Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin Helping Save AM Radio In New Car Models

A man who owns property in Madison but lives in Chicago stopped by to chat this week as is his custom over the years, but in minutes had stopped our back-and-forth saying, “Before I forget, have you heard about the problems with AM radio in new cars?”

“I was listening to WIND, and they told listeners to contact their elected officials and urge them to stop car manufacturers from no longer placing AM radio units into new cars off the assembly lines.”

My lifetime love of radio and broadcasting came to the fore as I replied that WIND was the place where Eddie Schwartz, ‘Chicago Ed’ as he was known to listeners first became a household name. As a teenager in central Wisconsin, Chicago radio provided several stations that alerted me about how broadcasters could sound and make their mark over the airwaves.  As I told my friend while we sat outside in the spring sunshine, that was all thanks to AM radio, which was always heard in our home, and also the car as the family traveled about the roads.

So yes, I was aware of the headlines being made about some manufacturers no longer placing AM radio into new car models, claiming their electric vehicles cause interference from the motors that result in annoying buzzing noises and faded signals.  While I am a strong supporter of EV technology, I also know that NASA figured out to make communications work through issues of space flight to the moon.  I strongly suspect that keen minds could brainstorm a remedy so AM radio could be heard in EV cars, too.

Over the months of following this issue, I have noted the strong desire coming from Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey who is pressing his colleagues in a bipartisan fashion to pass a bill requiring all new vehicles to include AM radio at no additional charge. Among the supporters calling for passage of the measure is Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin. Some car makers such as BMW, Ford, Mazda, Polestar, Rivian, Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo have already eliminated AM radio from their vehicles, but under the bill would be required to place units at no charge into the car upon the request from the owner. 

The rationale for AM radio in automobiles was perhaps best summed up with the words from New Jersey Congressman Josh Gottheimer, who has introduced a House bill.

The importance of AM radio during large-scale emergencies cannot be underestimated, and it has, without a doubt and without interruption, saved lives and kept our communities informed. When the cell phone runs out, the internet gets cut off, or the television doesn’t work because of no electricity or power to your house, you can still turn on your AM radio. I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan AM for Every Vehicle Act in the House to ensure that all auto manufacturers include AM radio in their vehicles to protect public safety.

As a former radio broadcaster, I especially liked the words from Senator Baldwin. She hit on a most valued aspect of AM, that being the connection between listeners and the local community. While emergency news and information are vital ways for AM broadcasts to reach those who need to know of events so as to take the appropriate actions, it is that strong sense of community cohesion that I can speak to as a solid foundation from each broadcast day.

Wisconsinites, particularly those living in our rural and farming communities, rely on AM radio in emergencies, to provide them with their high-quality local news, and to lift up the voices of local businesses, organizations, and people. I am proud to work with my Democratic and Republican colleagues to go to bat for the Americans who want and need AM radio to do their jobs, stay safe, and support their local communities.

When the local Jaycees wanted to raise money and encourage new members to join they took over the station for a broadcast day as I worked the board. When a local grocery store had a grand opening the AM live broadcast for several hours connected a business with customers. And when a local child had cancer a radio telethon was provided to aid the family. Such programming serves local people and must not be marginalized by large automakers.

My interest in the topic is not new. A decade ago I called attention to interference with AM broadcasts and used a New York Times story to make the point.

Ajit Pai, the lone Republican on the Federal Communications Commission, is on a personal if quixotic quest to save AM. After a little more than a year in the job, he is urging the F.C.C. to undertake an overhaul of AM radio, which he calls “the audible core of our national culture.” He sees AM — largely the realm of local news, sports, conservative talk and religious broadcasters — as vital in emergencies and in rural areas.       

“AM radio is localism, it is community,” Mr. Pai, 40, said in an interview.       

AM’s longer wavelength means it can be heard at far greater distances and so in crises, he said, “AM radio is always going to be there.” As an example, he cited Fort Yukon, Alaska, where the AM station KZPA broadcasts inquiries about missing hunters and transmits flood alerts during the annual spring ice breakup.       

“When the power goes out, when you can’t get a good cell signal, when the Internet goes down, people turn to battery-powered AM radios to get the information they need,” Mr. Pai said.       

