Showing posts with label democracy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label democracy. Show all posts

Friday, August 12, 2022

Dan Rather: An Attack On the Rule of Law

Rallying around Trump  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
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Dan Rather: An Attack On the Rule of Law

Shame on me. 

I like to think I don't surprise easily, especially when it comes to imagining the depths to which the former president and his cronies and enablers will descend to protect themselves and preserve their power. But the aftermath of the FBI's execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago has surprised me. It has also left me deeply concerned about what the country must now endure and where we may be headed. 

I should not have been surprised. In retrospect, it all makes sickening sense. 

When news broke of these events — first commented on, it should be noted, by Donald Trump himself — it was clear that they would reverberate dangerously across America's fractured political and social landscape. You had to know that Trump himself would lie and play to his well-practiced persona of misplaced victimhood. And you had to know that others would rally around him. But the amount of negative blowback and the number of high-level officials helping gives special pause.

Among things striking about this threat to the Trump bubble is that instead of the charge being led by elected officials or others easily stigmatized as "the enemy," this was the FBI. Law enforcement: the very people lauded by the Republicans when it suits their political interests. "Back the blue," and all. How would they spin this one?

The first round of defense was to fall back on the familiar language of a "partisan witch hunt." It is the usual lie, as they cry foul without any evidence, about how the Biden administration is out of control in persecuting its political enemies. Just because we have become used to this level of projection and hypocrisy from a group of cynical political actors who really did seek to turn the Department of Justice into their own tool for holding on to power, doesn't mean we should become inured to the danger of this rhetoric. 

But they didn't stop there. They have now moved on to attacking the FBI itself and the very mechanisms of justice in the United States. It is tiresome to outline all the different instances and all the different people who have participated in this concerted attempt to protect Trump by baselessly attacking what took place at Mar-a-Lago. But when the likes of South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham suggests the FBI planted evidence and Florida Senator Marco Rubio attacks the magistrate judge who signed off on the warrant, we are seeing something even more perilous than before.

These are two men who back in 2016 clearly understood and articulated the dangers that Donald Trump posed to American democracy. Now they are not only devout defenders of his presidency, but they are complicit in undermining what appears to be a careful execution of the process of justice. They seek to delegitimize any investigation of Trump, no matter its merits. 

As Trump pleaded the fifth over and over again in a civil case in New York, as he refuses to release what was in the Mar-a-Lago search warrant, and as we can see in a long history of contempt for any legal accountability in his business and political career, the safe assumption of all these investigations is that with so much smoke, there is likely fire. Nevertheless, even if Trump is eventually indicted, he will continue to be entitled to a presumption of innocence and a day in court. That's how American justice is supposed to work. 

Now, as many have pointed out, there are legitimate concerns in America about the overreach of law enforcement. For as long as I have been a reporter, there have certainly been instances where police officers have searched residences illegally. Most often, those who have felt the brunt of these perversions of the law have been the marginalized members of society. And in these cases, these same people who are defending Trump, as well as Trump himself, have shown no concern. They have often applauded rough and unlawful actions from police as long as they were targeting people different from themselves. 

We should be very clear. Those rushing to defend Trump are not carefully refuting what is alleged against him. In the case of what was taken from Mar-a-Lago, we don't even know what that was (but Trump does). Rather, these kneejerk objections set the stage for a blanket assertion that, in effect, Trump is above the law. Under this dangerous reasoning, there can be no legitimate investigation into anything he might have done. And, to continue the tortured "reasoning," anyone who seeks to hold Trump accountable under the laws that govern our nation is a political operative acting as part of a wide-ranging "Deep State" conspiracy. 

This is a kind of lunacy, of course, and deeply destabilizing to American democracy, but it is not a fringe position within the "Party of Trump." A version of this mania is now being publicly stated by Republican elected officials who often are portrayed in the press as the more responsible ones. The rot engulfs almost the entire party.

