David, What an excellent idea to have Chris join you on the podcast. You are two of my favorite voices of reason in the current American wilderness lacking reason and sanity. As a retiree who was born on VJ day in 1945, I remember a lot about the post war fallout, growing up with depression level parents, surviving the social upheaval of the 60s and 70s and, in many ways, I hope the new generation coming along will find their feet and their voices. We need them but they owe my generation nothing but anger and frustration about the world and society we will leave for them. Money and power has come to rule this country. Only with a collectively outraged cohort of middle Americans can we hope to avert the Republican plans for the fascism and oligarchy unfolding in broad daylight. I am VERY glad I was listening to Chris's show the night you were on. I have loved VOLTS and share it widely. Thanks for your wisdom and your voice.

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Really interesting conversation; thank you.

The concluding moments in which you discussed future prospects struck a very strong chord with me.

As many have pointed out, the reactionaries and their compliant friends are NOT a majority. It's vital for us to remember that. But the majority of us seem unable to act as.a majority--partly, IMO, because there's no real place for us to do that, no real place for all of us to hash out, and (one would hope) agree on strategy: what reforms do we go after first in order to open up space for others? I think we've seen over and over that structural reforms must come first, because none of the issues that we care about (climate! Biodiversity! Bodily autonomy! Etc., etc) can be tackled if we are outgunned financially and our majority power is structurally diminished, e.g. by the structure of the US Senate. My personal preference for the priority structural issue is campaign finance/lobbying reform, but that's just mine. If we had a forum--a national progressive forum, at which the objective would be to come to some agreement on a strategy, and to extract some kind of commitment to dedicate staff time and social media attention from participating people and orgs--perhaps we could get somewhere. What if organizations like NRDC, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP and many more could agree that campaign finance reform (or voting rights or an end to gerrymandering or a restoration of tbe Fairness Doctrine) was the first priority, a prerequisite for the achievement of their specific objectives, and asked their members to take action, up to and including civil disobedience? Maybe we could move the mountain a bit. My 2 cents.

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Although some might think parts of this was kind of dark, I confess you had me laughing out loud several times. Really enjoyed listening to this and hope you and Chris do it again in the future. I love his podcast and show, but also it’s truly enjoyable to listen to the 2 of you just chatting and then letting me listen in to your conversation. Over the last 10-15 years there have been times when I heard Chris says things and felt he was reading my mind and apparently now there are 2 of you. Some how I find that most comforting.

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David, I thought that what you said about putting your arms and head to the steering wheel of your vehicle and just willing change to happen was brilliant. I think that we should not criticize Biden because he is all we have right now. He has turned around a lot of Trump's policy already. Just today he solved the Commerce Secretary's case (on your last podcast) and stalemate by allowing Chinese imports of solar into the U.S. by an Executive Order. This will now stop the nation's solar projects from stalling.

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This was a good discussion. I doubt that it is much comfort to know that the feelings most of us have these days are likely to have been reflected in history for many hundreds of years. While what we are experiencing seems unique and unparalleled, it is possibly not so unique in terms of human feelings and reaction.

The current thinking among neuroscientists is that the mind is a predictive capability. It is constantly attempting to predict a future(s) from the present. When that works to any degree, we experience satisfaction, and possibly sometimes, a sense of fulfillment. When it fails to work, we understandably experience anxiety, disappointment, or even fear.

Viewing our current situation, and that of peoples living centuries ago, we can understand how their reactions, and ours, are likely to be more the same than different as the world changes around us. What is happening is that as the human population grows, and as our world changes at an accelerated rate, our predictive capabilities are likely to be outpaced by both circumstance and knowledge.

Imagine for a moment that we could view the world some 800 years ago. The Mongol invasion of Europe began in 1237 CE. The Black Plague followed a century after that. To people living then, it may well have seemed that aliens from another planet invaded, then the plague did to them what the Mongolian invasion did not do. To them, the world was seemingly coming to an end.

From that point onward, change became an accelerating occurrence. The world which seemed familiar became ever less so with each decade that passed. In another century, the printing press changed cultures and relationships among people completely. Sailing ships opened up new worlds in a literal sense. As printed materials opened minds and the exchange of ideas brought both greater horrors and delights to so many, it also brought forth new ways of thinking--advances in the sciences that were unimaginable to earlier generations.

Institutions changed profoundly. Not only religion, but banking, commerce, education, and the relationships between people and how they were governed.

Many, many people had bad, terrible, rotten awful days. None of this was painless or always fun and delightful. It brought horrible wars, terrible weapons, exploitation, slaughter, and the denial of humanity to more peoples than we care to remember.

When we experience anxiety and stress over our current circumstances, it is usually an excellent indicator that it is time for us to change ourselves and our institutions--just as it was then. It is time to change our ways of relating to one another and the way we choose to be governed. That takes commitment and courage--and a more informed population surely helps.

As one of my favorite authors once wrote:

"you can have freedom or you can have ignorance. You cannot have both freedom and ignorance at the same time."

It is an over-simplification to think that our poorly educated population is an accident beyond our control It is easy to blame corporations, governments, or other entities for the fact that the people today who are reacting in ignorance were never taught other skills with which to address the changing reality they are experiencing at an increasing rate.

We insist on maintaining an education system that is 200 years old, a government that is 200 years old and patched with many over-stretched band-aids, a financial system that has changed beyond our ability to control or understand it well, and an international trade system that is designed for self destruction more than advancement. Our healthcare system is 100 years old, and nearly as much out of date--especially for minority populations. Okay, doctors no longer make house calls, but think how old it is that we go to doctors and wait, wait, and hope for 15 minutes to hear a diagnosis--with little attention to us as humans.

We did these things to ourselves. They have not been imposed from without. The world has changed. Climate change will guarantee that the changes accelerate at a greater rate. Our institutions will fail at a greater rate. Consider our out-of-date building codes, insurance systems, and farming/agriculture. What we know and what we do are light years apart.

Why? We predict our future based on what we know. That can so often yield a conservative result. We farm the way we do as it is much like what grandpa did when . . . I mean, we got through the Dust Bowl did we not? So, what is the big deal about changing our diets and farming now?

The issue in our political system with inadequate education systems, is that people naturally become more conservative as their world changes around them--mostly, unless inoculated otherwise. Unfortunately, this means that at worst, people want a "strong man" to step between them and danger--what they fear, or what gives them anxiety. Often people want the world to be better along one or two dimensions--hold everything else the same, and let just those 2 things be different. They may even pray every day to make this happen. It nearly never does.

The world will change as radically and as profoundly as it did with the Mongol invasion, the Black Plague, the invention of the printing press and the advent of the Industrial Revolution that helped get us into this mess. The only way out is through expansion--expansion of us, our understanding of one another, and our relationship to our environment. That has to become an individual responsibility and a mission for all of us. Our failure will assure us of more "strong men" who will promise much, and deliver only to themselves and their friends what they promise. One need not look very far around the world for multiple examples of this trend. It is time for a reboot. We can do better.

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