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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

What We Ought

 

A man who neglects his rights as a citizen
is not entitled to his rights as a citizen

-- Tiorio


Joe Biden doesn't inspire me.

Said I, ironically. 

I said it on social media yesterday (that's a screenshot of the offending post on one of the platforms where I said it)

I said the same a week ago in a similar post. 

I'll probably say it again at some future date and for the same reasons. 

Joe Biden doesn't inspire me. 

Now, given the context of that post, given my background, given the literally millions of words I've written on the subject of citizenship over the last two decades, it would seem to me that the irony would be obvious.

He said, ironically, yet again, knowing damn well that it wouldn't be. 

Here's Trump again bragging about some horrible thing he did and I'm just not inspired to vote against him, right? 

My comment was meant as biting sarcasm, because that's what I do best. 

The context seemed rather obvious, maybe too obvious I thought. My audience would be all, yeah, yeah, we get it, Jim. You're beating that poor horse into glue. 

But such are the times we live in that for many, it wasn't. Obvious, that is.

So, to be clear: my statement was sarcastic commentary on those who during the last two elections said, Joe Biden doesn't inspire me, Hillary Clinton doesn't inspire me. Democrats don't inspire me. And here we are. 

I'm just not inspired. 

That's what they said. 

The thought of losing my rights, the threat of others losing theirs, that's not enough to motivate me. The threat of literal fascism marching in the streets of America, that's not enough to get me to the polls. A Supreme Court of partisan hacks bought and paid for by billionaires, I'm just not worried about that, not enough to get excited anyway. The rise of religious fanaticism just doesn't do it for me. Nor does violent racism, or  jingoism, nationalism, war, or the loss of our allies and a new alignment with our enemies. Hillary wears pantsuits, Joe is old, meh, let's see what's on Netflix. 

It's not my problem. 

Or, well, okay, maybe it is. But, still, I need to like the candidate. They have to excite me. They have to earn my vote. They have to connect with me. I need to be inspired

I need a unicorn. 

Or I'm just not going to show up. 

Right? You remember. 

What's that? Oh, you don't remember? Yeah, funny how short our collective memory is, ain't it? 

You can find those very comments right here on this blog. Take a look at my social media feeds. Roll back to 2015-16, 2019-20. I wrote thousands of words about it and got tens of thousand of comments -- from uninspired Progressives and far left liberals who told me they weren't going to show if they didn't get a pony and pat on the head.

Hell, look at the elections. Sure, Biden won the last time around, but it was a close thing and it shouldn't have been. 

Look at the House and tell me why there's a Republican majority hung like a millstone around Biden's neck? 

I wrote about it in such volume and in such frequency during the last twenty years of elections that now I am uninspired to write about it any more -- which is one of the reasons you see so few long-form essays from me these days. 

It really started to feel like pissing into the wind. 

But I digress. 

Look, you don't have to get it from me, you can find those very comments right now, today, across social media. Some are foreign agents trying to keep you home and put Trump back in office, true, but sadly many are not. 

(In fairness, I got thousands of responses from those who understood their duty and who intended to do it even if they had to crawl through broken glass to the polling station. Vote blue, no matter who, remember? And they did, thankfully)

But it was the ones who weren't inspired then and who tell me they're just not inspired now that I was sarcastically mocking. The ones mad about a war in a foreign land or inflation or global warming or whatever single issue cause is worth burning down civilization for. 

Joe Biden just doesn't inspire me, they say. 


Joe Biden doesn't inspire me, I said, ironically quoting those Americans. 


A lot of my audience got it. 

But a some didn't and, boy, were they mad. 

Whadayya mean, you ain't inspired! How dare you not be inspired! Why, Joe Biden is the most inspirational president since Jesus! He's practically Washington, Lincoln, and FDR all rolled into one! How can you not be inspired? What are you, some sort of Trump voter? 

One guy suggested I be hauled away by "brownshirts" as a fitting punishment for not being sufficiently inspired. 

When he found out I was being ironic, he got even madder and more insulting. 

He wasn't the only one. I've got an inbox here full of threats and hate and anger from self described lefties. 

I'm not sure what the goal is, the point of this hate.

I asked, but I never got an answer. 

Oh, you're not inspired? Weeell, I hope the Nazis come and haul you away! You ignorant dipshit!

What's the objective of wishing some (assumed) uninspired progressive into the cornfield? 

