Democracy Diary: What should we DO?

Jonna Higgins-Freese is the author of Democracy Diary on Substack.

For almost a year, I’ve been deeply concerned about voting rights, and waiting for Democrats (and Republicans devoted to democracy, although there are so few of those left) to move swiftly to protect democracy — and speak more publicly and forcefully about the danger of authoritarianism.

States have proposed and passed hundreds of laws to suppress the vote and gerrymander districts. But, in my view, no one is sounding the alarm loudly enough.

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Freedom, peace, and hope: Lessons from January 6

U.S. Senate candidate Glenn Hurst contrasts President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech of January 6, 1941 with Donald Trump’s attack on democracy 80 years later.

It was no ordinary January day in Washington, DC. There was an expectation in the air not just on the streets of the city, but across the country. In fact, there was anticipation around the world. The U.S. president was going to speak. It was a time where authoritarianism was finding footholds in Europe, Asia, and even the Americas. Blatant racism went unchecked and was even amplified by governments and world leaders.

It was against this backdrop on January 6, 1941, that the United States took center stage in the battle for freedom. It was not just a demonstration of what could be in the United States, but a demonstration of what every nation on the planet could experience. It set the tone for the century.

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Rural Iowa's launching pad for growth: Medicare for All

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

Several years ago, a man called my clinic seeking an appointment. He did not have insurance, and in fact had not seen a physician since childhood. But on this day, he was desperate. He had felt a popping sensation in his abdomen and thought he might have a hernia. If that was true, he needed surgery, and we were the gateway to that service. We agreed to see him and to work out a payment plan later.

When I entered the exam room, it was clear something was wrong. Here was a man in his late 50s who did not look well. His skin had a bronze-yellow tint, his cheeks were sunken in, and his belly protruded. He was weak and disheveled. He repeated his story about the popping sensation and told me he could feel something protruding.

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Andrew Dunn: The kind of legislator we need in 2022

Editor’s note: Bleeding Heartland is unlikely to endorse in any Iowa Democratic primaries this year but welcomes guest commentaries by candidates or their supporters. Please read these guidelines and contact Laura Belin if you are interested in writing.

Now that the 2022 election year is here, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Andrew Dunn and I am an activist, community organizer, and nonprofit leader running to represent Iowa House district 90, serving the northeast and graduate college area of Iowa City.

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Reflecting on 2021 and the work ahead

State Representative Ras Smith, a candidate for governor, recalls his highs and lows and poses some tough questions for Iowa Democrats.

As we prepare for upcoming holidays and the close of 2021, I am reminded to once again take inventory of the year, and to reflect upon my work. What has it meant? Is it aligned with my mission-driven commitment? What lies ahead?

I continue to find beauty in the struggle.  

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Reform the U.S. Senate

Glenn Hurst is a family physician in southwest Iowa and a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

This week, Iowans received a wake-up call regarding how important it is that their candidate stands firmly on Democratic principles and at the very least supports President Joe Biden’s agenda. The demise of the Build Back Better bill, due to partisanship on the Republican side and a personal agenda of one Democrat, will leave many Iowans struggling without healthcare, without jobs, and without the ability to improve their own lives.

The nation cannot afford another Joe Manchin in the U.S. Senate.

It is sad to see how far this legislation could have moved the country and to watch it fail. This bill would have moved us in the direction that Iowa Democrats have been clamoring for. A direction that we have wanted to move toward but one that our candidates have been shy about supporting.

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