Home | About | Donate

How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/13/how-south-could-help-flip-us-senate

I’ll make my prediction early:

Jones loses his seat in Alabama.
The Dems net only one additional Senate seat in 2020.

Thanks for the breakdown on who is up for grabs.
The methodology on how to unseat the disease, is less clear.

Can we please stop funding the churches with government grants?
Can we stop making the mouthpieces of hate?

Now we have a chance.

1 Like

My prediction is that because of the decline of leaded gasoline and coal burning, lead, mercury and other pollution is reduced, the average voter’s IQ goes up 5 points, cognitive problems (Mad Hatter’s disease, eg), and aggression, mental illness, depression, (which keeps people from voting), dementia, and others decrease.

As older voters with longer, higher exposures stop voting or die off, minorities’ votes skew left even more, and younger people who aren’t suffering the effects realize that Republicans have been lying about everything and that the right wing’s lies about climate threaten civilization–and start voting–it overcomes the massive size and variety of Republican cheating methods. Voter suppression, Ausweis laws, and gerrymandering are reversed.

The result is that Democrats get 62 seats in the Senate and switch dozens more net seats in the House. Because the increase in US intelligence causes half the remaining states to vote in the National Popular Vote Interest Compact, the next 32 presidencies go to a coalition of left-of-center, social democracy, and eco-socialist parties. With the political power they now have to revise the Constitution they make the principle of one person one vote paramount, getting rid of small-state bias in the House and Senate. They avoid the most destructive extremes of climate catastrophe, eliminate inequality and find compassion in treating each other and the world as a result of the institutional and media changes. The Republicans become less relevant than the US communists are now, the right never wins another vote in Congress, on any issue.

One must include the quantity of lead in water in your hypothesis.

Sometimes you are such a downer!

1 Like

One must if one expects to be credible in science, but I don’t. I just need to cite the science.

How Lead Caused America’s Violent Crime Epidemic

Lead: America’s Real Criminal Element

An Updated Lead-Crime Roundup for 2018

Yet Another Topsoil Study Finds Lead-Crime Link

The articles all cite studies galore; Drum’s original article summarizes volumes of basic science and recent demographic studies, and of course there are many, many more. Just search Google Scholar for “lead violence crime” or “effects of lead”, for example.

The “body of research linking lead exposure in small children with a whole raft of complications later in life, including lower IQ, hyperactivity, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities” is, like climate science, so confirmed by repetition and multiple methods that it’s unassailable. (op cit) Newer research implicates lead in childhood mental illness, dementia in later life, etc. but the parallels and increasing certainty of all of this supports an ever-growing number of physiological, neurological, psychological, social, political, and economic effects.

"The bottom line, as Drum points out, is that “even moderately high levels of lead exposure are associated with aggressivity, impulsivity, ADHD, and lower IQ. And right there, you’ve practically defined the profile of a violent young offender.” "

But of course it’s not just lead. It’s mercury, cadmium, arsenic, particulates, CO2 [1], NOx, radiation, and all the other toxic substances released by mining, transporting, and burning fossil and fissile fuels, combined with endocrine-disrupting plastics, biocides, industrial toxins, and thousands of other substances. Cognitive disorders, low birth weight, low IQ, ADHD, early death, societal effects like lost productivity, and hundreds of other symptoms are results of the weaponized pollution of the oligarchs, as synergistic effects.

But exposure is pervasive; the body burden ranges from the urban poor to Fortune 500 CEOs to Arctic lichens; so it’s not just the imaginary “criminal underclass”. And the group committing by far the most violence in the world is the US oligarchy. These wide-ranging symptoms caused by toxic industrial life intensify and perpetuate exactly that toxic life. The ruling class is in effect–for that reason and many others–addicted to pollution and will as we’ve already seen, fanatically resist all attempts to decrease it. Of course there are other factors–Constitutional dysfunction, inequality’s built-in confirmation bias and misguided attribution feedback loop, and others including the list I linked to above and here. But we–our one tight grouping of 2-3 generations–have a shining one-shot-in-history opportunity to rid ourselves of all of these as we address climate catastrophe by eliminating fossil fuels and inequality. (Since the rich are responsible for the overwhelming majority of pollutants, getting rid of both pollution and inequality is necessary to avoid global civilization’s collapse.)

That class of rich men of mostly white projects onto poor people of color, women, children and future generations, intellectuals, progressives, and other groups, and then acts in ways that push those groups into behaving as the dominators already believe they do. It’s called projective identification (Melanie Klein) or dreaming up (Arnold Mindell). Parallel processes include scapegoating and isolating (redlining, imprisoning, forced emigration). The economic corollary is to externalize upon, to force the costs of what benefits the dominators upon other people and the rest of nature–pollution, for example. And the political equivalent, used constantly by the right wing, is weaponized projection and projective identification. Climate catastrophe is the ultimate attempt to do that but will backfire on those causing it.

