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Former Supreme Court Justice Souter on The Danger of America’s ‘Pervasive Civic Ignorance’

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter sat down with Margaret Warner and answered an audience question concerning the appropriate role of schools to produce civic engaged students.

Adryenn Ashley

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Former Supreme Court Justice Souter on The Danger of America’s ‘Pervasive Civic Ignorance’

Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s answer during a 2012 open forum at UNH Law School was nothing short of prophecy for what was to come in 2016. And more greatly, he touches on the way to solve it, political literacy.

When asked about the decline of civics education in the schools and what effect that has on government, Souter launched into a lengthy answer that portended the rise of Donald Trump. Rachel Maddow featured this video in a longer report on her show.

The entire clip is worth watching, but if you just want the prophecy, skip to 4:00 or so. This is the transcript from that point forward below.

“But the reason I said I think it is the most significant problem that we’ve got is that I think some of the aspects of current American government that people on both sides find frustrating are in part a function of the inability of people to understand how government can and should function.

“It is a product of civic ignorance.

“What I worry about is a remark that Benjamin Franklin made and Susan Leahy quoted Jefferson at the beginning about how “an ignorant people can never remain a free people.”

“Democracy cannot survive too much ignorance.

“Franklin, in effect, had a comment to which the Jefferson comment is a kind of an answer or a response. You’ve probably heard this but it bears repeating.

“Franklin was asked by someone I think on the streets of Philadelphia shortly after the 1787 convention adjourned in what kind of government the constitution would give us if it was adopted. Franklin’s famous answer was “a Republic, if you can keep it.” (edited)

“You can’t keep it in ignorance. I don’t worry about our losing republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion. I don’t worry about it because I think there is going to be a coup by the military as has happened in some other places.

“What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed, people will not know who is responsible. And when the problems get bad enough, as they might do, for example, with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown, some one person will come forward and say, “Give me total power and I will solve this problem.”

“That is how the Roman republic fell. Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate. He became emperor because he promised he would solve problems that were not being solved.

“If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible.

“If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls. We will not demand it. And the day will come when somebody will come forward and we and the government will in effect say, “take the ball and run with it.”

“Do what you have to do.”

“That is the way democracy dies. And if something is not done to improve the level of civic knowledge, that is what you should worry about at night.”

-Former Supreme Court Justice Souter on The Danger of America’s ‘Pervasive Civic Ignorance’

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Billie Eilish LIVE at the Forum 2020 – Full Concert

Adryenn Ashley

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Billie Eilish LIVE at the Forum 2020 – Full Concert

The five-time Grammy Award winner is on tour!

The Grammy award-winning popstress is heading out back out on tour in 2020! Having only just finished her When We Fall Asleep Tour Billie Eilish is back on the road for her Where Do We Go? World Tour! With her debut album, 2019’s “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”, hitting the number one spot in over ten countries and garnering the 2020 Grammy award for Album of the Year Eilish has catapulted into superstardom with no sign of her being just a one-hit-wonder.

Eilish first turned musical ears when the song she wrote with her talented brother and on stage ally, Finneas went viral in 2015. “Ocean Eyes” was just a taste of things to come and heralded a bold, out-of-the-box pop persona that mixes avant-garde fashion and a tough-as-nails swagger, all tied up with an incredibly expressive and beautiful voice. Garnering five Grammy awards at the 2020 ceremony (Record of the Year for “Bad Guy”, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Song of the Year for “Bad Guy” and Best Pop Vocal Album) Billie has proved that she’s no one-hit wonder! Don’t miss your chance to this superstar live!

BILLIE EILISH

Wherever Billie goes next, the world will be watching and drawn to her hypnotic live shows. And to be honest, she seems to be well up for whatever comes next.