(for the record: I'm neither uninspired or a progressive. Nor am I actually a democrat. And I'm only a liberal in comparison to the hard right turn this country has made in recent years)

For my critic, it's not enough to vote for Joe Biden, you have to be inspired or you deserve to get murdered by fascists.  

Tell me, how is that better, more moral, more righteous than those MAGA Republicans threatening to murder and imprison the jurists who convicted Trump of crimes in New York? That's like wishing rape on someone sent to prison, as I pointed out to my critic. He didn't get it. That said I wouldn't wish that violation on anyone including Trump should he ever actually be held accountable for his crimes. And you shouldn't either -- if you're the people you say you are anyway. 

I get the anger. 

I feel it myself. 

But where's the moral high ground in wishing horror on your enemies -- or on those who, in point of fact, might even be your allies, except they're not enthusiastic about it enough to suit you? 

Which is it? The cheering or the results that matter?


Joe Biden doesn't inspire me.


Even if I hadn't meant that ironically, it's not a particularly controversial statement. 

Certainly not controversial enough to wish Nazis on someone. 

A politician doesn't inspire me and so what? I'm not in a cult. 

Do you have to be inspired to vote for the guy? 

Really? Do you have to be illuminated by a divine light from heaven accompanied by a chorus of angels in order to do your duty to the Republic? 

Do you really?

Me? I don't need to be inspired to vote for good and against bad. 

I don't need inspiration to stand against fascism and insanity and the violent implosion of civilization. 

I don't even need to be excited about it. 

I mean, if my choices are the runny shit sandwich that is Donald Trump or literally anything else, I'm going to march my uninspired ass down to the polling station, pushing aside armed goons in MAGA hats if I have to, and do my job as a citizen. 

I don't need to be excited about it. 

I don't need a pat on the head and an attaboy.

I don't need to be inspired. 

For more than twenty years in uniform, I did my duty to my country. There were damn few days I felt particularly inspired by it. Most of those days were goddamn grim indeed, that's the nature of war and of serving under leaders who lie to you and a citizenry who thinks you're some sort of monster or robot -- until they need you to be a hero. But again, I digress. 

It was my job and I did it, because if I didn't others would suffer for my dereliction. 

Likewise, I don't need inspiration to do my job as a citizen. 


Joe Biden doesn't inspire me and so what? 


You know who's inspired? 

Nazis. 

Shouting crowds of wannabe fascists. Oh, are they ever inspired. 

There was nothing more inspiring than a hundred thousand Germans shouting Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler! as that charismatic madman ranted about Jews and communists and led them to ruin and death while heroic music thundered over the field and the Swastika banners cracked in the cold wind.

Goddamn, you talk about inspiring! 

A century later and there is no one more inspired than a crowd of dimwitted goons in MAGA hats and Fuck Your Feelings t-shirts shouting Make America Great Again! as another charismatic madman rants about sharks and batteries and building walls to keep the undesirables from getting a piece of America for themselves. 

The same feverish glow of inspiration shines in their eyes just as it did at Nuremberg all those years ago. 

The choices in this election couldn't be more stark. 

So a lot of people are fired up and, yeah, maybe they're finally inspired enough to vote for a politician, or at least against the other one. 

Maybe. 

Maybe it will be inspiration that decides the fate of our nation this time around. 

But what about those elections where it's not life and death? 

What about those elections where it's just the dogcatcher? Or the local mayor. Or a couple of judges. Or some ballot initiative that has no impact on you either way? 

What about those off-year elections where you're just voting on your Congressman? 

Nothing very inspiring about those elections, is there? 

So why show up at all? 

If you have to be inspired, well, you won't. 

And then others will suffer.

Because when you don't show up we end up here.


You see, it's not about inspiration. 


It's not about excitement. 

It's not about liking a politician. 

It's not about you

It's about civilization. 

It's about all those who depend on us. It's about giving voice to the voiceless. It's about lifting up others. It's about defending those who can't defend themselves and it's about standing as allies with those who can. 

It's about being on the right side of history. 

It's about leadership, it's about citizenship, it's about duty, it's about doing your goddamn job because it's your goddamn job and nobody else's. 

It's about being an adult. 

You don't need a pony or a pat on the head. 

And if you only show up because you're inspired, well, then you're a shitty excuse for a citizen and a human being.

Guess what? You're not a fucking hero.

You're something more, better, you're a American and it's your goddamn job to do the grunt work of democracy, not for yourself but for future generations. 

