Being Individuals, Indivisibly

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

One of the things I like that most about Indivisible is found right in its name. I like that idea that moderates, progressives, Greens, Libertarians and all others can come together and agree on a defensive stance and be indivisible.

We all know that saying NO is easier than saying yes, as the GOP is discovering after eight years of no, and there is something unifying about it. It does mean that we are putting our progressive ideas aside for a while, but it does allow us to form bonds and open up dialogue with the wide array of non-Trump supporters out there. Now, in “Trump’s America,” we know that indivisible we are strong. With an aggregate approval rating of only 38% (Five Thirty Eight), we know that those who stand against the Trump Agenda far outnumber those who approve of it. Indivisible we can prevail.

So while the pledge of allegiance was referencing how the fifty states will be indivisible under a federal government, we can invoke the same language to motivate and inspire us to stick together, work together and be engaged in the process together.

Indivisible we are strong.

The History of Hysteria

By K. Randall

Let’s face it Indivisibles, we have a gender imbalance within our ranks. This is not by design, but you’ll notice at any of our meetings the female population in the room might be seventy percent? I am proud of my sisters who so boldly stand side-by-side with me, and for our male counterparts who are just as enthusiastic.

But there is this word that the other side has been using a lot lately: hysteria. Every time I hear it, my hackles raise a little bit, partially because of who is saying it and partially because of the history of the word.

“Hysteria” was once a psychological diagnosis that was applied exclusively to women. Symptoms included: sexual desire, insomnia, shortness of breath, irritability, a “tendency to cause trouble,” or seventy other problems. Hysteria was basically a catchall term applied to women with real or imagined issues, and was sometimes used as a political tool against women such as suffragettes or others who had aspirations outside of the home.

So it rankles when Representative Martha McSally called us hysterical when we met with her in February. And it made me feel dismissed and diminished when she referred to us as hysterical in her closed door meeting with bankers in May.

Martha McSally and her Koch brother alumnus communications director have been trying to cultivate an image of being a powerful, strong and heroic woman who is looking out for other women (see her interview with Glamour Magazine). But it is hard to champion women when invoking language that reduces us and transforms our concerns into mere “hysteria.”

Hopes for the Arizona Daily Star

Let's face it, print news is in trouble. The printing press revolutionized the way we disseminate information, and electronic media has caused another paradigm shift. The Arizona Daily Star (ADS) is all we have left for daily print content, and we have had many criticisms of it in the last four months, coming to a head around the time of the Tax March.

The 25,000 square foot Arizona Daily Star building was once home to around 1,100 jobs and now houses only around 250 people. The hallways echo and the labyrinthine corridors snake around in silence. The dark crater of the former Citizen lies dark and unused, and the monster printing press never gets to execute its awesome full potential.

The Arizona Daily Star is anemic, with much of its content outsourced to the AP and Reuters. The truly local content tends to be lighter pieces and not "deep dives" that have become the hallmark of more successful print publications such as The Atlantic and The New Yorker.

So what is it that has subscription rates up for some publications and down for others? Well, I'm sure everyone thinks they know, but here is my opinion.

I own a small, open-forum newspaper that has been in print since 1983. We have extremely loyal readership and advertisers, and could probably get bigger if I had the time. The thing that makes us so successful is that we publish local, community content that is 100% unique. It isn't something that you can just go get off of CNN or other news service.

Often, when I open up the Star, I see content I can just get off of my cell phone. It really isn't the journalists' fault, or many of the staff at the Star but it does reek of a corporation winnowing down talent in order to turn a profit.

No, I don't like the lack of coverage the ADS treats Indivisible, RepresentMeAZ and McSally Take A Stand to. And no, I also don't like the light pieces they gift to Martha McSally. I feel like the Arizona Republic in Phoenix does a deeper dive on CD2 issues, and the ADS never even mentioned the leaked audio while pretty much every news outlet including CSS, politico, and New York Magazine did. There is still more on that audio tape that could be pulled out, and yet the ADS hasn't bothered to do so (or doesn't have the resources).

Finally, the ADS seems to be a newspaper that would represent a center, center-right city better than decidedly left leaning Tucson. It is rumored that the Heads at the ADS wanted to endorse TRUMP. A Tucson newspaper endorsing Trump. Do they even know their readership?

The Arizona Daily Star need to:
-Provide content that cannot just be scooped up on someone's bathroom break on their smartphone:
-Expanded opinion section (I actually think Sarah is doing this...kudos!
-"Deep diving" reporting, which means investments into personnel to give them the time and resources to do this. Don't just tell me that the A-10 is going to lose 3 squadrons. Interview some people. Find out that McSally has been bragging to people that she saved the A-10 by manipulating Donald Trump three days before the cuts were announced. Cover the fact that a grassroots Super PAC, rarer than a blue moon, has been started up in Tucson. 
 -Provide more local content. For national news, I can look on my smartphone.
-Provide fair and balanced coverage, but cover more stuff. The bar for covering an event seems to be sky high. The Tax March had 700-800 attendees, and apparently that was not enough to warrant a story. OK, but how about why there was even a Tax March to begin with? Put an intern or student on the job and get out there to do some interviews. Interview counter protesters. Pro-Trump rallies. Do you see where I am going with this? Cover what is happening in the community. The ADS is a local paper, and not The Atlantic. Nor will it ever be The Atlantic.

I want everyone to continue to support our local print publications as well as our digital ones. But I think we need to put some pressure on the ADS to cover things in more depth. I am not even necessarily looking for coverage of only us. But deeper coverage (and, too!).