There’s an interesting strain in Jewish history. When Jews are persecuted, killed, locked in Ghettos or severely discriminated against, as in most of our history, we stick together. We stay strong and united. We cling to our traditions and our religion. We stay proud and unbowed as we fight to survive, as individuals and as a culture.

From: Miami-Herald

During periods in our history when persecution was lifted, we are more openly accepted into the larger societies in which we lived. When that happens, Jews rapidly assimilate. In the process, we lose some of our Jewishness. We adopt the culture of our homeland. Intermarry and raise our children less Jewish. This has happened in America since the 1960’s. Without an external enemy, we lose our motivation to maintain our cultural and religious identity. We become complacent. We lose some of our unique spirit as a people.

I believe that Democrats/Progressives are, in some ways, like the Jews. When things are going well for us, we lose our identity and our will to fight. We don’t vote in off-year elections and we don’t participate in local and statewide politics as much. We don’t stay organized, motivated and active without an external crisis to propel us into action.

We were motivated by George W. Bush. We became a vocal anti-Bush, anti-Republican, anti-Iraq war force. We voted, we protested, we became a presence on late night TV. Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” became the most trusted man in America. “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” became some of the left’s major sources of news and sustenance.

Then Obama came along and we went back to our daily lives, leaving politics far behind. We stayed home for the mid-term elections and a large majority of states were totally taken over by Republicans. In the 2016 election, many Democrats were not ‘excited’ about Hillary Clinton. No one believed that Trump could win. So too many of us stayed home on election day or voted for third-party candidates. Now we have Trump to motivate us again.

These days, we sure are motivated! We are marching and organizing with a vengeance. We are running local candidates against Republicans, even in deep Red states. We are pulling in record vote tallies in special elections all over the country. Progressive organizations are raising money like crazy, with small donations as well as large ones. Now there are many more late night shows to take up the Democratic/Progressive banner. Facebook, Twitter and other internet platforms have been a big factor in this Progressive explosion. The outrage is everywhere.

Hopefully we can maintain this level of activism and enthusiasm into the mid-term elections in 2018. That may not be enough to win over one, let alone both houses in Congress. So we may not be able to get the major change in Washington that we want through the ballot box before 2020.

But we can also maintain pressure on Congress, the intelligence agencies and the media. That eventually might result in someone being able to link Trump to the Russian hacking of the 2016 election. Or to money laundering, or something else that’s clearly illegal, even to Republicans. That could result in a resignation or impeachment, if something else, like egregious conflicts of interest, haven’t already.

There shouldn’t be a problem keeping Democrats active as long as Trump or Pence are in the White House. Let’s just hope we’ve finally learned our lesson and don’t crawl back into our apolitical holes once we get rid of the current Republican scourge on our country.


  1. EXCELLENT post, and apt analogy!

    Political malaise is like a chronic disease – it goes into remission but must always be managed. My fingers are crossed as I agree with your final point: ” Let’s just hope we’ve finally learned our lesson and don’t crawl back into our apolitical holes once we get rid of the current Republican scourge on our country.”
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Democrats will have to stay motivated even after Trump is long gone. It will take YEARS to undo the damage he has done on so many fronts! And the Progressives are making huge gains in the hearts and minds of the people. I think in a few years we’d be ready for a single payer system. Just expand Medicare for everyone and we’re done. I also think most of us are ready for more climate initiatives, even corporations are going along now.


  2. Lots of good stuff, Ellin. Similar feelings as a person of color. I sure hope we’re focused on the mid terms.


    1. I think we’ll be focused on midterm and 2020 elections. It’s past that that we have to work to stay in the game. So many states have gone Republican and we have to keep working to turn that around. Hopefully it will get easier as the population naturally gets younger and more diverse.


  3. Long term people don’t really learn from history. But in the short term, I think people who are afraid of losing precious liberties and privileges and a way of life, will keep the more recent lessons alive. We may not learn history in school as much as we used to, but we do remember our recent past – particularly if we’ve been battered or bruised in some way. So hopefully people will stay focused enough to make the present disaster in the White House a short term problem.


    1. I think there are periods in history when people have learned. When this country was founded, it was the heart of the Enlightenment and it made a pretty big difference here and elsewhere. It was a very “smart” period in human history. Right now, I think we are in stupidville.


      1. You’re right about there being “smart” periods of history. Today the entire value system of the country is away from “smart”. We don’t care about our education system and we don’t want educated or even informed leaders either. Part of the country actually looks down on educated and informed people as snobby “elites”. So I don’t think we’re going to have another “smart” period in our history for a while.


        1. I find it pretty weird. I was brought up in a home where education was THE important thing. I knew if I didn’t go to college, i wouldn’t go to heaven, or wherever one was supposed to go (atheist parents). It’s hard for me to see so many people looking down on education. Hard — and I truly do not understand it.


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