Friday December 9, 2022

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Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation

Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation

Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue Jeans in High Places: The Coming Makeover of American Politics.
Mike wants to hear from you.
Blue Jean Nation, P.O. Box 70788, Madison, WI 53707
Email: one4all@bluejeannation.com
Phone: 608-443-6086

Blue Jean Nation 'America’s one finger salute'

Posted by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 17 November 2016
in Wisconsin

screw-systemMedia pundits are over analyzing election results. Republicans showed there is nothing they will not do to get power. Democrats insisted on nominating exactly the wrong person and have written off large swaths of rural Wisconsin. We live in dangerous times.


ALTOONA, WI - What’s perhaps most shocking about the turn our country has taken is that so many were shocked. Media pundits and the professional operatives and party insiders they count on as sources have a habit of over analyzing elections and over complicating politics. What just happened is not that complicated.

Anti-establishment feelings are running sky high, making 2016 a change year and November 8 a change day. Donald Trump was seen as the change candidate. Hillary Clinton was seen as the stay the course, more of the same candidate. Clinton emphasized her experience and qualifications and readiness for the job. Trump talked of draining the swamp. If voters had been in a stay the course state of mind, Clinton is elected. A huge number were in no such mood. Tens of millions felt the urge to extend a middle finger to the powers that be. Trump was the biggest middle finger they could find.

Some things became apparent in this election. Republicans showed there is nothing they will not do to get and hold on to power — from voting suppression and voter internment (also known as “packing” and “cracking” in the parlance of those practiced in the dark art of partisan gerrymandering) to nakedly visible appeals to bigotry and scapegoating of some of the most vulnerable among us. Democrats showed they possess the greatest weakness of all: An inability or unwillingness to recognize their most glaring weaknesses much less do anything about them.

Democrats insisted on nominating exactly the wrong person at exactly the wrong time. They chose a consummate insider at a moment when anti-establishment fervor was reaching a boiling point. Curiously, in talking to both party insiders and mainstream Democratic voters, they all seemed to think they were playing it safe. They couldn’t see they were making about the riskiest choice imaginable.

Democrats either don’t understand or don’t care how hated they are by voters who live in small towns or out in the country. Judging from what I’ve encountered over the last year and a half since Blue Jean Nation formed, the party’s name has become a dirty word in most rural areas. By all appearances, party leaders have written off large swaths of rural Wisconsin and rural America. What they don’t seem to realize is this strategy makes it all but impossible for them to construct governing majorities any time in the foreseeable future.

The disastrous results of the 2016 elections have many Democratic foot soldiers and worker bees calling for heads to roll. A favorite target of their wrath is the party chair. Being party chair has to be one of the worst of all possible jobs because everyone presumes the position has great power when it has nearly none. The real power rests with the political industrial complex made up of professional consultants and vendors of campaign services who make huge sums of money win or lose. They have party leaders under their spell, and with the smoke clearing from this year’s elections there are no signs as of yet that attempts will be made to break that spell.

We live in interesting but dangerous times. Putting power ahead of principle, ruling Republicans have made the classic deal with the devil, swapping essential pieces of the party’s soul for temporary supremacy. And exiled Democrats not only do not appear to have a plan to stage a comeback, they seem reluctant to even acknowledge they have a problem.

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Blue Jean Nation 'What we don’t need to get what we want'

Posted by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 12 November 2016
in Wisconsin

vetmarchMike says we can be better than the bullies, love our country, love thy neighbor. Failure can be a great teacher, and America is never finished.


ALTOONA, WI - We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished. It is always in the making. We can get to work making our country what we want it to be.

We don’t need hate to fuel us. We can follow the Golden Rule. We can love thy neighbor. We have love of country. We can lean on each other, look out for one another.

We don’t need to tear someone down to build ourselves up. That’s what bullies do. We can be better than bullies.

We don’t need greatness. We do need goodness, now more than ever.