NME

Setlist:

  • 01. Bad Guy
  • 02. My Strange Addiction
  • 03. You should see me in a Crown
  • 04. Idontwannabeyouanymore
  • 05. COPYCAT
  • 06. All the Good Girls go to Hell
  • 07. Everything I Wanted
  • 08. Bellyache
  • 09. Ocean Eyes
  • 10. When the party’s Over
  • 11. Bury a Friend

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Entertainment

2020: The Musical

Jimmy and Andrew Rannells recap the year 2020 through Broadway songs like “Defying Gravity” from Wicked, “Memory” from Cats and “My Shot” from Hamilton.

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Andrew Rannells from The Book of Mormon and the film version of The Prom. It’s 2020: The MusicalJimmy Fallon‘s latest late-night extravaganza that recaps the train wreck that was 2020 through remixes of Broadway hits.

“Defying Gravity” from Wicked becomes “Losing My Sanity” for the quarantine crowd, “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors becomes “Suddenly COVID,” “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from Hairspray becomes a “You Can’t Stop the Count” anthem for the election, and “My Shot” from Hamilton becomes about the COVID-19 vaccine shot.

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Election Integrity

Analyzing the Case for Election Fraud

Despite the overwhelming pressure, if you can’t help but feel that tingling sense of knowing that is telling you there’s more to the story, you are not alone. In fact, according to a new Rassmussen poll, nearly 50% of voters believe the election had issues. A quick look at the data blatantly shows that indeed, shenanigans abound (how can a state have 1+ million more mail-in ballots tallied than they sent out?). But was it fraud or masterful gamesmanship?

Adryenn Ashley

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The world, or at least the global media, has spoken: Biden won the 2020 Election.

UPDATED FREQUENTLY WITH NEW INFORMATION – Last update 12/21/2020

A quick Google search reveals pages upon pages of reports of why the Trump team’s assertions of vote fraud and election fraud and vote flipping are flat out fallacies. YouTube has announced a ban on any videos questioning the election results. And now on Monday all 538 electors have voted, formalizing Biden’s 306-232 win. And while there is still Congress to get through, and the inauguration, based on social media and television news and practically every other point of information bombarding society today, Biden is now the President-elect.

But why now, after Government officials confirmed during Senate testimony that a foreign adversary, Russia, attempted to interfere in the 2016 United States Presidential Election via “a multi-faceted approach intended to undermine confidence in our democratic process.” According to U.S. intelligence official reports, Russia targeted voter registration databases in at least 21 states and sought to infiltrate the networks of voting equipment vendors, political parties, and at least one local election board. And if their purpose was not so much to “hack” the election but create chaos and sow seeds of uncertainty around our election process, I would say they have won. But what if this cycle, it was Russia who somehow manipulated extra ballots and placed the blame on the Democrats? What if…?

Russian Experience With Voter Fraud

The 2004 presidential election in Ukraine saw suspiciously high turnout rates that “even Stalinist North Korea would envy,” the State Department declared!

Back then, the U.S. government decried as corrupt an earlier election where special voting boxes were created to help citizens vote from home, election observers were expelled from vote counts, pre-election polls were wildly off, and voter turnout in certain communities exceeded 90%.

But the story of that Ukrainian election as recounted by then-Ambassador John Tefft to a Senate committee in December 2004 raises a tantalizing question for voters distrustful of the Nov. 3 elections results in our own 2020 Presidential Election: If tactics and outcomes in the Ukrainian election back then were enough to cry foul, why can’t Americans debate similar concerns here?

Tefft’s testimony raises an important question: Should America, the greatest democracy in the world, share any of the fraudulent attributes of a Ukrainian election? The answer for most Americans is hopefully resounding “No.”

And despite continued and repeated headlines that there was no fraud, according to the Harvard Kenney School report on Election Integrity this cycle, expert assessments indicate that compared with 2016, the performance of this contest displays several warning flags, namely worsening confidence in the integrity of American elections and falling public trust, challenges to legitimacy arising from threats of campaign violence,legal disputes about the process and results, and public protests about the outcome, as well as growing attempts at voter suppression. 

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