You don't need to be inspired. 

Instead, you must be the inspiration for others

If you want a better nation, be a better citizen. 


In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty.
-- Saint Augustine


70 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jim. I'm trying to maintain my sanity by avoiding most of the news, and living for Roevember. I don't care if I'm inspired to keep Joe and Kamala in office or against that loser who has no business in the Oval (and never did) but I'm ready to do my thing just as soon as that day rolls around.
    Are we allowed to share this link on message boards, etc?

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    1. This is my comment. I forgot to identify before I posted! 🤭🤭

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    2. Yes share. Consider it part of your duty as a citizen to vote against fascists in all local, state, and federal elections and to help others to vote against authoritarians.

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  2. Thank you, again, for putting on paper what needs to be said. And more fluently than most of us can.

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  3. I am happy to see this essay after the folderol on social media. I am old. I knew exactly what you meant, and was completely flummoxed by the vitriol hurled your way. You stood your ground. You were respectful. You were patient. Much more patient than many deserved. I will be voting for Joe Biden again and I know my vote is for a decent man who knows how to do the job and serve his country. Thank you for stirring the pot. Although some of us don't need inspiration, I truly think you inspired a few to truly think about the real issues of this election.

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  4. Thank you Jim vote blue

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  5. You hit the nail squarely on the head when you used the phrase “our job as citizens.” Citizen is the highest office but so few people even consider it a job. Maybe, if we started looking at it as a duty instead of a once every 4 year spectator sport (like the Olympics) citizens would take their role more seriously.

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  6. Remember that the millstone around Biden neck was carved in the 2010 state elections when far too many were not “inspired”. Show up, be better citizens, earn a better nation.

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  7. People got Big Mad Online!

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  8. This. Exactly! Inspiration is for tent revivals. Motivation, now that’s a different thing. Just watching the orange one in action should be motivation for anyone with one living brain cell to get their uninspired a$$ to the polling place.

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    1. Skyriver: Absolutely spot on!!! I am MOTIVATED to avoid a TFG disaster.

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  9. You say, what I think!
    Thank you!

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  10. Much as I wish I could be inspired by a candidate, I view inspiration as a luxury. I can’t afford luxuries these days, and neither can anyone else. Should the worst happen, I fully expect that we will see the end of democracy in my lifetime, something that way back when I was first old enough to vote, a possibility I never would have even considered.

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  11. Brilliant. Voting in elections is our responsibility as citizens. There’s no reward for fulfilling basic responsibilities, other than the glow of righteousness in completing a necessary task.

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    1. “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”

      ― Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

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  12. Thank you! You are absolutely correct. It is our job as citizens of this country to do all we can to insure future generations are as fortunate as we are to have a voice! Don't be just an every 4-year voter. A lot can change very quickly by ignoring mid-terms and special elections!

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    1. This is my comment. I forgot to identify myself before I posted.🤭🤭

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  13. What I am inspired about is making sure that I vote against Trump. Like you, I am not totally excited about Joe Biden, but he has done more in 4 years than Trump has ever done in a lifetime of chances to do something good. Doing good isn't in that man's blood. Good essay Jim, and don't let some uninspired commenters get to you. They can't seem to get the point.

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  14. Well said, as always, sir. I'll share it around, fwiw.

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  15. Shortly after the 2020 election I made a comment on Jim's account. I was Roundly boooed and dismissed by virtually everyone there because I was answering a comment by Jim himself when he advised us all to just take a deep breath and not panic because all of this hubbub and hoopla would be resolved by Inauguration Day. IIRC even Jim joined in on the dog pile.


    So, look at us now. I for one, will not deterred from voting, despite the fact that I might not even be there to vote. You see, I was recently diagnosed with terminal stage 4 stomach cancer and released into home hospice care. Tomorrow I get to check out early voting because it's pretty clear I will likely not survive until Election Day.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear about your terminal condition. I thank you for checking out early voting. My husband died last year and I know if he had lived and was able, he would have voted for Joe as I will be doing. May your transition into the next life be painless and know that you did all you could before, you passed. I thank you again.

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  16. You know, Joe does not "inspire" me. He satisfies me, however, and that might be more important. I suppose there is no avoiding being ridiculoulys theatrical here, but I was quite honestly reminded of one of Henry's speeches from 'Henry V': "We are but warriors for the working day. Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched by rainy marching in the painful field. But by the mass, our hearts are in the trim!" (From memory, so I may have flubbed a line.)