When we add to this the mounting evidence being uncovered by the January 6 committee, a clear and chilling picture emerges. Large swaths of the Republican Party do not believe the law should apply to its leaders. And they do not believe that there can be a fair election in which their candidate loses. This is, at its very essence, a repudiation of the ideal of America as a democratic republic ruled by law. We all should be careful here. This does not apply to all Republican elected representatives and certainly not to all Republican voters. Nor does it apply to any and everyone who questions the FBI's actions. But as we are seeing with the overall general reaction to the FBI's search, this undermining of confidence in our institutions is far more widespread and far deeper than we might have first feared. 

To my colleagues in the press covering this moment, I respectfully suggest that it is essential that we wrestle with this truth and not seek to minimize the escalating dangers our country faces, especially as much of the recent rhetoric from Trump and his army of defenders is stoking the prospects of violence. There are not two equal sides to this story. The political implications of all of this, what it might mean for the midterms or President Biden's approval rating, pale next to what this means for the future of American democracy. 

Despite all that we are facing, I remain optimistic and hopeful for the future of our nation. I believe that these multiple investigations into Trump will get to truths that America desperately needs to hear. No one pursuing them is going to be frightened by what's being said on Fox News. And while there may always be a percentage of the country that backs Trump and the politicians who have rallied around him, this is not where the majority of this nation is. 

We should not forget that Donald Trump was repudiated by voters in 2020 after only one term in office. A record number of Americans went to the polls to say they did not like who he was or what he represented. We know even more now. So, will the repudiation of Trump and his ideology continue, even increase? We, the people, are now in the process of finding out.

In the meantime, travel on this passage figures to be rough, rocky, and more dangerous than many of us may have thought. That makes it all the more important that those who are pursuing justice remain steady in their mission and true to the most noble values of the nation they serve. 

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© 2022 Dan Rather
548 Market Street PMB 72296, San Francisco, CA 94104

Monday, July 11, 2022

“As citizens we have many rights, but we also have obligations"

Via the NY Times: 
The tiny New Hampshire town of Croydon fits the New England of the imagination, with its cozy general store, one-room schoolhouse and local museum open by appointment. The only thing missing is supposed to be missing: a stoplight.

But it’s not just the Rockwellian setting that makes this community of 800 seem quintessentially American. People here have just experienced a fractious come-to-Jefferson moment that has left many with a renewed appreciation for something they had taken for granted: democracy.

“Showing up. That’s the big lesson,” said Chris Prost, 37, a Croydon resident who runs a small brewery from a barn at the back of his house. “And not just showing up, but also knowing what’s going on.”

Hope Damon, 65, a dietitian who is pursuing a new career as a result of her town’s recent crisis, agreed. What happened here, she said, “could happen most anywhere.” 
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
A Croydon town meeting in March that began as fairly routine. It didn’t end that way. Credit...James M. Patterson/Valley News
A Croydon town meeting in March that began as fairly routine. It didn’t end that way. Credit...James M. Patterson/Valley News

Sunday, January 9, 2022

FM #691 - January 6 Vigil (on the Town Common) - 01/06/22 (audio)

FM #691 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 691 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares the audio recording of the Jan 6 VIgil held on Thursday, Jan 6, 2022 on the Franklin Town Common. The vigil was organized by the Committee to Protect Our Democracy (CPOD), a subgroup of the Franklin Democratic Town Committee, as part of remembrances scheduled across the country.  

The master of ceremony Justin Bates introduces all the speakers.

The recording of the vigil runs about 45 minutes.  Audio file ->


The text of the remarks by State Representative Jeff Roy can be found ->

Milford Daily News/Wicked Local coverage of the event can be found ->

Photos of the event can be found in one album ->


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

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The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


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Rep Roy giving his remarks at the January 6 Vigil (on the Town Common)
Rep Roy giving his remarks at the January 6 Vigil (on the Town Common)

Saturday, January 8, 2022

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin

Jeffrey N. Roy (@jeffroy) tweeted on Fri, Jan 07, 2022:
"Remarks at Jan. 6 vigil in Franklin"
Shared from Twitter:

"As Senator Rausch indicated, our day in the Massachusetts Legislature started with finishing the work of the 191st General Court on January 5, 2021.

