Bruce Lear

Messaging matters in political campaigns

Bruce Lear: Iowa Democrats trying to appeal to independent voters fell victim to messaging from safe Democratic districts, where slogans only have to appeal to one party. -promoted by Laura Belin

Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Democratic strategists should read and re-read this quote before every campaign.

The election corpse isn’t cold and the autopsy knives are sharpened and poised to attack. What happened in Iowa? I’ve no ambitions to become a full-time paid pundit, but here are some thoughts.

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Voices from the classroom

Bruce Lear spoke to nine educators about the challenges of teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. -promoted by Laura Belin

Some have compared teaching in 2020 to flying a plane while it’s being built. But that’s only true if the plane lacks basic safety equipment like seat belts and parachutes, or basic amenities like beverages and working restrooms because the airplane construction budget is woefully inadequate.

Public schools are struggling, and it is time to listen to teachers.

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An unfortunate October surprise

Bruce Lear: History won’t be kind to Donald Trump’s COVID cruise and his unmasked grim reality show during a pandemic. -promoted by Laura Belin

President Donald Trump was whisked away by helicopter from the White House lawn to Walter Reed Hospital to undergo treatment for COVID-19. It happened on live TV, and the American public met the news with an outpouring of concern and best wishes.

Trump responded with reckless contempt. For a long weekend in October, America seemed less like a superpower and more like an emerging dictatorship led by a man who cares more about public relations than protection.

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When pretending isn't fun

Bruce Lear explores the layers of pretense that have hampered our national, statewide, and local efforts to combat COVID-19. -promoted by Laura Belin

We love to pretend. We dress up at Halloween. We pretend there’s a Santa Claus, an Easter Bunny, and when one of our kids loses a tooth, we pretend to be the tooth fairy. It’s all in good fun, and it’s all for the pure joy of doing it.

But pretending isn’t always fun.

When American politicians at all levels exchanged pretending and pandering in a pandemic for leading, it’s deadly. Although hind sight is always 20/20, here are some examples of where our leaders surrendered to pretending.

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Musical chairs and other bad ideas during a pandemic

Bruce Lear: The drive to throw the schoolhouse door open, even in coronavirus “hot zones,” has spawned some terrible ideas. -promoted by Laura Belin

In sports we call them unforced errors. In normal life we call them missteps. But in a pandemic, we call them deadly and foolish.

Unfortunately, the drive to throw the schoolhouse door open for business five days a week, eight hours a day, even in coronavirus “hot zones,” has spawned some terrible ideas in the name of trying to pretend, “I’m OK, You’re OK.”

Iowa is not OK.

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