He admits to feelings of nostalgia. As the son of Indian immigrants growing up in small-town Parsons, Kan., he listened to his high school basketball team win a 1987 championship, he said. “I sat in my bedroom with my radio tuned into KLKC 1540,” he recalled. On boyhood family road trips across the the wide Kansas plains, he said, AM radio “was a constant companion.”

I feel compelled to conclude this post with how it felt to be one of those voices that folks turned to on their AM dial.

While I was working at WDOR, a small AM/FM station in Door County, we may not have been cutting edge, but we were local.  Local neighborhood disc-jockeys with the current weather and local fishing conditions, high school sports reports, and even the local obituaries were read on certain long-form newscasts.  No one pretended to be more than what we were. We were happy to work out of a small studio that was too hot in the summer, and too chilly in the winter, but we knew our audience.  Heck, we lived in the community, cared for our friends, and shared many commonalities.  As such we served the community through our daily broadcasting.

I know AM matters to a large swath of radio listeners in their cars. I suspect many of my readers are those listeners. As such, I ask that you contact your senators along with your house member and urge them to support AM radio being required in all new car models.


Did CNN Have Duty To Be Responsible To American Democracy?

The fallout over the decision by CNN to place Donald Trump in a town hall session has continued to reverberate in media circles and among politicos.  It seems fair to ask why a major news network felt it was first newsworthy to air such a broadcast, and secondly wise to place on the national airwaves a person who created and led the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol and continues to stoke and to spew dangerous lies about the 2020 election.  Growing up in the era of news anchors such as Walter Cronkite and reporters such as David Brinkley I was aware when young the role of journalists in pursuing and broadcasting a story of national importance. But I also came to understand that standards meeting the needs of a democracy must also be observed and abided by.  

I recall in an interview decades ago Cronkite was asked if he and his brethren in the television broadcast world along with the editors of the major newspapers in the nation set the list of events and topics that then became the top stories of the day.  He said that the events of the day either in our nation or worldwide earned their own merit for attention by reporters and then the public. In other words, news is news.  It happens and it is reported.  The fact that CBS or The New York Times reports on a plane crash or a senator taking a bride does not make the story weightier or more important to people needing to know the safety concerns of airlines or the character of elected officials.

But what happens when a news operation creates an event and presents it as important knowing that in the mix of the broadcast, everything from ratings and ad buys to a tidal wave of competing frothy political sentiments and emotions will result from the self-generated mix?  Additionally, the center of attention to the created event is known to lie and use media outlets without regard for reason or common sense.  Even to the extreme of using media to further an insurrection and seditious intent.  At that point, would any news operation wish to be a conveyance—a national loudspeaker, if you will—to such a person who has proven to act in violation of the national trust?

For the record, I did not watch the CNN spectacle, knowing that news broadcasts and the morning papers would allow me the background on what transpired.  It was not shocking to learn that Trump made several outright lies and pressed down on them, allowing the viewing public another opportunity to be misled via the public airwaves.  I am reminded that a denial never has the newsworthiness of an accusation.  Trump is a master at the bald-faced lie, and news operations, by their very mission, should not allow themselves to be manipulated by such a demagogue. Worse, creating the event themselves!

The counterargument that has been expressed by those wishing to rationalize the CNN decision is that the viewing public is capable of watching such a manufactured broadcast and making up their own mind about what unfolded.  That is poppycock, as there is an entire ‘news’ network catering to conservatives which amply proves daily—hourly, in fact—that when people are provided red meat and heavy rhetoric in lieu of facts there is nothing to be gained but a foundation of biased views. 

Did CNN have a duty to be responsible to American democracy? Or should they be viewed as just another entity with a bottom line that needs to be fed and a bevy of personalities who need to be stroked?   As a staunch supporter of reporters and journalists, I ask these questions in a serious way. I contend there must be a national hard-nosed dialogue on this matter. Reporters and news operations need to confront in their board meetings and editorial gatherings what responsibility they must shoulder so a demagogue cannot undermine our democracy due to some in the press willfully cooperating to the damage.

I am most confident about what side of the divide Walter Cronkite would ask us to find ourselves on with this matter. He would argue reporting and democracy are linked tightly together.  The Fourth Estate is required so a strong democracy can continue.  Autocrats and demagogues who threaten democracy will also lead to a weakened place for reporters to do their jobs.  

