Gerrymandered districts allow small groups of extreme-thinking politicians to limit voting.

Limiting voting times and locations is happening in many state legislatures.

Literally everyone suffers, but most especially those citizens not currently in government.

In “God Save Texas,” Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lawrence Wright, says real Texans have always rebelled against all governments.

So what are independent-thinking Texans waiting for? .

To preserve independent-thinking everywhere, voting must be made easy and accessible for everyone.

In the 1990s, the US Congress banned AR-15’s.

But politics changed.

The Second Amendment and the “right to bear arms” became a rallying-cry of extreme politicians.

The NRA and Gun manufacturers quickly supported these politicians.

However, the Second Amendment was written with Revolutionary War militias in mind.

Ordinary citizens were required to furnish their own awkward, hard-to-load, guns and ammunition… with some restrictions.

Banning AR-15s is a common-sense restriction… and would not conflict with the Second Amendment.

CNN gave editorial control to Trump during its recent townhall.

Today, strong journalism requires never doing that with anyone on any program format.

Rather, journalists must seek only the truth and report it even if it requires courage to do so.

Seek only facts and then focus on reporting all of them.

Journalists and anchors… must give up becoming stars themselves.

Today’s serious journalists must always take the time to report the context of important stories.

If they promote anything… they should promote easy voting, democracy, and truth.

Polls indicate that the majority of Americans, including gun owners and many NRA members, support background screenings, red flag laws, and a ban on weapons of war.

The “right to bear arms” is in the Constitution. The revolutionary war was in the minds of the drafters, and nowhere in the Constitution does it say that registration, training in gun use, bans on specific weapons, or restrictions on people with established mental problems, cannot be added when later times require them. Guns today have become much more sophisticated.

Americans are shooting Americans almost everyday. These times clearly call for organizing gun ownership in a way that still provides for “the right to bear arms.”

In the final analysis, polling research clearly shows that gun owners understand that even with restrictions, their rights to defend themselves and their families will be preserved.

Here’s what media revolutions teach about securing a two-party system:

  1. A moral compass required for running for office.
  2. Paying attention to research on what the public thinks about basic issues.
  3. Realizing that “the right to bear arms” was based on a specific historical period, and today should include licensing.
  4. Accept that the right to life should include medically supervised abortion exceptions.
  5. Easy access for all voters.
  6. Constitution and democracy-affirming candidates.
  7. Outright rejection of autocracies and dictatorships.
  8. Immigration planning appropriate for a nation of immigrants.
  9. Rejection of white supremacy.
  10. Support for public education.

As described in the previous post (Lesson 643) the Texas Democratic Party should form an integrated marketing and communication (IMC) task force. It should recruit the most experienced and educated members possible. Their tasks should include:

  1. Strategic planning, communication, media relations, and advertising content.
  2. They should select an overall theme, sub-themes (top issues), and build an action plan.
  3. They should recruit the best possible candidates, and then help them find resources… people and money.

An overall theme might be something like: “Real Texas Values”

Sub-themes or priority issues could include:

  1. “Voting rights…” easy access for all voters.

2. “Right to life…” should include life-saving and reasonable abortion exceptions. Possibly even funding for childcare.

3. “Gun safety” Polls clearly show that most Americans (even gun owners) think the right to bear arms should include gun registration (maybe even licensing) and a ban on military-style weapons.

Surpluses in Texas can easily fund these activities… without affecting proposed property tax reductions.

We must simply return to freedom-affirming genuine Texas values.

Before I retired I taught media at TCU and eventually became its communication officer. The university world had become extremely competitive, and I saw a way to “market it” by developing a brand identity that was truly authentic.

I believed that every institution was founded because of an unmet need in the community, and that focus groups could be used to identify those original needs. Upon this foundation the group could now build an authentic, completely unique brand.

The components of that brand might include physical location, curricular features, subject-matter strengths, even architecture style and colors.

An opinion leader marketing taskforce would now be formed to develop a marketing plan… which would include administrators, faculty, students, local journalists, alumni, and trustees.

This same process can be adapted to market political candidates, nonprofits, governments, and most any other kind of organization.

When a major crisis occurs somewhere in the world, news organizations send their top reporters to cover it.

Ukraine is a good example. Many reporters feel it’s important have Ukraine on their resume.

This is called herding. The result is that other important news events often are underreported.

Competition, staffing problems, faulty polling research, are the ways herding can be explained.

Budget problems can cause news organizations to cut staff which usually limits their reporting capacity.

Herding therefore might explain why so many news organization predicted a major Republican “red wave.” As we all know, this predicted wave was much smaller than reported.

News media herding happens when an event somewhere in the world is powerful enough to compel the news media’s and the public’s attention.

Living your passion is the best pathway to happiness.

First clarify your passion, and then make living it your primary resolution for 2023.

If you exercise your passion in a group, it’s important to understand the realities of organizational politics.

There are managers who will make those acting out their passion feel persecuted.

There are those who will become jealous of those with a passion… as they achieve notoriety outside the organization.

But even in the midst of hostilities, resolve to stay positive, offer help when you can, and stay focused on your passion.

People’s behavior will often make you angry. Even so, in the end your success will let you know you were right.

So, resolve to make happiness happen in 2023…live your passion and beyond!

Christmas for me has always been a time for reflection.

This Christmas, I have been reflecting on college teaching as a profession… and my experiences over the years.

It was a fascinating realization that I was a student all my life and never considered becoming a teacher… until graduate school.

It was there that I discovered Marshall McLuhan’s book, Understanding Media… and my subject-matter quickly became “media revolutions, and how they were changing everything.”

As a teacher’s assistant, I quickly found that the best teachers were those living and growing with their subject-matter.

I also found that teaching this way would mean I would never teach the same class in the same way twice.

My 2022 Christmas reflections made me very happy. I chose to become a college teacher living my subject-matter… and this is why “living your subject-matter (or your passion)” could become your pathway to happiness in 2023