[1] "The very worst-case scenario – AKA business as usual, which is the track we’re on – predicts atmospheric CO2 concentration of 1,000ppm by 2100. At 1,000ppm, human cognitive ability drops by 21%.

Well thanks for all the information. I was just commenting on you use of only one source of lead contamination in the environment. As someone who worked with children and their families I have had the “pleasure” of seeing lead poisoning up close. I have worked with those families in the information as above.
With the decrease in lead poisoning due to the removal of lead in gasoline will there be an increase in lead poisoning due to the lead in water second to cities with ancient lead plumbing and the neglect of public officials to institute corrective measures?

That seems like an odd question, unless I misunderstand. With the decrease in lead exposure that’s already happened because leaded gas is gone, and the ongoing decrease in burning fossil fuels, there will be a huge decrease in exposure to lead, mercury, and many of the other toxic substances I listed, although it will take time for all of it to settle out and become sequestered or inactive and unproblematic. (Probably only long after that happens will we understand even a significant part of the synergistic effects of all these poisons.)

There will be no increase in lead or poisoning from plumbing. If we avoid climate catastrophe it will be because progressives take political power from the right in the US and elsewhere. if that happens, we’ll get rid of fossil fuels immediately and transform agriculture, drastically reducing use of agriculture poisons and fertilizers while sequestering carbon with that and by reforesting the world. The US will cooperate with the countries that are leading, and use what’s left of its influence on the rest of the world to pay for renewables, reforestation, infrastructure, organic permaculture, and better lives in all ways, for everyone. Progressives who have power would reduce all harmful ecological, political, economic, and psychological processes including lead pipes.

1 Like

To flip the South, the Dems have to move closer to labor.

I like how this article was promoted as a road to success and all it did is list the crashing failures of the neolib damn dems in these backward states. Doug Jones? Really? Where are the progressive politics in the South? Is Bernie not taking his message to the forgotten voters down there? Why not write about that? Must we forever resign half our country to the ugly and corrupt Confederates, like graham and abbot? Cmon. I know there are smart and revolutionary people down there, why keep carrying water for the ignorant whites ?

Rebekah Barber is a student of English and history at N.C. Central University in Durham, North Carolina, and a researcher and writer for Facing South.

Good to see this young woman writing on this subject – after all, isn’t this what all
the GOP rigging has been about – to try to keep the South from going blue?

In fact, that’s what all of the ruthlessness of Trump and GOP and Elites/wealthy are all about –
their understand and fear that they are about to lose it all – if the people don’t come for them,
then the planet will.

Texas was at some earlier point pre W threatening to go blue.
Louisiana was going blue just before Katrina hit –

No reason why the South shouldn’t go blue –

but the Democrats have failed to campaign there and especially failed in
educating there – and putting up candidates –
Actually rather than saying “failed,” I’d say they were colluding for benefit of Elites.

Young people did a tremendous job during the Civil Rights Era there –
AA and “white” with great courage –

and I especially think of Fannie Lou Hamer who was one of the
founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party)

In response, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and Bob Moses, founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964. As a result, they encountered violent opposition included activists being intimidated with church, home, and business burnings and bombings, beatings, and arrests of blacks.

Imo, it could have been done long ago but for the collusion of corporate Democrats
serving Elites.

1 Like

Excellent post, shows you know this story.

I believe that the impending recession is likely to hit before election 2020. The unsustainable deficit spending by the current administration, coupled with loss to farmers by the tariff wars will make it likely that North Carolina is both a presidential and US Senate swing state. The issue with voter suppression is the key electoral factor. When the various parties wrap themselves around candidates, while ignoring the major portions of their candidates on the tickets (vote your ticket from the bottom to the top) while the party and political action groups/pacs increase by orders of magnitude intra and extra party volunteer phishing. So the only way that the Swing States and States south of the Mason-Dixon line have a chance of effecting change is to prioritize the [suppressed] under served voter higher than the party does. Political parties canvas “likely” voters. No one canvasses inactive/denied voters. If 20% of all registered voters are in purged/denied/inactive status, and the State was won for Obama in 2008 by a mere 14,000 votes, then flipping North Carolina to a blue state (with a blue legislature) is going to have to require more than a “break the majority” pin point race attitude. Getting the polling places staffed up for early voting, finding the purged voters, and getting all the splintered resistance groups united to a single moral purpose is going to take some effort. #OperationPollGreet

1 Like

I was brought to this old thread for an unrelated discussion and was just reading along.
WOW. You nailed it.