Archive for January, 2017



Article:What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order. When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

the way of improvement leads home

bannonHeather Cox Richardson of Boston College is one of my favorite historians.  I highly recommend her most recent book To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

Today Richardson gave me permission to publish a piece she recently posted to her Facebook page.

Richardson is probably right in assuming that Steve Bannon is behind Trump’s recent Executive Order on Muslim refugees.  She describes what Bannon is doing as a “shock event.” This is an attempt to throw the country into confusion and chaos so that the administration can present itself as the only entity capable of restoring order.

Richardson explains:

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually…

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Heather Cox Richardson of Boston College is one of my favorite historians.  I highly recommend her most recent book To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party.  Today Richardson gave me pe…

Source: Historian Heather Cox Richardson on Trump’s Muslim Ban: “It’s a Shock Event”

Article:What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.” Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order. When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Dear World, From America


 

 

Dear World, From America

 

January 28, 2017January 28, 2017 / John Pavlovitz

 

Article: Please understand that nearly three million more people voted for his opponent Hillary Clinton than for him. (Yes, we realize this is completely screwed-up). Millions more voted for other candidates, and sadly nearly 90 million of our people did not vote at all. The point is, the vast majority of Americans are not with him. Article…Over the past week, we’ve watched long erected pillars of our Republic bulldozed in the stroke of a madman’s pen. We’ve seen the very hallmarks of who we are as a nation tossed in the garbage; the celebration of diverse coexistence, the open welcome to the oppressed, the guarantee of unalienable rights for every person, the same access to health and opportunity and safety afforded to everyone, the freedom to speak without censor or restraint. At this moment these are all in great jeopardy.

 

 

 

 

 

Article: We want you to know that this is not who we are. It may be who this man is. It may be who those sharing power with him are. It may even be the tens of millions who originally voted for him (though that support is vanishing quickly among those who not among the religious zealots and extremists). But this is not America. It is not the steady, strong beacon of freedom that it was intended to be. It is not the America our people have fought and died for. It is not the one first formed in the crucible of oppression and cast into the words of our ever-disregarded Constitution.This is not our America. Our America affirms the inherent, priceless beauty of every human being. Our America declares that no person is ascribed less value because of their skin color, religion, gender, financial means, sexual orientation, nation of origin, or any other variable. Our America is home for those seeking hope and joy and rest. And we are going to fight for this America. Through political channels and through grassroots activism, through the use of our Press and of our personal voices, we’re going to expose this man’s incompetence, call out his heart sickness, and condemn every violent, reckless, vicious act when it does not reflect our hearts and our will. Please do your best to disregard anything that comes from his mouth or those loudly and continually parroting his propaganda. They have proven themselves mortally allergic to the truth.

 

 

 

Article: And we hope that in whatever way you can, that you will stand with us. We know that we have made this mess ourselves. We understand that you have your own problems to contend with, some far more urgent and pressing than this, but we believe that we are a single community; that we are tethered together in our Humanity, that we are in real-time crafting the life our children and their children will inherit.

 

 

 

Article: Dear World, we’re sorry and we hope you’ll endure these days with us.

With Despair and Hope in equal measure, in Peace and Unity with you,

The American Majority

 

He does not speak for us.

 

His America is not our America.

 

http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/28/dear-world-from-america/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/23/mr-president-if-you-were-a-leader/

 

Article: I also know how you spent your first day in office. You spent it angrily Tweeting and hastily arranging press conferences. You spent it shutting down websites and pasting up photo boards. You spent it dispatching your apologists and cronies to try and discredit us. You spent it verbally assaulting the very people you are charged with caring for. You spent it spitting venom at millions of Americans who were being America, and by doing so— you proved us right.
You did this because you’re simply not a true leader, Mr. President.
If you were a leader, you would have found some humility, some dignity, some grace.
If you were a leader you would have checked that eggshell ego and that paper-thin skin and you would have paid attention.
If you were a leader you would have shut your mouth and listened, instead of responding like an embarrassed middle schooler who’d just been jilted by a crush in the cafeteria.
If you were a leader you would have realized the incredible healing that might have taken place in our country, if you had said to the millions marching and the millions more who love and support them: “I see you, and I want you to know that I want to be your President too. I want to protect you and to advocate for you and your families. I hear you and I am listening, and I will prove to you that I am deserving of your trust. We’re in this together.”
But you didn’t say any of that, Mr. President.