We don’t need any unjust laws repealed in order for us to make change. When we make change, then those unjust laws will be repealed.

We don’t need what all that money buys the politicians. We don’t need pollsters to tell us what to think. We can think for ourselves. We don’t need speechwriters and teleprompters to put words in our mouths. We can speak for ourselves. We don’t need public relations firms and ad agencies to mold our images. We can just be who we are. We don’t need political professionals to do the work for us. We can do the work of citizenship. Not many of us have the time, but we can make the time.

We don’t need to be afraid of the dark. Darkness is no match for millions of people shining light.

We don’t need to fear failure. Failure can be a great teacher. Failure can be the key to success.

We don’t need to leave the country. America is never finished.

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Blue Jean Nation "An election without winners?"

Posted by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue
User is currently offline
on Friday, 28 October 2016
in Wisconsin

sick-partiesThis election may end with both of the parties in splinters, leaving American politics more up in the air than it has been in living memory.


ALTOONA, WI - Someone will be elected. But it’s possible no one will win.

In a presidential election featuring the two most unpopular major party nominees ever, it looks increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton will become our next president. It’s just as likely that winning the White House will actually hurt the Democrats’ overall standing with the public.

Some hate Hillary. Some can’t stand Bill. Some don’t care for political dynasties and resent another Clinton presidency. Some despise Democrats in general. Some are turned off by how the Democratic establishment treated Bernie Sanders’ candidacy as an unwelcome intrusion and stacked the deck to assure Hillary got the party’s nomination. Some are just exasperated by the choice they were given, between two intensely disliked celebrities. Some are in an anti-establishment mood and see Hillary as the living embodiment of the political establishment. All will hold it against the Democrats for not showing any respect for these kinds of feelings.

There is a very real possibility either or both of the parties could splinter.

Today’s Republican Party has become an uneasy alliance of wealthy capitalists, the religious right and working-class whites. What these three factions want the party to be is very different, and keeping any of them satisfied without granting them their every wish is growing more challenging by the day. Lose any of them and the party’s governing majority across the country starts to crumble.

In cobbling together this fragile coalition of strangers, Republican leaders and right-wing media personalities created a monster that has gone on a rampage and is tearing their party limb from limb. Both Wall Street and Main Street Republicans have to be hoping and praying for Trump to lose. It will be hard enough to stitch the mangled body back together if Trump goes down to defeat. If Trump wins, it’s his party. That would be the death of it.

The Democratic Party has lost much of its blue-collar following and is now left with a composite of highly educated professionals, racial minorities and progressive populists. The party’s leadership clearly has cast its lot with the professional class, as evidenced by the favored status of corporate Democrats like the Clintons within the party, and has actively sought to snuff out populist impulses. The teens and twenty-somethings of the millennial generation — the party’s future — were outraged by what party insiders did to sabotage the Sanders campaign. Sanders won far more votes from millennials than Clinton and Trump combined, and these young voters will not soon forget how the skids were greased for Clinton. Minority voters are taken for granted, but young black millennials in particular appear to be increasingly questioning their elders’ loyalty to the Democrats. All of this leaves the Democratic Party vulnerable to upheaval or even disintegration as well.

All of this leaves American politics more up in the air than it has been in living memory.

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Blue Jean Nation 'So long Abe'

Posted by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 19 October 2016
in Wisconsin

lincoln-walks-awayLincoln defined government as “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We need Lincoln’s spirit now more than ever.


ALTOONA, WI - No dictionary ever captured the essence of democracy’s meaning better than Abe Lincoln did in his legendary Gettysburg Address. Lincoln defined it as government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

For a century and a half after the Civil War the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln. Today’s GOP, however, has separated from Lincoln and the relationship seems destined to end in divorce. Modern-day Republicans have rejected Lincoln’s commitment to equality as they flirted for decades before eventually jumping in bed with white supremacy. They also have renounced Lincoln’s idea of democracy. For years now the likes of Rush Limbaugh have been saying over and over again that America is a republic, not a democracy. And dittoheads across the country dutifully repeat the mantra.