The CNN town hall is worthy of a very robust national discourse. Both in the press and among the people.

Those Not Seated At Weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner: Austin Tice, Evan Gershkovich

It was the annual event that this household looks forward to each spring. No, not the Mifflin Street Party, which was tempered by cool temperatures and at times drizzly weather on the Madison isthmus, but rather the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in Washington. For decades, this event is one that has captured the attention of the nation as there are always memorable moments as the First Amendment is honored and the Fourth Estate recognizes superior journalism with a number of prestigious awards. While much political rancor shrouds this nation it was correctly noticed Saturday night that no free press in China or Russia holds a similar dinner with pointed humor while sitting alongside the national leadership.

The tone of the night regarding the importance of reporters and journalists and the role they serve in our nation was perhaps best summed up when President Biden stated how he drew a sharp contrast with his predecessor, who had called the news media “the enemy of the people”. The president told the 2,000 people gathered that “The free press is a pillar, maybe the pillar of a free society — not the enemy.” While watching and listening I thought of one of the best newspaper editorials about this matter. The reason it came to mind was that it was quite starkly presented and directly to the point. Here then, from The Philadelphia Inquirer, is what they published in the summer of 2018.

The part of the evening that hit hardest was the recognition that two chairs that otherwise might be filled were empty as journalists remain as captives abroad. Freelancer Austin Tice has been held by the Assad regime in Syria for 11 years while the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia last month. I note for readers the latter action has not been seen in that nation since the Cold War. Everyone well understood the efforts underway to secure their freedom when Biden said “I’m working like hell to get them home”.

US President Joe Biden gestures as an image of US journalist Evan Gershkovich appears onscreen during the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, April 29, 2023. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Between the words of the Association’s leadership about the work required of professional news reporters and journalists and the perfectly toned words of Biden, who gets covered and also at times roasted by the press, is the awareness that process works best when both sides are robustly engaged with the issues of the day in governing and news gathering. No one should be surprised that reporters would take that same stance with them as they tuck their visas into travel bags and head to the airport to write about or photograph international events. With these highly laudable purposes, it underscores how egregious the attempts are by some autocratic or criminally driven governments to curtail this essential work by reporters. Reporters do the work in places like Syria and Moscow as they know it is a foundational fact that truth matters. Events and government officials need to be reported on so the world knows what is happening. For those like Tice and Gershkovich who work in places where rights are fewer and the dangers higher meant last night was a reminder to those governments that they must be aware that the rest of the world is watching. Last night was a very powerful demonstration that there is a universal truth–whether or not it is applied in practice in each nation–that there must be a commitment to press freedom.

We need to care about these people who are held captive and think of them as individuals. Also, we need to realize that too many leaders of dictatorial, authoritarian, or populist governments do all they can, day in and day out, to bend and break journalists. We witnessed that play out in our own nation when Trump stated the press was “the enemy” of the people. That was simply horrifying. The reason that is so true comes from history books. Under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, out-of-favor artists and politicians were designated enemies and many were sent to hard labor camps or killed. Others were stigmatized and denied access to education and employment. In China, Chairman Mao was also known to use the phrase enemies against anyone who opposed him, which then resulted in terrible consequences. So it was very troubling when Trump used the same words as Russia’s “Man of Steel” about members of the American press. The efforts to undermine reporters are clear for all the see, as it is the use of power to suppress information.

Therefore, it is vital we stand up for independent journalism and the fine women and men who undertake that most noble of professions. Our government must be tenacious in efforts to bring Austin Tice and Evan Gershkovich back to these shores and their jobs. We must keep them in our thoughts and press for their return.

Fox ‘News’ Viewers Do Not Care About Lies Regarding 2020 Election

For the sake of democracy, a full airing in a courtroom of the actions and behavior that Fox ‘News’ took following the 2020 presidential election was needed in our nation.  That was pretty much what I told James as I came into our home Tuesday afternoon and learned that Dominion Voting Systems’ lawsuit against Fox ended in a settlement.  The irrefutable harm that this large corporation had done to the foundations of our nation was made clear due to the release of court documents and findings in recent months. With the willful misuse of our public airwaves, a certain segment of the citizenry developed a false understanding of our electoral process of free and fair elections. Make no mistake about what happened. Democracy took a direct hit.

