Slapping Forehead

Thursday is my dog Blue’s birthday. He’s five and he’s a great dog, so I urge you to raise a bone or a biscuit in his honor. Woof!

Then focus on Punxsutawney Phil’s time to shine and a reminder that Groundhog Day is more than an entertaining movie. It’s a reminder of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same things and expecting different results. It’s pretty much a forehead slapper.

Punxsutawney Phil and his friend

Critical point:

We the People overwhelmingly are not extremist goons. We want our democracy to continue, we don’t like even the notion of autocracy and we abhor violence and the threat of violence against our fellow citizens. We think we should all play by the rules and not cheat or lie and we don’t hate our neighbors. So how come we keep getting elected officials who are completely out of step from the rest of us? Turns out there’s a pretty simple answer and it’s forehead slapping stuff.

If self-puffing, extremist voters (read Thomas Edsall’s explainer here) continue to swarm the primaries and general elections as they have, we’ll continue to see only extremist candidates from the right, some of whom will be elected.

If sensible moderate righties, centrist and lefty voters stay at home on election days, we’ll continue to see our sensible candidates defeated. Think: extreme good guy Tim Ryan defeated for a Senate seat from Ohio by serial liar J.D. Vance.

That “extremists show up to vote and moderates don’t” dynamic will lead to ever more extremist people being elected to public office. They will then proceed to stomp on our rights, polarize our country and move us closer to killing our democracy. You know that’s true because you’ve seen it happen over and over.

APRIL 29, 2021 — The 2020 presidential election had the highest voter turnout of the 21st century, with 66.8% of citizens 18 years and older voting in the election, according to new voting and registration tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.”

Actually, that’s the high water mark going all the way back to 1932. Over 1/3 of our fellow sensible citizens don’t bother to vote. And mid-term elections have far lower turnouts.

Translation: We get the candidates and elected officials that the motivated voters (read: angry/fearful/extremist) elect, because they’re the ones who show up to vote. Many of the rest of us just sheeple silently along and our voices are never heard.

If we want different results, we’ll have to do something different. We’ll have to participate in this participation sport of democracy. The over 33% who don’t show up will have to show up. Like I said: it’s simple, forehead slapping stuff.

Here’s how to start.

States don’t all have the same influence on election outcomes, the retention of rights and even more critical stuff. But the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election has huge consequences that radiate from there in all directions. That’s why the people of Focus For Democracy have zeroed in on that election and why you need to hear what they have to say. Here’s a piece of their current invitation.

The Stakes

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has a 4-3 right-wing majority that has upheld some of the nation’s most severely gerrymandered [congressional district] maps and voter suppression laws and will soon decide on whether to uphold a 19th-century law that completely bans abortion, with no exception for rape or incest.

Wisconsin is consistently a critical tipping point state in presidential elections. In 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court came within one vote of overturning the presidential election results.

The Opportunity

In Wisconsin, Supreme Court seats are held for 10 years and incumbents are almost always reelected. But this year, the conservative Chief Justice is retiring, leaving an opportunity to flip the court.

Our support in this race could have an outsized impact.

Click here to join us on Tuesday, February 19th at 7PM Pacific/8PM Eastern [for a briefing on the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election] and invite your friends! [NOT via social media – direct text/email/word-of-mouth only, please.]

This matters. If we want the behaviors and results we’ve been getting for over two decades to stop, Einstein has made our path clear: we have to do something different – like participate. Like get Aunt Minnie and Uncle Bob off the couch.

Learn what’s really at stake and what we can do about it. Sitting on the sidelines simply won’t work for us.

See? We’re back to that forehead slap.

So, click and join the session on February 19. I’ll be there and will wave to you.


  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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