We passed multiple pieces of legislation on the final day of the session. This work included wide-ranging pieces of legislation, including one early item that was a resolution for Franklin’s Frank Liotta, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Another piece that passed around 2 AM was a law I had been working on for two years on the prevention of campus sexual violence.

We worked until around 5:00 AM on January 6, and I finally went to bed exhausted to get some sleep."

Continue reading Rep Roy's remarks here ->

Audio of the event will be ready for publication and sharing this weekend. Franklin TV also captured a video recording. When that is ready for airing, I'll share the schedule.

State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin
State Representative Jeffrey N. Roy: Remarks at Jan 6 vigil in Franklin

Milford Daily News/Wicked Local Franklin coverage

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on the "crisis in the democratic process"

America is trapped in a set of interlocking crises, which the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection puts in high relief. Each crisis by itself could be overwhelming, but it is not hyperbolic to say that the multiple simultaneous emergencies present a generational challenge.

The tests of our time are as big as any faced by America from the Revolution to WWII. Either we rise to the occasion with new ideas or we will sink into a civilizational quagmire. The stakes are indeed that high.

The list of crises is daunting. The Omicron variant will kill thousands this winter if the Delta does not. The new variant is simply the next wave of a preventable disease, exacerbated by the Fox TV-induced delusional behavior of 'anti-vaxxers'. It is fair to say that a segment of the population living in an alternate reality is a crisis all by itself.  

Inequalities in income and opportunity are a crisis, made extravagantly clear by billionaires joy-riding in their space ships while others die from a lack of insulin.  Constitutional rights, long secured by the Supreme Court's dedication to probity, are at risk due to the assertion of extreme legal philosophies. Rising above all this is the threat of climate change, where urgent and transformative action needs to begin now.

One crisis, however, stands out in high profile in the very near term.  This is a crisis in the democratic process. The imminent risk to American democracy demands immediate attention, because its resolution is foundational to addressing all the other crises. The seeds of authoritarianism have been germinating for a long time, but the former guy's big lie--that the election results were not accurate--has been adopted by cynical actors in states across the nation. It is important to note that these cynical actors are almost exclusively conservative members of the GOP. 

Legislatures in red states across the country are actively suppressing the votes of minority communities. We in MA should not feel immune to the impact of these threats to others’ rights in other places. Our votes in Franklin are devalued by voter suppression in Atlanta. Worse, these GOP extremists are changing the very rules under which the elections are certified. (Who knew that was even a thing before 2020?) These process changes mean that no matter what the actual vote count, GOP legislatures can discard the voters’ choice. Such a power in extremists’ hands will come home to roost in the 2024 presidential election, where Q-Anon--style secretaries of state in places like GA, AZ, PA, and MI will be able to ignore actual votes and submit the slate of presidential electors that they prefer. 

There will be no need of an insurrection at the US Capitol in January of 2025, because the coup will happen in state capitols across the nation. The solution to these woes lies with Congress, which can mandate sane election rules for the whole country. Passing such laws with Democratic votes is prevented by the filibuster and the Senate’s timidity in facing the question. The issue should be addressed now, before the new year. This kind of progress can happen only if the filibuster, an old and racist tool designed to prevent progress, is modified.

Protecting our democracy is not partisan issue. Republicans of good will can support voting rights. Citizens of Franklin should demand that Senators Warren and Markey act immediately in ways that reflect the seriousness of the moment. Hardball tactics--for example stripping recalcitrant legislators like Manchin and Sinema of committee assignments, or stalling Senate business until these important issues are considered--may be needed to force the Senate to take action.  

The battle is joined in the US Senate. Time is short. 2022 is too late. Please call or write your senators and urge them to do whatever is needed to save our democracy. 

Ted McIntyre
Franklin resident

You can add your own statement to "Voices of Franklin". 

