPost, 93 percent of the marchers have been orderly. …


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Photo by Cooper Baumgartner on Unsplash

If love of country is about more than symbols and ceremony, Black America has a lot to teach about patriotism.

My father-in-law used to unfurl an American flag every morning and mount it in a bracket outside the front door of the family’s small detached house in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens, New York. He left his childhood home in Vicksburg, Mississippi at 16 and lied about his age to join the Navy and fight the Axis in World War II. He was proud of his service on a minesweeper and of America’s role in the world as a defender of freedom. …


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Photo by Gage Skidmore

Elections are always about the character of the candidates. But this time, the character of the country is on the ballot. Americans this November are going to have to choose between division and lawlessness or unity and justice, between Donald Trump and his enablers in the Senate, House and many state governments, or Joe Biden and Democratic majorities in the Senate and House, and in statehouses across the country. Before we can have universal, affordable health care, or high performing schools, or economic opportunity, or reimagined policing, we are going to have to choose leaders who are interested in that agenda. …


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Photo by Michael Vadon via Flickr

Over the weekend Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark), in defense of his opposition to teaching the history of slavery and white supremacy in America’s schools, cited the Founders’ claim that slavery “was the necessary evil upon which the union was built.” Tolerance of slavery was in fact the price exacted by the South and agreed to by the North to reach the constitutional compromise that created America. Whether truly necessary is hard to accept. But Cotton illustrated more in his comment than the offhand malice of 18th century racism. …


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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The vicious killing of George Floyd has focused long-overdue attention on the frequent brutality of policing in many American communities. It has even led to calls to “Defund the Police.” Taken literally, that demand is jarring, especially to those in or seeking public office. Just the other day Vice President Mike Pence called defunding “a political agenda of the radical left” while Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden rejected defunding out of hand, saying “the better answer is to give police departments the resources they need to implement meaningful reforms.” …


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Photo by Elliott Stallion on Unsplash

In Texas, enslaved people waited two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation to be freed. When it comes to voting, Black Americans are still waiting.

On this day in 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and informed the local populace that the civil war had ended and slavery had been permanently abolished — freeing the last 250,000 people still enslaved in the United States. Christened Juneteenth, Black America still celebrates this day as the actual end of slavery in the United States. Many states, cities, and even companies have taken special pains to acknowledge this milestone today, in the wake of recent reminders of the tumultuous history and ongoing hardships of Black people in America. …

About

Deval Patrick

Former Massachusetts Governor. Committed to the values of generational responsibility and the politics of conviction.

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