    Joe is but a warrior for the working day. He does not really "inspire," instead he puts his shoulder to the wheel and shoves with everyone else. And you know what, that's not only good enough, it is actually pretty good.

    Thanks again, for sharing your thoughts.

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  17. And if this blog post doesn't inspire and move them past their complacency to vote, we're in even worse shape than I thought.

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  18. Thank you!
    I think ‘privilege’ (taking America for granted) has weakened us! And I know people can say ‘but what about”… We are going to bury all of OUR hopes and dreams if we don’t become that BETTER CITIZEN! VOTE ‘like life as we have know it’!!!? Depends on it! VOTE

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  19. Thank you for this, Jim. In the 52 years I have been voting, I have only missed one election ((an interim election where there were 3 judges running unopposed) because it was 1979 and I was home in bed with pneumonia)), and the ONLY presidential candidate I have voted FOR, rather than the fuckwit opposing him/her, was Jimmy Carter - and anyone who criticizes him will get a loud earful from me, he was a LOT better than he was given credit for - and he was several orders of magnitude better than that senile idiot Raygun (the farce was with us). Every other time was a vote AGAINST the fuckwit in opposition.

    No, Biden doesn't inspire me. And I absolutely LOATHE Hillary Clinton. But they are BOTH professionals who are against the USA slipping back into the 19th Century. So they got my vote - and Biden will get mine, again.

    Truth be told, IMLTHO, if Democrats want to fix what's wrong with this Country (and I'm with you, neither A Dem nor a Repub, but a pragmatist who wants what is best for the future of his children and grand and gr-grandchildren, etc.), they need to show up, hold their nose, and vote blue. Because without House/Senate/WH all blue, we are NEVER going to get rid of the Electoral College and Citizen's United. And while we're at it, maybe fund all Federal elections with tax dollars, limit the campaign to 12 weeks, and make campaign donations illegal as the bribes they are.

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    1. 1980 was my first presidential election, and it was also the first election cycle I could vote in at 18. I proudly voted for Carter. Have never regretted it. My dorm had a Raygun hate wall. I am voting for Biden and I'm writing postcards to voters to get out the vote.

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    2. Yes! Things could be SO much better if intelligent people actually showed up in representative numbers.

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  20. Thanks for posting this. I’m hoping enough of us show up!

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  21. Thank you. Politicians in general don't inspire me, but some horrify me. I'm voting blue in every election

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  22. Joe doesn't particularly inspire me but nonetheless, I will still crawl to my polling place if I have to, in order to vote for Joe over the Donald.

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  23. Thank you for the sanity that I always expect from you. I'm not big on inspiration, either; but I'm gonna do what I can to keep Dolt45 out of the white house. This was the best pre-birthday gift ever

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  24. Let's just get this done.

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  25. The sanctimony rolling off of the uninspired makes me ill. “I’m too good to vote for anything less than a unicorn”. Then they complain about the evils of the government.

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  26. Perfect ending to the post. Be an inspiration to others.

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  27. I will vote, with zero enthusiasm, for Joe Biden. He doesn't inspire me, but the presumptive Republican candidate terrifies me and a great many people I care about feel the same way. That's reason enough.

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  28. I don't need to be inspired when the choice is sanity or chaos. I choose sanity.

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  29. I _am_ inspired. I started paying attention to politics when I was 6, and President Kennedy was assassinated? Why did I pay attention? Because it's the first time in my young life I remember my mother crying. Since then, I have seen presidents come and go. Better and worse, mostly worse, especially Republicans who seem to be having a champion shitheel contest. But Biden? I think he's our first honest to Fred Labour President. He's done more for labour than Franklin Roosevelt, with a slimmer Congressional lead against a more hostile court. I want to flip the house and see what he can do without a GOP millstone.

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  30. I voted for Walter effing Mondale in 1984 knowing he would lose to Regan. I didn't whine about it, I just did my civic duty. If you donate, don't complain.

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  31. The rest of the world is counting on sanity, not inspiration.

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  32. I am completely uninspired by Biden. I don't think he takes enough action. His weak response to the atrocities in Gaza actually disgusts me. But I also realize that the alternative would be WAY worse, so I voted for Joe and will vote for Joe this November. Trump would herald the end of America as a democracy and the beginning of America the Fascist Oligarchy. Even getting Biden back in for another 4 years doesn't completely stave that off because we can't seem to get him a congress that would allow him to accomplish what needs to get done. We seem to have this amnesia about how bad things really were under Trump. They were so bad that Biden actually seemed like an exciting change for the better...for a bit at least.