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on the "crisis in the democratic process"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on the "crisis in the democratic process"

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Jan 6 Vigil at Franklin Town Common Bandstand Among More than 175 Events Across the Country

WHAT: January 6, 2022 marks one year since a faction of elected officials incited armed right-wing militants to attack the U.S. Capitol. One year later, the same faction is working to restrict the freedom to vote, attacking fair voting districts, and quietly preparing future attempts to sabotage free and fair elections. 

On Thursday, January 6, 2022, Americans across race, place, party, and background are holding candlelight vigils to say: In America, the voters decide the outcome of elections. To prevent this kind of attack from happening again, advocates are demanding that elected leaders pass urgent legislation including the Freedom to Vote Act, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, and DC Statehood. 

This event in Franklin is one of more than 175 events that will take place across the country, including at the U.S. Capitol. 

WHO: The Committee to Protect Our Democracy

WHERE: Franklin Town Common Bandstand

WHEN: 5:00 -6:00 PM

VISUALS: Speakers include Representative Jeffrey Roy, State Senator Becca Rausch and a member of Congressman Jake Auchincloss’ staff with a message from the congressman

Vigil at Franklin Town Common Bandstand Among More than 175 Events Across the Country
Vigil at Franklin Town Common Bandstand Among More than 175 Events Across the Country 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Boston Globe: America is ‘closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,’ CIA adviser says

"One of the world’s leading experts on political violence and terrorism is sounding the alarm on the state of democracy in America, warning that the country is increasingly on the path to being caught up in the throes of a second civil war.

Barbara F. Walter, a political science professor at the University of California at San Diego, has served on an advisory panel run by the Central Intelligence Agency for the past several years that aims to predict where in the world a “civil war, political violence, and instability is likely to break out,” she said in an interview with CNN on Sunday, where she discussed her new book out January, “How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them.”

But Walter, who has been studying civil wars and conflicts in places like Northern Ireland, Ethiopia, and Syria for the last three decades, applied international research and the metrics used to evaluate democracies in other countries to America. What she found was that the nation is “closer to civil war than any of us would like to believe,” according to a passage from the book published by the Washington Post.

“No one wants to believe that their beloved democracy is in decline, or headed toward war,” she writes in the excerpt. “If you were an analyst in a foreign country looking at events in America — the same way you’d look at events in Ukraine or the Ivory Coast or Venezuela — you would go down a checklist, assessing each of the conditions that make civil war likely. And what you would find is that the United States, a democracy founded more than two centuries ago, has entered very dangerous territory.”

Listen to Town Administrator Jamie Hellen and I riff on the need for civil discourse in our Winter Solstice episode of "Talk Franklin"

Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)
Talk Franklin - the Winter Solstice episode - 12/21/21 (audio)

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Misinformation and democracy: How can we find truth in the age of misinformation?

"The past several years have seen a massive, sometimes malicious, assault on our sense of shared reality. The combination of social media and conspiracy theories has increased the reach and velocity of destructive lies. As a result, both the physical and political health of our country have been placed at risk.

On public health, the dissemination of misinformation about COVID-19 and the safety of vaccines has been responsible for thousands of avoidable deaths. Public benefit from the miraculous development of vaccines was partially squandered. Some politicians even echoed fraudulent information for political benefit – riding a wave of falsehoods with casualties when it crashes to the shore.

On America’s civic health, the tribalization of information is a serious threat to democracy. Many Americans live in ideological bubbles where their main sources of information gain profit by feeding fear and anger. In some cases, it has encouraged the self-radicalization that led to the Jan. 6 insurrection and other violence. "
Continue reading the article online

The research report that drove the article can be found here ->

hidden common ground
hidden common ground

Sunday, September 12, 2021

George W. Bush: “It is our continuing duty to confront them” (video)

"Few Americans expected wisdom from former president George W. Bush on the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Even fewer expected wisdom on the current state of our politics. That is nevertheless what we got from his remarks in Shanksville, Pa., today.

