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3 million Democrat voters would have more impact in smaller states. (Maps from New York Times election coverage 2020)

A modest proposal to migrate Democrats to seats they can flip

What follows is a thought experiment, mostly to gauge the size and potential impact of mobility activism, rather than its plausibility. In practice, there are hundreds of factors and consequences — both positive and negative — to any move that are not addressed here.

I am about to make a case for the voluntary movement of millions of people from California. It is a kind New Gold Rush, only instead of individual opportunity for riches in California, the motivation is a communal good built elsewhere, with an endgame of inclusivity and equity.

The plan asks for people who are willing and able to put their bodies in a place to do the most good for others, and once there to do the daily work that produces real change. It asks for personal sacrifice, mitigated by the presence of others in a migration cohort. It is a plan that demands both coordination and scale. …

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(Angel and Satan icons by Gan Khoon Lay / Noun Project)

After addressing harm, make room for love

Out of all of the actions taken over the past century, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi genocide campaign against the Jewish population is as close as we get to a universally-accepted notion of human evil.

Even with the world rising against him, however, Hitler still had supporters, opportunistic allies, and people who just didn’t know or care what he was doing. Despite the fervent hope for such convenience, evil isn’t an absolute, or at least isn’t universally identifiable.

Nor do those who recognize evil agree on what to do with it. Do you drown it out with something good? Do you match actions, justifying yours as defense? …

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Re-working a critique of Sanders “Scorched-Earth Politics”

Almost a year after a Hillary Clinton became the first woman to earn the nomination for president from a major political party, Clemson graduate student Blair Durkee published a scathing critique of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign.

Between Clinton’s nomination and the article’s publication, Donald Trump was sworn into the highest office in the nation amid a backdrop of protest marches that remain a constant early in his third year in office. As Durkee was finishing the final edits to her essay, John McCain cast the key vote to defeat the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, Anthony Scaramucci was removed as White House Communications Director after less than 2 weeks on the job, and Trump declared a ban to prevent transgender people from serving in the military.

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We look at the same images and understand the same facts only to draw competing conclusions about their significance.

Meaningful change requires us to honor multiple truths

Four years ago, the mother of a Scottish bride was preparing for the big day. While shopping for wedding clothes, she sent a picture of three options to her daughter. One of the outfits sparked a debate between the two, spilling over into their small community of Colonsay after the daughter re-posted the photo to Facebook.

A singer in the wedding band—having confirmed her own stance upon seeing the mother in person—published the picture on Tumblr so her followers could sound off. Buzzfeed then added their platform to the mix, enticing 39 million visits to their website to see the photo. …

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A Covington Catholic High School student faces an Omaha elder on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

How much difference does a MAGA hat make?

Last Friday in Washington, D.C., citizen cameras captured a moment with a messy truth. It contained hate and manipulation, with layers of aggression and questionable logic. In an era where everything is recorded for posterity, people watched the same moment and saw something different.

My first introduction to this moment is The Photo. A smug teen in a red Make America Great Again hat stands grinning at a Native American elder, who beats a drum. There eyes are locked in a staring contest. Surrounding the pair appear to be more smiling teens in more MAGA hats.

The Photo came with a tweet. Its author briefly tells me that the teens, who were attending the anti-abortion March for Life rally, surrounded the elder and his small group, taunting and intimidating them during a song of protest. …

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The key to defeating Donald Trump in 2020 may be more about protest than policy. (Photo credits: Tom Pennington & Ethan Miller/Getty Images, AP Photo)

Allan Lichtman’s model suggests what is important in 2020

The original version of this analysis was published on March 6, 2017. The text has been updated to reflect events through the 2018 Midterm elections.

Like many political junkies, I spent much of my online time in 2016 following FiveThirtyEight to get the latest projections on the presidential election. Few credible prognosticators expected a Donald Trump victory, and on the eve of Election Day the site’s prediction engine had just lifted Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning to 70 percent. The 30 percent prevailed.

Future historians may be gentle and consider the outcome a perfect storm that doesn’t blame Silver’s Bayesian approach as much as flaws in polling that year. Even with FiveThirtyEight redeemed, there are other ways to project political success of presidential elections. …

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Returning to the nest after someone leaves

On Tuesday, my family dropped off my eldest son at college. It took the morning to help him unpack, and we were on the road by noon, returning home with empty bins. By the time we reached the Indiana border, it sunk in that our goodbye will take quite a bit longer.

My own college arrival 32 years earlier is understandably fuzzy. I remember my Mazda truck—which I realize wasn’t really mine—packed tight with a wooden loft my dad made, cut to fit its bed precisely and heavy enough to make moving a workout. …

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For me, the impact of the current #MeToo movement is summed up through this tweet by Kate Harding.

What Men Can Do About #MeToo

We have heard this before.

Last month, Alyssa Milano used her prominence to prompt a visible showing of solidarity around survivors of sexual assault and harassment. A hashtag formed and spread across social media platforms into millions of networks.

In illustrating the pervasiveness of threat that every woman experiences, #MeToo echoed previous attempts to raise awareness. Kaye M.’s #YesAllWomen, Christine Fox’s #WhatWereYouWearing, Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project, and the original Me Too support network started by Tarana Burke are movements that voiced the reality of rape culture.

This is an old and largely one-way conversation. The theme that runs through history is that women live what they struggle to share and men excuse what we must actively condemn. …

Five stressors that challenge progress in social justice

In the game of life, I was dealt a good hand. Though not necessarily a winning hand, I’ve got access to a lot of extra cards that could help me change my fate. Not everyone who plays has that advantage.

  • I’m part of a racial demographic that constitutes 78 percent of the U.S. population. Since diversity in this country is not distributed equally, my experience living in Indiana pushes that up to almost 86 percent.
  • As a cisgendered straight male, my slice of the demographic pie includes a 3:1 dominance in societal power, as indicated by representation in government and board rooms. …

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A successful Bechdel Test in No One Killed Jessica (source)

Reflecting on my Bechdel Test protest of Hollywood films

There was a time when I wanted to see every movie that came to town. I preferred quality films, of course, but even in the bad ones I could revel in the craft of telling a story on a big screen. I could dive deep into the worlds being created and emerge with cultural memes and enlightenment.

I could do this because I’m a guy, a white one, and every film in some way is about me.

In most films, some part of me feels represented. I’m Hal in Thelma & Louise. I’m Ed Masry in Erin Brockovich. I’m Buddy Threadgoode in Fried Green Tomatoes and Emmett in Legally Blonde. I usually get a choice of how I want to fit in, rejecting less desirable characters. Outside of my particular demographic, however, representation is a crap shoot. When the narrative of a movie lacks anyone who looks like you, the remaining on-screen characters have to be extrapolated into a make-shift perch to let you in. …

About

Kevin Makice

Community experience designer / geek dad / recovering Informatics doctoral student / whiteboard artist / author / feminist

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