47 Comments

Josh Shapiro is NOT the first Jewish Governor of Pennsylvania. Year ago Milton Shapp (nee Shapiro) won and served 2 terms

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Nov 9, 2022Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

"I dedicate this essay to all the election officials, workers, activists, canvassers, phone bankers, and others who made these election results possible" As an election worker (and texter and post carder and letter writer), I am grateful for your acknowledgement.

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I meant years ago-1971-1979.

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Don't be carried away with optimism. Ron DeSantis is more powerful than ever. And who our there is able to successfully challenge him?

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Love this piece and all the hope it conveys. You are the voice of We the People” Ruth, thanks again for all you do!!

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Nov 9, 2022Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Thank you Ruth, for the calm you bring to your essays and Zoom meetings each week. I always come away feeling more hopeful. I didn't pay attention to a single poll, I didn't want to hear the negativity about the Democrats. I'm still hopeful we will win the senate.

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My 2 cents. TV repeated the threat constantly the way they repeat vapid but profitable ads. Fear attracts eyeballs and sells ads. Inflation is not and was not the end of the world and Rs had no solution anyway. The media studiously ignored so much that has gone well over the psst 2 years. No wars for a change. Strong intl relationships. Promotion of democratic institutions. Self confident mature and wise Lawrence O'Donnell correctly predicted the night before, "there is no way to predict what will happen." Although Dixville Notch, as usual, was a good barometer.

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Perversely, we can thank Trump for coming along and shattering our belief that all was OK, waking us from our slumber. Now we have had the biggest mid-term in history, equaling the biggest presidential election in history, in terms of participation.

More participation = better outcomes.

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The far right did not fare well in the midterms. I would be interested in your views on whether this is likely to lead to additional violence. That is an argument made by Barbara Walter in "How Civil Wars Start." Here is what she has to say:

“Likewise, Elections are potentially destabilizing events in highly factionalized anocracies—especially when a downgraded group loses. In a study of global conflict between 1960 and 2000, researchers found that ethnic groups were more likely to resort to violence after they had lost an election. . . .

“Like protests, elections per se are not dangerous. In fact, most citizens are eager to participate in elections, seeing them as a hallmark of a democracy. Elections give people hope. They focus citizens’ attention on the long game; people believe that even if they lose today, they could win tomorrow. And the more hopeful citizens are about the future, the more likely they are to try to peacefully work within the system. But if the losing side believes that it will never gain or regain power, then hope disappears. America’s 1860 election was devastating to Southern Democrats. Elections provide important information about the future and thus reduce uncertainty. First, they shed light on a group’s ability to compete. Two consecutive losses indicate that a party does not have the votes to gain control and is thus likely to be excluded from power. Elections can be particularly destabilizing in winner-take-all systems. Presidential majoritarian systems are heavily biased in favor of the majority group in a country; if one party or faction cannot gain the support of a majority of citizens, it will never gain power. Winning an election in this type of system is particularly consequential. Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Burundi, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, and Venezuela all have the same type of presidential system, and all have experienced a high degree of political violence. One study revealed that all of the democracies that experienced civil war between 1960 and 1995 had majoritarian or presidential

systems. “

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Nov 9, 2022Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Thank you Ruth for your support, guidance and intellectual generosity.

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It was a good night Ruth, although, little sleep. It wasn't just polling, pundits or the big lie that was wrong, so was election history. The youth vote became loud and clear. I am very proud of their activism. Two takeaways, don't piss off women, or youth. GOP choose the wrong message. The night was about Rights. Maine, home state, broke turnout records for a midterm. The entire country broke many barriers, as you noted. Still, it's important to temper our victory, knowing full well that the insanity of Texas, Florida and others, is still out there. We have to engage in every fight, fascists only have to win once. We must concentrate on the guardrails. Final counts could be as late as next week. If we don't retain control, we'll be close enough to make it tough on the GOP. McCarthy would be smart to remember John Boehner. In the immortal actions of Chuck Grassley, it ain't ova, till I'm dead. I feel the same Chuck, cautiously.

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founding
Nov 9, 2022Liked by Ruth Ben-Ghiat

Thank you, Ruth for the frequent, full-throated reminders the last 2 years, that each of us has the power to help retain democracy here, by finding a way to contribute. Voted first in 1972 (McGovern!) and this election the first ever that I did something, for an hour or two or three, most days (starting Oct’21, phone-banking mostly). First time ever ... after submitting my ballot yesterday, that I ever cried tears of gratitude for this opportunity!!

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Thank you Ruth, and for creating the Lucid community. Where would we be without this lightning rod to calm and clear us from the turbulent storm? Onward we go.

"Democracy is who we are" -- President Biden, Nov 9, 2022

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What's not to love about (mostly) good news?! Turnout among young people & women helped hold the line against the oft-predicted "red wave." Democracy is intact, for now -- with the possible exception of Florida.

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Sofar so good. Democracy seems to have won important battles and lost a few less.........but war against fascism is not over...................... Overall it is too close for comfort......

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Monday night I barely slept, consumed by fear and despair. But today I celebrate pretty much keeping the status quo, turning back most of the election deniers, and the turnout from women and young people. Thank you for the hope, Ruth, as we take a breath before going back to the fray.

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