In perhaps the most important words spoken in his political career, Bush in his remarks at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 drew a straight line between the 9/11 terrorists and the 1/6 terrorists. “We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within,” he said. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit." He added, "It is our continuing duty to confront them.” Bush’s words were an indictment not only of the violent MAGA insurrectionists but also, implicitly, of his party that coddles them and the leader whom the 1/6 terrorists wanted to install by force."
Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required) 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Still time to pull papers, obtain signatures, and run for Town of Franklin elected positions

Friendly reminder - Election Timeline

  • September 10 by 5:00 PM – Last day to obtain Nomination papers
  • September 14 by 5:00 PM – Signed Nomination papers must be submitted to Board of Registrars for certification
  • September 30 by 5:00 PM- Last day to withdraw your candidacy
  • October 13 – Last day to register to vote.  Office hours will be extended to 8:00 PM or register online at
  • Please visit our website or call the Town Clerks Office at 508-520-4900 for a complete list of available positions.

Who is running so far? Check out the listing of potential candidates posted by the Town Clerk as of 8/16/21

Still time to pull papers, obtain signatures, and run for Town of Franklin elected positions
Still time to pull papers, obtain signatures, and run for Town of Franklin elected positions

Monday, August 16, 2021

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre also on "For The People Act"

The former guy lost the 2020 election. Sadly, his absurd lies about his loss have spawned an attack on voting rights across the country that threatens the integrity of our democracy. No matter what your personal political beliefs are, we citizens must act now to preserve the American experiment.

Trump is a diminished figure. Nevertheless, his multiple, fantastical lies about the election have been used to justify grotesque voter suppression bills in many state legislatures.  These bills do not address 'policy' questions or make good faith efforts to ensure election integrity. They are blatant attempts to intimidate the kind of voter Republicans don't like. For example, in Georgia and Florida, it is now illegal to give food or drink to people forced to stand in hours-long lines waiting to vote.  (This begs the question: Why are people forced to stand in line for hours?)

We are moving to "Jim Crow, Esq." in the sophistication and reach of these efforts. The intent is clear--make it harder for those who may oppose GOP policies to cast a ballot. They are intended to guaranty the dominance of a single political party in the currently red states, and weaken other voices in the rest of the country. But  this is not 'just' an issue for certain minorities. These laws will impact everyone in the country, and everyone should be alarmed.

The effects of these proposed new laws are far reaching. If these voter suppression bills had been in place in November of 2020, the GOP would have manipulated the results and the now former guy would still be president. If the new batch of bills is left unchallenged now, the integrity of the 2022 and 2024 elections will be compromised. Remember, the Members of Congress elected in 2022 will vote to certify the winner of the 2024 Presidential election. Based on the performance of the GOP in (not) certifying the 2020 election on the day of the Insurrection on January 6, 2021, we can expect a coup-like power play in 2024.

The good news is that a path back to sanity exists. The US House has passed a bill called the "For The People Act."  It set a nationwide floor for voting rights, and would reverse most of the egregious voter suppression bills in consideration in state legislatures. The bill is now before the Senate, but the filibuster rule is being used to prevent passage.

The filibuster rule was adopted early in our history and infrequently used-except to block civil rights legislation. It is anti-democratic, with a small "d."  The filibuster requires a supermajority of 60 votes in order to pass legislation. Unfortunately, in recent years it has been weaponized by the GOP to block all action in the Senate. The important word is 'rule.' The Senate sets its own rules of procedure and can change them. The filibuster is a self-imposed rule. It is not in the Constitution. The Senate can simply vote to change that rule and allow a vote on the For The People Act.

Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill.  They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act.  I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess.  The Senate must pass these bills."

Time is short. The action is easy. Your democracy is at stake. Please act.