I was not overly surprised by the settlement news, given the gravity of what we already knew.  The glaring evidence had already proved many within the ‘Fox Family’ knew the crazed conspiracy theories were, indeed, bogus, but then threw away any sense of journalism, ethics, decency, or love of country and went on-air to repeat the lies and even embellish and add flourishes to them, all in the effort of maintaining ratings.  What we came to know with clarity was Fox ‘News’ pushed a narrative that Trump had won, when in fact he had lost, and in so doing showed the nation the network was far, far more interested in abiding by the wishes and whims of an autocrat, Donald Trump, than doing their jobs fairly for the people.  It was stunning to read emails and accounts from those in the news operations center at the time of how far adrift from the facts they willingly traveled. 

Over the months the information about Fox was released, I kept wondering what it must feel like to be so weak that one will fall for anything.  First, from the ones who produce the shows and edit the tapes and those who then sit in front of a camera and spew forth what they knew to be absolute lies and utter garbage.  When did Tucker Carlson and Company settle for being a clown and a national joke line? Surely that is not why they entered the media world in their youth.

I also have pondered over the months what mental layabouts the Fox audience has proven themselves to be as they readily and gleefully open up for spoon-fed lies and conspiracy theories that the rest of the nation knew to be factually wrong.  What must it be like to glue oneself to the sofa each evening for Fox ‘News’ and not know, or worse care, that the world is reading in newspapers and hearing from radio and broadcast TV journalists a bevy of material about what the discredited network simply will not report, or report with factual basis?  What must it be like to have such a weak constitution and such an addled brain that the Fox Network seems like an information source?  (When I was a youngster, our classrooms were divided with the ‘fast’ readers and spellers on one side and the others pacing themselves for becoming a future Fox viewer. When looking back on those years and then locating some of them on Facebook it is rather remarkable how that separation in grade school matched the political lines as adults. For the record, I frown on such visible demarcation lines in teaching.) Why Fox viewers have such a deep disinterest in the world, heck, the workings of their own country, is a strong factor that Fox relies on for the ability to lie and undermine democracy, all for the sake of ratings and profits.

It does not take long to winnow down this sick relationship Fox has with its audience. Fox wants profits galore, and that means winning the ratings game. Donald Trump wanted autocratic power and in so shaping his cult following among the GOP base he created an issue I have often written about on Caffeinated Politics. He convinced those slow readers they deserve to feel their views and beliefs have merit, even though they are frightfully short of facts or reason. To challenge these chuckleheads is to offend them and so Fox executives in not wishing to lose ratings and dollars spun a Potemkin village of lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. Meanwhile, the majority of the nation recall from history books that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, etc., had read much concerning Rome and Greece and why the people needed to be vigilant as the past proved the destructive hand of tyranny could occur from one initially selected by popular will. When that power is abused as Trump demonstrated, and Fox furthered with its nightly repetition of lies and partisan garbage, the nation can be threatened.

Too bad the executives and hosts of Fox “News” never thought much about or cared for history and democracy.

House Cameras Should Have Full Rein, Democracy On Parade Good For Nation

Politicos had the week of their lives as the House of Representatives slogged through a 15-ballot process to determine a Speaker, an epic-sized drama with a cast of characters and plot twists that famed author Allen Drury (Advise and Consent series) would have had a hard time creating. It was an adrenaline rush, that once concluded very late Friday night, allowing for the nation of television watchers and social media followers to lean back deep in their sofas and truly exclaim “Wow!”

There was no way for even casual viewers or the most lackadaisical of citizens not to have been aware history was being made.  The nation soon was talking about the fact it had been nearly a century that a Speaker election at the Capitol required more than a single ballot.  Tension mounted so that reporters spoke openly and even somewhat thrillingly that no one knew how the events would play out.  This was after all, why they wished to join the journalism profession. Soon those in the land who thought they were not interested in history started talking about Nathaniel Prentice Banks, who in 1855 required 133 ballots over two months to secure the gavel. It was that type of week.

