Ten-Word Messages

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Ezra Klein makes a good point, writing on the topic of the Democratic Party’s much-lamented lack of an easily “digestible” platform: “Can someone please explain to me why a major political party in the world’s most powerful country should be able to define its message in ten words?” Right, exactly. Also, why should anyone be forced to explain the meaning of liberalism in an “elevator talk”? Politics and policy, especially good policy, is complicated, and if Democrats can’t explain what they stand for or plan to do to fix this country in two monosyllabic sentences, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Or at least it shouldn’t be a bad thing.

A related “concern” I find baffling is the idea that Democrats should, for some unknown reason, be totally unified on each and every issue. Media types in particular like to harp on this. But why should they be unified? As a general matter of principle, democracy presumably works better when there’s lots of disagreement, and competing ideas are actually aired, rather than suppressed. Many people point out that the Republican Party has gained so much power because it stays on message and never succumbs to any sort of infighting or internal squabbling. That’s not totally true, but even if it was, the Republican Party has also driven the country into the ground, so there’s reason to think that running a political party like the Soviet Politburo probably isn’t the ideal way to govern the country.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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