33 Comments

First, you ARE a writer, a good one, Simon. Thank you for experimenting with the evolving Substack. I'm happy to be here as a reader and sometime commenter here and on others' posts. There is much good on the platform already.

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Thanks Mim. I have to admit that I am really really enjoying the freedom of this platform, and am grateful to be in community with so many of you. I am having a lot of fun, am enjoying the work and want this to be a good experience for everyone.

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I have learned so much and your writings, events and guest speakers have been very thought provoking. I find myself looking at things in a new way!

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I appreciate hopefulness and confidence, but only when it's true. I still have my "Love trumps Hate" poster in the garage. But frankly so far, in our public political discourse and elections, Love hasn't trumped hate yet, pun or no pun. One reason I'm here is to find out if "regular folks" -- not professionals and not political activists or necessarily caucus/primary voters -- can indeed have an actual Voice that elected politicians (most of whom do not fit my definition of "leader" these days) will hear, might listen to. And if we do, what that voice is, how it is sounded.

A related reason is that from my perception Democrats have been terrific at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I believe it true that Democrats are rotten at messaging. I think that is in part because it is such a Big Tent; it's like herding cats or pinning jello to the wall. How is that countered? (For me, it is not countered just by Dems, mostly WH, getting on TV and touting all they have done for us when gas is still $4/gal and eggs $6/doz and my life (or at least its affordability) hasn't improved much since 2020 (other than not having to listen nonstop to all the Hate speech from the WH).

I continue to be appalled at the 50/50 state of this country, with half wanting to literally kill the other half. And I see no action being taken to make voting safe for anyone or ensuring "free and fair" elections next year -- for starters. So I love your message and I'm here to learn and I hope it will be clear and specific but not rose-colored! Thanks, Simon!

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what's "WH"?

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White House. (Sorry.)

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Apr 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Just read Heather Cox Richardson’s column. Today she wrote about current actions being taken by U.S. to curb fentanyl epidemic. The actions by DEA, Treasury and others are wide-ranging and innovative. Your presentation “With Dems....” is so enlightening. You use the historical data to prove your points. Can you put together something similar that details the work being done since Biden admin. took over to show the important work that has gone on and contrast it with the previous? Your slides and cogent explanations grab attention in the best way and might help with 2024 messaging.

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I completely agree with this. The Biden team is doing so many things to combat the problems confronting America and the mainstream press often provides only bare bones coverage of them. The many steps that have been taken related to the fentanyl crisis that HCR listed in her newsletter got a single article in the NYT that seemed to focus more on the Chapo brothers brutality than everything being done by the administration. Similarly, the drop in border crossings since new steps were taken in December fell off the pages until the deadly fire in Mexico forced reporters to acknowledge it when reporting on that tragedy.

Simon is 100% right that we need to get the word out about how much progress is being made and counter the doom and gloom narrative of the MAGA folks and those that get bombarded with their constant whining about American decline. Hope and change was and remains a powerful message.

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You are making a difference every day by navigating your Hopium ship through murky waters and guiding us. I too prefer the Substack platform and enjoy belonging to an insider community. The themes you are working are formidable and much needed, especially Getting to 55 and the New Agenda for Women and Families. Appreciate cruising with you. Keep it up!

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Looking forward to seeing Hopium Chronicles continue to evolve and grow. Thank you.

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Recommend a terrific new book, The Persuaders by Anand Giridharadas. Cannot say enough about the smart, practical advice for progressives offered through interviews with those who have found successful messaging and techniques. Showing “The Beautiful Tomorrow” (or “hopium” as Simon would say) is the way to go, even though we progressives tend to lean into the dark, scary, depressing problem framing that is ineffective and turns off even sympathizers all too often. Anand would be a great person to invite to a discussion or interview!

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Apr 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Please--I realize this is becoming a postliterate society, but I still read faster than I listen. So keep up the written word and don't put everything into videos! Podcasts are good too, as one can listen while driving/working out, but videos just soak up too much time. Thanks for what you are doing.

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Same here, I prefer to read whether short or long, as I do not have the free time for videos etc. And, even for recorded events, if there is a transcript I will read that rather than watch the recording.

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This is exciting work. It is energizing. Once upon a time the underground press functioned as a vehicle for spreading radical thinking, energizing people for change, and challenging the status quo. Now here we are again above ground and utilizing the same vehicle that seeks to destroy Democracy.

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Please don't forsake writing for too many audio visuals. I use your words often in commenting in mainstream media and passing along to friends.

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Keep up the good work, Simon. We can be patient as Hopium evolves. You’re an important voice with valuable input, and we appreciate you.

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I am going to keep writing. Just this week I did much narrower pieces that I would not have done a month ago. I get it. It's why Twitter was so important - you could cover so much ground in so few words. My posts Thursday and Friday were more of this type. A single subject, some data, light commentary, simple. There will be more of that going forward. It's a new form for me - almost like a Twitter thread but for Substack. It's comfortable and works well in this medium.

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Thank you for providing this Substack. Although you claim to not be a “formal” writer, I do not feel that that is important. I appreciate all the information you supply in any form and will continue to follow such. Short, long, video, podcast, whatever it takes, I will follow as much as I can AND recommend you to all who wish to be informed. My wish is that we can find a way to pierce the bubble of the 30% of Americans who do not feel that America stands for all of us. Keep up the great work.

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I agree with Cheryl, that it is not important whether you are or are not a "formal" writer. You are a writer, and that is sufficient. I have not yet subscribed because I am feeling overwhelmed with the current number of subscriptions I have, and need to cut back on a few. But so far I like the few articles I've read from you. I have a Twitter account but rarely ever read on that platform, as it seems to be a more hostile place with many trolls, vs here on Substack. Thanks for being here, Simon.

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Simon - I THOROUGHLY enjoyed/appreciated listening to your April 13th podcast and ended up emailing it to family members. It was one of two of the best podcast episodes I listened in months. The other one was the Lincoln Project's interview with Jeff Sharlet. I am finally beginning to feel like things might turn around someday soon. Everyday now I see small steps - MSNBC commentators are becoming more vocal, digging deeper into stories that matter and straying away from headline grabbing; your 'truths' in numbers in your podcast should be required reading/listening; the slow and steady onion peel of Politicology has shown me a pathway; and Robert Reich's perspectives are a national treasure. All of you are providing the words and data to speak truth to those who think they have the power. Thank you for what you do, Wendy

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Hello Simon, I like your writing; I like your videos, also the videos which include others. I often watch on Youtube because I'm a little behind here on the west coast. It's easy to click 'Notify me' and I don't forget to watch. You are a very important addition to Substack! Your writings and videos give us hope; they're leading us in the right direction! Thank you.

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YES to this!!! "The story that is so common in our discourse today - of American decline - is red wavy, false, untrue. Our country has been talked down for too long. Here we are going to talk it up, be loud and proud patriots, and tell the story of American progress and the historic contributions of our Party. Countering the dark pessimism of MAGA, which sells this great nation short every day, is one of our most important projects here. Perhaps the most important of all." Thank you so much for ALL you do to help us tell this story.

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Apr 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Your podcast with Daily Kos The Brief was excellent- I listened twice and took some notes. I also shared it. Now have a much better understanding of your Get to 55 strategy. Good stuff.

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