Amplifying progressive voices

Tag: Democracy

Don’t let headlines demoralize you. 


Americans of Conscience

You’re not alone in your hopes for a better nation. While there’s always work to do, it’s vital to pause from time to time, recognize signs of progress, and celebrate successes together.

Intentional celebration builds resiliency. So, we offer you this week’s list of wins for democracy, equity, and checks on those who want to take our nation backward. Thanks for being part of something hopeful!

Want to be part of the solution?

Open our most recent Americans of Conscience Checklist, take action, and let your voice be heard!

US Military Held Hostage by MAGA Republicans

Listen to Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger talk about the impact on the spouses and children of military families who deserve more than cheap platitudes and drunken clapping for their contributions to our nation.

Every person with a phone should call their two US senators and members of Congress and express outrage over this. You can contact the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request. To find your representative, you can use this tool. Demand action on this very serious issue.


By Carlos Del Toro, Frank Kendall, and Christine Wormuth
September 4, 2023

As the civilian leaders of the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, and Army, we are proud to work alongside exceptional military leaders who are skilled, motivated, and empowered to protect our national security.

These officers and the millions of service members they lead are the foundation of America’s enduring military advantage. Yet this foundation is being actively eroded by the actions of a single U.S. senator, Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), who is blocking the confirmation of our most senior military officers.

The senator asserts that this blanket and unprecedented “hold,” which he has maintained for more than six months, is about opposition to Defense Department policies that ensure service members and their families have access to reproductive health no matter where they are stationed.

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, this policy is critical and necessary to meet our obligations to the force. It is also fully within the law, as confirmed by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel.

Senators have many legislative and oversight tools to show their opposition to a specific policy. They are free to introduce legislation, gather support for that legislation, and pass it. But placing a blanket hold on all general and flag officer nominees, who as apolitical officials have traditionally been exempt from the hold process, is unfair to these military leaders and their families.

And it is putting our national security at risk.

Thus far, the hold has prevented the Defense Department from placing almost 300 of our most experienced and battle-tested leaders into critical posts around the world.

Three of our five military branches — the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps — have no Senate-confirmed service chief in place. Instead, these jobs — and dozens of others across the force — are being performed by acting officials without the full range of legal authorities necessary to make the decisions that will sustain the United States’ military edge.

Across the services, many generals and admirals are being forced to perform two roles simultaneously. The strain of this double duty places a real and unfair burden on these officers, the organizations they lead, and their families.

The blanket hold is also exacting a personal toll on those who least deserve it.

Each of us has seen the stress this hold is inflicting up and down the chain of command, whether in the halls of the Pentagon or at bases and outposts around the world.

We know officers who have incurred significant unforeseen expenses and are facing genuine financial stress because they have had to relocate their families or unexpectedly maintain two residences.

Military spouses who have worked to build careers of their own are unable to look for jobs because they don’t know when or if they will move. Children don’t know where they will go to school, which is particularly hard given how frequently military children change schools already.

These military leaders are being forced to endure costly separations from their families — a painful experience they have come to know from nearly 20 years of deployments to places such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

All because of the actions of a single senator.

Any claim that holding up the promotions of top officers does not directly damage the military is wrong — plain and simple.

The leaders whose lives and careers are on hold include scores of combat veterans who have led our troops into deadly combat with valor and distinction in the decades since 9/11. These men and women each have decades of experience and are exactly who we want — and need — to be leading our military at such a critical period of time.

The impact of this hold does not stop at these officers or their family members.

With the promotions of our most senior leaders on hold, there is a domino effect upending the lives of our more junior officers, too.

Looking over the horizon, the prolonged uncertainty and political battles over these military nominations will have a corrosive effect on the force.

The generals and admirals who will be leading our forces a decade from now are colonels and captains today. They are watching this spectacle and might conclude that their service at the highest ranks of our military is no longer valued by members of Congress or, by extension, the American public.

Rather than continue making sacrifices to serve our nation, some might leave uniformed service for other opportunities, robbing the Defense Department of talent cultivated over decades that we now need most to maintain our superiority over our rivals and adversaries.

Throughout our careers in national security, we have deeply valued the bipartisan support shown for our service members and their families. But rather than seeking a resolution to this impasse in that spirit, Tuberville has suggested he is going to further escalate this confrontation by launching baseless political attacks against these men and women.

We believe that the vast majority of senators and Americans across the political spectrum recognize the stakes of this moment and the dangers of politicizing our military leaders. It is time to lift this dangerous hold and confirm our senior military leaders.

Carlos Del Toro, Secretary of the US Navy
Frank Kendall, Secretary of the US Air Force
Christine Wormuth, Secretary of the US Army

The Fight for Justice Never Matters More Than When Fascists Are Trying to Pervert the Very Idea of It

What’s this case really about? A lot more, I suggest, than many think, even now. The way it’s framed so far — even on the thoughtful side — is the old line about a nation of laws versus a nation of men…people. That’s true, but in a much subtler way than is being talked about.

How do nations fail? How did America get here? What’s really happening to America — right now?

One side — the fascists, basically — abuse their way into power. They cheat, they defraud, they tell Big Lies — “the election was stolen!! Gay people are groomers!! Jan 6th was a peaceful protest!!” On and on it goes.

And then something crucial happens. When they gain power, they begin to rewrite the law

In an America Collapsing Into Fascism, Indicting Trump Couldn’t Matter More

Perhaps he can write his very own Mein Kampf while he’s in prison. It was apparently, after all, his bedtime reading. There’s been a lot of ink spilled already about the indictment of Donald Trump, and plenty more surely will be. Let me offer a few thoughts. Does it matter?

We know what anti-woke really means

The anti-woke crusade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and worldviews that negatively impact the Black community. However, many White people now use the term as a derogative slur, a cowardly way of spilling the beans while denying any beans were spilled.

What will grow in the place of “woke” if principles like diversity, equity, and inclusion are pulled out of the white rose garden by their roots? We’ll be left with a society where diversity will be viewed as problematic, where companies and schools no longer attempt to provide equitable opportunities to their employees and students, and where exclusionary tactics replace inclusion.

How Anti-Woke Became a Cowardly Slogan For a Racist Crusade

We know what anti-woke really means The anti-woke cruscade is rooted in fear and ignorance, a mnemonic placeholder for the bigoted things most people wouldn’t dare say aloud. Black Americans have been using the term “woke” since the 1940s to describe a state of awareness toward racist policies and…

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