Ted McIntyre Ph.D.
Franklin MA 

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre also on "For The People Act"

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

The Insurrection of January 6th was an attempted coup, a brazen assault intended to interrupt the functioning of the American democracy. But the coup attempt did not end on January 6th. In fact it is ongoing. The GOP is even now laying the legal foundation for a second coup attempt, this one conducted under a pretense of respectability.
Voter suppression laws are being passed in states across the country. Those laws not only selectively suppress voting by people the GOP dislikes, but they also provide means to reject the result of an election in favor of one the GOP legislatures like better. For example, the state of Georgia is attempting to take responsibility for the certification of election results in Fulton County, which includes Atlanta's largely black population.
If these state level  laws are not preempted by Federal legislation, the GOP will have two different paths for a new coup attempt, this time under the cover of law. The first path is through the impeachment of Joe Biden. If the GOP retakes the House and Senate in 2022, they could elect Donald Trump Speaker of the House. While according to tradition, the Speaker is always a Member of Congress, the Constitution does not forbid Trump's selection. Given the cult like devotion already accorded the former guy, it is not implausible to think the GOP would make this choice. Once Trump is Speaker, he is third in line to the Presidency. The House could impeach both Biden and Harris- truth and evidence be damned- and make Trump President.
The second pathway for the GOP's 'legal' coup is through the Electoral College. The Supreme Court, in the infamous 'Bush v Gore' decision of 2000, said that- unless there is a Federal law preventing it- the state legislatures hold the power to determine the Electoral College members. This is a nightmare scenario, since legislators are right now giving themselves the authority to challenge election results on flimsy grounds and then override the voter’s choice by installing electors they prefer. Does anyone think, if given the opportunity in 2020, that the legislatures of GA, PA, WI and AZ would not have chosen Trump electors for  the Electoral College? In 2024, those state legislatures will have granted themselves that opportunity.
We should not think that the GOP is too high minded or patriotic to do these things. Five years ago, who would have thought that Trump's  contempt of norms  and open corruption would be accepted? The recent testimony of Trump’s complicit DOJ employees is chilling. Who would have thought the GOP could install a Supreme Court Justice just before an election? Who would have thought Members of Congress would support a violent assault on the Capitol? The scenarios outlined above are shocking and nearly unthinkable. But the time had come to think about the unthinkable. The GOP has forfeited its status as a legitimate participant in a democratic process, and now represents an authoritarian power grab threatening our very democracy. There is no bottom, no ‘bridge too far’ for them in pursuit of power.
It is essential that the Senate, now under Democratic control, passes the For The People Act to protect the election process from the GOP plans. Time is of the essence. If the bill does not pass this summer, there will not be enough time to implement its protective measures before the 2022 election. What can be done to get the For the People Act through the Senate? There are many ways to help, but the simplest is to call your US Senator. Here in Massachusetts, both Senators Warren and Markey are outspoken in support of the bill.  They need to know that you support passing the bill and that you encourage them to do whatever it takes to get it passed. It is easy to reach the Senators. A brief phone call to 202-224-3121 will suffice. Simply leave a message saying "My name is ___ and I live in Franklin. Please do everything you can to abolish the filibuster and pass the For the People Act.  I think Joe Biden should speak forcefully. The Senate should cancel its August recess.  The Senate must pass these bills.”

The time to act is now.

Ted McIntyre
Franklin resident

Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"
Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on "For The People Act"

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Drawing Democracy provides an answer to the question: "How can I get involved in redistricting?"

Drawing Democracy (@DrawingDemMA) tweeted on Wed, Jul 21, 2021:
In order to ensure a fair and transparent redistricting process, we need community members to get involved – and there are SO many opportunities to do so! Learn more below. #Redistricting101 #FairMapsMA


Drawing Democracy provides answers to the question: "How can I get involved in redistricting?"
Drawing Democracy provides an answer to the question: "How can I get involved in redistricting?"

Thursday, January 28, 2021

A message from the Diversity Awareness Club ...

January 26, 2021

To the Franklin Community:

Three weeks ago, an act of domestic terrorism shocked and saddened the American people and left many shaken by the explicit displays of racial, ethnic, and religious hatred. In the days following this attack, members of the Diversity Awareness Club at Franklin High School met to discuss their feelings and to unite in one voice against the dangers posed by white nationalist groups and their enablers. This letter represents that united voice.

