Jim Chrisinger

MAGA doesn't own the flag

Jim Chrisinger flies the flag pictured here at his house, and not just on Flag Day.

The MAGA right doesn’t own the flag. The right doesn’t own patriotism. The right’s version of America isn’t even true to America’s founding, to its principles and values, or to the Constitution.  

America is a democracy, where every vote counts and every vote should be counted fairly. Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and election nullification have no place here.  

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Mike Franken for Senate

Jim Chrisinger is a retired public servant living in Ankeny. He served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, in Iowa and elsewhere.

American democracy is on the ballot. Electing people who support and will defend our democracy tops my priorities.  

I voted for Senator Chuck Grassley, multiple times. Unfortunately, Grassley no long supports democracy.  He condones Donald Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election, supports voter suppression, opposes the renewal of the Voting Rights Act (which he previously voted for), voted twice to acquit Trump, and opposed a bipartisan January 6 commission. When Grassley chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016, he refused to give U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing.  

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Voting rights: bipartisan no more

Jim Chrisinger: Today, as in 1965 and in every Voting Rights Act reauthorization vote, Republican senators have to choose.

For more than five decades, voting rights in America enjoyed strong, bipartisan support. Now Republicans have turned their backs.  

The Voting Rights Act originally passed in 1965, led by President Lyndon Johnson, who had built his political career as a get-along go-along ally of Southern segregationists.  

The final vote in the House was 328–74 (Democrats 217–54, Republicans 111–20). The Senate passed it 79–18 (Democrats 49–17, Republicans 30–1). Much of the opposition came from Southern Democrats.  

Bipartisan majorities in Congress reauthorized the act five times, most recently in 2006. The votes were not close. Even Senator Strom Thurmond, famous segregationist and 1948 Dixiecrat presidential candidate, came to support the Voting Rights Act.  

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Nine asymmetries that define our politics and hurt Democrats

Jim Chrisinger: These asymmetries reinforce each other, tilting the playing field against democracy.  

Traditionally, both major political parties competed with policies aimed at their core constituencies and persuadable voters. The policy platforms differed markedly, but a symmetry framed the fight. 

No more. Nine asymmetries now define our politics and hand the advantage to Republicans.  

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Why Republican messaging rules

Jim Chrisinger is a retired public servant living in Ankeny. He served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, in Iowa and elsewhere.

Republicans now enjoy an inherent advantage in messaging, another asymmetry in our politics. Republicans present a mostly negative agenda: they want to reverse social progress and tear down government, media, and truth. To do that, they scare people.  

In contrast, mainstream Democrats want to build; they want to use public policy and resources to advance a broad, progress-based agenda. Republican arguments are simple, blunt, and visceral. Democratic arguments are complex, nuanced, and moral.  

For example:  

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