As the politics were playing out with spirited nominating speeches on the chaotic House floor, while the ratings for all news channels increased, Americans realized something truly quite fascinating was occurring in front of their eyes. Gone were the stale and formalized offerings from the C-SPAN cameras that only allowed for the House member speaking to be viewed, or the chair of the Speaker to be focused upon.  Rather there was a freewheeling display for the citizens to watch, as the cameras caught every angle of the story and made sure the main players and the supporting roles in the drama had plenty of air-time. On the first day, there was lonely George Santos, who got a break in his highly troubling running narrative due to a much larger headline overshadowing him. There were animated discussions where Matt Gaetz was the focal point for viewers. Friday night there was nearly a brawl that was captured by the cameras.  Though this was not legislative sausage being made, the nation was better understanding what was happening so as to elect the main meat grinder.

Congressman Mike Rogers was physically restrained by another member while going after Matt Gaetz Friday night.

Needless to say, there are news stories to be seen and told regarding the working coalitions of House members via the interactions on the floor.  Accounts that can only be presented fully to the nation if House cameras are allowed to record such moments. But all that was lost again once the House passed its rules and again abides by the most outdated and self-protecting rules in Washington.  (Other than at the Supreme Court.)

Brain Stelter, former anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources is a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. He made a very compelling argument for the cameras to operate in an open and transparent fashion in a must-read column in the Boston Globe.

But consider what the public is usually unable to see: The joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, was not deemed deserving of independent TV coverage. So when the proceedings were adjourned due to the mob at the doors, the cameras were immediately turned off. Viewers should have been able to see the attack as it happened on the House floor — and the imagery would have made it harder for hard-right media personalities to deny the reality of that day.

But the desire to treat the House as a private workspace is superseded by the very public nature of the job. As a compromise of sorts, congressional leaders should allow a pool of journalists’ cameras for major news events and legislative debates — and the news media should determine what counts as major, not the government.

Sound journalism demands that the cameras operate for the benefit of the public’s right to know and better understand how their government functions. Or fails.  There really is no better or more sound argument to be made.  What politicos and everyone else were able to see and react to, be it with a partisan tinge, a historic perspective, or just from a ‘can not take my eyes off the crash scene’ mentality’ is that having more information is always a better route to take.

The fortunate lack of rules at the start of the year in the House allowed the cameras to give our nation insight into how a legislative body actually looks, feels, and reacts to the minute-by-minute tumult. It may not be pretty, but it is our government ‘working’. It is, for better or worse, democracy on full parade.

Judy Woodruff To Depart PBS’ NewsHour, Diversity And Generational Change in 2023

Judy Woodruff is soon to depart from the PBS NewsHour and another chapter in this decade’s long news show mainstay on public television will unfold.  It has been my pleasure to tune in Woodruff over the many years, first on CNN’s Inside Politics with cohost Bernie Shaw, a reporter I simply could never say enough good things about in his career. Woodruff proved repeatedly with interviews and her professional grinding down of a story to the essential ingredients why she was ideally suited for the NewsHour. I so respect her work and will miss her being a part of the ones we invited into our home via television.

Bernie Shaw

What the public knows now as the best one hour in broadcast news on television started when I was just a year away from entering my freshman year in high school.  In 1975, The Robert MacNeil Report, a week-night half-hour news program provided in-depth coverage of a different single issue each evening.  When I was a teenager dinner would be over in our Hancock home and the evening network news and the local news would have come to an end.   It would be 6:30 P.M. and time to change the channel (by walking to the set and manually turning the dial!) to Wisconsin Public Television for the half-hour program which devoted itself to one news story each night.  It might be the reason for a major jet crash or diving into the religious turmoil in the Middle East.  The show was informative and so well done with insight and professionalism.  And I learned so much.  It piqued my interest to want to know even more.  I suspect some of my wonkiness about details and policy was formed by this show and its reporters.

Now that iconic nightly news program has alerted us that Judy Woodruff will sign off from the anchor desk on Friday, December 30. And with equal interest, we want to know what follows. 

Taking Woodruff’s place at the anchor desk will be Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett. It goes without saying that this change is more than a new anchor and managing editor taking charge, but also a true generational shift and more diversity for a large tumultuous nation that is growing more multicultural. Bennett, 42, is Black and Nawaz, 43, is the first-generation American daughter of Pakistani parents.

