Trump’s Path; Health Care; Quote of the Week; Bob Worsley’s ‘Horseshoe Virus’

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Good morning, it’s Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, the day the week when I reprise an instructive or inspirational quotation. Today’s comes from John Lennon, who would have turned 80 years old today. He was born on this date in 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital when Britain was withstanding “The Blitz” — the sustained air war by the Luftwaffe that would take the lives of 4,000 civilians in Liverpool alone by war’s end. He died 40 years later in New York City, a victim of senseless violence.

His full name was John Winston Lennon, after one of his grandfathers and the British statesman steering the ship of state in its fight for survival against the Third Reich. In postwar England, John grew up to be a pacifist who wrote and sang songs lamenting war. One of them, “Imagine,” stages periodic comebacks, and is doing so these days. Millions of people love that song — I used to be one of them, but today the lyrics strike me as somewhat at odds with the more iconoclastic opening to the 1969 song “Give Peace a Chance.”

Imagine” may be a hopeful-sounding hymn, but societies proclaiming an end to God and country — not to mention a functioning economy — turn out in real life to offer precious little hope. Instead of Utopia, they tend to produce poverty, corruption, and gulags. Would John Lennon have come to that same conclusion? We have no way of knowing, as he was cut down in the prime of life in his adopted country, a nation that still hasn’t figured out how to keep firearms out of the hands of murderous lunatics. One thing about Lennon, however: He was always growing and always did his own thinking, as he talked about nonviolence most of his life. I’ll offer one of his observations in a moment.

First, I’ll point you to RealClearPolitics’ front page, which presents our poll averages, videos, breaking news stories, and aggregated opinion pieces spanning the political spectrum. We also offer an array original material from our own reporters, columnists, and contributors this morning, including the following:

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Trump’s Narrow Path to Victory (With a Nod to Washington State). Sean Trende’s updated analysis takes cues from one state’s primary results, which have been predictive in the recent past. 

SCOTUS Fight Will Highlight GOP’s Health Care Liability. A.B. Stoddard writes that the party’s inability to replace Obamacare with something better be among the themes underpinning Democratic opposition to Amy Coney Barrett.

Don’t Eliminate the Filibuster. Raise the Bar. Nancy Jacobson urges lawmakers to replace today’s “silent” filibuster with the old, more deliberative version.

Five Facts on the Post-Election Day Timeline. RealClearPolicy has this primer from No Labels.

Without Growth, There Is No Stimulus. RealClearMarkets editor John Tamny reiterates a basic lesson in economics as lawmakers — and journalists — consider government responses to the pandemic. John also weighs in on antitrust advocates’ calls to break up Facebook.

We Don’t Need to Be Forced to Care About the Planet. In RealClearEnergy, Jason Reed argues that the private sector is doing more than the government to tackle climate change.

Young Conservatives Want Responsible Climate Action. Also in RCE, Jacob Abel discusses the impact the nation’s growing national debt will have on our capacity to address climate change.

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict Is an Opportunity for U.S. Stephen Blank explains in RealClearDefense.

Nazi Germany’s Fatal Mistakes. In RealClearHistory, Steve Feinstein revisits several strategic errors, in particular Hitler’s decision not to develop a long-range bomber.

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In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged two “Bed-Ins for Peace.” Styled after the sit-ins of the 1950s and early1960s, and supplemented with the couple’s famed passion for love — and for each other — these sessions were filmed and recorded and much-discussed at the time. John and Yoko gave interviews while doing them, and although Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. might have raised eyebrows, the counter-culture backdrop was part of their message.

At the Bed-In in Montreal, John said the following:

“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you — pull your beard, flick your face — to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is nonviolence and humor.”

And that’s your quote of the week. 

Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics
@CarlCannon (Twitter)
[email protected]

Carl M. Cannon is the Washington bureau chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.

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