This was an illuminating and perspective-shifting conversation, and it propelled me to become a subscriber. It broke open my own tendency—reinforced by the media and intellectual landscape that feels most reassuring to me—to understand “the change that’s required” (to heal America, etc) in terms of personal orientations that I can expand and shift, albeit with effort.

There is certainly room for that and work to be done, but it’s (by “it” I mean, essentially, a Sam Harris-like attempt to clean up our own camp) like rinsing out a single piece of Tupperware in the lake while a wildfire approaches (to abuse the camping metaphor). Good, and important, but laughably insufficient and poignantly misdirected.

When I read the line about “creating our own media organizations to counter their lies” I literally was like (out loud, to my husband): “oh, we’re fucked.” Because they are already 40 years ahead of us and we haven’t even really started to create a structure that can match what they have been incubating for decades and is now in full-fungal bloom.

But that’s where my optimism comes in. Because still, and with all that was illuminated in this conversation and ALL that it represents, the majority of quietly exhausted people don’t know, and if we can get it right, they will recognize the machinery for what it is. If we stop focusing on the people and start pulling back the curtain on the MACHINE that is right-wing propaganda, if we can make a simple, airtight case in plain language without the academic-speak (maybe substituting “voter suppression” with “cheating,” for a start, although that’s perhaps a bad example and just my frustration seeping through), people of good sense and good faith (still a majority, in my experience) will hear it.

It has to be done well, and fast. But we have had (at least) 6 years to gather our thoughts, dig deep, reflect, learn, inquire, self-flagellate, blame, despair, accuse, gossip, and pray. THIS is an infrastructure we need desperately.

I’m willing and ready. ♥️

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This is a great comment. Thank you so much for posting it, Allison. Very thought-provoking!

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So glad you thought so — thank you so much for your newsletter!

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