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  Food for Thought

The American Protester

By Travis Taylor, president of Tom Green County Democratic Club

Our country has a deep and courageous history of small groups of people turning the hearts of the silent majority to make a difference. Most progressive change has come about this way. Today is no different, nor are the Republican gripes about our protests. The fact is protests are annoying. Civil disobedience, by its nature, is disruptive. In the coming years, our minority position will be attacked as un-American. It is anything but. In America, history has proven that most advances were won, not given. And winning in a democracy can be a messy thing. As we embark on a path of peaceful protest during the Trump years, I think we would be wise to think ahead to how these days will be remembered.

One thing that separates us from the political right is anger. We may be disappointed, sad, or even downright depressed at times, but let us resolve to never relish anger. By now we can all recognize the symptoms of the angry voter-with their steady consumption of Glenn Beck, Bill O-Reilly, or worse, Breitbart and Rush Limbaugh. They channel frustrations and disappointments with ourselves into hatred of other people. This is the low hanging fruit of politics. It is the realm of people like Hitler, who encouraged his country to blame their failures on the Jews, and today it is the tactic employed by Karl Rove and now Steve Bannon to convince Americans, many of whom are devout Christians, to withdraw support from their minority neighbors. At its worst it encourages downright hatred of the "other." Let us not succumb to this tactic. We should point out where we disagree and we should be unwavering in our resistance to the Republican agenda, but we should do it with hope for a better America, not with bitterness against others.

As we engage in the various forms of political activism in the coming years, let us also remember that one day we will be in a position of power, and we want our credibility to be strong on that day. The Republicans are currently upset that Democrats took so long in confirming many of President Trump's cabinet nominees. That is highly ironic seeing that their obstructionism blatantly disregarded the constitutional power of the President of the United States to nominate Supreme Court justices when they refused to even hold a hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland. They have no credibility. It is clear that their motives are almost always about political optics rather than producing results for Americans. In the end, this will be their major undoing. Demographically speaking, their party is in decline, and their platform is hanging by a thread as Americans become more diverse and global-minded.

Along the way to success, I hope that our party will find a way to take the high road. This sometimes means losing politics to do the right thing. I think Jimmy Carter really understood this better than any other politician. During the Iranian Hostage Crisis, he refused to order any attacks on the hostage takers because he knew there would be bloodshed. Ultimately, he was able to get the hostages back peacefully, but as the crisis dragged out, he knew that his hopes for ever winning re-election were dashed. But his election was of much less importance to him than resolving the crisis peacefully.

The hostages were released the exact day that Reagan was sworn into office. As Reagan moved into the white house, Carter flew to Germany to meet the hostages and speak with them individually. I want us to be the party that chooses morality over political gain. If we can do that in the coming years, I think we can win over what I am certain will be millions of demoralized Trump supporters.


The Koch brothers and their influence

Brothers Charles and David Koch, with a combined worth around $35 billion dollars, are waging a war against President Obama.

The Koch brothers are the majority owners in Koch Industries, America's second-largest private company with revenues of $100 billion in 2009, and 80,000 employees in 60 countries.

Koch Industries main source of revenue is from the manufacturing, refining, and distribution of petroleum. They are major financiers of the Tea Party. They also are providing money to run anti-democratic ads.

Do not allow your money to be used to sponsor the Tea Party, 
boycott these products:

  • Industry/Georgia-Pacific Products
  • Angel Soft toilet paper
  • Brawny paper towels
  • Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
  • Mardi Gras napkins and towels
  • Quilted Northern toilet paper
  • Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
  • Sparkle napkins
  • Vanity fair napkins
  • Zee napkins
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