    As an American Jew, I am disgusted at how we have enabled and have paid for Israel's acts of Genocide and ethnic cleansing. I am sick of these Neville Chamberlains on CNN and other news networks crying about how horrible the attack on October 7th was without casting it in the context of the horrible atrocities that have been suffered upon the Palestinian people over the past 75 years. Yes, I know that Biden is not responsible for it, but he is responsible for continuing it. He should be putting the aid Israel gets contingent on Israel's good behavior. When they drop 2000lbs bombs on civilian neighborhoods, killing hundreds of innocent civilians then saying oops...we thought it was a Hamas HQ or this is the result of Hamas using civilians as human shields...no more aid as no, its the result of having actual Nazis running your government (Netanyahu and his War Council) and we, the people of the US own that because we have been paying for it. We have prevented the world community from taking action by blocking measures in the UN Security council that might have been able to reign in some of the atrocities and changed Israel's behavior. That I do blame Biden for...he could have stepped in and told Netanyahu that they need to stop this and actually work at settling this issue or you get no more aid. Genocide and ethnic cleansing can be committed on their own Shekel.

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  33. (continued from previous)


    There are also some issues that Biden has no control of here in the US because we cant seem to give him a user friendly Congress to get democratic measuires passed that would actually help the Average joe and not just the 1%. I think that he could do more to push the issue with Executive orders. I know they have thier limit, but even if he failed, it would show that he is trying. He is also failing, completely on the border non-issue. Wake up folks, there is no invasion. Yes, we have a lot of people crossing the border to claim asylum, but hey...thats what happens when we stick our noses where they dont belong and mess with central American governments, supporting corrupt, brutal regemes that are corporate friendly. Plus add in this moronic drug war that is the only reason the cartels exist and have more power and money than most deities. The asylum issue has been already addressed by international law. We have signed treaties that cover this...treaties that were ratified by congress and signed by the president, as per our constitution, giving them the full weight of US Law. That needs to be enforced. None of this nazi crap that Trump tried to put forward just to appeal to his base. They aren't going to vote for you joe, no matter what you do. Just do the right thing and you will get re-elected. I dont get it when he is inconsitent, like when he was telling the courts to rule agaisnt the lady that sued the governmnet because they didn't approve her hubby's visa...something he would have got had he not gone through legal means and gone back to his home country to apply for citizenship. Had he entered the US illegally and just applied that way, he probably would have had no problems getting his green card. Biden supported the racists on this one while pushing an executive order that adderssed this very issue that would have given him his visa. Come on dude...it doesn't help our arguments that your brain is functioning properly when you are all over the map.

    So yeah, I am not insoired...I am kinda pissed off and very frustrated, We definitely need someone that is going to eneact change. The status quo needs to go.

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  34. I'm starting to think more and more that the word "inspiration" should be retired from overuse. I've started to hate it.

    I'm inspired by things, for sure. A gorgeous sunrise, a pretty snowfall, an exceptionally interesting book, a favorite piece of music at my local symphony orchestra, seeing my dog do something ridiculous, lots of other things.

    I don't think I've ever been "inspired" to go to work every day, or go to jury duty, or get my oil changed, or mow my lawn, or do my laundry, or to vote ever (with the exception of my first time because I felt so ADULT walking into the polling place and getting a ballot for the first time). I do all those things because it's part of being the job of an adult and I'm a grown-up and professional so that's what I do. Heck even when I was a kid most of my classes were less than inspiring but I studied and did my best because as a student it was my job.

    I HATE the idea that life needs to be non-stop inspiration without end. And that's what a lot of overgrown children seem to expect.

    Thanks for your words, Jim. It's nice to hear someone else expect that people should just do their jobs because it's their job and that's how society works.

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  35. I vote every single time because my grandmother couldn’t for many years. She s my inspiration. And I m a liberal because they moved the line

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  36. Another brilliant essay. Thank you.

    To comment on an important point:
    "...But what about those elections where it's not life and death?

    What about those elections where it's just the dogcatcher? Or the local mayor. Or a couple of judges. Or some ballot initiative that has no impact on you either way?