It is impossible to entirely separate this event from current political divisions; however, the Diversity Awareness Club believes that a stand against hatred is fundamental and not political - it is American and not Republican or Democratic. We are convinced that the majority of Donald J. Trump’s political supporters reject these acts as well. Nonetheless, we believe it is important for all Americans to reflect deeply on the unique pain experienced by people of diverse racial and religious backgrounds. More than just an attack on democracy, this insurrection made plain the ongoing threat that extremist groups pose to racial and religious equality in the United States.

Below are the unedited voices of the Diversity Awareness Club members. We ask that you take the time to consider their perspectives. They are your classmates, your students, your neighbors, and your fellow Americans.

…”The terrorisms shown at the Capitol resurfaced many of the feelings I’d know when I was younger. The same fear, disgust, and sadness for our country was back. Not only had people committed acts of hate, but they had gotten away with it in a way that people of color wouldn’t have been able too.”- Mia Story

...“In school we barely learn about the history of slavery and the roots of racism. This affects our everyday lives because if we were educated on topics like this, then it would make people more comfortable using their voice, instead of just agreeing with whatever Trump has to say. This man is abusing his power and getting all his followers to do what he says. He encouraged what happened at Capitol Hill and people still think this is okay. This was an act of terrorism, this was not a protest. But when people do peaceful protests to try and save lives they get shot with rubber bullets and burned with tear gas. It is a pure image of racism in America.” - Shay Kilroy

... “The riot at the Capitol should not come as a surprise to anyone. Trump has been abusing his power for 4 years, encouraging hateful extremist groups to behave with malice and violence. Trump told the groups that stormed the Capitol that he loved them. That’s messed up.” - Ji-Yann Chin

... “The people who stormed the Capitol are filled with hate, and it should not be tolerated. I am scared for what could happen in the future; I should be able to do my schoolwork instead of having to be worried about myself, or someone I love getting hate crimed, but sadly this is what it is like being a teenager in America.” -Darby Nicholson

... “One of the most appalling things seen at the capitol in my opinion was that a confederate flag entered that building. This is the first time since the civil war that a confederate flag has ever got into that building. People fought and died so that flag would never be on Capitol Hill, now not even a week goes by in 2021 and that hateful flag entered the building.”- Julia Atwood

... “Allowing such aggressive, unnecessary “protest” with not nearly as much resistance from law enforcement as Black Lives Matter was met with made me angry, and upset, and many other overwhelming emotions that I did not know what to do with.”- Sofia Chouinard

... “Although one of my teachers did bring it up and we did discuss a bit about how insane and stupid the riot was, all the other teachers stayed quiet. I feel that more teachers should have brought it up because of the amount of pain it caused to others. The racism, anti-semitism, these are real problems and not talking about them will not just make them magically disappear.”

... While there is so much wrong with the riots, and so much to say about them, the anti-semitism is what affects me most personally. Knowing that so many people across the country believe in and act violently on the behalf of anti-semitic rhetoric has always been upsetting and scary. But actually seeing people storm our nation's Capitol building and outwardly expressing that they want me, my family, and people of my ethnicity dead, was literally horrifying. And seeing the sitting president condone those actions was even scarier.

“The riot that took place in the Capitol was a disgrace to the democracy that America stands for. The Pro-Trump rioters believe in making America great again, supposedly support the blue lives matter movement but their actions clearly proved that they are not capable of following the laws which go against the American constitution and they also harmed many capitol police officers”.  -Amulya Chirravuri

“So the most important thing we have to do now is face these problems. We have to fight for the liberty and equality that our country is supposed to stand for. We have to choose to move forward, as a town, as a state, and as a country. The riots last Wednesday only showed a small portion of what is to come, and the potential dangers it can provide to our country if untouched. We must do better.”


The Diversity Awareness Club remains committed to working with the superintendent and members of the school administration in order to help stop the spread of racism and discrimination and to create a safer environment for minorities entering Franklin Public Schools.

Parents, teachers, and students, we ask for your support in making this community a better and safer environment for all students and families.

Thank you,

Diversity Awareness Club Members of Franklin High School

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