Article: Your supporters keep telling me to “give you a chance”. I do and you keep blowing it. You blew it again, this weekend—bigly. You squander every conceivable opportunity to show that you are for us.
If you were a true leader, you would have stepped up and met those of us marching right where we were and led us to a place of redemptive conversation and measured compromise. You would have validated and reassured and acknowledged us—but you didn’t. Instead you condemned us and attacked us and diminished us.
And this is why we’ll keep resisting you every single hour of every single day until you’re no longer here, or until you prove to all of us that you can be the leader this great nation deserves.
We aren’t going anywhere. These marches were not a landing pad they were a launching pad.
We have eyes, Mr. President and we see you clearly.
You had a golden moment this weekend to bring healing to the people of this country—and you missed it.

 

 


http://johnpavlovitz.com/2017/01/19/let-the-record-show/

Let the record show that I did not consent to this. Let it show that I did not vote for this man, that he did not represent me, that I did not believe he was deserving of being here, that I grieved his ascension.Let History record my objection to him, to the ways humiliated women and vilified Muslims and threatened protestors and disregarded people of color.Let it record my repulsion at his tremendous cruelty, his lack of compassion, his contempt for dissension, his absence of simple decency.Let witnesses mark down my disgust at the way he boasted of infidelity, at how he ridiculed a disabled reporter, at the way he attacked female opponents for their appearance, at the way he marginalized immigrants. Let it be remembered that I did not look the other way when women accused him of assault, when the reality of his Russian alliances came to light, when he refused to share his tax records—though large portions of the American media and its people chose to.

Let it be remembered that I did not buy into the fear that he perpetuated of those with brown skin or hijabs or foreign birthplaces.

Let the record show that I looked on with disbelief as he spent countless early morning and middle-of-the-night hours following the election on social media, broadcasting a steady stream of petulant, insecure, incoherent messages instead of preparing to do a job he was ill-equipped for and seemingly not all that interested in.

Let the record show that I watched him assemble a Cabinet of billionaires and bigots, of people woefully unqualified to steward our children, our safety, our healthcare, our financial stability—and that I was horrified by it all.

Let it be remembered that my faith would not allow me to fall in line behind this man while so many professed religious people did; that I saw nothing resembling Jesus in him, and that to declare him Christian would have been to toss aside everything I grew up believing faith in Christ manifested in a life.

Let History record my grieving at the racism and bigotry and homophobia that characterized his campaign, marked his supporters, and is evident in his assembling Administration.

Let it be known that I was one of the more than 65 million people who voted for Hillary Clinton; who understood that though flawed, she was an intelligent, experienced, passionate public servant with the temperament, commitment, and qualifications to lead and lead well.

Let the record show that I greatly lamented the day of his inauguration, and that I promised to join together with other good people to loudly resist and oppose every unscrupulous, dangerous, unjust and dishonest act this new Administration engages in.

History has been littered with horrible people who did terrible things with power, because too many good people remained silent. And since my fear is that we are surely entering one of those periods in our story, I wanted to make sure that I was recorded for posterity:
I do not believe this man is normal.
I do not believe he is emotionally stable.
I do not believe he cares about the full, beautiful diversity of America.
I do not believe he respects women.
I do not believe he is pro-life other than his own.
I do not believe the sick and the poor and the hurting matter to him in the slightest.
I do not believe he is a man of faith or integrity or nobility.
I do not believe his concern is for anything outside his reflection in the mirror.

I believe he is a danger to our children.

I believe he is a threat to our safety.

I believe he is careless with our people.
I believe he is reckless with his power.
I believe America will be less secure, less diverse, less compassionate, and less decent under his leadership.

And if I prove to be wrong, it will be one of the most joyful errors of my life. I will own these words and if necessary, willingly and gladly admit my misjudgment because it will mean that America is a better and stronger nation, and the world a more peaceful place.

But right now I don’t see that happening.

Right now I am worried for my country, concerned for our planet, scared for the future of my children, and greatly saddened that 62 million Americans seem okay with all of this.

Let the record show that I was not okay with it.

Not at all.

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