    What about those off-year elections where you're just voting on your Congressman?

    Nothing very inspiring about those elections, is there?

    So why show up at all?

    If you have to be inspired, well, you won't.

    And then others will suffer.

    Because when you don't show up we end up here..."

    Those "uninspiring" elections can have serious consequences if you don't keep informed and turn out to vote.

    Even in my deep blue state, we have an active, vocal, and engaged cadre of wanna-be fascist folks who are in favor of book banning, pushing religion into schools, dictating what educators teach and who routinely show up to create mischief at town meeting. We are fortunate that they have been largely unsuccessful to date, but it just take one poorly-attended town meeting to allow them sway.

    I was a guilty of being uninformed in the past as anyone and saw the consequences when our county sheriff started showing his stripes when Trump was in office (I voted for him under the misguided notion that I hadn't heard anything about him managing the jail improperly and since I wasn't in the jail it was probably OK). I was ashamed of my dereliction but learned an important lesson.

    Inform yourself and vote.

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  37. Already voted in the Primary, and did it with a Mail-In Ballot!

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  38. Speaking as a German . . .
    There is a reason I, and many of my compatriots, actively distrust inspiring candidates, and Mr Wright here has put his finger on the exact reason why: the most inspiring German politician of the last 100 years was Adolf Hitler. He inspired all too many people to vote for him, and we all know how that turned out.
    What I want to be is *convinced* that Candidate A is better for my country, and the world, than Candidate B. I am choosing someone to run the country for me; I'm not choosing a spouse, or even a bedmate. In addition, I do have a civic duty to *actively look* at those candidates, and their policies. To dig into them, and not just take them at their word.

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  39. Welcome back, Jim.

    For what it's worth, I think Biden is a decent man doing a hard, dirty job. He's not inspiriting, but voting for decency over its opposite will do until the real thing comes along. (Also, I have two daughters who are going to have to live in a world we're making Right Now. I'd like to tilt things in favor of their survival.)

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  40. I am sick to death of people using "inspiration" as an excuse to not do the right thing. These days everyone wants to have a rock star for a candidate. The Orange Man is that to his supporters, along with the obvious nods to Hitler's appeal to his followers. Whatever happened to voting for a decent candidate who will work hard to do a good job? As you frequently say, there are no unicorns running. To petulantly state that "inspiration " is your sole benchmark is naive and lazy. We dance with what we have and until other Democrats step up to the plate we have a choice of a slow, steady waltz with Biden to to preserve our democracy or invite the Orange Man to stomp on our toes and our rights. I'm all for inspiring leaders but face it, leaders can do their jobs well without guitar and drum solos. Doing the work of trying to make people's lives better & our country better shouldn't be a show of smoke & mirrors and dangling shiny things in front of one's sychophants while pulling the drain plug on the foundations of this country. And I don't have to hold my nose either.

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  41. By-election in Canada this week saw a 'conservative' win a formerly 'loyal' liberal seat. Because Trudeau doesn't 'inspire' them. Instead they now have another conservative and we are looking at a huge swing to conservative next election. But 'Trudeau must go' according to the conservative leader and so we swing further to the right...and too many want PMJT to 'go' so they vote in the right wing...I was promised hand baskets. May need to start making some.

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    1. I am sure you will get that handbasket...you will need something to ride to Niflheim in LOL.

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  42. Thank you for writing what so many of us are thinking!

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  43. As always, thank you.

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  44. Once again, Jim you said what is in the minds of many who lack the will/ability/talent to express it themselves. Myself included. Thanks.

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  45. I agree. It isn’t about inspiration, a pony, or a pat on the head. It is about securing a better country by being a better citizen. Exercise citizenship! Vote Blue all the way down ballot. History teacher here.

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  46. I suspected your comment about Joe not inspiring you would bring out those who refuse to consider sarcasm or irony. I’d say they must be new here but I know better. I have my concerns about Biden, for instance why are we patrolling the Red Sea when commercial vessels have said screw it and take the long way around, but over all I think Biden has been a good leader, if not inspirational, and clearly a lot safer for our republic and better for our economy than the Hitler-lite who mismanaged the nation from 2017 until he was escorted to Marine one that happy day in 2021.

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  47. Thank you Chief. There were a few years, back in my youth, where I didn't like either candidate so I didn't vote, to my undying shame. Even if the guy you vote for doesn't inspire you, at least vote against the guy you truly loath.

