Everytime I sit down and try to write about the ongoing crisis in this country, I choke up. I get sad. I get furious, and I can’t write or even think about it. I try to avoid the pundits, but this week, everyone sounds like a pundit.
My aim with this post has been to provide places to find out information apart from Fox News and dog whistle sites that stoke the fires of fury and hatred.
Everyday, a friend on my Facebook shares lies and misinformation, not because he wants to create dissention, but because he truly believes the nonsense. This isn’t just one person’s opinion. We all have opinions, but as the saying goes, you’re not entitled to your own facts.
I will not abide the both sides argument.
Fox News and the right wing media are so far gone it’s moved beyond false equivalency. Whenever the left is told to meet in the middle and compromise, the right forgets that we’ve moved so far right to get along, to meet in the “middle”, to compromise that center is right, and it’s still not good enough for the right wing.
In 2009, during the health care reform debate, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan said, no compromise. Now, with a Republican President, they’re all about compromise.. They don’t care how hypocritical they are or how their ignoring more than half the country feels. And to be honest, they don’t care. They want what they want, like a child having a tantrum, and they don’t care who they have to bulldoze to get it.
Democrats are inclusive. We don’t always agree on everything because we are so diverse. We want to, and always try to include conservative priorities, but it’s hard when the GOP continually changes it’s mind and the goal posts. President Obama’s health care reform was originally a Republican idea that was admired by the most conservative of Republicans until Obama adopted it.
They, Mitch McConnell, and his complicit Congress, refused to seat President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, refused to even vote on him, but now, with a President, who just two days ago, on international television put, not only a foreign government, but a hostile foreign government who attacked our country over our country, they’re moving ahead with the least popular Supreme Court nominee ever. The President defended the Russian election interference, and disparaged our intelligence agencies. I would have never thought I’d see the day that the Republicans would side with Russia over the United States of America. And after seeing his lukewarm “clarification” a day later, it only confirms many of our worse fears.
We are the majority in this country; why are we the one who are always expected to compromise? The right should move left to meet where the country actually is.
The rest of this post is a list of recommended readings and Twitter/social media followings that you should try to check out. It is important to each one of us to gather the information from reliable sources, and extrapolate our own opinions.
Later in the week, I will share the recommendation portion of this post for anyone who wants to share it without my above opinions. After all, I can tell you what I think, and where I got my information from; I can debunk and correct, but I can’t make you think. I can’t force the truth upon you. That is up to you to accept, but I also don’t have to listen to the lies and I won’t accept half-truths as truth.
The first section are political books that I’ve read this year and last that I would recommend. Some are very current as to the Trump Administration, what’s going on right now, and since the 2016 Election, and where we go from here.
After that, I’ve included the sources I read, primarily on Twitter, including some pundits from both sides of the aisle to check out to get the full story of what’s going on in our country right now. I think it’s telling that most of the news shows I watched today included significant video of Fox News sounding remarkably like MSNBC.
If you look at a resource on this list, and think they are too liberal or too conservative, take a look anyway. Give them a few days to get a feel for how they address issues, and what they say, and then decide who you want to follow to get your information.
For a daily wrap-up, MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams does a nice roundup of the day’s news so you can catch up and hit Google after or in the morning for more in-depth information.
Lastly, I would highly suggest that you read, or re-read George Orwell’s 1984. I re-read it at the end of 2016, and I had forgotten most of the story. It was eye-opening, and chilling.
My Own Words – Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood – Trevor Noah
The Grouchy Historian: An Angry Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wrong Hypocrites and Nutjobs – Ed Asner and Ed. Weinberger
What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism – Dan Rather and Elliott Kirschner
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House – Michael Wolff
Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose – Joe Biden
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House – Alyssa Mastromonaco, Lauren Olyer
How Democracies Die – Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership – James Comey
Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump – David Corn and Michael Isikoff
Fascism – Madeleine Albright
The Soul of America: Better Angels – Jon Meachum (currently reading)
Trumpocracy – David Frum (next on my reading list)
(not political, but very current) I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer – Michelle McNamara
(This sounds like a strange one, but I’m kind of amazed how much the Andrew Johnson Administration and the politics around Reconstruction sound so much like what’s happening today. No joke.) Grant – Ron Chernow
(This follows the Indian “resettlement” and wars of the 19th century) The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West – Peter Cozzens
(Obviously) 1984 – George Orwell
[Not all recommendations have links. They should be easy to Google.]
Good in general:
Anderson Cooper, CNN
Jake Tapper, CNN
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC – Every weeknight at 9pm. Twitter
Evan McMullin, Conservative/Republican
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Social Activist, Writer
Penzeys Spices, spice company that puts its values where its profit is
Sen. Sherrod Brown, OH
Vox, really good at explaining things
GOP push back:
Shepherd Smith, Fox News
Steve Schmidt, campaign of John McCain
Journalism/Freedom of the Press
Border Crisis & Family Separation
Lin Manuel Miranda
Puerto Rico/Hurricane Maria
Yvette Nicole Brown (not political analyst, but offers Black perspective as well as current events information for sharing)
Lauren Duca, Teen Vogue
Alt National Parks Service (Badlands) – I believe this was the one that started it all. Kudos.
(find them all, like Pokemon)