It’s silly to argue over whether America is one or the other when we were so obviously intended to be both. The U.S. was set up to be a democratic republic. The republic the founders gave us also can accurately be described as a representative democracy or a constitutional democracy. The founders wisely and ingeniously struck a balance between majority rule by elected representatives of the people and protection of individual and minority rights by rule of constitutional law. To say we are a republic but not a democracy is to not only disregard the true meaning of these words but also to disrespect the founders’ delicate balancing act.

They understandably wanted no more to do with monarchy and sought to replace a king’s rule with democracy. But they also were rightly fearful of mob rule and felt the need to temper the democratic will with “inalienable” rights for individuals that could not be voted out of existence. They did a better job designing the system than we have done taking care of it. While some among us waste time bickering about whether America is a republic or a democracy, evidence mounts that we may no longer be worthy of either name.

At a time when the republic faced perhaps the greatest threat to its continued existence, Lincoln gave the country not only the perfect definition of democracy but also reason to believe a new birth of freedom in America was possible. In our time, all of us — whether Republican, Democrat, independent or something else — need to channel our inner Lincolns and dedicate ourselves to a new birth of democracy and equality. We need to figure out how to restore government of the people, by the people and for the people. We need to imagine an economy that is of the people, by the people and for the people and strive to make it so.

We need Lincoln’s spirit now more than ever. The party of Lincoln has waved goodbye to Abe. The rest of us need to summon him back.

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'Lying In The Bed You Made' - Blue Jean Nation

Posted by Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe, Blue Jean Nation
Mike McCabe is the founder and president of Blue Jean Nation and author of Blue
User is currently offline
on Friday, 14 October 2016
in Wisconsin

bed-nailsConservative Republicans and talk radio hosts are falling over each other in their effort to distance themselves from Donald Trump, but as parents have been saying for generations, you made your bed and now you’ve got to lie in it.


ALTOONA, WI - A weird political year got weirder still when the flamboyant conservative radio and TV personality Glenn Beck said voting against Donald Trump is the “moral, ethical choice” even if it means Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Charlie SykesBeck is hardly alone among conservative pundits having pangs of conscience about what the Republican Party is turning into. Milwaukee’s conservative radio host Charlie Sykes recently owned up to his role in creating an environment where the likes of Trump could thrive, acknowledging that he and other right-wing media personalities have “created this monster.” And then Sykes announced he is ending his radio show.

Most of Sykes’ conservative media peers have gone to great lengths to deflect responsibility. Acting as if he and right-wing commentators like him had no hand in making the Frankenstein that is now laying waste to the GOP, Jonah Goldberg self-righteously proclaims Donald Trump’s supporters “oblivious to the fact that he needs more than his base to win. And once again, conservatives who’ve made a career thumping their chests or their Bibles about the importance of character and morality found themselves making excuses for a man who personifies everything they claimed to oppose.”

Other conservative heavyweights like George Will and David Brooks also have expressed horror in recent days at the ugly turn American conservatism has taken. Brooks says “Trump breaks his own world record for being appalling on a weekly basis” and his “performances look like primate dominance displays — filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.”

Brooks concludes: “It’s all so pathetic.”

Will calls Trump an “arrested-development adolescent” with “feral appetites and deranged sense of entitlement.” He goes on to say Trump is a “marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences” without displaying a hint of awareness of his own culpability as an intellectual architect of modern “conservatism” that has now morphed into Trumpism.

Will then grasps for straws, wishfully speculating that maybe “Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy, a nauseating but, if carried through to completion, perhaps a curative experience.”

As parents have been saying for generations, you made your bed and now you’ve got to lie in it.

That would be all well and good, if not for the fact that the rest of us are going to have to suffer the side effects of their sleep disorders.

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