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  48. Not needing to be inspired. I'm voting for Biden because the alternative horrifies me.

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  49. Here is what some may not know and what terrifies me. Hitler did even win. He got just over 36% of the vote. It was Hindenburg who won the a 2nd 7 year term. Hitler got his office and his chance to execute “Night of the Long Knives” because Hindenburg tried to appease him. Trump might win this thing outright which makes Americans even more troubling than the Germans. I know someone like this. Someone who will vote for a 3rd party candidate because she disagrees with Biden on one thing. She would rather burn the house to the ground than vote against a tyrannous wretch. It makes my head explode thinking about it.

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  50. I knew what you meant, and you are 100% right!

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  51. Thank you, again, Jim. I’m so tired of the bullshit Latter-Day Cassandras saying, "The Democrats need to do a better job of getting their message out, a better job of touting President Biden’s accomplishments.” Meanwhile, all the Corporate Media seem to talk about is President Biden’s age. FFS, you don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to see the difference between the two candidates. The choice is obvious, inspired or not. Thank you, Jim, for continuing to tell the truth. Be well.

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  52. Spot on, Chief, as usual and you've inspired a lot of comments, so please don't give up on your inspiring essays. I'm inspired to vote blue to show the pollsters and pundits how wrong they are. I'm convinced that Biden voters will be out there in numbers even greater than 2020 because they don't want a convicted felon who helped to overturn Roe v Wade to once again inhabit the WH; a place he never deserved in 2016. Dems/Biden supporters/blue voters don't feel the need to be as vocal as the MAGA idiots and, in some states, probably fear for their lives in violent reprisal from the Nazis. Hence, fewer lawn signs, T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. It saddens me to know veterans who are rabid Trumpsters with one wearing Let's Go Brandon shirts. Yeah, Biden isn't particularly inspiring, but he's done a helluva job especially considering the mess that he was left and with whom in Congress he has to work. Let's keep him there to finish the job and save our democracy.

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  53. "Give him the chair!"

    Kinda wish we could, but i don't think he'd committed a capital offense- yet.

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  54. I don’t need inspiration from Joe. I have a duty to preserve the nation for my grandchildren. Broken glass? Pfft! I’d crawl through hell in gasoline panties to vote blue in this election.

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  55. If you ask me, from that exchange two things are clear: A) Despite what people who are very ideological might think, following a particular Ideology DOESN'T make you more "moral" than the other guy. And B) At least the are some highly ideological left wingers that understand the consequences of staying at home in November.

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  56. Biden doesn't inspire me either. I'm gonna vote, but might pass on buying the hat. :)

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  57. Thank you, Jim. I took your words to heart in 2008 and every election since. I was not inclined to miss elections, but neither did I campaign, send money or put up yard signs before. Hell, I even ran (and lost) for a seat on a public board. Thank you for everything you've done, and continue to do, for our nation.

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  58. Hi Jim,

    I used to follow you on Twitter back when it was called Twitter and we were both there regularly.

    I also had the experience of posting something meant to be painfully, obviously ironic and watched our allies turn into ravenous dogs who thought they’d found new MAGA meat to tear into. I fear that the obvious is dead in this age where outrage outweighs context.

    I feel much more comfortable here than “on X”, which to my generation meant that you were taking MDMA. It’s gratifying to look up at my framed Stonekettle hummingbird photo and know that some adults in the room haven’t given up on their duty to democracy yet.

    I’m not inspired by Biden, either. I think he represents a centrism that will not move the needle the way I want it to move. But that’s better than Trump moving it further away and that’s good enough for 4 years.

    If Biden wins, at least I will know that my vote in 2028 will be overseen by either him or Harris, and will be fairly counted. I don’t want to know what voting in this country will look like after 4 more years of MAGA, after 4 more years of Project 2025 and voting suppression and loss of civil rights and god forbid more Supreme Court seats filled by conservatives.

    Thank you for always being honest, straightforward and dutiful, even if we don’t feel inspired.

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  59. Elizabeth A ManczJuly 7, 2024 at 7:46 PM

    I used to teach Archaeology, Anthropology & Human Diversity among other topics. In the course of the last class, I would show my students the Triumph of the Will, telling them that was one if the scariest movies that they would ever see. I speak German, so I could translate Hitler's speeches for them. Maybe more Americans should see that flick, to get some idea of what you are talking about in this essay.
    E A Mancz

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