Jim Chrisinger

They only have to win once

Jim Chrisinger sounds the alarm about the Republican Party’s efforts in at least fourteen states to rig elections in their favor. -promoted by Laura Belin

The thing is, we who believe in democracy have to win every election. The Trumpers, who don’t believe in democracy, only have to win once. Here’s why.    

Take Georgia for example, a red state trending purple. Democracy held in 2020 because of people like Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his staff, and local election officials across the state, most of whom are Republican. They did the right thing.  

But now, juiced by Trump’s Big Lie, the wheels are in motion for a new reality. The Georgia GOP passed a new round of voter suppression against minorities and other Democratic-leaning groups. They are preparing to gerrymander for 2022 and the coming decade. They recently enacted authority for the legislature’s appointees to overturn local election results. Raffensperger, the state’s chief election official, and other officials who faithfully fulfilled their duties in 2020, are being challenged in 2022 by Trumpers who believe the Big Lie.  

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Whitewashing history

Jim Chrisinger: The bottom line from a new law’s whitewash of history appears to be protecting the feelings of white people, particularly white men. -promoted by Laura Belin

Add Iowa to the growing list of GOP-dominated states trying to prevent an honest historical reckoning on race and sex. While attention has focused on race, sex gets equal billing in House File 802, which Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law on June 8.  

A BAN ON “SCAPEGOATING” AND “STEREOTYPING”

Along with definitions, the law adds three new sections to Iowa code: one for state and local governments, one for public universities, and one for school districts.  

Training in state and local governments and school districts cannot teach or advocate “race or sex scapegoating” or “race or sex stereotyping.”  

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Defend democracy, don't ditch it

Jim Chrisinger: Democracy is the reason the United States of America exists. How is it that so many people don’t find it to be worth defending? -promoted by Laura Belin

Those of us who are hair-on-fire upset about attacks on our democracy are having trouble understanding why others aren’t.  

No question, our democracy is under attack. See voter suppression, gerrymandering, and incoming governors robbed of authority by lame duck legislators. Donald Trump endlessly repeats his Big Lie about the 2020 election to undermine our free and fair elections. To my knowledge, no elected Iowa Republican has pushed back. Nearly 70 percent of Republicans nationally believe Joe Biden did not win legitimately.  

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We are not polarized

Jim Chrisinger: “Polarized” sounds like both sides becoming more extreme. That’s not what’s happening. One party is jeopardizing America’s 245-year grand experiment in self-government. -promoted by Laura Belin

We continually hear that our country is polarized. That implies symmetry; it gives the impression that Americans are moving farther apart on a left-right axis. The left and right each become more extreme while the middle thins.  We keep hearing politicians, pundits, and journalists claim “both sides” are responsible for this polarization.  

That’s not what’s happening, people!      

Yes, each party has extremists; that’s nothing new. What’s new is that one party, the Republican party, has veered off the political continuum. They’ve sailed off a cliff.  

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State government has better things to do

Jim Chrisinger: Government employees are just as smart, creative, and hard working as their private sector counterparts; they just have to work in a system with lousy organizational DNA. -promoted by Laura Belin

When we moved back to Iowa three years ago, our state was up and coming, a place that attracted young families, entrepreneurs, and the tech industry, as well as retirees like us. But now Iowa’s elected leaders seem intent on taking Iowa backwards: suppressing the vote, waging culture wars, and threatening public education.  

Imagine what Iowa’s elected leaders could do if they put their energies into governing to move us forward again.  

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Why is acting in bad faith so bad?

Jim Chrisinger: When elected officials act in bad faith, they poison the well of democracy in many ways. -promoted by Laura Belin

We now know that democracy is more fragile than we thought; democracy requires more than laws and institutions.  For example, elected officials need to speak and act in good faith.  

Acting in good faith may not seem like the most important thing right now.  What makes bad faith so bad?  

Bad faith is insidious because people are by definition not honest about what they are doing and why they are doing it.  Dishonesty is corrosive, to relationships and to democracy.  For example, Iowa Republicans have just passed a voter suppression bill without admitting why they did it.  

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