Geoff Bennett and Amna Nawaz

The solid center of viewers to this program really demands continuity with a deep dive into hard news and serious analysis. The background of new anchors will add a fresh layer of understanding and questions about the topics of the day, and that is to be applauded.  We gain much by listening to others and having fresh perspectives.  It is reported that one change to the show which will begin at the top of the new year will be avenues opened to allow younger viewers to access the news in ways that mesh with their daily use of social media.  For decades-long viewers such as myself, we are promised to have the same journalistic professionalism that was the reason we started our journey with the program back when President Carter was in the White House.   

A Weekend Read Of History And News Reporters, Harold Holzer Delights (Again)

Looking for a weekend read that is timely, filled with history and press relations galore? Governing on the one hand is very important while understanding at the same time the absolute necessity of having a Fourth Estate as the ultimate “guarantor of freedom”.

President George Washington had the nation’s longest honeymoon in the White House, but with his second term the press, in part, turned their ink towards him in ways that stunned and scarred. He mostly stayed above the fray, above the articles, as opposed to how later presidents, who were even more thin-skinned would rebuke reporters and snarl on camera at them, such as with President Richard Nixon. “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore.”

The press was rash and fresh in 1792 and just as the executive branch took root and gained power and federal reckoning over the decades, so too did the journalism profession mature and strengthen into what can only be correctly termed, as the British do, the Fourth Estate. I am finding the book perfect as I have a long and deep interest in the dual rise of the American presidency and the media that shaped it. As I am reading it I just know that Bill Safire, the wordsmith and media-oriented writer, would thrill to the book. There is no way not to feel drawn back into the time when Abraham Lincoln made use of the new “instant communication” technology of telegraphy. No way not to smile and read on and just warm to the narrative.

If you know Harold Holzer from his Abe Lincoln and Civil War books you are most aware of his keen intellect, a research knack that shows in his works, and a narrative style that draws a reader into the pages. I very much think for the history and media types who are readers of this page The Presidents vs. The Press will be a real delight.

Another Angry White Male And The Right-Wing Conspiracy Media

Once again we have a narrative that, sadly, fits the profile of so many others about angry white men. The lunatic who is fed continuously the fascist offerings from conservative media acts out, but then the ones who pour the gasoline through the airwaves pretend they had nothing to do with the dreadful outcome.

David DePape attacked Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With a hammer. To the skull. Once again strong evidence exists of his personal history of online radicalization. DePape’s online postings included a range of false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, (shocked!) Jan. 6, (shocked) coronavirus vaccines, (shocked) the war in Ukraine (shocked), and QAnon. (shocked). Where or where would one find a daily…no, hourly…diet of these bat-shit crazy offerings in America? Hmmmmmm…..

A native of Canada, DePape was once a Green Party-registered public nudity activist in San Francisco but time shows that his dive into conservative conspiracy theories was where he thrived. He railed about pedophilia, elites, transgenders, and anti-whiteness. His blog contained bigotry against a wide range of groups and topics like “Holohoax.” WordPress, correctly, removed one of his sites Friday. (This blog also uses WordPress)

I am not sure what it will take to wake up the Republican Party to the dangers they are creating among their base and using right-wing media to spread the disease. The untenable attack on Pelosi is just the latest tragic and telltale sign of what is happening in the land due to the corrosive and thuggish people who listen to the rhetoric from conservative media. Sadly, we have, yet again, the outcome of a litany of absurd and ridiculous far-right looney conspiracy theories that took root in the mind of someone who believed it was time to act out on behalf of all who share his views.  The GOP must reckon with the fact that their embrace of lunacy does have consequences.  They can not pound over and over—year after year–false narratives about the 2020 election and vaccines and rants about transgender people and the insanity of the ‘white replacement theory’ and fail to understand that is does inevitably incite violence.

I have been consistent and continuous about the need to consider the grave dangers our democracy faces, as it slides towards embracing autocracy and fascism. The rhetoric and programming from AM talk radio to FOX News are aimed at white males, and stirring their resentments about a growing list is the goal. Stoking the fears of the undereducated and lower economic strata is proving to be a violent and dangerous path for the nation.

The Republican Party needs to turn off its self-created madness.